The major premise of my argument in these columns is that several recent legislative actions were carefully designed so that part of the public will be satisfied by apparent effort while the other, more important bloc of voters is pleased by a deliberate avoidance of actual results.
For example, if you think of it as a step forward, then a step back, youll see that the recent school-tax two-step a pretense at addressing costs, followed by guess whatnothing actually accomplishedis a prime illustration. Some observers ascribe such sequence-of-events to legislative ineptitude, but I would respectfully disagree.
My minor (supporting) premise is that nothing in politics happens by accident, a quote which originated with 4-term President and ultimate politician Franklin Roosevelt. The nothing-by-accident observation gives credence to the observation that such effective choreographing of legislative action requires more skill (and intelligence) than average, not less. On some level of competence-recognition, you have to admire the political skills of successive Legislatures which have propelled an entire State from somewhere near, or even below, average in terms of government employment and spending back in the 60s to the very top in national rankings of the States today, and have done so without ever triggering any serious political resistance or backlash.
One example of that skill has shown up in year-after-year well-beyond-inflation school spending increases, which are defended by Golden Dome folk even while they posture as greatly concerned over an affordability crisis. An even better example is unfolding even now, as Vermont Yankees nuclear operating license clock ticks down toward renewal (or not) in 2012.
Already, the shut-it-down street theatre has started, with various anti-nuclear groups (all with enormous depth of nuclear-engineering expertise, of course) demanding a cold shut-down by 2012 if not before. Most recently, one of those groups (Rutland) imported from Japan an anti-nuclear expert/Buddhist nun, a direct descendant of the folks who brought Pearl Harbor into the national vocabulary (dont test your recent high school grad on this aspect of American history) to beat her drums against nuclear power in the U.S., although its apparently OK in her view for Japan to use it, as The Land of the Rising Sun has been doing (now with re-processed plutonium, no less) since 1966.