John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The Judge pooh-poohed contentions that IDs may be needed to prevent fraudulent voting. “The attempt to segregate voters into valid vs. fraudulent categories strikes at the very heart of our democratic values,” McGinley asserted. “Every human being is entitled to vote for those who rule over him. To exclude some on grounds that they fail to meet some geographic criterion or bureaucratic regulation is undemocratic.”
“The rule for voting should be simple: everyone who requests a ballot must be given one,” McGinley argued. “The fear that some individuals mat vote multiple times is exaggerated. Even if it were true, all it signifies is an above average concern for the outcome of an election. Aren’t such committed voters more in tune with the spirit of democracy? Shouldn’t we want such commitment to carry greater weight than the lesser exertions of others who limit themselves to voting only once?”
McGinley pointed out that “major league sports and American Idol have demonstrated successful adaptation of the ‘no-questions-asked’ distribution of ballots to all who request them. They accept votes from all over the world without quibbling over citizenship or place of residence. Since the scope of government is even broader than these entertainment enterprises shouldn’t its election processes be at least as inclusive?”
Communism Best for Fighting Global Warming
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres opined that communist governments would be better suited to combat global warming than governments trying to operate under democratic principles.
“The problem with democracy is that the ignorant masses have too much say in government policies,” Figueres complained. “Take the last 15 years in which there has been no increase in global temperature or the recent arctic type weather in the United States. This has caused many voters to discount the risk of global warming. Under communism, the will of the masses can easily be bypassed so policy can be determined by experts.”
The fact that China suffers from horrendous air pollution only bolstered Figueres enthusiasm for the communist system. “The particulate smog that chokes many of China’s urban areas serves to deflect sunlight that otherwise would warm the planet,” she pointed out. “This trade-off of greater respiratory distress for cooler temperatures would likely not be attainable in a democratic political environment. The difficulty breathing is a palpable phenomenon that distorts the average person’s judgment. Only a government that is independent of this distorted judgment can keep its focus on the longer term problem of global warming.”
Another positive cited by Figueres was the huge death toll attributed to communist regimes. “Just consider the added contribution the 90 million people killed by communist massacres, purges, and slave labor camps would have made to global warming had they lived,” Figueres observed. “Only communist governments can be counted on to make these kinds of sacrifices for the greater good of the planet.”
Poll Indicates that Government Is Top Problem
A recent Gallup poll revealed that the number one problem facing America, according to those polled, is “the government.” Twenty-one percent listed this as the worst problem facing the nation. Rounding out the top five problems were the economy (18%), unemployment (16%), healthcare (16%), and government debt (8%).
These poll results were dramatically out-of-sync with President Obama’s declaration that “income inequality” is this nation’s chief problem. Only 4% of the poll respondents agreed with his assessment.
As one poll respondent explained, “my work hours have been cut and my health insurance canceled. My wife has been unemployed for three years. We voted for Obama hoping he’d get us out of the Bush recession. As he promised, the government is doing more than ever, but things have just gotten worse.”
President Obama, though, denied government is to blame. “The vast majority of economic activity—manufacturing, distribution, jobs—is the responsibility of the private sector,” Obama said. “People pretty much get to do what they want. If they expect government to solve problems they’ve got to be willing to go where the government tells them and do as they’re told. Without this type of cooperation it isn’t fair that we are held accountable for people’s dissatisfaction with their lives.”
In related news, for the first time since the index of economic freedom has been kept by Heritage Foundation, the United States dropped out of the top ten. The US now ranks 12th, behind an array of countries that includes Chile, Mauritius, and the formerly Soviet Socialist Republic of Estonia.
Federal Government Wastes $100 Billion per Year on Erroneous Payments
The Office of Management and Budget reported that in fiscal 2012 the federal government improperly spent over $100 billion. Without delving into the issue of whether given programs are wise or warranted, the fact remains that the government is cutting checks to individuals and organizations that are not entitled to the money even under the dubious provisions of poorly crafted legislation and idiotic regulations.
Spending by the Department of Health and Human Services accounted for nearly $60 billion of the improper payments. This included welfare payments to those not entitled to receive them and disbursements for medical treatments not performed.
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius insisted that “the attention being paid to this issue is disproportionate to its actual importance. In the context of a $3.5 trillion budget, the $60 billion we lost is less than 2%. On top of this, who is to say that a person not legally entitled to welfare benefits doesn’t really deserve these payments? Maybe our criteria are too strict. Maybe these ‘improper payments’ are saving people from destitution.”
“When you’re running an operation as big as the federal government you’ve got to expect some money to fall through the cracks,” Sebelius said. “I take encouragement from the fact that 98% of the money is going to where it is legally intended.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire column for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties that our nation’s Founding Fathers tried to protect.
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