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You will never get right answers asking wrong questions

By J.J. Jackson
web posted March 26, 2012

Imagine you live in Indiana.  Now image that you really want to get to New York City.  But instead of asking how to get there, you ask for directions to Los Angeles.  Do you think that you are going to get the right answer to the question you really wanted to know the answer to?  Of course you will not.

Politicians act this way all the time.  If there is a problem, but it is a problem they do not want actually solved, politicians often ask the wrong questions in order to prompt the wrong answers to come forth.  Take your pick of Republicans or Democrats, among their ranks are gaggles of politicians asking the wrong questions in order to get the wrong answers.  Admittedly, there are fewer Republicans than Democrats that do this.  All Democrats seem to constantly do nothing but ask wrong questions.  However only a blind fool does not see that many Republicans do it all the time as well.  And, to be honest, all of them do it from time to time.

Which brings me to Representative Paul Ryan (R - WI).  Yes, Mr. Ryan is back again with another budget proposal which he and many conservatives are agog over and chittering about how it is such a great blue print to solve our looming debt crisis.  And as typical, hard core left-wingers are tossing up their lunch at the thought of having to cut one bit of spending which they need to spend to bribe their constituents to vote for them.

After examining Mr. Ryan's proposal I find that there are many good ideas within it.  Simplifying the tax code, for example is a grand idea.  However, keeping the concept of an income tax still rubs me the wrong way, as it should any freedom loving American.  Giving the federal government a claim to a portion of a worker's paycheck before that worker even touches the money is not an American idea.  His budget also starts to hack and slash through a lot of the unconstitutional stuff our federal government does every year.  But it leaves a lot of the nanny state, socialist welfare state in tact as well which is bad.  His budget spends less than President Obama would have us spend as a nation.  Yet it continues to spend more money than the federal government brings in and swells our national debt for years to come.

There is no doubt that his plan is better than anything a Democrat could come up with without rending his or her garments in disgust at what they had done.  Better does not mean "good" or "should be supported" however.  Ryan's budget compared to the left-wing's idea of what the federal budget should be is more like agreeing to cut off just both our hands rather than both our arms to describe it accurately.

The reason why Paul Ryan's latest budget is not a good idea or should not be supported is because he and other Republicans started out when crafting it by asking the wrong questions.  Whether these wrong questions were asked because of stupidity, ignorance or cowardice will have to be debated.  But the fact that these wrong questions were asked at all is not in doubt.  To demonstrate just one example of Mr. Ryan asking the wrong questions let us look at something Mr. Ryan said defending his budget:

"If you want to save Medicare and keep it from going bankrupt, you must reform the program, and that's what we intend to do."

Ok, so what is wrong with this question?  What is wrong with it is that it super imposes the concept of "want" over the more preliminary concepts of "should", "can" and even "are we allowed to do this thing we want to do in the first place".

The correct question that should have asked first was this:

"Is there any Constitutional justification for Medicare?"

The answer to this correct question is:


I know you liberals keep trying to spin up magical justifications for it in our Constitution, but after all these years since you have not been able to so it is time to let the fallacy you are promoting go quietly into the night.  You will not.  But you should.

Ok, so the next question then becomes:

"With the Constitution being the Supreme Law of the Land, should an unconstitutional program be continued?"

The answer again comes back:


See?  You ask the right question and you get the right answer.  It is pretty simple.  Unfortunately Rep. Ryan and many other Republicans asked many wrong questions in coming up with this budget proposal.  And there are a lot of wrong answers in it that do nothing but make our current problems worse.  Yes, even if the diehard leftists hate it. ESR

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com.  He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.





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