Roger’s Rules

President Obama’s Excellent Idea

So, Barack Obama thinks Israel should give up the land it acquired in the Six-Day War, rolling back to its 1967 borders. Good going, Barack! In less than a minute, you not only infuriated another staunch ally of the United States, but you (if I might employ an image you favor) “moved the goal posts” in the Middle East such that Israel’s enemies will henceforth cite you when demanding that Israel neuter itself.

Suicide, national or personal, is rarely a wise career move, so I believe we can be pretty certain that Israel will ignore your suggestion. But your invocation of 1967 is by no means barren. I was talking to a friend last night who had this alternative suggestion.  Leave Israel alone and roll back the U.S. Government to its 1967 size.

I wish he had said 1965: that was the annus mirabilis when Lyndon Johnson, with a profligacy that still, even now, even In the age of Barack “Have-a-Trillion” Obama, makes one pause and wonder. Remember the “Great Society”? Money, meet toilet. Consider the “war on poverty”: back in mid-Sixties 1965 it cost only $1 billion per year (about $7 billion in today’s dollars). But the government was wasting as much as it could as fast as it could. And of course, the “war on poverty” was only the tip of the iceberg.  There was also the department of education—what a waste of money that has been!  And don’t forget about “Public Broadcasting,” also a silly idea but also, in the age of the internet and cable TV, a completely superannuated one.  And then there were the real biggies: Medicare and Medicaid, which together cost the taxpayer some $700 billion per year.

There were other, many other stupid ideas to come out of the “Great Society” years, the National Endowments, for example, and let’s not forget that stupendous blight on the economy, the Environmental Protection Agency.

The President’s remarks about Israel were both silly and dangerously irresponsible.  But his idea of returning to the strictures of an earlier time has great possibilities on home front.  I hope concerned citizens will start to make the case: 1965 or bust!