Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver

Last week in Columbus, Ohio, a woman pulled up to a Burlington Coat Factory in a Hummer limousine, walked to the store check-out counter and loudly announced that she had just won the lottery and would pay for everyone’s purchases up to $500.

People loaded their carts and phoned their friends and relatives. At one point, there were 500 people in the store and another 1,000 trying to get in.

Unfortunately, the lady had not won the lottery and she could not pay for everyone’s purchase. Chaos ensued. Angry shoppers trashed the store and some simply left the store with the merchandise they believed they were entitled to since someone else had promised to pay for it.

On that same day, in Washington, D.C., the Senate Finance Committee joined the President to shout loudly that they are offering health care to everyone. “Someone else will pay for it, and it won’t increase the deficit by one dime.”

The lady in the store was arrested and is getting a mental health evaluation. At least in Columbus, promising something you can’t deliver raises questions of mental competency and/or personal integrity. If only that were true in Washington.