Countdown to Shutdown

eric cantor

“Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

The government shutdown might happen this Friday – and let me emphasize the word “might”. It’s quite clear that the yahoos who act as spokesmen for the “party of Abraham Lincoln” haven’t yet made up their minds whether or not a shutdown will benefit them politically. It didn’t in 1994, but they seem to think that it might work this time around. Back in ’94 there was little publicity involving what was about to happen. Seventeen years later they’re not being as clumsy. They’re out there on the talk show circuit in droves this morning, bracing the public for the storm on the horizon, chanting their silly mantra:

“How can the Democrats allow this to happen?”

We’ll know soon enough if the propaganda has the desired effect. My guess is that, like in ’94, this is going to blow up in their clueless faces. I certainly hope so. Watching the utter implosion of the Republican party is an absolute joy that is difficult to put into words. I can barely contain myself.

I hate to be seen as a cheerleader for the Democrats, I really do. I often feel like I’m in a restaurant and the waiter is asking me, “Would you like a nice cool glass of donkey piss to wash down that juicy plate of elephant poop you’ve ordered, sir?” Our choices these days are sparse – no question about it. But when everything has been sliced and diced, I feel that am left with no choice but to side with the Dems. The alternatives are too depressing too even think about. “Stick with Tweedle-dee”, I tell myself, “Tweedle-dum is brain-damaged.” He’s also a bit of a pervert.

Or think of it this way:

“Hmm….Which record shall I put on the ol’ turntable – “Go Away, Little Girl” by Donny Osmond, or “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies?”

The choice is very easy, but hardly satisfying – While “Sugar Sugar” may rock – barely – it’s not going to send me into the clouds. Unfortunately, those are the kind of choices we’re faced with these days.

Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed
Most peculiar, Mama!

-John Lennon

At least the Democrats – some of them – still understand the truism that we’re never going to get our “fiscal house in order” until the people and corporations who have more money that they know what to do with are taxed at the rate they should be. The economy will never recover as long as the tax burden is placed on the back of the poor and middle classes. And please, don’t shoot back at me that tired old myth that the poor do not pay taxes. Everyone pays taxes. Remember that the next time you pay $4.31 for a $3.99 pint of Nicolai Vodka.

Fun Fact

I paid more in taxes last year than General Electric. You did, too.

And then there’s that nasty subject of defense spending. Do you want to know why I love Bernie Sanders? Because he seems to be the only human being in Washington with the guts to say (or the sense to say) the unspeakable truth that no one else has the courage to say: We spend way-too-much of our national treasure on weapons of mass destruction. You know! Those things we took out Saddam Hussein for possessing that he never even possessed? If our representatives only had the foresight to understand this, a lot of the problems that plague the body politic would vanish. Not only that, we could reinvest in our infrastructure – and that would translate into jobs – lots and lots of them. It would also mean a long overdue renaissance for the middle class. But that’s never going to happen. The chances are pretty good that your congressman or woman is bought and paid for by the military industrial complex.

tom deganInstead, the conservatives of both parties would rather privatize Medicare and Social Security. Instead of investing in our badly neglected infrastructure, they want tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy. Good luck, America.

The Republicans are telling us that they wish to “restore fiscal sanity in Washington”. The only problem is that their proposals are beyond insane. The lunatics have not only taken over the asylum, they’re writing the prescriptions. Line up for your medications, boys and girls!

Tom Degan
The Rant

Published by the LA Progressive on April 8, 2011
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About Tom Degan

Tom Degan is a fifty-four-year old video artist who in 2006 became so thoroughly disgusted at the state of America's national political dialogue, he decided to take time off to become a freaking civics teacher. He was born in Goshen, NY in 1958 and, after living all over the United States and Canada, moved back there in 1992. He is a high school dropout who in 1977 received an equivalency diploma (HEY, IT'S LEGAL!) He attended SUNY in Middletown, NY and in 1986 studied journalism at the New School in New York City. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has worked as a truck driver, a radio DJ, and a metal worker... OK, he didn't ACTUALLY receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but he DID get some kind of ribbon of sorts when he was in the Cub Scouts. He is the inventor of Cheez Whiz and lives off the royalties on the sales of that fine product. He loves children and little baby duckies. FULL DISCLOSURE: He didn't really invent Cheez Whiz. His address is: 2590 Rte 17M (PO BOX 611) Goshen, NY 10924 (845) 294-5714

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