Congratulations to Congressman Rick Crawford, Winner of the First Charlie Brown Award for Vapidness and Gullibility

Daniel J. Mitchell
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Posted: Mar 17, 2012 12:01 AM

I’ve remarked before that Democrats are the evil party and Republicans are the stupid party. Well, if anyone needs additional proof about GOPers being clueless and tone deaf, exhibit A is Congressman Rick Crawford of Arkansas, who has decided to preemptively capitulate in favor of higher tax rates.

Here are the relevant details from a Politico story.

Freshman Republican Rep. Rick Crawford will propose a surtax on millionaires Thursday morning, a crack in the steadfast GOP opposition to extracting more money from the nation’s top earners. The Arkansas Republican will unveil the plan during a local television interview Thursday morning, and plans to introduce legislation when the House returns next week, according to sources familiar with his thinking. Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.

I have no idea if Congressman Crawford is simply naive, unaware that tax-increase deals inevitably lead to higher spending and more red ink. Or perhaps he’s trying to become the kind of Republican who thinks he can advance his career by saying things that will earn him pats on the head from the establishment media.

But I do know that America’s fiscal problem is a government that is far too big. You don’t solve the problem with more taxes, just as you don’t cure alcoholics by giving them more to drink.

Congressman Crawford, though, wants to give away the keys to a liquor store without even asking for an insincere commitment for future sobriety in exchange. Indeed, the Congressman’s naiveté is so impressive that he is the first winner of the Charlie Brown Award for Vapidness and Gullibility.

There’s a rumor that he is sending former President George H.W. “read my lips” Bush to collect his award, but I’m unable to confirm at this point.

This new award is part of a series, with the “Bob Dole Award” having been announced earlier this year.

In the same vein, but recognizing concepts rather than people, we also have “Mitchell’s Law” and “Mitchell’s Golden Rule.”

Government Stupidity Defies Satire When a $50 Light Bulb Wins an Affordability Prize

I’ve written about the government’s war on consumer-friendly light bulbs (and also similar attacks on working toilets and washing machines that actually clean), so I’m generally not surprised by bureaucratic nonsense.

But even I’m shocked the federal government gave an affordability award for a light bulb that costs $50. I’m not making this up. Here’s a blurb from ABC News.

The U.S. government has awarded appliance-maker Philips $10 million for devising an “affordable” alternative to today’s standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. That standard bulb sells for around $1. The Philips alternative sells for $50. Of course, the award-winner is no ordinary bulb. It uses only one-sixth the energy of an incandescent. And it lasts 30,000 hours–about 30 times as long. In fact, if you don’t drop it, it may last 10 years or more. But only the U.S. Government (in this case, the Department of Energy) could view a $50 bulb as cheap.

Isn’t that wonderful? My tax dollars were used to reward a company that produced a light bulb I can’t afford.

Lisa Benson has a very good cartoon about this light bulb, as well as the less-than-shocking news that Obamacare will be more costly than originally forecast.

If you like Lisa’s work, there are some other good examples here and here.

 

I’ve written about the government’s war on consumer-friendly light bulbs (and also similar attacks on working toilets and washing machines that actually clean), so I’m generally not surprised by bureaucratic nonsense.

But even I’m shocked the federal government gave an affordability award for a light bulb that costs $50. I’m not making this up. Here’s a blurb from ABC News.

The U.S. government has awarded appliance-maker Philips $10 million for devising an “affordable” alternative to today’s standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. That standard bulb sells for around $1. The Philips alternative sells for $50. Of course, the award-winner is no ordinary bulb. It uses only one-sixth the energy of an incandescent. And it lasts 30,000 hours–about 30 times as long. In fact, if you don’t drop it, it may last 10 years or more. But only the U.S. Government (in this case, the Department of Energy) could view a $50 bulb as cheap.

Isn’t that wonderful? My tax dollars were used to reward a company that produced a light bulb I can’t afford.

Lisa Benson has a very good cartoon about this light bulb, as well as the less-than-shocking news that Obamacare will be more costly than originally forecast.

If you like Lisa’s work, there are some other good examples here and here.

Last but not least, I’m up in New York City for an investment funds conference about the Cayman Islands. Not a bad view from my window, though you need to click on the image to get a good idea of what I woke up to.

Too bad the state and the city are high-tax hell holes.

Last but not least, I’m up in New York City for an investment funds conference about the Cayman Islands. Not a bad view from my window, though you need to click on the image to get a good idea of what I woke up to.

Too bad the state and the city are high-tax hell holes.