Monday, March 07, 2011

Strange Days

Many, maybe all of you, are busy people who like writers like me to quit dawdling around and get right to the thesis. So here it is: Today's Republicans do some awfully strange things to prove they should run our government. And here are two examples, if you're willing to read some more.
It's common for the GOP these days to oppose any kind of government policy that results in more revenue, with the possible exception of seeing a natural increase from a broader base of workers, all paying taxes at about the same rate. So far so good, but what about simply getting more revenue through better enforcement of tax laws on the books? Our IRS, not the most popular of institutions, nevertheless now returns $10 for every dollar spent. Shouldn't that appeal to most folks? Spend the money- catch the cheaters?
To our Republican leaders, though, this idea is a "no sale". They have, in fact cut the IRS budget by around $600 million for this year, and seek even deeper cuts next year. I just can't see how this makes sense. Yes the 10:1 ratio in benefits breaks down at some higher point, but wouldn't it be smart to have some idea of what that point is?
And who wants the IRS watchdogs put on shorter leashes? Only one answer makes sense - "tax cheats." Even people who hate all taxes, but pay them anyway, should despise the idea of someone else getting off without paying their fair share. The news that the IRS is operating on a cheese sandwich budget will no doubt encourage more people to try cheating to see if it can be done. That's a slippery slope we don't want to be on, but that's exactly where the Republican Party wants us to be. Who do you suppose gave them this idea? I don't think it was regular working people.

Mike Huckabee should know quite a bit about interviewing with the broadcast media, and plenty about running for president. He did it four years ago, and lasted far longer than most thought he would. He's no babe in the woods even if he did, like Bill Clinton, start his career in Arkansas.
He said some strange things on the radio last week. In fact they were so strange that you have to wonder who his real intended audience was, along with his real message. President Obama, the former governor Huckabee claims, gets his world view from his father who raised him in Kenya and made sure he was indoctrinated with an anti-colonial, anti-British attitude. This, in turn, caused him to do awful things, such as remove the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. How terrible, Mr. H. moaned.
When reminded later that Obama had actually first seen Kenya as an adult, Huckabee brushed it all off by saying he had meant to say "Indonesia". But in order to be accurate, he would have also had to change "father" to "mother" and "British" to "Dutch", the former colonists of Indonesia. What Huckabee may have actually been stretching for was a way to connect Obama to another buzzword in the making - "Mau Mau", a former group of anti-colonialist African rebels dating from the 1950s. He had no comment on our own revolution against those same British.
What this all seems to say is that today's GOP bigshots don't even seem to care how roughly they treat the truth. If they're caught fibbing, well, it was just that awful liberal press picking on them again, trying to stymie their message. Either way, the appeal is to the (sob!) unfairness of it all. This way you can whine your way to the top. By the way, that Churchill bust? It's still in the White House, but its former spot in the Oval Office was taken over by the bust of a Republican - Abraham Lincoln.


Post a Comment

<< Home