Saturday, September 20, 2008
Joe Biden has said that willingness to pay one's share of taxes is patriotic. Naturally, those paragons of patriotism, those arguers for putting country first, Sarah Palin and John (I-was-a-POW-and-you-weren't) McCain, put it down like a steaming turd, and their audience laughed and roared their approval.
So let's see if I understand.
We are in a war for dubious reasons and with questionable results, mismanaged from the start, for the price-tag of, conservatively, a trillion dollars. After Republicans put into place the diabolical duo of tax cuts and deregulation, resulting in what is generally agreed to be the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression (worse, some say), another trillion dollars of our tax money (give or take a few billion) will be required to clean up the mess. Our national debt has ballooned in the last eight years by about six trillion dollars, before accounting for the aforementioned debacles. Infrastructure is crumbling. The military is depleted and degraded. We need to find and fund a way to disseminate alternatives to fossil fuels. Terrorism, despite our so-called war on it, is increasing around the world. It's no exaggeration to say the survival of our country as we know it is not at all certain.
Willingness to help pay for this, our would-be leaders to the right have told us, is laughable.
It's not hard to understand, I suppose. It's their policies, their most tightly-held beliefs, that have gotten us here. Aided, of course, by the constant declarations that everything is fine, not to worry, no need to pay our way, it's all good. Look the other way while we pick your pockets, scoop up your kids. Nothing to see here, move along, move along. So to admit now that they've screwed us to the point of possible non-viability, is to admit they've been wrong. Seriously wrong. Since Ronald Reagan (may peace be upon him.)
What, I wonder, is on the minds of those laughing and waving lipsticks while Sarah McSame sneer at Biden's suggestion? How would they define patriotism, given the crises we face everywhere we look, and absent the money to address them? Another yellow ribbon on the SUV? Another smear of Obama, another suggestion that he hates America? Would those lovers of family values (and haters of families other than their own) similarly laugh if they'd run their household into staggering debt and were told they need to tighten their belts? Wave lipsticks and run the truth-teller off their lawn?
You can put lipstick on George Bush, but it's still Sarah Palin.
Even one of John McCain's own economic advisors has said the next president will have to raise taxes, and that was BEFORE the bailout of Wall Street. Yet John McPalin laugh it off. The choice, they've said, is between "Country first, or Obama first."
Joe Biden spoke the truth. There's no way to get around raising taxes to pay for the mistakes of George Bush and those, like John McPOW, who've enabled them. Anyone who loves the country enough actually sacrifice for it (and that includes me) would admit it (and, most likely, that any hopes of spending on the other things we need are now out the window). But not John and Sarah. They laugh it off. And their audience, their conserative country-first confabulators, slap each other on the back and the band plays on.
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