I Love a Charade

A Democrat walks into a bar and opens a tab. A Republican at the bar says, “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” The Democrat says “Sure, I’ve done this like a hundred times!”

So far, that’s the most compelling argument I’ve heard proffered on why we should just raise the damn debt ceiling one more time. Look, the sad fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter. We will always borrow more than we have. Good times will mask our irresponsible ways and bad times will amplify them, with increasingly punitive force. That’s just the economic cycle, a byproduct of an imperfect capitalist society.

What’s not part of an imperfect society is a pedantic political elite that degrades its citizens with delightfully asinine public pandering. They clearly assume we’re all Mountain Dew-swilling imbeciles who couldn’t count to 10 provided a full set of toes.

"Au contraire, mon ami...you're Fox News, so you inherently love me, therefore I need say nothing of substance or intellectual heft."

But, do these Beltway whiz kids understand the difference between tax revenue and tax increases? Revenue can go up with lower tax rates, because those who owe less are more likely to pay it, especially when they pay it to a free-spending government. That would be an easy way for Republicans to make their convoluted argument, but they seem scared to provide a little math to support it. I have yet to see any inaccurate math presented on either side, but I also have yet to see any math presented in a fair or balanced way, like it would be on Fox News.

That was a joke.

Can someone please point out that the reason any given hedge fund manager might pay less in taxes as a percentage of income than his or her secretary is because wealthy politicians created a convoluted tax code to benefit them and their cronies? Or that it’s simply not a useful comparison given the type of income the manager has (e.g., capital gains), or that his secretary probably has a profit-sharing plan that enriches her enough to pay a more ”astute” accountant than has her boss?

Should some very rich people pay more taxes? Sure. Should tens of thousands of waitresses declare more tips and pay their full share? Sure. Poor people cheat just like rich people do, and we won’t get anywhere trying to agree on a definition of “rich” or “poor”. Reversion to blaming an amorphous Daddy Warbucks figure for all our budgetary woes is perchance the most childish of tactics, and the one thing we can all agree on here is that both sides of the aisle have been nothing short of childish.

And they do it in public. Can grown men like Obama and Boehner really think that they look intelligent or powerful, spewing such empty, unproven rhetoric day in, day out? It’s an embarrassment not to the United States, but to all of humanity.

But I’m here to make jokes, not offer sobering political commentary. Thanks to ineffective governance across our warming globe, nothing’s been funny for a while.

The other day I saw a huge goofy dog barrel full-speed into the groin of its unsuspecting male owner, temporarily crippling said male owner and creating a very funny face.

I felt nothing.

Really, all we ask of our leaders is that they lead. That they show flexibility and perseverance in the face of adversity to find solutions that work for the majority. We’ll never have full agreement.

Apparently, we’ll always have finger-pointing and partisan banter, and I can’t remember a time in my life when it’s been worse or more detrimental to the standing and psyche of the American people. Obama’s televised address a few nights ago (as Jon Stewart pointed out, it interrupted the far-more-interesting drama of The Bachelorette, further enraging an already fragile public) was quite simply the silliest thing I’ve ever seen. Call your senator? Would the average American in the hypnotic employ of Twitter and reality TV really pick up the phone, and would any senator grappling with the collapse of Western civilization actually have time to pick up the phone? And what lunatic who would actually call a senator would actually offer any type of helpful advice?

And yes, you know I’m aware that “I Love a Charade” was the title of a Sex & the City episode.

2 thoughts on “I Love a Charade

  1. I agree that it’s a charade, but it doesn’t have to be. To call both sides equally irrational is incorrect. Obama, the “gang of 6,” the majority of the Senate and just about every Democrat in the House agreed to $3 trillion in spending cuts, $1 trillion in revenue from closing tax loopholes (not raising tax rates), and actually LOWERING personal income and corporate tax rates.

    Take the deal for crying out loud!!

    It’s the House Republicans who are saying no to the largest spending cuts ever offered in history. Instead they’re likely to get little more than a few hundred billion in spending cuts (not counting the $1T from the drawdown of the wars) to raise the debt ceiling. It’s just bad negotiating.

    I’d like a free Porsche but if you offered me a free Civic, I’d take it.

  2. I agree that it’s bad negotiating, but on both sides. Republicans are dumb not to take deal if they’re solving for what’s best for Americans, but that’s not what they’re solving for. They want to make Obama look weak for political purposes, and they’ve succeeded at that. Obama wants to do the same to the Republicans.

    You and I both know that rational folks of either party understand that, like Obama said today (on TV), they’re really not that far from agreement. Everyone in both the House and the Senate would be cool with practically any flavor of deal that’s been seriously considered. This is all pre-election posturing, which is pretty disgusting given what’s at stake.

    But, alas, it’s easy to hate politicians, it’s hard to like Sonic Youth.

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