First, Throw Out the Wonks

John Ransom
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Posted: Aug 29, 2012 12:01 AM

We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.- The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

Now that the Congressional Budget Office has rescored the six-month budget deal that the GOP and the Dems entered into to avoid an unseemly government shutdown before election day, the GOP isn’t pleased.

That’s because the new budget numbers say that since spending was lower than projected in fiscal 2012 then spending has to be higher in 2013.

“CBO told House appropriators this week that government spending in 2012 is at a lower rate than anticipated,” reports the Hill, “making it clear that [the] deal on 2013 appropriations will increase spending by $8 billion.” [Editor’s emphasis]

And people say that Washington is broken. Ha!

Well thank God for Washington, DC.



Without DC budget wonks looking out for our best interest, the government might have saved taxpayers $8 billion.

Think of the lobbyists who might have been laid off.

And the great part is that these very same people have told us that Obamacare is going to trim $100 billion dollar from the deficit over a ten year period. They were off on spending by $8 billion over six months, but, nah…nevermind. 

And it’s not the cuts in Medicaid, nor the increase in taxes that will be responsible for Obamcare’s savings.

It’s Obamacare as a whole that’s the deficit reducer.

If only the program had its own theme music. Think how cool that would be.

Quick, notify the budget wonks. Theme music combined with a tax increase on all troops careless enough to serve overseas would really reduce the deficit as well. 

“I have a plan to reduce the budget deficit,” writes Harvard economics chairman Greg Makiw facetiously about the Obamacare CBO scoring that claims deficit reduction.

“The essence of the plan is the federal government writing me a check for $1 billion.  The plan will be financed by $3 billion of tax increases.  According to my back-of-the envelope calculations, giving me that $1 billion will reduce the budget deficit by $2 billion.”

This really is how the wonks in DC think. And it is this kind of thinking that ought to be covered in the DSM IV under Axis II as a Developmental Disorder or a Personality Disorder. And yes: Only a wonk would understand that.

Wonk-think is also responsible for programs like SNAP that, as our own Mike Shedlock points out, grew the number of participants by 64 percent while growing expenses by 114 percent. It also gave us the government student loan program that now has students owing more money in education loans than all the credit card debt in the United States. Wonk-think also brought us the disasters of Social Security, sub-prime mortgages guaranteed by the Community Reinvestment Act; Cap and Trade- ostensibly a scheme to lower the earth’s temperature, which even its supporters agree, wouldn’t, if passed…drum roll…lower the earth’s temperature.

And wonk-think covers countless other fiscal dodges, schemes, shifts and evasions that pretend to make things too complicated for simple folk like you, me and Sarah Palin. In fact, they are just cover for things you, me and Sarah Palin’s neighbors would never approve of.   

Wonk-think is responsible for other high-spending schemes too, not just with government programs, but also government-inspired programs.

The Let’s-Have-High-Gas-Prices-Too-Says-Secretary-Chu-Plan is also wonk-inspired.

So the theory goes: If we just make energy expensive enough, then we’ll have less need for energy. And it you’ve been to the grocery store, their plan seems to be working on food prices too.

I wonder how high prices have to go before we stop needing food?

Abraham Lincoln was really gay? The wonks said that. The gay caveman? More wonk work.

Gun-free zones? Blame it on the wonks.

The truth is that experts with way too many initials after their name are primarily responsible for the state that the world is in today.

They come as social and experimental scientists, economists, central bankers, education experts, engineers, physicists, MDs, criminologists, city-planners, internationalists and so many other varieties that we can’t list them all.       

A long time ago, politicians, journalists, educators, and we ourselves, ceded the field to the wonks of all type who, while very clever, don’t have the common sense that lesser man have.

“Common sense is in spite of,” wrote Victor Hugo, “not the result of, education.”

If - minus professor Makiw- all an Ivy League post-secondary education gives us are entitlements schemes that collapse of their own weight and legislative schemes that won’t address the very problems they were written to solve, maybe we should start replacing the people who write these schemes with lesser mortals who have a bit more common sense.    

In order to get back to normal, it’s not just an election that we must have, but a revolution.

By that I mean: First, we must throw out the wonks.