Island Dweller carefully wrote this onto a stick of gum, chewed it to get it past security, and placed this on a Castle window for us to find and reconstruct. Unless we are wrong in how we deciphered the squiggles in the chewed gum; in which case, this must be an astonishing coincidence:
Most August Majesty:
I have of late heard one or two pundits ask if anyone has ever heard of a government entitlement program that ever went away once it passed into law. To be honest, I have not been able to think of one. I have, however, been able to think of one major piece of legislation that was eventually repealed due to widespread disobedience to it, and its unpopularity, and that is the Volstead Act.
To be sure, this was not an entitlement program. Yet is was a law that somehow got past the drinking public (which must have been a sizable minority back in those days, if not an outright majority) with the help of outraged prohibitionists, wound through Congress and was signed into law by the President in 1919. It wasn’t repealed until, I believe, 1933. Many lives were lost to violations of the act and its enforcement, and many criminal records were earned that truthfully should never have existed. My own father was involved in that one of his many Depression-era jobs was as a doorman at a speakeasy.
There are some similarities between the passage of the Volstead Act and the current situation re: Obamacare, in particular with the widespread unpopularity of the law. Can we have your observations and comments, please, on the similarities and differences between the two laws, and how the earlier may apply to the latter?
Yours in an intellectual quest
As you note, the real claim is that there has never been an entitlement program repealed. Indeed, many major social laws are repealed: Prohibition, as you note, but dont forget Slavery.
In some respects, though, one is hard-pressed to find an entitlement program repealed based on how one views entitlements. Those of us on the Right tend to think of entitlements as massive bureaucracies that involve thousands of drone workers filing paperwork and spending taxpayer dollars.
In reality, most entitlements are nickel-and-dime operations with a hundred bureaucrats. They are so small they slip below the radar…until one steps back and realizes that this adds up to tens of thousands of employees and trillions of dollars. Where does one start?
Even Barack Obama, champion of the entitlement, promised he would eliminate duplicate government programs. Conservatives heard him say terminate, while liberals hear him say consolidate. Indeed, he meant the latter, but when it came time to begin strengthening these weaker operations, did he ever have a hard time figuring out where to start. In fact, he gave up: the entitlement operation is such a thorny mess of twisted, Gordian strands that most people who attack it simply give up.
You had asked for how the Volstead Act and Obamacare compare and contrast. This is a tough call because there are more differences than similarities by far. The Volstead Act simply outlawed something that was popular; Obamacare wants to create something unpopular. One is a ban, the other is a new giveaway. Volstead resulted in ridiculous amounts of crime and black marketeering; Obamacare will simply wreck the economy. Volstead allowed for numerous exemptions, Obamacare is simply offering exemptions to the politically connected. Volstead resulted in an amendment; Obamacare is an intentionally twisted series of tax laws designed to confuse. Two very different worlds.
Similarities? Basically, the big onea majority of Americans do not want it. Another similarity is that Obamacare needs a Blaine Act to be enacted that will eliminate it.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.