There’s a simple reason the National Security Agency’s (NSA) data mining of phone records and internet content/traffic will continue unabated — This is how Americans now expect their government to behave. We want to be protected, and so many of us have made peace with it. As long as it’s out of sight, out of mind, there’s no civil liberty concerns.
A new Gallup poll shows less than half of Americans believe their taxes are too high. 47% of Americans say their taxes are “about right” while 46% say their taxes are “too high”, and only 3% believe they aren’t paying enough taxes.
Based on anecdotal evidence I think its safe to conclude that after three decades – although drugs have been illegal for longer – we have not and will not win the “War on Drugs,” a term coined by President Richard Nixon in 1971. Later, the Reagan administration would adopt the slogan of “Just Say No” in its efforts to combat illegal drugs.
The current government budget debate is an argument over pennies instead of an adult conversation over dollars. This highlights a fundamental issue that it’s near impossible for people holding temp jobs (elected officials) to solve the really big, long term problems our country faces. There is no real talk about cuts to the big entitlement programs or tax increases to help solve our budget deficit because to do so is seen as political suicide. So instead politicians go after the low hanging fruit in the hopes that the “dumb” American public will be happy that something was done. Then those politicians can run a campaign in the next election saying they cut spending and didn’t raise your taxes. The budget items being discussed don’t amount to much in the way of savings. Cutting funding to public radio (or other low hanging fruit) equates to a family debating whether they should buy a name brand product over a store brand product when instead they really should be discussing whether they need a fancy car or that expensive tropical vacation. I think the real problem is that nobody is paying attention. The average person in this country doesn’t pay very much attention to government, politicians or much of anything that they don’t perceive to have a direct and immediate impact on their lives. Politicians know this and that’s why they go after the low hanging fruit because they know that most people only hear quick sound bites and then move on. So if they can say they cut spending and didn’t raise taxes, to the average citizen that sounds like a good deal and will then reward that politician with another term. There needs to be an awakening in this country. More people need to start paying closer attention to what is actually going on in this country and in the world.