Erick Erickson wonders what will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. What will it take for Americans to rise up in righteous indignation at the rampant abuses of government?
First, when codeine works perfectly to control coughs and colds, classify it as a dangerous drug on the same level as heroin because some people abuse it. When sudafed falls out of patent and goes OTC, spurring the creation of a whole raft of OTC cold products that actually work, discover that people are buying it by the wheelbarrow and illegally turning it into speed, then put such draconian restrictions on it that it's easier to get a prescription for oxycontin than to buy an OTC cough or cold medicine that works.
Ban bacon fat, lard and suet for frying because they are saturated fats, then ban polyunsaturated fats because they are really dangerous, then ban trans-fats because now they are super dangerous. I'm super serial! Guess what? Now everyone seems to agree that lard and suet are better for you and better for frying than anything else.
Elect an entire political party of lawyers to the legislature who pass such a multiplicity of mutually contradictory laws in the states and nation that nobody ever knows if they are breaking some law but suspects they are. That this forces everybody to consult lawyers for all sorts of things with terrible results for getting the wrong advice is not unintentional.
When the economy tanks and everybody has trouble paying their bills, raise their taxes and punish their employers so that the government can buy more stuff. The people and the companies that employ them and supply all the stuff they need to survive can just "take a haircut." That is a Pelosi/Reid/Obama/Murtha euphemism for "let the government pick their pockets." The government will not "take a haircut." It just takes.
Take away my right to build on my land because a common beetle lives on it with an unusual little pink dot on its abdomen.
Take away my right to buy worthless swamp and improve it into useful land by dubbing the swamp "wetlands". Disneyworld could never be built in a swamp outside Orlando these days! It might inconvenience a mosquito with a green stripe on its abdomen.
Take away my ancestral family home for "public needs" and give it to a private developer to build an industrial park and make million$.
Corrupt the press, entertainment industry, legal profession and academia to where they no longer care about facts but only about their preferred man-bites-dog narrative in which we Americans are, inevitably, the bad guys.
Force me by law to put all three of my under-12 children in car booster seats, preventing me from fitting my family of 5 in a car, even in a station wagon. No, I must buy a van or SUV to comply with the damn law, then raise the price of gas to $4 a gallon and accuse me of being a polluter.
Take away my light bulbs and replace them with dim CFLs that spill hazardous mercury all over the carpet when they finally go bad.
Take away my high flow shower head and replace with a water saver that drips water like the Chinese water torture instead of using enough water to rinse off soap scum or dirt.
Take away my 3gal toilet and replace with a 1.6gal toilet I have to flush twice or three times as often. The tiny seat makes my butt go to sleep. And the toilet also clogs up about once a week.
Take away my water softener and leave me with hard water that doesn’t allow soap to suds up in the shower.
Take away my detergent with phosphates and leave my clothes and dishes dirty.
Tax whiskey and tobacco, telephone service, gas, hotel rooms, restaurant food, and electricity to the point where I can’t afford to have fun, talk about my troubles, drive anywhere, travel, eat out, or keep the house under 80 degrees in the summer.
Call American oil companies monopolists and cheats when they make a profit, even though the biggest American company is neither a monopolist nor very big by international standards (The top 20 oil companies, all of which are much, much bigger than Exxon, are state owned or sponsored companies with true monopoly powers).
When gasoline gets too expensive for people to afford, require it to be partly replaced with corn ethanol that reduces gas mileage by 10%, requires a tax subsidy that taxpayers pay for to be profitable, does not reduce the price I pay to fill up my tank, and triples the cost of basic foodstuffs like cornmeal and flour for the whole world.
When the corn ethanol boondoggle proves to be insufficiently catastrophic for the American economy, raise taxes on petroleum companies and further restrict the oilfields that can be drilled in.
Call a godforsaken waste that sits over six months a year in darkness a priceless national treasure and forbid oil drilling there on dry land when there are oil platforms only two miles away in the ocean.
Ban old children’s books because of the miniscule amounts of lead in them. While you’re at it, put the makers of handmade wooden toys out of business by requiring them to perform expensive testing on their products. Do all this with the supposed intention of stopping Chinese factories from selling dangerous toys to us.
Take away my right to give money or time to a political cause according to my desire and ability to give.
Take away a company’s right to deduct the pay of its executives over a million bucks from its taxes, forcing it to use stock options and other gimmicks that only make the payouts bigger and the incentives more perverse.
Take away a company’s right to set its own control and accounting policies and force it to hire two different auditors that micro-manage every aspect of its “finances” down to the configuration of network devices that financial information flows over. What’s next for Sarbanes-Oxley, auditing the electricity that powers them? This has cut the profit of American public companies by 50%, but there is another 50% of profit left for government to steal.
Raise up an entire industry of Attorneys General in the various states who believe their way to the Governor’s office depends on how many businessmen they can frogmarch to jail for losing money or filling out a form the wrong way.
Take away my gun because it's "semi-auto" and full auto guns are dangerous, when "semi-auto" really means "not auto".
Claim you aren't going to grab guns because you value hunting then make common deer-hunting ammunition illegal or tax it by $1 or $2 per round.
Take away my private health insurance, then ration my health care because the nation can't afford to provide the same health care I used to be able to afford.
Ban conservative talk radio and fox news to keep me from seeing or hearing from anyone with an opinion that isn’t as inane and knee-jerk lefty conformist as a college sophomore’s, or Maureen Dowd. But I repeat myself.
Take away my charcoal grill, gas lawn mower, insecticides and fertilizer so I can’t pollute the air and ground that the jet-stream leftists fly above in their private jets.
The same day leftist brownshirt protesters in London actually kill someone by attacking him and preventing the police from saving his life, accuse conservatives who express anger at a self-proclaimed revolutionary communist of being scary, violent fascists who put said communist in danger of bodily harm. Then whine about it like a hound dog begging for a treat.
Sweet Lord when will this insanity end?