Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life

By , on December 21, 2011

Current Events, Opinion

The U.S. Congress is spending more time on the Social Security payroll tax cut than they did debating the invasion of Iraq. As a body, they decided quickly to illegally invade a nation based on erroneous intelligence that even if correct did not justify their action. This cost thousands of young Americans their lives and left many with physical and mental injuries. It cost about $1 trillion, give or take some trivial billions.

The payroll tax cut is an allocation decision among various accounts: the national debt, the social security trust fund, and the net worth of American families. On average, all three accounts or classes of accounts are in trouble. Therefore the decision on whether to continue the lower tax rate is almost trivial.

Perhaps we should recommend that Congress establish a special commission to study how a large group of intelligent people can be stupid in their collective actions. The first body to study will be the U.S. Congress.

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