Sept. 19, 2010
COLUMBUS: Congress is back, so the comedy should be getting better. We had a long dry spell because most of them went home in August, locked their door, and didn’t come out till they were forced to return to the old Joke Factory. They would occasionally sneak a peek out the kitchen window, but when they saw what the Tea Party did to some of their friends, they jumped back in bed.
Before I get into the tax bill, did you see where Lady Gaga went to an awards show wearing a “dress” made entirely of meat? It was all beef, what there was of it. Not a speck of cereal. Just some cotton thread to hold it together. Ranchers and cattlemen appreciate her support, but if she ever offers you a slice of rump roast, refuse it.
Democrats and Republicans are arguing over the tax cuts that are expiring January 1. Republicans want to keep all income taxes where they are, but Democrats want to raise ‘em for anyone making over $250,000. Democrats figure that’s only 2 percent of the voters, but Republicans say, “Yes, but that 2 percent pays half the taxes, and their spending keeps the economy going.” It all boils down to arithmetic, and who is doing the ciphering. To Democrats, votes is most important. To Republicans, it’s dollars.
I think the Democrats might go along with the Republicans if they adopt a controversial provision from the 1935 Townsend Plan. Dr. Townsend’s plan to give pensions to old folks was to pay them $200 a month, but (and here’s the requirement that killed it in the Senate) they have to spend it. No saving for a rainy day. Every month, spend every dollar.
Now, if these higher income folks, and maybe the rest of us, would agree that every month we’ll spend whatever the savings is between the Republican and Democrat plans, then it might get through Congress. That way, the money will be spent to stimulate the economy. The only difference is, the taxpayer decides where his money is spent instead of President Obama.
In Arkansas, Senator Lincoln didn’t wait for any tax savings plan; she reached into Treasury Secretary Geithner’s back pocket and plucked out some cash for her rice and cotton farmers. It’s a Disaster Aid package that zeros in on Arkansas. I figure if Sen. Lincoln hands out about $500,000,000, and she needs roughly 500,000 votes to win re-election, that comes to $1000 per vote.
That may seem absurd if you don’t live in Arkansas, but odds are your own Congressman or Senator has grabbed even more to spread among the voters.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“The whole trouble with the Republicans is their fear of an increase in income tax, especially on higher incomes. They speak of it almost like a national calamity.” DT #1435, Feb. 27, 1931
“The crime of taxation is not in the taking it, it’s in the way that it’s spent.” DT #1764, March 20, 1932
“Our government is the only people that just loves to spend without being compelled to, at all. But the government is the only people that don’t have to worry where it’s coming from.” Radio, April 21, 1935