Does it seem like the Dems and GOP in congress are acting like a couple of two- year-olds who both want the same toy? They pull back and forth, crying, scratching, and generally throwing a tantrum - until they break it. Each blames the other. ("He started it!") They get sent to their room until they can act nice-nice. (Which, if the past is any evidence, they can't.)
The room where they've been sent to work out their differences is called the Super Committee. Those of you with kids may remember a series of Daffy Duck/Porky the Pig cartoons called "Stuper Duck!" In my mind, I have rechristened the committee in Daffy and Porky's honor. It is now the Stuper Committee. The GOP, (I'm not sure if they're Daffy or Porky) is convinced that if they give in, the Super Rich might have to pay taxes. (And yes, if you've watched any of the Kardashian wedding that wasn't, you may already be thinking of them as the Stuper Rich.) The Dems are just as worried that if they give in, they won't get to spend the money of the Stuper Rich on pet projects back in their home districts. (Yes, I am a tad cynical about everyone's motives. The one thing you can trust toddlers to do is want it all.)
In the middle, being pulled this way and that, is the country. Of course, the Dems and GOP will both insist that they love their country and they're doing all this for us. However, it sounds like they love us the way Lenny in Of Mice and Men loved bunnies to death.
Even though the GOP hasn't used the term yet, they are trying to revive Ronald Reagan's "trickle down" economy. "Trickle Down" goes something like this: let the rich, corporations and individuals alike, grab as much money as they can as fast as they can, as often as they can, and eventually some of it will trickle down to the rest of us. I don't know about you, but I haven't seen much trickle down. And if recent statistics showing that the top 1 percent have quadrupled their cut of the pie over the last 30 years at the expense of the rest of us are true, what trickle down really means is that we get the leftovers. If we're not satisfied with the leftovers, if we require the Stuper Rich to pay their fair share, according to Paul Ryan, we're engaged in class warfare.
I wonder sometimes how much Kim Kardashian, the most visible and the most stuper of the rich, paid in taxes last year. Her biggest financial dilemma right now is what to do with the $2 million engagement ring her fiancé, husband, ex gave her. And I should be worried if she pays a few more dollars in taxes?
I know I've been railing on the GOP, but you'd have a hard time convincing me the Dems are much better. The fact of the matter is that both sides are more concerned about the next election than they are the welfare of the country. I just wish one of them would say, "I don't care if I get reelected, I'm going to do the right thing." I'd vote for that guy.
I'd like to blame this all on the politicians. In true two-year-old fashion, I'd like point and say, "He started it!" But I think it's as much our fault as theirs. The one truism of democracy is that you get the leaders you deserve. After all, we voted them in. If that's the case, they aren't the enemy. They are simply a reflection of us. Or, to quote that paragon of political acumen, Pogo: "We have met the enemy, and they is us."
Do you remember when your own kids were toddlers and you bought a cool toy for them for Christmas? Expensive stuff. One Christmas we got ours something with bells and whistles, lights and radio controlled electronics. Another Christmas we got all natural, organic, wood toys that harkened back to a simpler age that never was. No matter what we got, every Christmas the kids would end up ignoring the expensive toy and playing with the box. A truism for toddlers has become a truism for politics. Kim Kardashian gets the toys. You and I get the box. If politics as usual continues, we'll have to learn to play with the box and enjoy it.