Monday, December 13, 2010

The Speaker and the Demagogue
Were walking near the reef;
They wept like anything to see
So many on relief:
"If they would only go away,"
They said, "t’would cure our grief!"

"If tax breaks for the upper class
Could last beyond this year,
Do you suppose," the Speaker said,
"These poor would disappear?"
"I’m certain," said the Demagogue,
And shed a bitter tear.

"It seems a shame," the Speaker said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've led them on so far,
With promises so slick!"
The Demagogue said nothing but
"Their health care makes me sick!"

"I weep for them," the Speaker said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Listeners," said the Demagogue,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall you be tuning in again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.


Sherwood Harrington said...


Ronnie said...

That's my boy!

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Sherwood took my comment.
Totally terrific.

Mark Jackson said...

Very nice, Mike.

ronnie said...

Sherwood took my comment, too. Absolutely outstanding parody.

Dann said...

Tax the rich
Feed the poor
'Til there are no
Rich no more

Dynamite lyrics. Terrible public policy

Mike said...

Yes, Dann, you're right.

Thank god nobody is proposing such a foolish thing.

Dann said...

The suggestion that allowing the tax cuts "for the rich" to expire will provide some meaningful relief for the poor implies precisely that sort of motivation.

Mike said...

"Implies" in the sense that Bush's invasion of Iraq implied that he intended genocide and the butchering of innocent babies. We can all put the worst possible spin on things, as long as we are simply following partisan lines and aren't bound by logic or decency.

In any case, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy haven't trickled down, created jobs or done any of the things promised. The suggestion that allowing them to keep the money now will inspire any more "job creation" than it has already falls squarely, I believe, within the oft-quoted definition of insanity.

And beyond the recent destruction of the economy by deregulation of fatcats, when were personal profits ever plowed back into the corporation? Not in my lifetime nor yours. Once they bring the money home, they don't bring it back to the office. That's sillier logic than anything Alice encountered.

Sherwood Harrington said...

A lot of my colleagues and I actually *do* bring money "back to the office" to buy items that our office no longer can buy for us -- things like laser pointers, a/v materials, and even some testing materials.

But that's a picking of nits. Otherwise I and all my rich buddies out here in the California public eduction system are with Mike on this one. To no one's surprise, I'm sure.

Dann said... I gotta try to be brief. And you know how I do at being brief.

IMO, large, long-term deficits are bad for our country.

Our current deficits are larger than anything we've seen for at least 60 years.

Unlike 60 years ago, our current deficits are driven by long term social spending. Currently, Social Security is about $9 trillion short. Medicare is about $32 trillion short. The health care bill increases the deficit by about $1 trillion over the next 10 years. These trends have been known for decades.

Now if deficits are that bad, then cutting taxes...or in this case not allowing past tax cuts to probably not a productive idea. The key is to use that money to decrease the deficit rather than being used to fund new programs.

I see little evidence that anyone in Washington is ready to talk about cutting spending. Not just slowing the rate of growth, but actually cutting the dollars spent as the years progress. If Washington isn't going to sacrifice anything to cut the deficit, then I see no real need for the rest of us to step up to the plate. And if the ubiquitous "middle class" isn't going to take a tax hit, I see no reason for those eeeville "rich" folks to take a tax hit either. They have done nothing to warrant such punishment.

From a different direction, the theoretic tax increase for the top 1% will raise roughly $700 billion over the next 10 years. Looking at the deficit numbers above, that isn't really more than a drop in the bucket.

On the other hand, the theoretic tax increase for everyone else will raise $3 billion over the same period. Not enough to solve the problem, but certainly enough to have a significant impact. And certainly a lot more than the money to be raised by raising taxes on the rich.

So if we are concerned about deficit spending, shouldn't we object to continuing the tax cut on the middle class?

They aren't serious about deficit spending because they aren't talking about letting the tax cuts for the middle class to expire. They are pretending that taxing the rich can in some way have a meaningful impact on government funding that will in turn somehow miraculously restore our economic strength in order to create an opportunity to punish the rich. Because being rich is somehow evil.

Tax the rich
Feed the poor
Til there are
No rich no more

My verification word is 'boutrit'. About right. *chuckle*

Mike said...

Well, there are plenty of places on the Internet to pursue endless partisan quibbles, and this really isn't one of them. I object to the heartless, illogical policies that leave the poor unattended to, not only politically but as a matter of Christian decency. To voice the opinion - even when couched in barroom doggerel -- that feeding the poor is a bad thing is revolting and twice so at Christmas.

But never mind the rest, because, as said, this isn't a debating contest. I know of four Grovers off the top of my head, and I trust their judgment in this order:

1. The late president.
2. The late major league pitcher.
3. The cute, furry Muppet.
4. The libertarian screwball.

As for people who champion a law to preserve Paris Hilton's inheritance while voting down medical help for 9/11 responders, I have nothing but contempt for them, and remind you that, in attacking this bit of political satire, you are defending them.

Dann said...

Sorry to intrude, Mike.

Seasons Greetings to one and all.


Mike said...

Well, we can certainly agree on the Merry Christmas wishes, Dann.