Monday, January 26, 2009

Down memory lane (again)

In 2002 I was working on contract for the Office for Domestic Preparedness, teaching grant administrators the political origins, tactics, and logistics of international terrorism. During that time I met the executive assistant for homeland security to the Governor of South Carolina (he was role-playing a cabinet-level officer in a simulation at the time).

What he said then has echoed in my memory for years and years--it keeps coming back to me. And as politics move on, his comments keep takig on new meaning....

We had just finished a discussion on how real homeland security could be achieved for far less than the billions and billions of dollars being appropriated when he said: "Don't worry, it'll never happen that way. Homeland Security is the new revenue sharing. Because there is an emergency situation, the politicians in DC don't have to worry about paying for anything. They can just print the money. And nobody in the States is going to scream about it because they're passing out cash by the truckload to governments and contractors. Every backwoods sheriff in my State is scaring up some old, retired KKK guy they can call a terrorist so they can get some new guns or a new police cruiser. For the Republicans it's beautiful, because they pass out the dough to all the people they like--especially law enforcement, defense contractors and big corporations--and stiff the unions and everybody else they don't like. It's the new gravy train."

So now let's paraphrase my friend's observations for today: "Bail-money is the new revenue sharing. Because there is an emergency situation, the politicians in DC don't have to worry about paying for anything. They can just print the money. And nobody in the States is going to scream about it because they are passing out cash by the truckload to governments and unions. Every small-town mayor is looking for some project he can call 'shovel ready' so they can pave some sidewalks or throw up a few solar panels. For the Democrats it's beautiful, because they can pass out the dough to all the people they like--especially public works, labor unions, and the teachers' unions--and stiff law enforcement, big corporations, and everybody else they don't like. It's the new gravy train."

The Worm Ouroboros.

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