Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Falling Off the Wagon?

Many many many years ago, there was a thirteen-year-old boy named Grover.

Grover Norquist.

Possessed of the certainty that most thirteen-year-olds have that they know everything (thereby mildly irritating those of us who do - know everything, that is) Young Grover had an idea.  A splendid idea - that no one should pay anything but the exact irreducible minimum in taxes, thereby stunting the government until, in his wonderful phrasing, it was small enough to "drown in a bathtub."

All grown up, Grover went on the hustings to hawk his revolutionary juvenile idea, and found receptive audiences.  With all the verve and burning ardor of a fin de siecle Carrie Nation, he convinced many people to take his anti-tax pledge.

What is unfortunate is that his anti-tax idea is hardly workable in what we with the merest moiety of our marbles call The Real World.  Taxes are necessary for government to meet its obligations to the people from which it derives its authority - after all, who the hell do you think cuts the checks for our fighting forces?  They sure as hell aren't doing it for free, folks.

A lot of the people signed on to Grover's pledge, and they're largely to blame for our current financial situation.

Which leads me to the Budget Control Act.

The BCA was endorsed by the GOP majority in the House of Reprehensibles as a means of controlling government spending.  If no action is taken, come January first all of the Bush-era tax cuts on all Americans will expire, and massive across-the-board spending cuts will be introduced.  Yes, even on defense spending, which has the defense-industrial complex burning phones to the Congress, screeching with one voice in accord, "What the fuck are we paying you for?  Stop this now!"

Truly a conundrum.

On the one hand, the House GOP do not want to be seen as giving up on The Great Pledge; on the other hand, they know that they'll be blamed if the BCA comes into force.

So we have started seeing a slow erosion of Congressmen and Senators away from Norquist, as though they were Temperance politicians who were slowly going back to Demon Rum.

This display of sanity means nothing, unfortunately.  The BCA will raise taxes anyway, which means that Norquist isn't really sweating the exodus of backsliders.  And the BCA can be counteracted with time to spare, so there's no hurry to start excoriating the apostates.


Post a Comment

<< Home