Just the other day, one of my friends asked me why I watch Fox News and willingly expose myself to their Right Wing agenda. Well, the answer to that question is simple. Through my experiences in life I’ve found that I can learn far more about my ideological opposition from my ideological opposition than I might learn from my side of the dogma aisle. As a general rule of thumb, you can find out exactly who someone is, friend or foe, if you listen long enough to their rhetoric or to the rhetoric of their rhetoric, and nowhere is this more apparent than on Fox News.
Now as you all are aware of by now, the conservative/Republican brand is allegedly more determined than ever to tackle this mountain of U.S. debt, especially if you let them tell it! Now that sounds respectable on the surface, but it smells deceptively inaccurate underneath, at least to my political nostrils it does. There is just something about the suddenness and the added political leverage gained by this self-posturing, debt crusade that causes me to trust the conservative ideology even less than I already meagerly trust it. To me, it just seems like the pitch is too rhetorical, and the goal is too political.
For example, I watched Bill O’Reilly’s 7/26/11 Factor episode where he and another guest discussed the proposal of adding more taxes to junk food to raise revenue, and O’Reilly was adamantly against it. Supposedly, just adding a penny tax on sodas alone in just one state would take in at least a billion dollars of revenue or something close to it within a timeframe of a month, according to the figures looked at by O’Reilly and his guest.
If this Mt. Everest of American debt is as tall and as prodigious, as so many of the conservatives have decided to hang every ounce of their political credibility on the issue of it, this time, like so many other times within our political history, the minimal ends should be allowed to justify the effective, progressive means; meaning, whenever you can spend pennies to generate billions, you ride that horse across the finish line! I don’t care how many worrywarts like to sit around and declare that a few billions here and there are not enough to even sneeze at. A billion in the hand beats the empty, lint riddled rhetoric in your pocket! A consistently generated billion dollars of revenue has about a billion reasons that suggest that its addition is a definite improvement from zero; even Tea Baggers can’t argue with that. Well, I could be wrong on that one.
Conservatives are always calling me an Obamabot, a Hillarybot or a Democratic bear sitting at the big-government, picnic table waiting for a socialist handout, because I hate conservatism, because it threatens to pull the plug on my free lunch program, but I beg to philosophically differ. It’s not that I hate Republicans; I just believe that they cloak more ulterior motives than the Democrats behind such smoky mirrors as Christianity, the Constitution and now the debt/spending deficit. As I’ve said previously, if you can find a horse that will carry you across the finish line, you saddle up, and you ride for it; whether it’s a spending cut horse, an improved, prioritizing horse; a non-tax, revenue horse; or a tax raised, revenue horse. And in reality, it just might take a unified team of them all to pull this declining, covered wagon back to prosperity, and the sobering, cold, hard reality of this should not be politically discarded or politically complained about, and any faction that does deserves to have the integrity of their intentions questioned inexorably.
Let’s pretend that there are three main roads that lead out of Debtville, U.S.A. One route is a gravel road that adds about 100 extra miles and only goes so far before it has to be abandoned for a more civilized route. This is the spending cut road. The next route is a rural, 2-lane highway that passes through every hick town on the map and catches every red light in its path with a 35 mph speed limit for each hick town you encounter, and it adds about 50 extra miles to the course. It’s faster than the previous route, but it’s still not fast enough, and it’s still extends the trip too much. This is the revenue raising road. The last route, what’s normally everybody’s favorite choice for getting somewhere fastly and efficiently, is the proverbial interstate route, where hick towns are bypassed, the speed limit is predominately 65 to 70 mph, and there are plenty of fuel stations along the way to assist you on the journey. And most importantly, it is the quickest and the shortest route of them all; providing the most direct path out of the crushing and demoralizing Debtville and into Prosperity Town, U.S.A. This is the spending cut/revenue raising road, which is a route that has led the United States to Prosperity Town before, so we should all be familiar with this 1990’s route that went straight out of Debtville and straight into Prosperity Town. And how about this for some controversy, speaking of the 1990′s, recently a Democrat asked me point blank how I felt about President Obama putting a Clinton on the 2012 ticket, not Hillary—but Bill Clinton as a VP! So chew on that one for a while, because that’s definitely a sign of the financial times.
Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican or a Tea Bagger, when the fastest, most efficient route is also the most familiar route, you saddle up that horse, and you ride it. You don’t stray off to a side road, and you don’t take the scenic route, unless it is absolutely necessary, and even then; you find your way back onto the main route as soon as it’s feasible to do so. But as long as the most efficient, main route is open, that’s the route you take, even if it means traveling the revenue route, because so-called solution seekers should not be as condescendingly adamant about the process of acquiring a solution as they are about simply acquiring the solution, because that is counterproductive, hypocrisy-driven, Washington gamesmanship in its most inept form.
It reminds me of the song by Oleta Adams called “Get Here,” as the words go: “I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can!” Maybe I should buy that song for all of the anti-revenue raising stalwarts like Grover Norquist, the House Republicans, most of the conservatives, and any would-be Joe the Plumber who would get out and block for private jet owners and corporations; knowing that they don’t have a pot to drop it in or a window to throw it out of!
When attempting to climb this Mt. Everest of American debt, no route should be pre-conditioned off of the table. Sometimes you have to cut the strings if you want be a better puppet, because not all puppet masters are created equal. Tea is not always the best drink on the menu, and that’s why it sometimes tends to taste more like Kool-Aid than Lipton. Yes, I’m laying this one squarely on the Republicans and their Tea masters, because you can’t treat the debt crisis like a matter of economic life or death with your rhetoric, but then deal with it like a spoiled, insecure, posturing brat with your actions! I don’t care how many camouflaged-conservative, armchair, wannabe economists continue to throw the argument at me of how both sides are just as ideologically impotent and leaderless, when it is unashamedly clear to me that the Republicans, and especially the Tea Party, have been in control of this debt debate from day one. I’d estimate that 90% of the Democrat’s time, including President Obama, has been spent on trying to devise ways to appease the Republicans enough to the point where their Tea handlers would finally allow them to say yes to something, and that tells me two things.
One, the Republicans and the Tea Baggers have figured out that there is far more power in holding up progress than there is in enabling it. And secondly, the Democrats are almost always willing to do whatever takes to make the big, political wheel turn, even if it means caving or compromising. In fact, that’s usually the compromise. The Democrats agree to say yes too many of the Republican demands, and the Republicans agree to say yes with their vote. The Democrats are usually the enablers, and the Republicans are usually the obstructionists. But in the court of a fickle-minded public’s opinion, the enablers who actually make the wheel turn, usually through compromises, are perceived as weak, while the blockers who routinely hold everything up are perceived as holding all of the cards. So if you’ve ever wondered why so many people choose to vote against their own interests, whoomp—there it is!
In the end, compromising is a dirty job, but it seems that somebody’s got to do it, and that somebody will probably have to be a Democrat. Otherwise, nothing gets done. You can have a plan that’s grander than the heights of Mt. Everest and more incisive than the chicanery of the great Trojan Horse plan, but as long as that plan is executed with a pauper’s effort or pounded with an iron fist, outside the walls of Troy looking up at the perils of Mt. Everest is where it will remain, unless there is more enabling and less pre-conditions based on some political, anti-revenue, pet peeve or some ‘He-Man Woman Haters Club’ wedge pledge!
Bryian K. Revoner
Author of the book: The Fear of Being Challenged; I Am the Realacrat