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.