Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pogo Was a Piker

"We have met the enemy," the comic strip character said four decades ago, "and he is us," but a new generation of politicians is making that look like an understatement.

As the President rules out immediate Social Security cuts, Rep. Paul Ryan, head of the Ayn Rand caucus, prepares to answer the State of the Union with his plan to scale back benefits for what his guru called "moochers" in American society.

A generational target isn't enough for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: "There will be no bailout of the states,” he says. “States can deal with this and have the ability to do so on their own.”

To complete the GOP's enemies list, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions is threatening to shut down the entire Federal government "if the President just stonewalls--refuses to pass anything that will be responsible."

In this extreme Right cartoon of government, who is left except the richest Americans, their lobbyists and the Tea Party toadies who elected politicians to demolish responsible government?

As a public policy advocate puts it, "There's something surreal about our having just extended a tax cut that provides an average tax cut of $125,000 a year to each person who makes over a million a year. Somehow, we could afford massive tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country, but we have to slash K-12 education, air traffic control, clean air and water, cancer research?"

The answer is a mindless "yes" for a GOP that has just spent a pointless week "repealing" health care reform and is now campaigning for 2012 instead of governing now.

In his final days, Pogo's creator Walt Kelly envisioned "the Jack Acid Society" to parody the ultra-conservative John Birch Society of the time. Today's Tea Party-driven legislators are making all that look pale.

Update: At least one Democrat is showing good taste. Nancy Pelosi turns down Cantor for a date to sit with him at the SOTU. But not to worry about romantic implications: Her choice is Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, 85, father of 10 and grandfather of 12. Octogenarians make much better company.

3 comments:

Yellow Dog Don said...

Deck us all with Boston Charlie.
The Republican party of death (Starve the Beast, Job Killing Health Bill, Crosshairs on the opposition, Reload Don't Retreat, Bullet Box instead of the Ballot Box and Death Panels) is at it again.
They have not offered a single idea to create jobs, wealth or improve health care. A Lefty Liberal might be a socialist, but the Republicans are anarchists.
To paraphrase Tonto,in reply to Pogo, "What do you mean 'us' Kemo Sabe?"

Southern Beale said...

And Ayn Rand was a hypocrite: I just read that she took Social Security AND Medicare benefits, under her married name.

Anonymous said...

Tom Coburn likes to point out that 19 million Americans are on disability. Bums with bad backs snoring in hammocks, no doubt.

Are there jobs out there for another 19 million unemployed?