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Mary Pitt: Give 'Em What They Want

Give 'Em What They Want

by Mary Pitt

It's time to whip out the old show biz cliche and do what public figures have done for decades to satisfy the paying customers and confound the critics. The Republicans are holding their fat bellies as they chuckle and challenge the Democrats with such remarks as, "If you don't like the way the Iraq war is going, come up with a better plan," and, "The Democrats need to come up with a balanced budget." It seems that what is in order is a rompin' stompin' double feature that will simply blow them away.

We could start with the balanced budget. According to David C. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, if steps are not taken now, the taxation rate would have to double in order to balance in 2040. Now is not too soon. We could begin with the premature cancellation of the Bush tax cuts for the rich which are set to be discontinued in 2010 if nothing is done sooner. We are told that this would bring disaster to "the economy", but the economy stood up very well during the Clinton years and for many years before that. and even I could afford to give back the puny $30 "rebate" that Bush was so proud of giving. Never has a President reduced taxes during a war and this was obviously not a good time to start. I recall a maximum tax rate of 95% on adjusted gross income during the Eisenhower years and many millionaires were made despite it. It is a given that no Republican wants ever to pay any taxes and they would be delighted if all the other Federal programs for the public good were abandoned toward that goal. However, this is contrary to the wishes of the people and against the principles of the Democratic Party.

This would be amusing if it were not so serious as the pampered frat boy is required to put his little war into the budget and be required to put away his toy soldiers when he runs out of money. And he should be forewarned that there will be no advances on his allowance, no special supplemental appropriations should he decide to challenge the sovereignty of another nation or lob a few nukes across the bow of another recalcitrant dictator. Also, in light of the "pay as you go" taxation, he may lose much of his cheering section among the multi-national corpotations.

As for a plan to end the Iraq War, that is also relatively simple. With the reduction in the available funds for making war, there will be no alternative to ending it. A simple declaration of our intent to leave that troubled country on a date certain would go a long way to convince the Iraqis to decide whether they want to settle their differences and to live in peace with one another or to resume their traditional state of tribal warfare. We could offer financial incentives in the manner of the Marshall Plan should they choose the path to peace. The money to pay for this could be obtained by the reduction in the Pentagon budget.

Many Republicans have found themselves in the position of agreement with the Democrats in desiring an end to Bush's War and this, coupled with their avowed love for a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility, could swing enough votes in the House and Senate to over-ride the Presidential veto, should there be one. However, this would require an epidemic of common sense breaking out in Congress, on both sides of the aisle. Could it really happen? NAAAAW!


Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan, a free-thinker, and a warrior for truth and justice. Huzzahs and whiney complaints may be sent to mpitt @

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