President Obama has stirred the pot with his recent demand that Congress pass his jobs bill “right away” before we have a chance to understand how he’ll pay for it. I’m not sure where this idea that “we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in the bill” comes from. The majority of people know that’s plain dumb, so I’m astonished that the ruse works on anybody.
While serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, the local Wolof people had a proverb that said, “Duma jend jaan ci paax.” Which literally translated means, “I don’t buy a snake in a hole.” In other words, I’m not buying something I can’t see because I’m likely to get a snake. It feels like the President is trying to be the new version of Monte Hall in “Let’s Make a Deal” and we’re about to get Zonked!
In case you don’t know that reference, let me explain.
I haven’t seen the recent CBS version of “Let’s Make a Deal”, but the original show hosted by Monte Hall featured contestants dressed up in goofy costumes with signs. The goofier the get-up, the better your chances of getting Monte’s attention. The show was predicated on making a deal by trading boxes, envelopes or bags that had various amounts of money or items in them. The money or items might represent an even bigger prize as part of guessing prices, or correctly valuing items from low to high. Stuff like that. Usually one of the first contestants would even win a big prize hidden behind a curtain or a wall. And they wouldn’t be told what they won right away, they’d “hold onto” their unknown prize until the end of the show. After winning, Monte would continue to offer the contestants a opportunity to trade up.
The “deal” was the chance to trade your prize for something much more valuable while taking a risk that you’d end up with something totally bad – referred to as a “zonk!”. The “zonk!” was usually in the form of a goofy guy sitting on a donkey or a chicken coop. As the game went on, there’d usually be 2 or 3 big winners – cars, trips, appliances, furniture etc. – and those winners would be given a chance to trade for the “Big Deal” at the end of the show. If you were the person who won the “unknown” item at the beginning, you were offered a chance to trade an unknown for another unknown. In other words, one of them was Zonk! and you didn’t know if you’d been holding the Zonk! or the Big Deal from the start of the show.
So we Americans, are the contestants in a real political game of “Let’s Make a Deal” and so far we’ve won a 1 trillion dollar stimulus bill, 1/2 a trillion dollar appropriations bill and trillions in debt and deficits. And we were told that it was necessary, because the economy would’ve been worse without this government spending (not proven – nobody knows what would’ve been behind that door and Monte isn’t here to show us what we could’ve won).
So what’s behind door number two? We’re being told it’s another government spending spree in the form of a “Jobs Bill”. And the real Zonk! is that we’re being told that it’s government’s responsibility to produce “full employment”. Do you believe it’s the government’s job to produce full employment? Do you believe that it’s “totally paid for”? Or that spending on infrastructure is spending “free money” – that’s another term I’ve heard thrown around, it’s usually asked in the form of a rhetorical question like, “Why wouldn’t stupid Republican’s accept free money for infrastructure investments that would fill needed jobs?”
The problems with this thinking and this deal are bad assumptions, poor logic and plain flim-flam and lies.
We can’t trade our first deal away, we’re stuck with it. Monte Hall isn’t going to take away our trillions in budget problems and offer us a new deal. No, that isn’t an option in this game. The President and the liberal spenders in Congress want us to blindly take Obama’s Jobs Deal and add it onto the biggest historical Zonk! ever pepetrated on the American public. The President’s jobs bill is not even “winning!” à la Charlie Sheen. All it would do is make our current deal much worse.