Friday, July 11, 2008

War is the answer to our budget woes!

A friend, all upset, sent this article to me, which describes how the EPA arbitrarily lowers the statistical value of a life so a cost/benefit analysis of proposed regulations would show costs too high for the expected number of lives saved, and thus kill the proposal.

There's nothing especially new here --we already know that the Bush regulatory agencies work for the industries they're charged with regulating--and so there's nothing new to get upset about. Every detail that comes to light now is just another variation on a well-known theme, so what's the point of getting angry all over again--it's really bad for your health and doesn't fix a thing.

So what I decided to do is to use the information in the article to enhance your understanding of how we came to our present sorry pass by showing you how the government defends its egregious actions so successfully. They do so by filling their explanations with absurdity piled on absurdity, so that by the end, the dumbfounded listener can only dazedly nod his or her head. And it's worked for almost eight years.

I've transcribed a tape recording of an imaginary briefing given by Sedgewick "Chappy" Lipschitz, Interim Director of the White House Office of Obfuscatory Doublespeak. His remarks were delivered to the usual MSM stenographic pool, and were given to ease the publics discomfort at the growing perception that the government considers them less valuable than before. I'll skip the preliminaries and start here:

"OK, if you'll just follow along with me on this flip chart..

On average, the value of a life hasn't dropped at all. In fact, it has gone up. It's simply a matter of balancing numbers to reflect the value of a life from a broader viewpoint. For important budgeting purposes, the value of a life actually depends on whether we are saving it or taking it.

We are now using sophisticated accounting software developed for us by the Regent University School of Using Numbers to Multiply Fruitfully. It's quite complex, so I'll just give you a simple example to help you understand.

The value of any "given" life as figured in the EPA cost/benefit analyses has been lowered to $6.9 million from $7.8 million five years ago. Remember, that's a "saved" life. However, and this the good part, we invaded Iraq five years ago, and we've spent $1 trillion dollars to take one million lives--that's only $1 million per life "taken". Add that $1 million per life taken to the $6.9 million per life saved and you can easily see that the overall statistical value of a life today is $7.9 million, a slight increase from five years ago.

Factoring in the "give and take" in this manner also gives us proof positive that the Iraq war is more than paying for itself, and shows us a very clear path to quickly balancing the budget without raising taxes on our patriotic billionaires. It's obvious that we get more "bang for the buck" by funding war than by funding the EPA. The Iraq experience has proven that lives can be had through military action for only $1 million each, while the EPA number is nearly seven times that for any given life--it's not even close.

For that reason, we are immediately doubling military spending, and cutting the EPA's budget by 50%, and fully expect that this intelligent re-allocation of funds will result in a balanced budget within one year.

Any questions? No? Then thank you all for coming."