The U. S. Government has fallen ill again. The symptoms grow rapidly worse day by day, and include bloating, hyper-activity, Attention Deficit Disorder, loss of self-preserving inhibitions, acute loss of vision, hearing loss, delirium, delusions and hallucinations. The whole disease has been dubbed Perspicacity Deficit Syndrome, or PDS, which can be rendered easier to understand by the much simpler but equally accurate term, Pretty Damn Stupid.

PDS is easily recognizable in the general population. Patterns of irresponsibility, unwise use of available assets, a propensity toward stretching the truth, or obliterating it altogether, a tendency toward belligerence, self-indulgence, arrogance and mismanagement of personal affairs are all symptoms evident in individuals suffering from PDS. Addictions and a reduced value of human life also occur with this disease, landing many sufferers in our courts and correctional system. To date, there ARE known cures but treatment is rarely sought by those stricken with PDS.

Now when these symptoms occur in the general population, we are advised by our parents, teachers, counselors, pastors and friends to avoid contact with individuals who display them, as the condition can be rather contagious, and conventional wisdom regarding avoiding diseases, i.e., washing your hands often, healthy diet, exercise and practicing safe sex seem to do little to stop the spread of PDS. Therefore, it’s best just to stay away from anyone who exhibits the symptoms.

But when a government begins to show signs of PDS, there is little one can do to avoid its debilitating affects. The latest manifestation of the effects of PDS in government is the so called “Cash for Clunkers” program. When I was a young child my parents taught me not to be wasteful. They scolded me with the standard, “There are children in Africa and Indonesia starving who would give anything to have those cold mashed potatoes and spam. Now you clean your plate.” Or, “That little trinket you want me to buy is a waste of money. Within a week it will be broken. Spend your money wisely, or you won’t have any.”

Now, the question is, what would a reasonable, thinking person say to his teenage son if he paraded into the den one evening and said, “Dad, I need $4500 for a car.” Here’s how that conversation might transpire.

“Well, Son, have you saved any money for this purchase? You know, from birthdays, your allowance, that sort of thing?”

“Well uh, no, Dad. I really haven’t. See, the guys like to go to the mall and pick up girls, and then go to the movies, and of course we have to eat. And besides, I spent 350 bucks for that new game console, and then I had to buy all new games…and I lost that bet to Brad. No, I haven’t saved any money.”

“I see, well then what kind of work will you do to earn some cash to pay me back some of the money, you know, and buy gas…pay for upkeep and insurance, all of that sort of thing?”

Oh, that won’t be necessary, Dad. See, my buddies and I are going to drain the oil as soon as I get it, and pour this stuff into the crankcase that will destroy the engine. And then we’re going to start the car and let it run until the engine seizes. Won’t that be great?”

Now come on, people, how many of us would allow our son or daughter to engage in that kind of irresponsibility with OUR money? You wouldn’t, unless you had contracted Perspicacity Deficit Syndrome. But when our government does that same exact thing with OUR money, we deem it a wonderful, successful program? Now folks, I don’t care who you are or which side of the aisle you call home. I don’t care whether you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama’s performance, I don’t care where you stand on healthcare, or the war in Iraq, I don’t care whether you call yourself conservative or liberal…this whole thing is Pretty Damn Stupid!

T. Lee Mac: Perspicacity Deficit Syndrome

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