Paul Jacob

There is little governments can do to prevent violence of this sort. It is impossible to predict. SWAT teams cannot be everywhere. Requiring metal detectors and heavy police presence at every kindergarten or grammar school in the land not only seems out of place in a free society, it also has little prospect of providing perfect protection from such extraordinary evil.

The fact is that so-called “gun violence” is dropping. This is no statistical burp, but a long-term trend of 25 years. If America is a “violent society,” it is less so today than in years past. If repealing the assault weapons ban has been a mistake, the numbers don’t show it. We see the carnage in living color on the TV, but the people not attacked receive no fanfare at all.

Too often in the wake of a horrific event, our government acts in the passion of the moment, rather than letting emotions calm and legislating on the basis of all relevant data. Politicians hate to let a good crisis go to waste.

So, expect the Connecticut mass shooting to generate politicians to act, even though there is little if anything they can do — falling all over themselves where they have no wisdom to impart and no role to play.

Meanwhile, our political leaders ignore a far less sensational crisis — one they have created and, indeed, exacerbated exponentially.

The United States of America is $16,378,189,870,912 in debt. By the time you read this, we’ll have piled up millions more.

Much debt is of recent vintage. When George W. Bush became president in 2000, the national red ink totaled $5.7 trillion. In eight years, Dubya nearly doubled it to $10.6 trillion. Since his 2008 election, President Obama has far outpaced Bush, sinking us another $5.3 trillion in debt in just half Bush’s time.

And, by continuing to run yearly deficits of over $1 trillion, we’re digging the hole deeper at top speed.

For all the hoopla over draconian cuts, forced at the so-called fiscal cliff, those somewhat slippery savings would at best amount to about 10 percent of our yearly deficit, leaving us spending 9/10ths of a trillion dollars we don’t have.

In the “other cuts” department, the Obama Administration had been supporting paltry reductions to federal Medicaid spending of $17.6 billion over ten years (that’s less than $2 billion a year), but just flipped its position. Why? State governors are deciding if they can afford to take part in Obamacare’s massive Medicaid expansion.

Not content to spend recklessly alone, the Feds pick up the entire tab of new Medicare recipients’ first three years. But once states are hooked on the money, Washington pays 90 percent and the states pay 10.

States are wondering how they’ll come up with that additional 10 percent — seven governors have already declined to join in the spending program. No one in Washington has given a second thought to paying the 90 percent.

Politicians cannot save us from every evil or relieve all our pain and suffering. They shouldn’t try. Instead, let us care for each other, emotionally and spiritually. And let politicians concentrate on solving the biggest problems they themselves have created.     (references)

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.