by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
While we gleefully await the federal government’s bankruptcy at the end of the month, here’s my favorite Elon Musk quote: “What did you get done this week?”
Every Republican in Congress should have to answer that question to the American taxpayer (you and me) before even thinking about giving another cent to Ukraine, the Pentagon, the DOJ, Health and Human Services, and every other department that is, at best, useless, and at worst, packed with paper pushers overtly harassing the people who pay their outsized salaries (you and me).
The Musk quote came in a strikingly similar context. In a text chat, some overpaid Twitter executive lectured him about the “internal distraction” that Musk’s public comments about the company had made after he purchased a large portion of its shares. “Next time we speak, I’d like to provide you perspective on the level of internal distraction right now and how it [sic] hurting our ability to do work,” the executive said.
“What did you get done this week?” Musk replied.
What makes it so good is that there is no answer to the question. Just some Twitter nerd versed only in talking about “optimization” (meaningless) and “company culture” (zero productivity value) blankly staring in a freeze.
To be sure, plenty of Republicans in Congress would have a lot to say should they be asked to justify their existence or a vote to spend more money. …
… Here’s a release from the Biden White House a year ago: “Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions and Funding to Address the Overdose Epidemic and Support Recovery.” That valiant effort purportedly included $1.5 billion “for all States and Territories to Address Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.”
Now here’s NPR eight months later: “Drug deaths nationwide hit a new record in 2022. 109,680 people died as the fentanyl crisis continued to deepen, according to preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
What’s the return on investment there? A dead American for every $14,000 in tax dollars spent?