Swickard: Getting home safely in self-driving cars

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “Baseball is like driving, it’s the one who gets home safely that counts.” Tommy Lasorda
            This last weekend there was a car accident which involved a self-driving vehicle. The media had a great visual of this car on its side. To our way of thinking that is never supposed to happen. It’s a self-driving car which should be programmed to stay out of accidents.
            The good news is that it wasn’t the self-driving car’s fault. But the car ended up on its side. That is never good. Seems the car ended up on its side after someone, a human, not another self-driving car, didn’t yield when it was a yield situation.
            Are we to assume self-driving cars are not going to get into accidents? Of course they will have accidents because they are out there with all of us humans. Regardless of the fact that self-driving cars will not be texting or talking to a spouse, the human other drivers do.
            Like Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda observed, it is the one who get home safely that counts both in the game of baseball and driving. When I took a defensive driving course the mantra was to arrive safely despite the actions of others. Even if you are a self-driving car.
            Imagine how hard it would be to sit in a self-driving car as it gets into an accident. What can you say since there is no one else in the car? In a regularly driven car you might resort to colorful language for a driver that gets you into an accident but if you are the only one in the car the best you can say is, “Shuckins!”
            Obviously, some statistician can point out that you will be many times safer if a knucklehead isn’t driving but there is that media picture of a self-driving car on its side to consider. And if you think that the self-driving car is doing something wrong, what can you do other than gasp?
            One time I was in a commercial jet taking off from Dallas when as we were heading onto the runway I noticed that the pilot had not engaged the flaps. Normally to take off or land the flaps are extended. Someone traveling with me noticed I was agitated.
            I mentioned the flaps to which this person just shrugged. Then the pilot announced, “Most times we use flaps to take off but for you pilots there are a few times when we have a no-flaps takeoff. This is one of those times.” I went whew.
            So, it may take a bit of trust to ride in self-driving cars, especially in traffic with the usual amount of human knuckleheads. I guess we could get used to it or perhaps some of us never will. It could be that we can consider what Will Rogers wrote, “When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”


Poverty goes hand-in-hand with tyranny

© 2016 Jim Spence - Santa Fe, New Mexico is a city where political vipers are sent to say things that are untrue and do things that have never worked. New Mexico voters seem to like it that way. The proof is in the pudding. Voters in our state have chosen to be dominated by the Democratic Party for more than sixty years despite the fact that unlike our neighbors, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, states that actually vote for a Republican-led legislatures sometimes, New Mexico has made sure Democrats run our legislature for more than sixty years.
Unfortunately, one party rule has worked about as well in New Mexico as it has in Cuba and North Korea. Economically speaking it has quite been thin in New Mexico for a long time with no relief in sight. This is true despite our state having better weather or more natural resources than each of our neighboring states.
The problem is simple. Democrats spread poverty in New Mexico like stage four cancer.
How bad are the most basic measures of future prosperity in New Mexico? The most compelling statistic is a measure of the lives of children. According to a recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 72 percent of all babies born in New Mexico require the costs of their births to be covered not, by their moms and dads, but by Medicaid. Essentially, this means that three out of every four babies born in this state are being created by people who simply cannot afford to have them. In effect, they are created at taxpayer expense. This 72% "rate" is by far the highest rate of any state in the nation. The fact that only 28% of all babies born in New Mexico are born to females who can afford to be pregnant, is a direct result of Democratic Party domination of public policy for more than sixty years that encourages and fosters government dependency. Yes, Democrats are literally manufacturing a steady stream of people to live in poverty with their public policies.
Sadly, New Mexico has never been satisfied to simply populate Santa Fe with Democrats who keep repeating failed processes. New Mexico also sends some of our most stubborn and hypocritical jackasses to Washington.
Not surprisingly, perhaps the biggest hypocrite in the United States Senate these days hails from New Mexico. That would be Tom Udall. A few years ago Udall made the following statement regarding how despicable he thought filibustering of Supreme Court nominees was and why the Democrats were justified in changing Senate rules to stop filibusters:
“I think what our role is, is to step out there, advise and consent, and if we don't believe the person's qualified, if there's some real serious problem, vote against them. You remember Bork. He wasn't filibustered. He was voted down, 58 votes against him. People like Scalia, everybody says, oh, well, there are going to be more Scalias. Scalia passed unanimously. Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court passed with just three votes against her, 96-3. So the issue really is advice and consent, not with super majorities. Right now, we have the tyranny of the minority. And that's what we have taken care of."
Yes, you read that right. Tom Udall called the tactic of filibustering a presidential nominee to the courts, “The tyranny of the minority.” Those are very strong words of condemnation. Obviously this is a principle that Udall seemed to hold dear right?
This week Udall indicated he was going to be just fine with Chuck Schumer’s calls for a filibuster of Judge Neil Gorsuch, the same Gorsuch Schumer voted FOR when he need Senate confirmation a few years ago. Schumer is not alone in his previous vote FOR Neil Gorsuch. Also voting for Gorsuch was Senator Barack Obama, Senator Joe Biden, Senator Harry Reid, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Tom Carper, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Robert Menendez, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Ron Wyden. None of these same Democrat Senators, who are still in the Senate will vote for Gorsuch now, and most will support a filibuster.

We have plenty of poverty, tyranny anyone?


The stealth Washingtonian Party

© 2016 Jim Spence - There is a stealth political party dominating America. It is unnamed, but seems more organized and purposeful then the GOP. It should be called the Washingtonian Party.
Upon reflection, the rise of the Washingtonians has been logical. There is more power and control over the nation’s wealth to be had by controlling government, than merely embracing fundamental truths. And accordingly, it makes sense to be a Washingtonian if staying in Washington is the objective, which it is much more often than not.
The sole requirement for being a Washingtonian is to be ambivalent to the fact that in Washington, where the rules of society are made, words do not matter. Once one makes this compromise on basic personal integrity, being a Washingtonian gets to be pretty easy.
Virtually all Democrats caucus with the Washingtonians without admitting it. This is so because in the world of the Washingtonians, up can be down, in can be out, round can be square, good can be bad, female can be male, and yes, male can be female. All illegal immigrants can somehow be living here legally. And most important of all, every non-U.S. citizen must be treated as if they enjoy the privileges of U.S. citizenship which are bestowed by the U.S. Constitution......on U.S. citizens (along with messy little responsibilities, like registering for the draft).
Because words have no meaning to Democrats, they will fervently argue with a straight face, that laws passed by Congress and signed by a president (any president), are merely enforcement optional. If the president likes the law, he or she can feel free to enforce it. If not, feel free to ignore it. Additionally, laws may only be enforced by a GOP president, if every single Federal Circuit Court judge in the land likes those laws. The U.S. Constitution is irrelevant if one judge can be found who does not like the law.
Anyone who objects to this absurd charade can expect no help from any Washingtonian. Sure, Washingtonians might well “say” they object to this situation too, but they will never do anything to stop it. Instead, the little people, people who are not Washingtonians or Democrats, will be required to spend money endlessly on lawyers and argue about the basic meaning of simple words. Judges will continue to be allowed to act as dictators, because impeaching dictatorial judges never enters into the national discussion.
Unlike Democrats who make very little effort to hide their penchant for stupidity, Washingtonians will pretend they are angry about how Democrats portray America and poison America from within. Democrats will play the race card and stomp their feet and demand that refugees from countries that train all of their children to hate America be allowed to flood into the U.S., while Washingtonians will feign disagreement with them but do nothing. When the federal government hands thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars every month to each refugee family, while never fixing a system that is supposed to provide decent health care to U.S. veterans, Washingtonians will “act” is if they strenuously object. Then Washingtonians will do nothing other than fund raise.
Democrats prefer to ignore the true legacy of slavery, a human atrocity that has been practiced by people of all races, and began thousands of years ago, and instead suggest that somehow 21st Century white Americans are responsible for all of the atrocities associated with slavery in the U.S. seven generations ago. Washingtonians always take the ridiculous guilt-by-association slavery bait, and agree to throw freebies funded not by them, but by taxpayers, at the petitioners and the army of Democrat bureaucrats that slurp from that public trough.
When Democrats in public education ignore teaching the fact that the two biggest butchers of human beings in world history were Mao and Stalin, Washingtonians won’t bother to demand that the fact that both Stalin and Mao were also fervent anti-capitalists be taught too. When Hitler’s atrocities are appropriately taught in school, the fact that Hitler was also fervently anti-capitalist is left out of the narrative as well. Democrats don’t want any of the anti-capitalist dots connected to the murderous nature of the most famous socialists in history. And Washingtonians don’t have the inclination to demand that our children get educated instead of indoctrinated. Demanding an education based on truth gets in the way of the Washingtonian's goal which is not to facilitate change but to simply remain in Washington.
Curiously, the ACLU and the Democrats used to strenuously object to any move to create opportunities to fundamentally violate privacy.....until Mr. Obama’s henchmen engaged in particularly outrageous assaults on privacy. Not to be outdone by Democrat ambivalence towards the 5th Amendment, Washingtonians have also been astonishingly silent about the fact that Obama’s henchmen gained illegal access to NSA privacy data for political purposes.
There is a great irony in the way Washingtonians, disguised as Republicans, have governed since winning majorities in both houses of Congress. They have done very little other than talk a good game. There are so many Washingtonians in the GOP that “say” they want smaller government, while taking actions that makes sure government never shrinks and always grows larger. This explains why a White House budget, that trimmed the size of government substantially, was labeled “dead on arrival” by Washingtonian Senators who garnered less than 1% of the Republican votes in presidential primaries. This is what Washingtonians do. Democrats have been decimated nationally because the American heartland despises them. And Washingtonians say they they are with the heartland voters, but they collaborate for status quo every day.
Finally, you may wonder why:
  • it is considered OK for men to pee and poop in the ladies bathrooms with little girls present,
  • people who enter the U.S. illegally are called “immigrants” now instead of illegal aliens,
  • producing an I.D. to use your credit card is fine, but asking everyone to do so to vote is racist,
  • it isn’t greedy to game the federal, state, and county governments for taxpayer-funded freebies, and raise taxes to do so, but simply wanting to keep more of the money you work for and earned is,
  • “choice” is considered a wonderful term that signifies freedom when it comes to killing babies, but it is an awful term when it’s applied to owning a gun or picking which school to send your children to.
There is one basic reason why these fundamental violations of common sense are proliferating in America. Democrats embrace these violations and the Washingtonian Party members cannot be bothered with the inconveniences required to halt the assault on the idea that language should have meaning.

The Supreme Court and the voters

© 2016 Jim Spence - For years in this column I have railed against the public education system and suggested that its absolute failure will be the downfall of America. Of course with so many other nations mired under the constraints of anti-business socialist policies, our demise is likely to be far off in the future.
Still, one has to wonder about our country.
The day that Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the open spot on the Supreme Court, I made the statement that Gorsuch was the reason why I voted for Donald Trump, I just didn’t know his name at the time. Many people who shared our concerns with the importance of making sure the court respected the U.S. Constitution also voted for Trump for that very same reason.
Still, I must admit that while I have never been a Trump fan, in fact I have been much more of a detractor. his policies have been a pleasant surprise.
Apparently Americans are not so uneducated yet that they do not know how much power court rulings have over their lives.
Blessings From AboveAccording to a C-Span report, 90 percent of U.S. voters believe that decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court have an impact on their everyday lives. And a whopping 76 percent of U.S. voters think TV coverage of the high court's oral arguments should be allowed. This is somewhat heartening. But there is more bad news than good.
Astonishingly, a staggering majority of American voters cannot name a single Supreme Court justice.
The C-Span report – which was released as confirmation hearings started for Gorsuch found that 57 percent of U.S. voters could not name a single Supreme Court justice.
Doddering old Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who is often photographed dozing in public is the most recognized name on the court. Still, only 16 percent of respondents in the C-Span survey named her. Chief Justice John Roberts followed at dismal 12 percent, while Justice Clarence Thomas was named by only 10 percent. A tiny 3 percent of respondents named Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan were named by just 1 percent. Not a single respondent named Justice Stephen Breyer.
Clearly America is junked out on pop culture rather than up on civics. There is little priority given to being curious about the names of those people that 90% of Americans believe have an impact on their everyday lives.

Just another sign.


Swickard: An Overdue New Mexico Celebration

Sheriff Pat Garrett
© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  There is a celebration missing in New Mexico. Naturally our tourist industry would love to have another festival where tourists come celebrate with us. Better, this celebration would be about a real New Mexico hero. Unfortunately, New Mexico does not currently celebrate this man and he should be celebrated.
            Over the years New Mexico has developed a large celebration involving famous western outlaw Billy the Kid. Me, I would rather celebrate lawmen than outlaws. So why not celebrate Sheriff Pat Garrett? There is so much misinformation about Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, which is why Pat Garrett still is not celebrated.
            No longer. A new book is out written by David G. Thomas: Billy the Kid’s grave: a history of the Wild West’s most famous death marker. It’s Volume 4 of the Mesilla Valley History Series.
            The author is the son of former New Mexico State University President Gerald Thomas. David Thomas is a careful historical researcher combining a background in history and competition chess. What David learned as a chess master translates to his history research. He researches history like it is a chess match.
            There are many parts of the Billy the Kid story that I had wrong from traditional sources. David Thomas’s book clears up several inaccuracies that I had embraced. I am thrilled to really see what happened.
            Nothing is more so than the actual location of Billy the Kid’s grave. Previous reports are now shown to be wrong. It took a researcher of David Thomas’s ability to prove the location. There’s a wealth of this kind of research in the book. I was most interested in Pat Garrett.
            Over the years, I have called for some celebration of this lawman who was a Sheriff of Lincoln County then later of Doña Ana County. He is a New Mexico hero with plenty of blemishes.
            Regardless, he deserves a celebration at least equal to that of Billy the Kid. This is difficult because people are stuck in their ways of thinking from popular movies where Garrett is the villain and Billy the hero.
            This is false. The real hero was lawman Pat Garrett while Billy the Kid was a criminal who murdered people including three New Mexico lawmen. Over the last forty years I’ve written this several times. The Billy folks always point out that Garrett was known to visit taverns. And was a rotten gambler.
            While having human failings, Pat Garrett performed heroically when duty called. If Pat Garrett was living today he would provide plenty of stories for the tabloids about his drinking and gambling.
            But when duty called, Sheriff Pat Garrett didn’t shrink back. He performed his duty. Like the stories about the police and fire personnel on September 11th, Garrett ran toward danger, not away from it.
            We remember Pat Garrett mostly because he is currently depicted as the villain in the Billy the Kid movies. However, Billy’s character, by actual western standards, was that of a coward, cheat and horse-thief. The community in 1881 heaved a collective sigh of relief when Sheriff Pat Garrett finally got Billy the Kid in Ft. Sumner that July 1881 night as David Thomas’s book conclusively documents.
            As we think of Garrett, let us reflect on these facts: Garrett only used his guns to bring peace to New Mexico. Billy killed at least seven people in cold-blood. Garrett raised a family. His blind daughter Elizabeth was a nationally recognized opera singer. In 1915 she wrote New Mexico’s official song, “O Fair New Mexico.”
            We should have Pat Garrett Days. Perhaps tourists would not buy Pat Garrett trinkets the way they buy Billy the Kid trinkets, but decent folks would appreciate community values being celebrated.
            I cannot right the wrong done to Pat Garrett and to the generations of Garretts still in our community other than tell the truth about him. We need a Pat Garrett celebration to make up for the fact he was murdered foully and treated in death even worse.
            David Thomas has written a history book for the ages which tells the truth about Billy and Pat Garrett. I believe Las Cruces should be the center of the Pat Garrett Days Western Celebration.


Attention New Mexico, if you are in a hole stop digging

© 2016 Jim Spence - Governor Susana Martinez is considering calling a special legislative session immediately after the regular session ends today at noon. It seems that New Mexico Democrats, who want the size of state government to grow until we have an economic disaster like California or Illinois, is forcing a showdown and a shutdown.
Bring it on.
Yesterday, the Democrat dominated legislature, which has made it exceedingly difficult for the oil and gas business to grow prosper and continue to carry the state budget with generous tax revenues, approved a $6.1 billion budget that includes a whopping $280 million in permanent new tax increases for the coming fiscal year.
The situation is disgustingly simple. Democrats have already crippled the breadwinner in New Mexico, the oil and gas industry, now they want to move on to crippling other productive entities. They do not seem to care that their asinine policies have driven productive taxpaying oil and gas companies across the border into Texas. They have put us in a hole and they are screaming for more digging.
New Mexico in general and Las Cruces in particular have cast self-destructive votes as a matter of reflex for decades. Instead of helping Governor Martinez change this state from an economic laughing stock to a competitive southwestern state, Democrats prefer to cast votes that are sure to push the number of poor people living here higher. They want to keep digging.
Governor Martinez has warned the Democrats repeatedly that she will not sign any new tax increases. However, it is predictable that Democrats continue to never learn from their mistakes. So they press forward with more self-defeating policies that have failed for decades. They want to keep digging.
Accordingly, Susana Martinez is gearing up for a state government shutdown in response to the budget standoff that pits her rational reform proposals against the Democrat’s absolute obsession with taxing productive citizens so bureaucrats can continue to live the good life without a care in the world.
Keith Gardner, who is Chief of Staff for the governor, has indicated that non-essential state government agencies will close if there is no deal.
Sadly, non-essential state agencies should not close temporarily, THEY SHOULD BE ELIMINATED PERMANENTLY. Clearly lawmakers and the governor already know the state agencies that are not essential. The big question is why is New Mexico wasting its precious resources on them when the state is expected to run out of money next month? This is lunacy.
The Democrats solution is more lunacy. They want to tax you, me, and everyone else who is productive in our state, to pay for things that are clearly not essential.
The governor’s office has indicated there is still “hope” for a budget deal today. But if none is reached by noon, when the session must end by law, Martinez is likely to call a special session.
Susana Martinez
Other than minuscule one percent cuts in funding to still fat-laden state universities, colleges, and specialty schools, the Democrat run legislature has refused to force any other highly paid bureaucrats who serve as economic balls and chains on the state, to reduce waste in their fat laden fiefdoms. Instead, the Democrat-led House voted yesterday to raise taxes and fees on gasoline, diesel fuel, retail sales over the Internet, trucking permits, and nonprofit hospitals. More balls and chains on the productive sectors.
It is astonishing to continue to hear Democratic lawmakers stick to the idea that making government bigger, bureaucrat’s days cushier, and taxes higher, will not hurt the economy in this state as it has since statehood. It is puzzling that New Mexico voters keep empowering Democrats to perpetuate dumb policies that fatten state government and produce more poverty.
The proof is in the pudding. A quick glance at the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, where the Republicans have had chances to run the legislatures often over the last 105 years tells you all you need to know. New Mexico has languished badly under Democratic Party domination while these states have prospered. Our state is an island of poverty in a sea of prosperity. Our neighbors thrive with an electorate that has trusted the GOP, while we suffer under the domination of one party, the Democrats. Susana Martinez is the only thing standing between us and a more rapid acceleration in the deterioration in living standards in this state. She wants to stop digging.

Swickard: Two big problems with the minimum wage

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “The real minimum wage is zero.” Thomas Sowell
             Two problems: government imposition of a minimum wage is price-fixing. Worse, it doesn’t work because people don’t live an hour at a time, they live month to month.
            It’s not in the best interest of consumers when governments price-fix the price of labor. Technically, price-fixing is when participants in a market buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price.
            Besides causing higher prices, price-fixing a minimum wage raises employment barriers for unskilled workers since workers trade productivity for wages. If what a worker must be paid does not return an equal economic productivity, they cannot be employed.
            The media bombards us with heart-wrenching stories of abject poverty for people making the minimum wage. But people live by the month, never by the hour.
            There is no amount guaranteed other than the hour worked. The workers are injured when businesses, reacting to rising labor costs, trim the workforce hours or workers.
            Consider if someone is making $7 an hour for thirty hours a week. Their gross pay is $210 a week. If the minimum wage rises to $9 an hour, since the business labor costs may be fixed, that business may cut minimum wage employees to fifteen hours a week which is $135 a week.
            The government requirement is an hour, not a month. We live by the month. Of course, minimum wage earners may be the first cut since they have the least job experience. Then their minimum wage is zero.
            Price fixing has been illegal in our country since the Sherman Act in 1890. When has any government price-fixing worked? Soviet Union price-fixing caused low prices for groceries in empty grocery stores.
            In World War Two our government froze wages so for businesses to hire someone from a competitor they had to offer something else of value. It was health insurance which was not used much before then.
            Over the years, the health insurance industry grew into one sixth of our economy as our resources were given to Insurance and pharmaceutical companies along with lots of lawyers, lobbyists and politicians. Smaller amounts went to doctors and hospitals. Finally, we people became just the giving units to the high and powerful.
            Price-fixing by our government on domestically produced oil brought us the gas shortages and higher prices for energy in the 1970s along with the increase of economic power for the Middle East Oil Cartels.
            President Reagan stopped the price-fixing and oil prices went down. The more governments price-fix, the worse it becomes for their citizens. Economist Milton Friedman wrote, “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”
            My biggest concern in these Minimum Wage increases is that it precludes some people, usually very low skill or no skill workers from even getting a job since they must return in productivity what they are paid or the business will fail at some point.
            Often work hours are cut for the already employed low-skill workers which reduces their gross amount of monthly money. We used to work a standard forty hours a week. Lately it’s thirty-two or twenty-eight hours.
            The living wage is touted but what should be the amount? If it’s tied to $15 an hour and full employment of forty hours a week, that’s $31,200 a year. The government requiring a living wage means low-skill workers will never be employed since they cannot return that much monetary value to their employers.
            Now, if the government doesn’t like what I, as an employer, pays, they are free to add any amount they want to the paycheck of my employee. But I have three factors always: markets including prices for my goods, labor costs to produce those goods and the return on investment that keeps me in business.
            If you take the cost of labor over the possible return from the sale of my goods, I must either trim the work-force or close the business. That’s Economics 101.
            As President Ronald Reagan said at his first inauguration, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Amen to that.

The Fix Is In - A.F. Branco Political Cartoon

Gutless bastards

© 2016 Jim Spence - Government does not exist to solve problems. Government exists to perpetuate government and consume more and more resources.
Yesterday I met with a nurse who has worked in the healthcare industry for nearly forty years. She lamented the fact that the tug of war between two gigantic bureaucracies; government and insurance companies, has destroyed the option for doctors and nurses to use their common sense. This regrettable circumstance is going to continue to get worse now that we have seen the GOP's healthcare "fix."
What you are seeing unfold in Washington D.C. is the latest round of absurdity. 
The problem with healthcare is actually pretty simple. Resources are scarce and government is consuming them in the name of helping to solve problems. Ronald Reagan summarized this situation well. Government is not the solution, government is the problem. Nobody on either side of the aisle understands that fundamental truth anymore.
In 2010 the Democrats, without a single GOP vote, passed Obamacare. In doing so, they transferred more and more power to consume resources to federal government. The carrot used for this power grab was more freebies for some Americans. The stick was much heavier taxation, mandates, and more expensive insurance for most working Americans.
A few years ago I wrote a column in this space and pointed out the simple fact that the emperor (Obama) had no clothes. Despite what was claimed, Obama and the Democrats were not fixing anything. They simply accelerated the massive wealth and power transfer from everywhere in America to Northern Virginia and Maryland where grossly over-compensated government bureaucrats have continued to swallow up trillions of taxpayer dollars each year without a care in the world.
Highly paid bureaucrats were nervous when the GOP won in November. Their fears were unfounded. Nothing is going to change.
Senators and House members refuse to deal with reality. This includes Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell who are supposed to be "leading." The D.C. bureaucrats that Ryan and McConnell are protecting do not serve taxpayers as if they were their very valuable customers. Taxpayers cannot even see the invisible Washington bureaucrats that have the authority to make critical decisions regarding their lives. They can’t reach them by phone (their voice mails almost always pickup), and taxpayers really have no direct claims or leverage on bureaucratic efforts or results. The proof is in the pudding. The counties in Maryland and Northern Virginia that border Washington D.C. are now the wealthiest in the nation. And yet the customer service taxpayers receive from the bureaucrats living in these areas is atrocious and getting worse all of the time.
GOP Congress Afraid
Watching the Republicans celebration after the November election was a charade. They claimed they were happy because they finally had healthy majorities, plus the White House to sign the laws they passed. They were finally going to set about the process of fixing the messes made mostly by Democrats.
So far Congressional Republicans have proven themselves to be the sort of gutless bastards that has kept me registered as an independent for decades.   
Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are not problem solvers. They are self-serving elected officials that have been part of the problem in America for decades. Speaker Paul Ryan produced a weak excuse for his failures yesterday when he said that, "governing is hard." Here's a news flash. Governing is even harder if you don't lead.
The Obamacare repeal that was unveiled earlier this week is nothing but a band-aid. What we are seeing from the GOP now that they "have the votes," is a hapless proposal that assures the greatest wealth transfer in the history of the world is going to continue. Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas are going to continue to get richer along with the crony capitalists who buy politicians. The rest of the nation is going to suffer pretty much as it has under Democrats. Eventually when the productive capacity of America is severely diminished, Maryland and Virginia will implode too. Golden egg laying geese will eventually starve when they are ignored and abused.
In the short run, it will be business as usual in the D.C. area. Bureaucrats will continue to pretend they serve the people instead of themselves and the long lines in the doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, and clinics are going to get longer. The V.A. customer service model is spreading like cancer.
Deep State Shadow Government