Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Look Ma! No Taxes!
Anybody still wondering whether President Obama will finally acknowledge to himself that the Republicans aren't much interested in putting party politics aside and working with him for the good of the country got their answer this past week. It looks as if he has finally had enough of being shunned by members of his own party and actively abused by the not-so-loyal opposition. Obama finally seems to have found his sweet spot of anger, and he is using it to fuel an effort to attack and hopefully destroy the Republicans' oppressive credo of no taxes. He seems ready to stage a revolt against the collective values he believes are spiritually wrong.
So hold on to your hats, everyone. A war has been declared--not on Libya, Syria, Yemen, or Palestine, but on Republicans. The president has drawn that line in the sand his base has been howling for: he is now seeking to raise taxes on the rich. Of the $3 trillion-plus in deficit reductions being proposed, $1.5 trillion would be made up of tax increases--which would include letting the Bush tax cuts for people with incomes above $250,000 expire. A consistent 71 percent of voters in polls favor reducing the deficit through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Part of the funding for Obama's jobs' plan will be the closing down of special interest tax breaks, deductions, and loopholes for corporations.
Already I hear the sound of enormous fans whirring near the door to the latrine, and the noisome stench of urine circulating. We already know the GOP would rather have O's head on a platter, the better to be able to piss on it, than pay a single cent more in taxes. So bye-bye, common ground! Let the games begin. So long, compromise, it's been good to know you! Sayonara, John Boehner, you walking-out-AGAIN piece of crapola! Cutting deals with you just didn't work out, did it? Hello to the new world of vicious tax wars--but with some fair warning: the rest of you may not like the end of this movie as much as you like the beginning. Will the political gridlock improve? Definitely not. Will things get worse? There Will Be Blood. Maybe even as far as your front door. It doesn't matter if the president is friendly or hostile or angry--the lions will not lie down with the lamb any time soon.
The right-wing spin machine has spent years persuading millions of Americans that Democrats are spendthrifts and liberals are evil, that the poor are lazy, and that government is the problem, not the solution. Government only manages to survive on the tax payers dime and is the bane of every liberty-loving individual's existence. Today, however, believe it or not, I am not here to depress you; I want to make you laugh. I wish I could claim authorship of the following vignette, but I can't. I found it in Vanity Fair, "as relayed by Henry Alford." Enjoy this hilarious vision of self-reliance in a Tea-Party world (once government has been duly shrunk and then drowned in a bathtub). Laugh, while laughing is still a possibility, laugh while your heart is breaking, laugh before everything around you crashes. I am laughing with you. Here it comes:
"TAKING AMERICA BEAA-YACK: The Campaign Journal of Krysti McCandless, Rising Tea Party Superstar"
"My hubby, Critter, keeps me afloat--he is my pool noodle. But who wouldn't love a guy who looks like Will Ferrell and speaks like Ron Paul? Dude is hot. Cable-repairman hot. And it was Critt who brilliantly realized that in our our efforts 2 dismantle the fed'l gov't, we shouldn't be fighting just for states' rights or even cities' rights. No. we gotta drill it down to fighting 4 cul-de-sac rights! Lock 'n load, people!
So how did we take control of our sac? It started, like everything gr8 does, with a trip 2 Costco. I bought rope and PVC tubing so Critt could build a crow's-nest lookout on our roof. Then he dragged the boat that's been sitting in our front yard all these years out to block the end of the sac property line! Then he told the other two families in our sac that we three families are now a mini-state under its own jurisdiction. They looked surprised, but very, very alert.
Now the mail-carrier leaves all mail at the boat and we auto-sort it ourselves. The 3 families are on the gold standard and we formed a militia. We home-school. We'll get all Willie Nelson-ish re tax-paying in April. We call ourselves "the 51st state," and on the back of the T-shirts it says, TAKE THAT, GUAM!
The Vastreps, on our left, have been totally on board: they are true Americans. But the Lancasters, on our right, have been a little weird ever since I had both their gardeners deported last summer. The Lancasters own a restaurant in Baltimore called Banc, which, hilariously, is pronounced "bonk." (Sometimes when Critt and I are walking around the house, we'll smash our bellies together like two tympany drums and cry, "I work at Banc!" Then I scream "LOL!") Anyway, the Bonkcasters needed more convincing, but I talked them off the ledge when I said "no taxes": everybody loves the kuh-ching.
All this sac stuff has been amazing, like summer camp without the bed-wetting. In my run for County Council here in Montgomery County, I've often invoked the early colonists and their bravery, but now I just talk about the sac. Because once you take your own future and your own welfare into your hands, you make an important realization: Destiny--it's not just a name for strippers anymore."
Before Virgil and I sign off, here's one more piece of information you should have: by a 53 to 28 percent margin, independents say they plan to vote against the president in November 2012. So this is some advice from my usual fav, Andrew Sullivan, with whom I am in total agreement here:
"Every time you think the ultras in the current GOP won't go there, they do. They'll sabotage economic growth for short term political advantage. They'll sabotage their own president in negotiating with allies. They're happy for the US to default if it means they can damage Obama. Their own plan for immediate, drastic austerity would be catastrophic for the global economy. Their pre-Arab Spring belligerence would shut America out of a critical opportunity to ease tensions with the growing and burgeoning Muslim world. And they have no problem treating the world economy as a partisan plaything.
If they claw their way back to power this way, our system really will be broken for a long time. And the great possibility of an adult conversation on pragmatic grounds to help the economy will be lost. And this is emphatically not Obama's fault. He tried. They threw it back in his face again and again. Which means, I believe, that we should double down in backing him, instead of the ear-splitting whine coming from the left."
Personally, I'm not sure I can survive a Rick Perry ferry. But I KNOW FOR SURE the country can't--and it won't.