Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 13, 2013

Dumb or just crazy?

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

— This second week into the government shutdown, I’m reminded of when the founders were writing the constitution.

At issue was whether or not slaves counted for population when trying to figure up how many congressional representatives each state would get. The slave owners suddenly insisted that slaves were people. The people who hated slavery as an abomination said “No, slaves can’t be counted as people (at least not in these circumstances).”

I can only imagine that behind closed doors both sides just looked at each other and laughed like hyenas.

So, this past week the Republicans went on TV saying the federal government didn’t need to pay all its bills to the companies and individuals who provided them goods and services, that we could pay the minimum and push off paying our debts, or even not pay all our bills. The Republicans, you know, the guys who claim to be friends of business and fiscal conservatives? Yeah, those guys.

And holding a hard line on the other side are the Democrats, who are supposedly Big Welfare, Big Government, and have the fiscal maturity of two-year-olds, saying: “We need to pay our debts, we need to put the government back to work, and, oh, yeah, people need to be grown-up enough to be responsible for their own healthcare.”

I know that these people in Washington D.C. are smart. I’m going to say 94 percent of them are smart, OK, maybe 92 percent. Of the 8 percent left over, I’d say 6 percent aren’t smart but are pretty or entertaining, which is enough for a lot of voters. The last 2 percent are just buckets o’ crazy and they got elected because of straight-ticket voting and heavy doses of prescription medications by their friends and family who wanted them far, far away when they finally pick up that rifle and start scaling the nearest tall building.

So, if we assume that 92 percent are smart, then that must mean they think we’re stupid. I feel a little insulted by that. I know I’m not as smart as, say, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astronomer who talks about science and the cosmos on TV, but I’m not so dumb that I’m in the back forty trying to eat rocks, either.

I know that if I go into a grocery store and want to carry away food, I have to trade money for it. I know that if I get electricity this month and want to continue getting electricity next month, I have to pay for what I used. I also know that if I live in a capitalist society that we all have to be responsible enough to pay for our debts, or at least to have thought about it before that car wreck/major illness/politician-based-shooting, and that means health insurance.

It’s not astrophysics, guys. And we aren’t that dumb.

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Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this column? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com