Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Friday, January 9, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah

Dan Walters, Mac Taylor, and anyone else who wants to can talk and write as much as they want to about why it's a good idea to let voters decide the budget. The bottom line is that they are wrong, and all the arguments come down to is putting lipstick on a pig. Here's a free civics lesson guys. We live in a representative republic. The entire purpose of having elected officials is that they make tough decisions that the average voter has neither the time, experience, nor frankly the wisdom to make. Giving up and passing it off to the voters to handle because it's too tough or too hot an issue is simply not acceptable, unless those politicians plan on resigning their seats as well. Would a company accept a CEO or manager who said, "It's too hard, I'll let the shareholders make the tough executive decisions"? Of course not. Why should politicians be treated differently from any other job holder?

In fact, one of the reasons our budget problems are so bad is because politicians enlisted the voters in the past. Can't get the funding levels you want for schools? Pass a voter-approved constitutional amendment guranteeing the schools a certain level of funding! Voters have already locked in far too much spending, while pols stood off to the side and said, "At least it ain't me doing it." If they'd have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to their constituents and say, "I can't do my job if you're continually cutting off all of my options", we might be in less of a pickle today.

As for the argument that the voters are putting politicians in an impossible position by demanding services and eschewing tax increases, well, guess what. I know this may be difficult to accept, but THAT'S WHAT VOTERS DO. They want a perfect world. They never get it, but they want it. Leaders accept that, and they deal with it by LEADING. Engaging the public, arguing with their opponents, and moving forward despite their inability to please everyone. Come on, you're all from gerrymandered districts, so you don't even have to worry about voter backlash, just some nasty letters. It's a tough job, but that's why you get paid the big bucks. If you don't like it, no one forced you to run for public office, did they?