hobo anthem

there’s a story bannered across the Washington Post’s website right now:

“Among GOP, an ironclad anti-tax orthodoxy”

it discusses how almost every congressional republican has signed a pledge not to raise taxes, ever. this creates problems, as electives to our federal government struggle with ways to reduce the burgeoning deficit. 
this is something that I’ve come to notice recently, what with my incessant workplace reading of economics blogs — but its something more, I think, when it’s a featured story in the Washington Post.
how did such a hardline ant-tax policy come to dominate Republican politics? the article delves into that, explaining that the GOP of the 50s and 60s kept taxes high as a way to fight deficits, inflation, and pay for wars they supported, and it notes how the party recognized the power of anti-tax sentiment as a political tool in 1970s California, and how Reagan used this to fuel his election campaigns in the 80s — despite his policies’ stupifying economic effects. 
but the real gem of the article is undoubtedly the Americans for Tax Reform chieftan Grover Norquist’s recollection of the early beginnings of his anti-tax pledge:

The germ of the pledge came to Norquist, he said, when he was 14 and thinking about a teacher’s comment that no one knows who their congressman is. If Republicans were known as the party that never raised taxes, he recalls thinking, they would be spared spending “millions of dollars explaining to you who they are and what they stand for.” They could just “stand up and say, ‘I’m the Republican.’ And you go: ‘He won’t raise my taxes and he won’t steal my guns. Got it.’ ”

and here we are. $14.3 trillion in the hole, and one of the two major parties in American politics has slowly let its economic policies come to be governed by a brain fart Grover Norquist had while in the throes of puberty. so that we are prepared for the government’s collapse under the weight of so much concentrated and willful stupidity, I suggest we all learn the Hobo Anthem:

in the big rock candy mountains, all the cops have wooden legs,
and the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft boiled eggs.
the farmer’s trees are full of fruit and the barns are full of hay.
oh, I’m bound to go where there ain’t no snow,
where the rain don’t fall and the wind don’t blow
in the big rock candy mountains.

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1 comment so far

  1. Peter Grant on


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