by Dan Mitchell
The Cato Institute
Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist
Dan nails it. Where in the Constitution is it in the realm of the United States Congress to be meddling in sports? It would certainly seem with the issues facing United States this was once again a waste of the taxpayers money.
Furthermore, we have so many apparent criminals running our government at virtually every level the money would be better spent sending them to prison.
Roger Clemens never swore an oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign or domestic. He signed a contract to play major league baseball.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C. and I approve this message.
I’m not a big fan of the federal government. It does some necessary and important things, such as national defense, but the vast majority of what goes on in Washington is for activities that either belong at the state level or in the private sector.
This is why I want to reform entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and it’s why I want to shut down entire departments of the federal government, including Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Education, and Agriculture,
Simply stated, I want to go back to the limited central government and constitutional republic envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
With this in mind, you can imagine how agitated I am that the clowns in Washington have decided that it’s their role to investigate possible steroid use in major league baseball. Expressing my scorn, I ranted and raved on Neil Cavuto’s show.
In addition to mocking the absurdity of the Roger Clemens situation, I tried to make an important point about the desirability of shrinking the public sector by about 75 percent, bringing the overall burden of government spending back to about 10 percent of GDP, which is where it was for much of our nation’s history.
Based on Rahn Curve research about the growth-maximizing size of government, this would lead to an economic boom.
But there’s another aspect of the Clemens situation that’s worth exploring.
My former Heritage Foundation colleague Brian McNicoll has some thoughts on the issue, explaining that leftists resent Clemens because of his success.
A related mystery is why the hearing devolved into such a bitter partisan bickering session. …But why? It’s not as if Clemens was known as some big-time conservative. …At least part of it, I think, has to do with how conservatives and liberals view people such as Clemens. Conservatives revere success. They admire self-sacrifice and discipline, and they don’t begrudge the man who parlays these into professional and financial success. They want to be like him and find ways for others to replicate his methods. Liberals believe the Roger Clemenses of the world benefit from a random and thus inherently unfair assignment of talent. They think he’s rich and famous solely because he’s big enough and strong enough to throw a baseball 95 miles per hour. Never mind that not everyone who throws 95 miles per hour has anywhere near the success of Clemens. Never mind lots of people are big enough and strong enough to throw that hard but don’t put in the work to learn the skills it takes to actually do so. Never mind the extraordinary inner strength that even Clemens’ worst detractors admit propelled him throughout his career. This explanation absolves them of all responsibility for the fact they are not Roger Clemens. It’s all luck. He’s just a guy who got wildly rich because of the random assignment of genes. Nobody can have all that ill-gotten gain and any character, so he must have done whatever they say he’s done. And since he did nothing to earn his money, we all deserve a share of it. And wouldn’t it be nice to knock a guy like that down a few pegs?
Brian’s analysis of the left-wing mind makes a lot of sense and certainly is consistent with the mentality that supports class-warfare tax policy.
P.S. Just because national defense is a legitimate function of the federal government, that doesn’t mean the Pentagon should get a blank check. Our Founders would want us to fight against wasteful military spending and needless foreign entanglements.
P.P.S. At the very end of the Cavuto segment, he thanked me for dropping what we originally planned to discuss so we could respond to the breaking news and he kindly said “that’s what makes Dan great.” If I was either braver or more immature (probably the latter), that would have been a perfect moment for me to show that I’m hip to popular culture by blurting out “that’s what she said.” Alas, forever a missed opportunity.
P.P.S. This is the second time Roger Clemens has been featured in this blog. He also made a cameo appearance in this post mocking Obama.