Election mirrors the war on drugs
The Kansas City Star
On Tuesday, area voters will take sides in a political drug war. On one side are the addicts and the pushers, usually addicts themselves. On the other side are people who understand the cost of addiction and are fighting to stem the flow of drugs and reduce the number of addicts.
The “drug” in question is money. The more money politicians have, the more support they can buy.
The “pushers” are Washington politicians. They are addicted to, and dealers of, OPM — Other People’s Money. Like opium on the street, OPM in politics is just as addictive.
Most often, the pushers are Democrats, using OPM to hook voters on government handouts and build bloated, job-killing bureaucracies.
Politicians disguise the first doses of OPM as “gifts” to their constituents. A tax-rebate check here. A new entitlement there.
As more people become addicted, the national appetite for the OPM drug grows. The pushers are happy to oblige: free contraceptives; free abortions; free health care; forgiveness of student loans and underwater mortgages.
But this requires more OPM. So the pushers begin stealing from their constituents — raising taxes, inflating the currency and looting public “trust funds” like Social Security.
In politics, as on the street, pushers and addicts can always justify stealing. For President Barack Obama, it’s “fairness.” Yet giving politicians more OPM and expecting them to spend it responsibly is like giving a street addict more money and expecting him or her to open an IRA.
For any nation with an OPM habit, life is a downward slide. As in Europe, national economies become listless, unemployment stays high, incomes fall, defenses wither and creditors start knocking at the door.
Over time, the freedoms, values and wealth of each nation are steadily eroded.
Meanwhile, the pushers get richer and more powerful. A recent Washington Post article estimates that Americans lost 39 percent of their wealth during the latest recession. Yet the estimated wealth of the OPM pushers in Congress increased by 5 percent to 14 percent, to a median of $2.6 million for senators and $746,000 for representatives.
Eventually, time runs out. It runs out for street addicts, and it is running out for America. The OPM sources dry up, and the agonizing throes of withdrawal begin.
Inflation. Default. Protests. Riots. And no one, especially the politicians with their fat pensions, wants to face the consequences.
So on Tuesday, you can vote for Obama, America’s pusher-in-chief with his huge deficits, glaring lack of results and chummy smile.
Or you can vote for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a successful businessman who understands the true cost of OPM addiction and pledges to find a way to move America forward.
In Missouri, you can also vote for a leading Obama lackey and Obamacare supporter, Sen. Claire McCaskill. She is one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Yet during her first term, she “forgot” to pay more than $300,000 in property taxes on her $1.9 million private plane over four years. McCaskill also had to reimburse the government more than $88,000 that she illegally charged to taxpayers for nearly 90 personal trips on her plane.
Alternatively, there is six-term Congressman Todd Akin. Despite his bizarre comments, Republican Senate candidate Akin understands the concept of a balanced budget.
With America dangling on the edge of a fiscal cliff, Akin is clearly the lesser of two evils. This Tuesday, which side of the OPM war are you on?
Stephen Brewer operates his own business providing marketing research and marketing consulting to law firms in the U.S. and Canada. Reach him by email at email@example.com or write to Midwest Voices, c/o Editorial Page, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108.