"Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I'm pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders. (Laughter and applause.)"The President (and all lawmakers who laughed along with him) should be embarassed by this derision and dismissal of the concept of a shared public interest and shared responsibility for fiscal finance. Ohh the shame!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The Nation of One
I lasted about seven minutes watching the State of The Union yesterday evening. One would have thought that our dear leaders might, with a 31% approval rating, near-zero global credibility, and an economy set to hemorrhage under the weight of housing collapse, consumer and government leverage and trade deficits, that they might have learned something, and tacked, if only for the sake of fellow republicans who will have to remain in congress and senate under Democratic control of all three bodies. But no. Sound bytes like "the future of American Prosperity is sound" (caution - not verbatim, but from memory) is simply delusional wishful thinking. It is NOT sound. It is NOT even "okay". It is absolutely disastrous, with even the normally sanguine IMF ringing the alarm bells. What are they thinking? Do they believe their bullshit? Say it enough times, loudly and with conviction, and the debt and the inflation will simply go away? DO they believe that, just as America helped the allies in D-Day invasion, Divine Intervention will soon arrive with buckets-of-bullion to service (not even contemplating paying down) our debts? Perhaps an Angel with come to earth (America, that it is) and deliver the blueprints for a cheap, working cold nuclear fusion device. That Americans will wake up tomorrow and say: " Ahhh reckonize that aahh've bin livin' wastefully-like, drivin' aroun' in ma' Dodge at 13mpg highway, an' today ahhhm'-a-gonna git me a Hondar. Yup..." of their own accord (not pun intended) is a pipe dream. Of fucking course people don't WANT too pay high taxes, but there are costs of running the State, and they are factual and beyond dispute. The role of leadership is NOT to encourage and assist your adolescent children to subsist on a breakfast of NestleCrunch Bars and Potato CHips, a lunch of Coca-cola and M&Ms, and dinner of deepfried potatoes and ketchup (with ice cream). Leadership is about using wisdom to argue, convince, cajole neighbors and fellow citizens to make the better and more sustainable choices - both for the present and future, and if necessary, use the force of law or parental coercion as the case may be, to further encourage fellow citizens to make the "better" decision, and discourage those those with meaningfully negative externalities. Stupid quips by the Leader-in-Chief like: