Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


Mountains of Paperwork

The trophy wife and I first attempted to run the jeep trail to the top of the Hellroaring Plateau on Mothers’ Day in 2007. This 1916 primitive road served several short-lived silver mines at timberline. It was a great morning run, but at around the 8,000 foot level we found our route packed with winter snow. Our pace slowed as we post-holed our way through the drifts and every time we considered turning back we would hit an open stretch where we could run a couple hundred yards. Eventually, facing our final mile of waist deep snow, we pulled the pin and turned around. The mountain was leading one to zero.

On Fathers’ Day of that year we tied the score by successfully running the 6.3 mile and 2,600 foot climb from Greenough Lake to the wilderness boundary. The view from the plateau is spectacular, just as is the relief felt at the bottom once the out and back is safely completed. The climb is taxing as the air thins with every step, but the route up is a cake walk compared to the run down. Gravity begs you to cut loose and run like a Border collie chasing a jackrabbit, but sprinting down a steep trail of granite, ankle breakers is insane. Riding your brakes and studying the terrain to properly place every foot strike strains core muscles and it is a humbling four-hour run.

Our annual trot to the top is intermittent, but we did run it last Sunday. Every time I near the plateau I am humbled thinking of the sweat it took to build the many service roads etched into the granite mountainside. Previously, I have labeled America’s early trappers, miners, farmers and ranchers as being a special breed, but on Sunday it hit me those same traits exist all across America today. The main difference between entrepreneurs of 1916 and those a century later is the chokehold today’s government places on patriots willing to risk and work. Modern day permits to build these roads would outweigh the 50 tons of ore ever hauled from the mine. Remember, for the ruling class to be champions of the poor, they need folks stuck in poverty and here is how they do it.

Nothing hampers economic growth more harshly than a graduated income tax. To punish those working the hardest by confiscating a greater percentage of their bounty is criminal. The income tax began in 1913, and for 102 years it has been the primary tool progressives use to redistribute wealth, hamper growth and promote dependency. In spite of this theft of wages, free-market capitalism is a powerful economic system, so America’s economy continued to grow. In 1970, additional restrictions were imposed by progressive President Nixon when he established environmentalism as America’s national religion. His Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quickly became the bureaucratic champion at halting entrepreneurism. The only difference between the EPA and a slave master whipping your backside is the EPA claims they are beating you for your benefit. Nixon wasn’t finished with just the EPA, so one year prior to his taking early retirement, he cursed America with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sadly, this act only garnered a measly four “No” votes while passing Congress and this brings me to my point.

Government is not freedom’s friend and without constitutional restrictions it devours all it touches. Our lives are now controlled by an unelected bureaucracy hell bent on destroying initiative and promoting dependency. We do not have a problem with free-roaming bison, grizzly bears, wolves, sage grouse, or climate change. We have a federal government problem. Think about it.

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