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Johnny Carson: Johnny Carson’s Best Moments on Politics on The Tonight Show

October 17, 2015
Some guy named Jim and President Ronald Reagan

Some guy named Jim and President Ronald Reagan

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Johnny Carson: Johnny Carson’s Best Moments on Politics on The Tonight Show

I haven’t seen them all, but I believe my favorite Johnny Carson political skit is the politician under the lie detector. Because that plays so well with today’s American politics and I’m sure it played very well back in 1982 politics when that skit was done. Just imagine how many politicians would disqualify themselves from running for office, or would have to resign from office if they were always under a lie detector every time they spoke in public.

Imagine if politicians had to answer questions in public about their records under a lie detector test and here some examples of what that could be like.

Question- “Senator Jones, why did you vote against the clean energy bill?” Answer-“Because Big Oil told me if I did, they wouldn’t bankroll my reelection campaign.” Question- “Representative Smith, why did you vote against the middle class tax cuts?” Answer-“Because I believe middle class Americans are too stupid to spend their own money wisely. Besides it’s not the people’s money anyway, but the government’s money.”

American politicians have a bad habit of promising their constituents things from government that they don’t want to ask the people to pay for. Because they know raising revenue, (another way of saying increasing taxes) or moving funds around, (another way of saying cutting popular programs) could cost them politically. So what they say is they’ll give people free roads, or education vouchers, free health care, to use as examples instead. The theory being if that government does it then the service is free. But anyone familiar with American politics, Milton Friedman and pays taxes, knows there’s no such thing as a free lunch. At least when it comes to government.

Imagine if American politicians were asked to explain how they would pay for their new popular government programs and were under a lie detector and didn’t know that.

Question- “Senator Wilson, how do you plan to pay for your national childcare program? Well, with the debt and deficit being as high as it is, we’re going to have to increase payroll taxes out of people’s paychecks, or ask wealthy people to retire later, or a combination of both.” Unless Senator Wilson represents Massachusetts, or Vermont, two states that fills out their taxes with smiles on their faces and actually celebrates National Tax Day and sees it as a holiday, he can probably forget about reelection. Because his opponent would call him a tax and spender. Who thinks Americans are under taxed and that government should take more of their hard-earned money from them.

Lying politicians is as common in America as snow is as common in Canada and socialism is as common in Sweden. If a politician is asked at a party by someone who doesn’t know them and has never seen them before, what they do for a living? And the politician tells them I’m a state senator, or U.S. Representative, or something like that, the politician might get a drink thrown in their face. And if the politician happens to be President or Vice President of the United States, the drink thrower would probably get tackled to the ground by a Secret Service agent. And be arrested for being so stupid as to not know who the President and Vice President of the United States are. Well, at least not knowing who the President is. So a full-time lie detector at least for Congress, would throw out a lot of the trash that currently stinks up the House and Senate, because Members of Congress would no longer get away with lying.

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