Let’s plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will – it’s only action that can make a man.
~ Goethe, “Faust”
[T]his will result in a permanent obligation on the state of Louisiana. It would be like spending $1 to get a dime.
~ Gov. Bobby Jindal
During these perilous times we live in, I often find solace by retreating to my classical music background and the literature that sustained the classical masters for hundreds of years. In particular during America’s current economic recession/depression and the recently passed economic stimulus plan of approximately $787 billion ($3.27 trillion in actual spending costs over three years), my mind hearkens back to that magnificent German playwright from the Romantic Era, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), particularly his dramatic epic poem in two volumes, “Faust” (1808, 1833).
In an earlier article, “Faust, Greenspan and America’s economic collapse,” I drew an analogy between the folly of Alan Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” speech, where he continued to lower interest rates leading in part to the collapse of America’s home mortgage industry, with the folly of Goethe’s “Faust.”
- Faust equals “We the People”
- Mephisto (the devil) is Congress, the Executive, the Supreme Court and the Federal Reserve
To a large extent, America has guaranteed her own destruction by allowing these four branches of government to expand way beyond her enumerated powers, thus denigrating the original intent of the Constitution’s framers (e.g. prohibiting the integration of legality and morality, diminished separation of powers, federalism and taxation without representation).
In that earlier article, I wrote:
The narrative of “Faust” in brief was about an aging professor (Faust) toiling in his study, surrounded by books but painfully aware of the vanity of life – that he is running out of time. According to Michael Cumming’s synopsis of “Faust,” Part I:
Faust laments that though he has studied philosophy, medicine, law and theology he really knows nothing about the inner workings of the universe. Even his magic – powerful as it is – fails to lift the veil of mystery. On the brink of despair, he considers suicide.
Enter Mephistopheles (Mephisto), that suave, sophistic angel from the underworld (Satan) who eagerly offers to grant the hapless professor Faust his one last wish, but as usual when dealing with an irredeemable, evil figure like Satan, there is a catch: Mephisto “offers to show Faust the secrets of the world and let him experience the profoundest pleasures,” but when his life is over he must relinquish his immortal soul to him and do his bidding forever in hell.
How does the legend of Faust apply to Gov. Jindal’s refusal to accept all of the $100 million dollars Obama is offering the state of Louisiana as part of it’s share of stimulus package money? President Obama, like the suave, cosmopolitan Mephistopheles, has not only crafted and passed one of the the largest wealth confiscations, or “redistributions,” in the history of the world all in less than a month, but upon closer examination of the 1,000-plus pages of this bloated, complex and convoluted bill, more and more people are beginning to realize that the devil is truly in the details.
Last Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Jindal made public some of those diabolical details that Obama, the Democrats and the propaganda press have been so scrupulously trying to hide over the past month:
- I don’t think the best way to do that [stimulating the economy] is for the government to tax and borrow more money. I think the best thing they could’ve done, for example, was to cut taxes on things like capital gains, the lower tax brackets, to get the private sector spending again.
- The word permanent is in the bill. It requires the state to make a permanent change in our law. Law B – our employer group agrees with me. They say, “Yes, this will result an increase in taxes on our businesses, this will result in a permanent obligation on the state of Louisiana.” It would be like spending $1 to get a dime. Why would we take temporary federal dollars if we’re going to end up having a permanent program?
- In Louisiana, we made midyear reductions, $241 million. We’re going to have to do more with less. What would be more helpful from Washington is less unnecessary spending. How does $300 million for federal cars, $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, how is spending like that going to help our economy? How’s that stimulus?
Jindal’s rhetorical question, “How’s that stimulus?” was the critical question professor Faust in retrospect should have asked Mephistopheles (the devil). If he had been patient, spiritual and circumspect instead of shortsighted, greedy and lustful, Faust would not have made that tragic deal with the devil in the first place. Nevertheless, Faust foolishly lived for the moment. Goethe writes of Faust’s worldview as conveyed to his fated lover, Marguerite: Let us plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will – it’s only action that can make a man.
In other words, live for the moment and consequences be damned.
Thank God Gov. Jindal and a few other stalwart Republican governors like Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, and Alaska’s Sarah Palin refused to take all of the economic stimulus that President Barack “Corleone” Obama is thrusting upon them, for Jindal understands that taking this contaminated money from the federal government will eventually lead to the bankrupting of his state. This federal money will only last for three years as an “unfunded mandate” that the states will be required to pick up when the federal money runs out. How? By raising taxes, of course, which is political suicide for a Republican.
Even more diabolical is that the programs funded by the economic stimulus package are “permanent,” meaning once they accept the money, these states must literally rewrite their laws to accommodate the new mandates of the federal requirements. Jindal asked a critical question: “How does $300 million for federal cars, $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, how is spending like that going to help our economy? How’s that stimulus?”
Jindal is right. It has nothing to do with economic stimulus at all. I call this sham bill, “DEA” or the Democrat Eternity Act, for Obama’s economic stimulus bill’s ultimate purpose with all of its ancillary spending is to keep Democrats in power for eternity.
In conclusion, recall the opening wedding scene of “The Godfather,” Part I, where Michael Corleone recalled his father (Vito Corleone) doing business through his muscleman, Luca Brasi: “Either your signature on this contract, or your brains on this contract.” These are the mafia tactics Americans are facing.
It is evident that President Barack Corleone’s so-called $787 billion economic stimulus package has offered America a deal with the devil. Let us therefore hope that more governors will refuse to accept this tainted money, or I fear America will be plunged into an economic abyss that will devastate the sovereignty of states’ rights, our children, our grandchildren and our collective future.