It’s a sight for sore eyes, all these conservative Republicans having given so much away in the past five years instead of conserving that they’re bickering over how to pay for Katrina.
I’ve got an entirely new concept for you, guys and gals. It’s called taxes.
Taxes are not something you merely cut for the benefit of the rich, they are a source of income. Surprised? I’ll bet you all thought that income was the big dough all those foreigners were sending us every month to prop up Iraq and the tax cuts.
Wrongo! That’s called the deficit. Repeat after me, “That’s called the deficit.” Good.
The White House Budget Director, a guy by the name of Joshua Bolton, had a meeting the other day to try to stop a stampede. The Congressional Republicans were milling restlessly out there on the congressional range, pawing at the ground and snorting, for a change. The whiff of predators was in the air. Mid term elections sneakin’ up behind them, back on the home turf. Too few cowboys and too many Indians circling their grazing lands. Bolton’s eyes were narrowed, squinting into the sun, doin’ the John-Wayne thing. He knew a single gunshot, the roar of just one major Republican gun going off and the whole herd was headed off the range.
The shot was muffled, but it came from the Republican best hope in 2008, John McCain. “Very entertaining,” he was heard to say as he left the Bolten’s meeting, “I haven’t heard any specifics from the administration.”
The guys who are in trouble back home include Montana’s Conrad Burns. He’s the one with the silly looking hat and a suit on. “At least give us some idea” (how to cover the cost), he wailed. Ideas are a scarce commodity in the Senate. “We owe that to the American taxpayer.” Translate that to mean you White-House guys owe that to me, who’s about to get his ass beat back home and who loyally voted for every giveaway the White House pitched. There wasn’t a slow-ball pitch in the fiscal giveaway game Burns didn’t swing at.
Good old Tom Feeney, the same guy who was willing to pay any low wage the market would bear in Louisiana now said that he and other ‘fiscal conservatives’ are feeling a ‘genuine concern that could easily turn into frustration and anger.’ Well Tom, those are the fruits of all that conservation you conservatives have been doing. You pissed away three billion and now you’re feeling a little genuine concern. Mostly concerned, I would bet, on keeping your cushy seat in Congress and leading the low-wage-crusade.
I’m betting that you and Burns, along with Rick Santorum are going to get your butts beat. This country is finally really angry. And when the country gets finally really angry, they tend to go after the cats that were too fat to chase an ordinary barn-mouse. You see, we like our cats to go after the barn-mice. It’s what we hire all you guys with funny hats and capped teeth to do for us. When you don’t, there’s always another cat on the prowl, hungry and available.
Budget critic, fiscal hawk and worried economist Stephen Roach at Morgan Stanley thinks the hundreds of billions in debt at a time when personal savings are at an all-time low is more than merely improvident. “It will come back to haunt us,” he says.
So, this animal-metaphor laden commentary has cows ready to stampede and cats lashing their tails, hawks circling, but it’s a message that’s slow to register in the Oval Office. We have installed a drugstore cowboy there, a transplant from very proper Connecticut to ol-boy Texas and he doesn’t even ride a horse, much less know about cattle stampedes and barn-cats.
Nor does he understand that taxes must be raised and future cuts recinded, the cuts already made not be declared permanent. The country is ready. The country is willing.
The lesson is too late to learn. The treasury, just like the well, has gone dry.