It’s been decades now, but one of the things I learned in law school was you can’t just keep a bag of cash if you find one.
Picture walking along a suburban street and noticing a Brinks armored car pull away from a bank. Near where the truck exited the parking lot lies a burlap sack with dollar signs on it, just like you’d see in a Monopoly boardgame. Upon closer examination, the bag does indeed contain tightly sealed rolls of hundred-dollar bills. Glancing around, you see no one within view, and the security camera surveilling the vicinity has its lens obscured with spray painted “BLM and ACAB” slogans. Nearby there are weeds growing in the asphalt cracks and a half-torn handwritten sign that reads “Silence is Violence” is visible in the corner of the space.
What to do? Run off with the dough? Hustle it back into the bank? Stuff your pockets full and leave the rest with the bag looking as though it had never been opened? It’s only seven in the morning and the bank doors are still locked. Why not heist it? How would anyone know?
Deep down, everyone -- or at least those with a conscience -- understands that it’s wrong to take what you haven’t earned. After all, the anonymous bills in that sack belong to someone, even if they simply represent numbers in some rich guy’s investment account. And whoever was responsible for keeping watch on the bag itself is going to be in big trouble if the contents are a permanent forfeiture. Jobs could be lost. Lives ruined. It’s an ugly scenario.
Plus, here’s the law school part -- it’s a crime! Since you certainly realized the cash wasn’t yours, when you took it, it’s the same as stealing. Now imagine a police car pulling in to your driveway with lights flashing and a voice blaring over the loudspeaker: “Thief, come out with your hands up!”
Not to be overly dramatic -- or to rehash what happened to Rudy Giuliani last week (in a different sort of trumped up raid) -- but a similar form of inadvertent larceny is happening these days when President Joe Biden and Democrats seemingly drop billion dollar bills all over the place -- calling it an “investment” or “aid” -- and no one is turning the plunder back in.
Congress hasn’t appropriated the money as of yet, so there’s still time to walk away -- or call your congressman to tell them to stop the steal (again). Naomi Lim reported at The Washington Examiner last week:
“The American Families Plan proposes free universal preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds and two years of free community college, senior administration officials said… Neither program, estimated to cost a combined $309 billion, would be means-tested, meaning that they would be available to rich families as well as to poor ones...
“[Tax] Changes outlined include raising $700 billion by increasing Internal Revenue Service funding for better enforcement, upping the top marginal rate on labor income to its pre-2017 level of 39.6%, and taxing capital gains earned by households making more than $1 million as ordinary income — effectively doubling the rate on such gains.
“’The American Families Plan invests in our children and our families, helping families cover the expenses that so many struggle with now, lowering health insurance premiums, cutting child poverty, and producing a larger, more productive, and healthier workforce,’ a senior official said.”
The mentally slipping president talked extensively last Wednesday night on his proposals during his address to the joint session of Congress. As always, whenever he sought to emphasize a point, Joe leaned over, put his elbows on the lectern and stared directly into the camera, lowered his voice and pretended to talk directly to the people watching. Maybe he practices the technique in the bathroom mirror each morning! It almost seemed like he was back in his senate days explaining abstinence and temperance to Teddy Kennedy… or white supremacy to Robert “KKK” Byrd… or DNA heritage to Elizabeth Warren.
Instead Biden instructed the sheep (a.k.a., the American people) on what he was trying to do to the rich: “They just need to pay their fair share, that’s all.”
But what about the recipients of the dough? Isn’t there some moral guilt involved for citizens who would receive a check they didn’t earn and for many, many, many folks out there, don’t need? When we’re talking millions, billions and trillions in a “one size fits all” redistribution scheme, this isn’t just a trifling discovery in an empty bank parking lot. Isn’t it like theft?
Some of us were introduced to the concept of unlawful windfalls a half century ago by an episode of “The Brady Bunch” (The Treasure of Sierra Avenue) where one of the Brady youngins finds a wallet containing $1100 (a heck of a lotta money in the early 70’s!) in an abandoned lot while playing football. Over their objections, the kids’ parade-spoiling parents hand over the loot to the police. The plot then revolved around whether the finders could enjoy their good fortune if the owner neglected to demand the prize first. They all had visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads! Great entertainment, and like the old saying goes, ‘they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.’
As easily predicted, a gentleman (appropriately named “Mr. Stoner” -- someone had a heck of a sense of humor back then) came forward and claimed the wallet that the family underlings had discovered and unwillingly surrendered. The elderly gentleman did come by the Brady house to thank them and explain how it was his life’s savings and he would’ve been crushed if he’d lost it. As I recall, Stoner offered the kids a modest reward for the good deed, which they perfunctorily turned down in one of the series’ most memorable “Ah shucks!” moments.
The lesson? It doesn’t feel right to keep what isn’t yours. And that’s exactly the sense most decent Americans experience when their senile president and his greedy vote-seeking party allies propose raiding the Federal Reserve for another trillion or two to pay for things like childcare, preschool and a college education. You know, the stuff of everyday living that everyone grows up figuring they’ve got to pay for themselves if called upon.
It’s commonly referred to as responsibility, I think.
This isn’t turning a blind eye to the people who legitimately need help, either. Anyone who’s had a child apply to college recognizes that there are a virtually unlimited number of scholarships out there for needy and/or deserving would be students. And federal grants available at the simple filling-out of a request form. Will it pay for everything? Obviously not, but who’s to say every teen should even go to college? As Victor Davis Hanson wrote last week, American universities have lost their prestige. In many cases, a degree isn’t worth a bucket of spit if the student didn’t learn anything worthwhile at the place.
The fact is, taking federal money for practically every contingent expense in life is like stealing. The federal authorities won’t be arriving for a pre-dawn raid (unless you’re a conservative Republican, that is) but in your heart of hearts you know it ain’t right to expect the government to cover the costs of basic human existence.
And, as Tucker Carlson pointed out on his show last Thursday evening, do we really want our children raised by a government employee who must conform to the new “woke” standards set by Washington swamp dwellers? What about the multitude of people who prefer raising their own offspring and just want to be left alone to do it?
Republicans will oppose most if not all of Joe Biden’s social welfare spending plans, but it’s not enough. The liberty-loving, constitution-revering American people must inform their legislators that they don’t approve of being handed stolen treasure that they neither asked for, nor earned.
If so, our consciences will be spared until the next time a Democrat offers to give you a stack of cash, no questions asked.
Joe Biden agenda
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Kamala Harris Biden address to Congress
federal budget deficit