A Follow-up Graphic

Bathtub
After that polit­i­cal car­toon, I was inter­est­ed to find this jux­ta­po­si­tion of Grover Norquist’s quote about shrink­ing the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment with a pho­to of the New Orleans dis­as­ter. It shows just what hap­pens if you start dis­man­tling the infra­struc­ture you may need some day to pro­tect and help your pop­u­la­tion. Soon­er or lat­er, it catch­es up with you. Bush and his peo­ple made two gam­bles. One was in the first sum­mer of his first term regard­ing whether or not he should pay atten­tion to reports that read ‘Bin Laden Deter­mined to Attack the US’. The oth­er gam­ble was that he ignore sim­i­lar warn­ings regard­ing the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of the US coast­line along the Gulf of Mex­i­co to Hur­ri­canes. As we all can see, both of those gam­bles did­n’t pay off.

One thing we’ve learned about Cana­da is some­thing I’ve felt in my gut, but now can tell in my wal­let and every­day life. Just like any­thing else, Gov­ern­ment fol­lows the gen­er­al prin­ci­pal that ‘You get what you pay for.’ Sure, tax­es are high­er here. In fact, they’re painful­ly high at times. I keep hav­ing to remind myself when we eat out, that besides the tip, there’s PST and GST (Provin­cial Sales Tax and Goods and Ser­vices Tax) to the bill that often push­es it far high­er than I’d have expect­ed. But, there are many things you get for those high tax­es; Every­body gets health care at a frac­tion the cost of the US. There’s good mass tran­sit. There are well-main­tained pub­lic parks, roads and bridges.Kids get schools, no mat­ter where they are. There’s no bud­get deficit. And this past week there’s been a fire in a bog to the south of here, and smoke has been cloud­ing the skies on a dai­ly basis, but there’s been no dis­as­ter, because prompt and well-man­aged teams of fire­fight­ers and heli­copters have been bat­tling the fire back. No fias­co, no recrim­i­na­tions, no ‘blame game’, etc. Just com­pe­tence, and our tax dol­lars insur­ing that the gov­ern­ment is doing what it’s sup­posed to do first and fore­most, keep us safe. I won’t say that every­thing is per­fect here, but we sure aren’t see­ing the same lev­el of neglect, and I, unlike Mr. Norquist, want my gov­ern­ment larg­er than a ham­ster or kit­ten.

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