The Corner

Fighting Fire with Fire in Congress

The Democrats forced Republicans into another uncomfortable vote today, this time on a bill that would cap student loan interest rates.These political show-votes are really tiresome, and we can expect many more of them in the months ahead. They will be in the following form: Liberals bring up a bill that confiscates money from somebody that votes Republican for the benefit of some targeted Democratic constituency: students, old people, women, children, etc. Then when conservatives block the measure, liberals use the vote to “prove” that conservatives don’t care about students, old people, women, children, etc.

I almost wish that every time Democrats bring up one of these votes, a Republican would introduce some completely farcical version of the bill offering to give every single person in the targeted constituency $1 million worth of free stuff (or something like that; I’m open to suggestions). Then when Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to bring the bill up, Republicans could call a news conference accusing the Democrats of not caring about, e.g., students, old people, women, children, etc.  

There’s no farce more farcical than the one that pretends to be serious. Let’s drop the pretense 

You might think that such an obvious joke would fail to turn a single vote. But voters gullible to believe in the Obama administration’s free lunches might believe anything.

Regardless, there’s something that just doesn’t sit well with me about peopleone farcical bill after another in order to take advantage of the seriousness of conservatives.  Maybe we shouldn’t fire with fire and farce with farce.  

Why not introduce something called the Free Stuff For Everyone Bill (or “OMG Bill”) that guarantees every American alive $1 million’s worth of free stuff, to paid for by a tax on every rich person who ever lived (tax to be passed on to descendants in the case of dead rich people). That’s only fair — not only are rich people all rich, but many of them are dead. 

CBO would score the bill at about $350 trillion, which is only five or ten times as much debt as the Obama administration hopes to leave the country saddled with at the end of his term. 

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola, a former White House speechwriter and environmental adviser, is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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