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The Mental Illness of Our Political Class

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

JasonCharleston wrote: Sociopaths pay off the government so they can act dishonestly. They are always going to find someone to pay off in government to work dishonestly.


This should be completely obvious after the Obama administration. Apparently, not for some.- Washington and Wall Street are Broken; Here's Proof

Dear Jason,

I think you might be on to something.

While Michael Savage turned the phrase Liberalism is a Mental Disorder, I would take that a step further.

I would say that a fair number of people who seek elected office suffer from some sort of mental disorder that involves the ego, such as sociopathy or narcissism.

They learn how to mimic the traits of conscience without actually having empathy for others.

Only a mind so buffeted from reality could be as venial say as an Ed Towns, or Jon Corzine without suffering from some sort of breakdown.

We know that criminals in jail have much higher tendencies to these ego disorders. Perhaps a fair portion of politicians are just high-functioning sociopaths or narcissists, who by dint of higher intelligence choose their victim in a more socially acceptable way- through the ballot box.

It would be an interesting study to see if this were true.

But here’s the practical point: Our Founding Fathers understood that self-interest guided politics. They designed a system that limited political power and took advantage of individuals’ venality to create a system of laws, not men.

This is why modern liberalism is bound to fail. There is no morality in government, as our Founders knew. Only people are moral, not governments, not corporations, not non-profits. Liberals have the mistaken belief that by giving organizations power, they also give them morality.

In fact, just the opposite is true. 


Goverment, as we know, is made up of elected officials who too often are ruled by matters of ego rather than public good. Why would we give them more power over our lives?         

Jarnette wrote: If Romney gets in office, won't we have competitive bidding with insurance companies? Won't medicare as we know it change for the worse? i wish someone would sit down and detail the info we need to make a decision on who we want in office! And so does everybody else.- Washington and Wall Street are Broken; Here's Proof

Dear Comrade Jarnette,

Can Medicare get worse? We already know that Medicare will go bankrupt. They even have a date for it. 4,152 days from now, Medicare will go bankrupt under the current scheme.

Obama promised to fix it, but has done nothing essentially then siphon off Medicare dollars to pay for Obamacare- the signature reform that Obama pushed through that voters already dislike; the one over which the Democrats took historic defeats in the House, lost seats in the Senate; the Obamacare which has subjected Obama’s presidency to the vote of a death panel of voters in November.

If you don’t have the information to make a decision on who to vote for, then I would suggest skipping the elections entirely and watch re-runs of American Idol.        

DoctorRoy wrote: You guys had that during the 107th Congress and what did they do? Passed Sarbanes- Oxley with only 3 no votes in the House and by a 99-0 vote in the Senate with one abstention. It was then signed by a Republican President. There was obviously a perception by everyone that something had to be done. - Washington and Wall Street are Broken; Here's Proof


Dear Comrade Doctor,

So you are saying that the GOP combined with the Democrats to pass a poor law- and it’s OK because “everyone” did it?

Whatever anyone’s intentions, the law hasn’t made the U.S. financial system or the stock markets any better. In fact, those markets operate inefficiently now.

One of our contributors had a very nice article talking about market transparency and how the various financial “reforms” passed under Obama have made markets more opaque, not transparent.

“Dodd-Frank was one of the worst laws ever signed into history,” writes Jeff Carter. “It’s that bad. One of the things many people paid lip service to was transparency. But because of the way the regulations are being written, markets will be less transparent than ever before.”

But getting back to Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), as I said in the column, the cost of complying with just one section of SOX annually is more money than is raised by IPOs. Where’s the cost/benefit in that?

There is none. And the numbers prove it. We’ve gone from doing 509 offerings in 1993 to 81 offering in 2011. We’ve gone from being a financial leader in the world, to be an also-ran. And we have done in the typical liberal way. Instead of elevating everyone else, we’ve done it by ensuring that we are just as craptastic as the rest of the world.

The Audacity of Mediocrity.

JDeere wrote: Dear Mr. Ransom, The only millstone around the neck of the economy is the refusal of the House Republicans to allow the Bush tax cuts to die. Bush declared war on terror, then cut taxes on the rich - twice! Those tax cuts, reversed, would have help. -The Bucks Never Stop with President What's-His-Name


Dear Comrade Deere,

The House Republicans don’t get to “refuse” to let the Bush tax cuts “die.” The tax cuts are temporary and have been extended by both Democrats in Congress and by Barack Obama. All the Democrats and Obama had to do was nothing and the tax cuts would have died on their own.  

There’s a simple disagreement amongst liberals and Republicans: Liberals want the government to control money and distribute it to various interest groups. The GOP tends to favor tax cuts because that puts money into the hands of individuals and free markets, instead of the central planners at the White House.

Both Liberals and Republicans, however, miss the real point.

Our tax system- just like entitlements- no longer works in the interest of the people of the United States.

It’s just a land grab designed to punish enemies and reward friends.

Clearly, our government, as it operates now, doesn’t work. They pass laws that don’t address actual problems, they foster a tax code that is corrupt at its core, they borrow money in excess of what future taxes can support and they refuse to listen to calls for reform.      

The last several election cycles the voters have voted for change. This time the politicians better get it right- or I fear for the future.

Aura wrote: What alternative universe do you conservatards live on??? The Bush/Great Recession started 7 years AFTER 9/11 happened, and for reasons that had nothing to do with 9/11. Within months of Obama taking office, the economy stopped hemorrhaging jobs, and started improving. -The Bucks Never Stop with President What's-His-Name


Dear Comrade Aura,

You should probably read a book or something.

You should at least read The Economic Effects of 9/11:  A Retrospective Assessment.

9/11 caused severe financial dislocation in the country. The country was already under pressure of contraction before 9/11. 9/11 made things worse. Stocks markets were shut down for days insurance companies took historic losses. “Nearly 18,000 businesses were dislocated, disrupted or destroyed by 9/11,” reports the Congressional Research Service.

The difference between Bush and Obama?

Bush, while not perfect, did the right things to get the economy back on track. Instead, Obama tried to “fundamentally transform” the United States. Obama's actions, not circumstances, have brought us the weakest economy since World War II. I understand that Obama doesn't know enough about economics to know that his policies wouldn't usher in a period of social prosperity, but that truth furtther disqualifies him for the office he now holds.       

Why do liberals have such a huge problem just admitting the truth?

Obama’s goal has never been to get the economy back to where it is the power plant for America. He only cares about the economy to the extent that he can use it to enact social change and redistribute wealth. He has sacrificed economic growth to social goals. That’s his problem right now. And the sooner he admits it to the American people, the better it will be for him.

Liberals should at least have the courage of their convictions and admit them publicly.

Jack said: I was told many years ago, that nothing in politics ever happens by accident. So Mike replied: Nah, that's wrong. Dying in office is always not forseen. -The Bucks Never Stop with President What's-His-Name


Dear Mike,

Tell that to Kennedy or Lincoln or McKinley.

SageAdvice wrote: John, have you not heard the old axiom, "be careful what you wish for". For I have noted of late how many of these TH board TROLLS are attacking Congress to deflect from all the bad which has happened during their messiah's first term. -And Please Deliver us from Congress, Too, Oh Lord

Dear Sage,

Yeah, they are trying to use the old “Do-nothing Congress” playbook from Harry Truman, for sure. But Obama’s not Give ‘Em Hell Harry. He’s not even Give ‘Em Heck Harry.

He’s more like Give ‘Em Herpes Harry.

He’s hoping that people will love him enough that the pus-filled infection on the lip of our economy just won’t matter.

Election results from 2010 onward have tended to confirm that Democrats are in trouble even if, generally speaking, public perception of Congress is at an all-time low. I wouldn’t read much into that in terms of how the next election will shake out. The right type of incumbents are probably pretty safe.

But incumbents like Ed Perlmutter in Colorado, who supported bailouts for everyone and has generally had a liberal voting record, will be in trouble. For Democrats, there are too many Perlmutters to defend right now because president Obama has swung the party too far to the left.      

Today more than ever, what you believe- and what you have done- on matters relating to taxes, fiscal policy and money weigh pretty heavily in elections.        

Dalspartan wrote: Do I remember correctly? Wasn't Iran-Contra all about the Reagan administration's bypassing Congressional fiat by a funding scheme in direct violation of a supposed law? - The First Church of Obama


Dear Comrade Dal,

Iran-Contra? Really?

Here are two questions for you: 1) Would you trade arms in exchange for the lives of hostages? I’m not sure I would, but then I’m not president of the United States; and 2) Do you think it was wrong for the U.S. to supply arms to the Contras? I don’t think it was.

Makir wrote: You are the pot calling the kettle black comrade Ransom, worker for fabian socialism of the rich and its parasitic hold on world government, politics, banking, food, water, oil, and other aspects, people just apathetically want a few crumbs, like you. -Exposed: The Secret Plot by Writers to Take Over the World

Dear Makir,

I’m a tad bit more than just a few crumbs. But who am I to deny the people what they want?

If all they want is just a few crumbs, like me, I’m all for it.

That’s it for this week.



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