Friday, June 24, 2011

That's How They Do

Did a quick survey this morning at work. I asked my 24 year old co worker if she had ever heard of Eric Cantor, John Kyle, Harry Reid  or John Boehner. No to each.

How about THE DEFICIT?  She asked what deficit I was talking about.

Now, you have to understand. This is a very smart young lady. She is funny. She has a very subversive sense of humor and she sees right to the core of everyone in the office; she sees their weaknesses and their strengths. If you met her on a train or at a bar, you'd know immediately she is a very perceptive, lively and intelligent person.  I've been trying to get her to listen to NPR in her car on the way to work, but she tried it and said she'd rather listen to music. All they ever talked about was things that happened in Europe and Africa or parts of the country she's never seen.

Whenever I travel, she asks me to get a ceramic bell at the airport gift shop from the city I visit. I've got her bells from Baltimore, Washington, DC, New Orleans, New York and Durham, North Carolina. 

Her husband, a quiet man who teaches at a local high school and writes for the local newspaper as a stringer was born in Vermont and holds two degrees from the University of New Hampshire. He has been out of Vermont/ New Hampshire only twice in his life, a two day trip to New Jersey and one trip to Wisconsin.

These are very bright people, who have a daughter with electric intelligence, who is one of those kids who you spot from across the room, and you pick her out from a crowd of kids because she is just so alert, bright and naturally draws the attention of adults and other kids.

What does all this have to do with Eric Cantor, Jim Kyle, Harry Reid and John Boehner and the deficit? 

These are New Hampshire voters.

They explain how Republicans can sell their goods.

When you look at it, you have to wonder how the argument about the deficit can be won by a party, group of people who say: 
       #1: We are facing a huge DEFICIT, which is the biggest danger to this country since the Civil War. It's a debt which our children and grandchildren will be unable to pay. It will make us all paupers. (Start the background music--I'd go for a Beetoven dirge, or maybe "Freedom's Just Another Word For Nothing Left to Lose.") 
        #2 The DEFICIT is caused by spending on Medicare and Social Security. (Never mind the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, started by George Bush.)  And so, we have to kill those two money sucking programs. (And forget that history that the DEFICIT began when we fought those two wars and keep spending on them "off the books." And the DEFICIT began when the Republican party passed, over strenuous Democratic objections, huge tax cuts for the rich. Once the tax cuts hit, they turned a budget surplus into a huge deficit).  That's all history of how we got here. Now we are talking about what to do to save us from the sword hanging over our heads which will come crashing down destroy us.
         #3 Republicans try to simplify some admittedly abstruse economics by saying, think of the government budget like your own family budget, as you look at your bills at the kitchen table and see you are racking up credit card bills and mortgage payments and car payments and utility bills. What do you do? You have to CUT SPENDING! 

Now, when I think of this scenario, which is one I've experienced personally, I remember I did in fact prevail upon my wife to cut spending. But I also did something to increase income--I went out and got another job. So did she.

The government cannot get another job, but it can increase income, by cutting tax breaks for the rich, by cutting tax support for farmers to plant corn we don't need, by cutting corporate welfare, but the Republicans react with digust and walk away from negotiations, as if they are just outraged by Democrats demanding increases in government income.

Because as life threatening to the Republic as the DEFICIT is, this is not something that requires rich Republicans to give up their tax breaks.

So, here we have this life threatening illness, this thing which requires us to kill Medicare and Social Security and every government program you ever loved. But it is not such a problem as to require us to increase taxes on rich Republicans. That option is "OFF THE TABLE."

How can they possibly sell this?

They can sell that the my coworker, who is simply not listening.

Or they can sell it to Rush, Glenn, Sean and that moron on the Squawk Box whose name I don't even want to know, much less remember.

Michele and Kelly can sell these things, because they are so good looking and nice, they would never try to convince you to give up your health care so rich Republicans can keep getting richer.

I guess.

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