Published DateThere's an old farmers story about a donkey. It seems that farmer, Ezra, had a donkey that was extremely useful. It plowed the fields. It carried the hay from the pasture to the barn. It pulled the wagon with supplies and even carted the family to Church on Sunday. Other farmers admired how much production Ezra's donkey was able to provide.
One day another farmer, by the name of Elmer, came to see Ezra and offered him a good price for the donkey. Ezra thought for a moment and then accepted the offer. The next morning, Ezra brought the donkey over to Elmer's farm and collected his payment.
The following Sunday, after Church service, Elmer approached Ezra and said that he wanted his money back, the donkey was useless. It wouldn't plow. It wouldn't pull the hay wagon. It wouldn't even pull the cart for the family to go to Church. Ezra agreed to go over to Elmer's to see what he could do.
When Ezra got to Elmer's barn, sure enough the donkey was sitting on its backside, doing nothing. Elmer saw Ezra arrive and headed out to the barn to meet him. As he was coming out, Ezra yelled to Elmer to pick up that 2x4 piece of lumber that was leaning against the fence, and to bring it to him. He did.
As soon as the piece of lumber was handed to him, Ezra hauled off and whacked the donkey right between the eyes. This stunned Elmer and he yelled, "Why'd you do that?"
Ezra looked at him and said, "If you want the donkey to do something, first, you need to get its attention!"
Keep that story in mind for a few minutes.
How often have we heard politicians talk about "Eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse"? Probably too many times to count. And how many times have they told us what waste, fraud and abuse they eliminated? I'll wait while you count to none.
Back in 1977, our government formed the Federal Department of Energy for the express purpose of reducing our dependency on foreign oil. Here we are, 35 years later, with 16,000 employees, an annual budget of over $27 billion, and we haven't reduced our dependency on foreign oil. Where's the donkey stick?
Back in 1979, our government formed the federal Department of Education. Education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is one of those things that was left to the states. So, here we are 34 years later, spending more per pupil than every country in the world except Switzerland (they spend less than $200 per pupil more). Our results in math, reading, and science are mediocre, our overall graduation rates are in the low 70 percent range (50 percent in most urban areas), and our Federal Budget is over $77 billion a year (does not include state and local spending). Where's the donkey stick?
Today, we are spending over $1.2 trillion more than we take in. We watch as the Legislative Branch attempts to rein in spending and is repeatedly rebuffed by the Executive Branch. Is consideration given to eliminating either or both of the departments mentioned above? No! Where's the donkey stick?
A few weeks ago, we watched as the House of Representatives proposed to increase tax revenues by eliminating loopholes in the tax laws that mainly benefited the wealthy. The proposed changes would have resulted in $800 billion in additional tax revenue, primarily from the wealthy. That plan was rejected by the Executive Branch as they insisted that tax "rates" be raised on the so called rich. The Executive Branch won that battle and instead of tax revenues being increased by $800 billion, they only got increased by about $640 billion. Where's the donkey stick?
This administration routinely states how it plans to achieve some purpose by by-passing the Congress, essentially ignoring the Constitutional process of enacting federal laws. Where's the donkey stick?
This administration announced that it would not enforce a law enacted by Congress and signed into law by a previous (Democrat) president. Where's the donkey stick.
This administration made "recess appointments" when the Congress was in session, in violation of Article 1, Section 5, of the Constitution. (Note: Article III of the Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson was for the same cause.) Where's the donkey stick?
At some point we the people have to determine whether we want to scrap or keep the Constitution, and the operating principles it provides, or if we want to be ruled by edicts issued by the Executive Branch.
Do you want to be the recipient of the donkey stick? Or, do you want to wield it?
(Bob Meade is a resident of Laconia.)