Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


Self-Discipline Deficiency

Like all Golden Retrievers, Squirt suffered self-discipline deficiency; a potentially fatal disorder. He nearly died the summer afternoon my trophy wife placed a tray of cabbage rolls on the counter to let the dough rise. When Druann stepped out of the kitchen, Squirt ambled past, stretched up on the counter and wolfed the tray clean. Druann was confused by the empty tray, so she carried it into the garage where I was working and demanded an explanation. I played dumb; a role I had perfected over my many years of marriage. About then, Squirt waddled through the garage and the cabbage roll mystery solved itself. A single dose of the emetic, apomorphine, produced an enormous heap of evidence and feeling guilty, Squirt plea bargained his sentence to a night of solitary confinement in the kennel. Without professional intervention, cabbage rolls would have been Squirt’s last meal.

Dogs are not alone with this shortcoming. If you leave the grain bin open cows, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs, will all eat themselves to death. The only possible exception to the above rule are cats, as I have yet to treat one which polished off a Wal-Mart sack of Halloween candy. It is not so much my feline patients possess self-restraint; it is more an issue of arrogance. To cats, pigging out is for the little people like dogs and politicians and this brings me to my point.

Like Squirt, elected officials are completely void of self-discipline. At least some Americans understand our current national debt of $15.626 trillion will be fatal for our republic, yet politicians keep spending like there will be no tomorrow—having added an average $1.44 trillion to the debt every year for the previous four years. (For reference, this is like charging $4800 worth of contraceptives, and GSA junkets to Las Vegas to every American man, woman and child, every year for four years.) Politicians know they shouldn’t overspend, but they just cannot stop. Here is why. Voters pat them on the head and say, “Good dog,” every time they dig another bone from the treasury for their constituents. Do you need proof? List all the highways and federal buildings named in honor of politicians who bring ear-marked projects home to their districts. Now, jot down all those named after elected officials who practice fiscal self-restraint. Is it any wonder spending is out of control?

If you think tax increases will fix the debt, consider this: Even though Squirt was so stuffed he could barely waddle, if I placed another cabbage roll in front of him he would have gobbled it. Similarly, politicians will spend every single dime sent to the treasury.

Let me put a Treasure State twist on today’s topic. If you think “Montana is one of two states operating in the black”, you bought the lie. Montana state pension funds are projected to be three billion dollars short over the next 30 years, bet let’s ignore that deficit for now. The true problem is hidden elsewhere. Montana spends around $5 billion every year and 46 percent of this is federal money, 43 percent of which is borrowed. Therefore, running the numbers reveals Montana politicians add $989 million annually to our national debt; a shocking number in a state whose constitution explicitly prohibits deficit spending. This is especially pertinent during campaigns, when candidates promise to travel to Helena proposing to dig through the treasury and bring cabbage rolls home to their constituents. Being charitable with other people’s money is bad enough, but being charitable with other people’s debt is criminal.

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