Where’s the cake?
By Mike Petrovsky
You can’t have your cake and eat it to.
A woman living in Washington state literally found that out Tuesday when she decided to take a birthday cake into a courthouse rather than leave it in the car, where her dog would have likely eaten it.
A passerby grabbed a chunk of the chocolate cake and ate it after the confection passed though the courthouse metal detector and was placed on a table.
An Associated Press story tells what happened next.
“Cake and frosting went flying when a Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy grabbed the cake molester and took him to the ground. The Daily News of Longview (Wash.) says more deputies rushed to help …, only to end up smeared with frosting.”
As it turned out, the story did have a happy ending. The deputies eventually subdued the “cake molester” who was later charged with third-degree theft. And a local grocery store graciously replaced the woman’s cake.
It is unclear if the federal government shutdown would have a similar happy ending, but it is clear that many people do, in fact, seem to want their cake and eat it too.
The majority of Americans polled blame tea party Republicans in Congress for the shutdown. Now I suggest that majority might feel a little better about those fiscally conservative politicians if they think of them as their parents.
Sure, going out with friends to get stoned at a rock concert might seem like a good idea at the time. But your parents insist that you stay home, study, go to Penn State and some day write for a newspaper – or you might end up at the state pen in a cell with Jerry Sandusky. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
The tea party Republicans’ goal is for the federal government to spend only what it takes in. Just like mom and dad did with the household budget: no accumulating large amounts of debt by raising their credit limit to buy the latest gadgets, to allow neighbors who don’t like them to barrow money or to foot the bill for an expensive health care plan.
Yes, our parents’ rules made us all miserable while we were growing up. But consider the alternative.
Let’s say mom and dad got drunk every night and spent their money on fancy cars and cool-looking tattoos, leaving nothing left to pay for food, housing or the utility bills. You would have likely ended up being raised in some government-subsidized foster home with very strict and extremely limiting rules. Rules that so lack a parent’s kind judgment and discretion that they make you feel as if you’re constantly being punished for a crime you did not commit.
It seems pretty clear where conservative Republicans are coming from, but what about the other side?
The left promises to provide us a luscious dessert frosted with federal programs they say will save our environment, make us loved throughout the world, provide us with food, shelter and telecommunications and, yes, even improve our health – all at little or no extra cost.
About as sweet as a chocolate cake.
The federal government’s past spending habits seem to have put us in a lot of debt. Yet the left keeps taking huge chunks of cake while insisting the government can get a loan extension to buy more.
What will happen when the debt from that loan is so great it becomes past due?
Americans could end up living in one huge restrictive foster home wondering who ate the cake we once had, and what happened to the cake we were promised.
Mike Petrovsky is the Journal’s news editor.