It’s time for an intervention
Oct. 7, 2013
by Ivan Raconteur

I can’t help but wonder if our elected officials in Washington have been dropping acid.

That is the most charitable explanation I can come up with as I try to understand their behavior. If it’s not acid, perhaps they have been ingesting too many mushrooms of the psilocybin variety.

Their actions seem to be based on some psychedelic, chemically enhanced view of reality. They certainly aren’t guided by anything resembling logic or common sense.

Why else, for example, would they believe it is OK to shut down the country simply because they are too childish or irresponsible to reach common ground?

Our senators and representatives seem to have completely lost sight of the fact they are elected to represent ALL Americans, not just special interest groups or big money lobbyists.

And, if shutting down the country is not a big enough crisis, the government is about to run out of money – AGAIN.

Instead of taking responsibility for living within its means, the government – that is to say, the distinguished men and women we have trusted to run things for us – have continued to run amok, spending money irresponsibly like a hoard of intoxicated collegians on spring break.

The problem is chronic.

They keep running out of money, and instead of waking up and making the realistic, tough decisions ordinary citizens must make every day, they keep raising their debt limit, and this apparently seems like a reasonable, prudent choice to them.

It must be drugs.

A further example of how tripped out our legislators are came to my attention when I was reading the business section of the Star Tribune recently.

The story that caught my attention described a government system that defies explanation.

Even if we assume that those who devised this system were under the influence of hallucinogenic substances, it is hard to imagine how it makes any sense.

The story was about price supports for sugar.

This was no sweet story, however. The bottom line is that taxpayers took a hit of $53 million, and that is enough to leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth.

Apparently, our drug-addled representatives have set up a program that “guarantees revenues to sugar producers by limiting imports, fixing prices, and allowing forfeitures of sugar to pay off loans in depressed markets.”

Under this system, slumping sugar prices required the government to buy more than 272 million pounds of refined beet sugar.

The problem, which seems obvious to a reasonably sober observer, is that the government does not have any use for sugar; certainly not 272 million pounds of it.

As a result, the government turned around and sold the sugar to biofuel producers.

That alone sounds like a transaction only someone on drugs would make, but it gets worse.

The government bought the sugar for “approximately $65.9 million,” and then “immediately resold it to bioenergy producers for $12.6 million.”

That sounds like a great deal for bioenergy producers, and the sugar companies come out of it OK, but what about the taxpayers who are funding this bizarre, twisted version of commerce?

Apparently, by law, sugar companies can repay government loans with sugar instead of cash if prices fall below certain levels.

In this instance, a sugar beet cooperative on the border of Minnesota and North Dakota borrowed $71,790,000 from the government (or rather, the taxpayers), and offered 300 million pounds of beet sugar as collateral.

Well, we now know how that shrewd deal worked out for Uncle Sam and the taxpayers who funded this absurdity.

What I want to know is, how do you get in on this action?

I’d like the government to give me a nice big juicy loan. I’d be happy to give them some magic beans as collateral.

Critics might say the government doesn’t need any magic beans.

I would argue that the government doesn’t need 272 million pounds of sugar, either, but it was happy to make that deal.

Besides, with the offer I am proposing, the government could get access to a magic beanstalk, and all the senators and representatives could climb up it to a fantasy world where their messed up view of economics and reality might actually make sense.

Using taxpayer dollars to guarantee income for private companies, and printing money to satisfy government’s insatiable lust for spending are a violation of the public trust.

It is time for citizens to rise up and conduct an intervention to get the addicts in Congress into some reputable treatment program where they can get the help they need. Then, perhaps, ordinary, hard-working citizens can get they relief they need.

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