Does anyone else remember that Seinfeld episode where instead of celebrating Christmas George’s father celebrates Festivus? It’s the celebration that begins with the annual airing of all of their grievances and ends with physical punishment.
I feel like that is what Congress turns Christmas into every year, because I have a lot of problems with Congress, and it feels like they are trying to punish the American people.
Just once, I’d like to get a nice present from Congress—like them not passing anything ridiculous while the rest of us are stuffing our kids’ stockings.
Congressman Thomas Massie recently tweeted, “I predict the day our country’s finances collapse, we will still be funding ‘gender programs in Pakistan.’ Tonight’s COVID relief/stimulus bill has no less than $10 million for said programs attached to it.”
This was just one category of a $1.5 trillion omnibus that encompassed a COVID relief bill and a defense bill. Not only did the over-5,500 page bill attach a lot of pork that couldn’t be voted on separately, Congress was also only given 7 hours to read it. This caused bipartisan outrage. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called it “unacceptable” (yet still voted for the bill). And it gets worse. Here’s a brief list of some of the pork in thus so-called relief bill:
- Sudan gets $700 million (Can you even point to this country on a map?)
- Fisheries are getting $300 million
- Israel gets over $3 billion
- $453 million for Ukraine
- $1.3 billion to Egypt
- $135 million to Burma
- Movie theaters and event venues are getting $15 billion
- $40 million is going to the Kennedy Center
- And on and on and on and on…
As per usual with politicians, the reason these bills are even introduced is that they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of government.
They think giving the American people $600 is stimulus when they tax a massive chunk of our income and cripple the economy.
As famed French economist Frederic Bastiat once said: “Often the masses are plundered and do not know it.”
Because of the way these bills are written, with names like “Covid Relief Bill,” we assume they give relief, not add to the mounting national debt our children and grandchildren will have to assume. It is this principle that Bastiat was addressing. With every law passed—especially ones that are rushed through without time to read—there are a bundle of taxes added.
Not only was Bastiat a super good economist with super-smart quotes, he wrote a book called The Law. As you know, we took the principles from this essay and adapted it into a book that a kid (or congressperson) could understand.
In The Tuttle Twins Learn about the Law, Ethan and Emily learn about individual rights and the proper role of government. Congress is showing us, time and again, why more people, especially them, need to understand these ideas.
I think we sometimes forget that any money the government has is money taken from the American taxpayer—either through direct taxation or by devaluing people’s savings by printing more money.
As Bastiat also aptly said:
“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”
The government is by the people, for the people, and the minute the bureaucrats and politicians forget that, they start passing $1.5 trillion omnibus bills that give $10 million to funding gender programs in Pakistan.
Merry Christmas to big government, and a Festivus for the rest of us.