Democrats' Epiphanies

By Will, George F | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 31, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Democrats' Epiphanies


Will, George F, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


WASHINGTON

Epiphanies are a dime a dozen among congressional Democrats as they discover urgent new reasons to experience the almost erotic pleasure of commandeering other people's money.

For example, freshman Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat whose district includes Disney World, was recently there and was inspired.

The world, he realized, would be a sweeter place if Congress mandated that all companies with 100 or more employees provide a week of paid vacation to those who work at least 25 hours a week. After three years, they would be entitled to two weeks, and companies with more than 50 employees would have to start providing a paid vacation week. Grayson would not mandate that paid vacations be spent at Disney World.

With the welfare state approaching insolvency and businesses sagging, this is an odd time to augment Americans' entitlement mentality. But the travel and tourism industries think Grayson's idea is neat.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus want the Treasury Department to subsidize minority owners of broadcasting properties. The broadcasters are not "too big to fail" and so do not pose a "systemic risk," but, the representatives say, failures of minority broadcasters would diminish diversity.

Such government micromanagement of the economy is everywhere. The Washington Post recently reported that Richard Wagoner, the former CEO of General Motors who was removed by the government, remains on GM's payroll "because senior Treasury officials have yet to decide whether he should get the $20 million severance package that the company had promised him."

His 2009 compensation -- $1 -- is payable on Dec. 31. The $20 million promised to him includes contractual awards, deferred compensation and pension benefits accrued over 32 years with the company.

Promise-keeping, including honoring contracts, is the default position of a lawful society. But suddenly, many citizens' legal claims are merely starting points for negotiations with an overbearing government.

State governments, too, are expected to accept Washington's whims, but plucky Indiana is being obdurate. Gov. Mitch Daniels, alarmed by what he calls the Obama administration's "shock-and-awe statism," is supporting state Treasurer Richard Mourdock's objection to the administration's treatment of Chrysler's creditors, which include the pension funds for Indiana's retired teachers and state policemen, and a state construction fund.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Democrats' Epiphanies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?