A Speech I Would Like to Hear from a Politician...Any Politician!
My fellow Americans: I'm standing here before you this evening because I need the vote of each and every one of you to become the next president of the United States. I'm going to say something that you may never have heard before coming out of the mouth of a politician. Well, let me clarify that. You've probably never heard it come out of the mouth of a sober politician.
Politicians are infamous for telling you what they are going to do for you, or what they are going to give to you. As president of the United States, I am sorry to tell you, I won't be able to do anything for you, or give anything to you.
As president, what I will do is work to take things away from you. Eliminate things. Shut things down.
I'll bet you're just itching to get into that voting booth now, aren't you? But hold on for just a few more minutes, and I'll explain what that means.
The first, and absolutely the most important thing I will take away from each of you is uncertainty.
Don't you think the government has already given us enough of that? We don't know from day to day what we're going to have to pay in taxes. Because of the endless stream of regulations -- regulations written by people we don't know, whom we certainly never voted for -- we aren't even sure whether or not we are in fact criminals. Even the people we do vote for are confused by the very laws they pass.
I promise that I will never sign any legislation that is more than 100 pages long. That is a short enough law for anyone to read, and understand. Even me. And since, as president, I'm pretty sure I'd have at least one smart lawyer on the White House payroll, he or she had better damn well find out anything in those 100 pages or less that's unconstitutional. Or even constitutionally worrisome.
I'm going to take away freebies that now go to friends and supporters of the administration. No more subsidies or tax breaks or loan guarantees that the current resident of the White House refers to as investments. The investments that never seem to return any of your money to you. And remember, it is your money. Not the government's, not the president's, not Congress'. Yours. And right now, it just keeps going out the door with more and more zeros added on to the numbers that they use to keep track of just how much has been invested.
Why do we, as a nation, have to invest in any company that has a great idea? Look at this [pulling a simple mousetrap out of his pocket] mousetrap. Remember when we were growing up, we were told, "Build a Better Mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door"? Of course it helps, if you're in the mousetrap business, if there actually is a mouse problem, right? Or if the device you're using today to get rid of mice doesn't work too well.
The odds are, though, that no one will buy your better mousetrap if the one that they already have, like this simple, one dollar model actually works pretty well, and the new and improved model costs fifty bucks and contains toxic mercury.
Well, that is not exactly what's happening today, is it?
Today, not only will your government taxes go to subsidize, or invest in, the Better Mousetrap Corporation, but Congress and the administration will mandate that you can no longer use that one-dollar model that works pretty well. No, to guarantee the success of the Better Mousetrap Corporation, a law will be passed or a regulation written, or perhaps an executive order created that will force you to spend fifty bucks that you don't have for something that you don't need and that you don't want.
And every morning that you wake up, you're uncertain whether there will be some new "better mousetrap" that you'll be required to buy with the shrinking amount of income that the government allows you to keep.
That is exactly what is happening every time Stephen Chu decides to invest in a new company that he thinks is fantastic.
Of course he doesn't invest his own money. He invests yours. And he wants to make sure that you buy from this new company.
Since this new company has to compete with fossil fuel-based energy sources, Dr. Chu arranges things in the private sector so that fossil fuel will climb in price to the point where the company that he's invested your money in...oh, let's just pick a name at random that sounds sort of high-tech, like, say, Solyndra...looks a lot cheaper than using coal, oil, or natural gas.
So today your government picks the company, funds the company, and then passes laws, or creates regulations that tilt the playing field in such as way as to make their chosen company competitive. And they still can't make it work. With all those advantages, our brilliant bureaucrats still can't get it right. Is there anyone here who thinks we should keep right on doing the same thing after January 20 next year?
Now, what else are you going to lose if you vote for me this November? You're no longer going to have government doing things for you.
Government cannot do things for you. Government is only good at doing things to you. And if I am elected, we're going to stop doing things to you.
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a Vietnam veteran, and an independent voter. He is absolutely not running for anything. Jim blogs at jimyardley.wordpress.com, or he can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.