The Tea Party types have a new political meme called “The Contract From America”. It’s hard not to admire their daring, reminding us of anything with Newt “Mister Morality” Gingrich’s name on it.
Anyway, they are gleefully proclaiming a bunch of stuff that basically adds up to “Government bad! Raauuuugghhh!” and “If Verne cain’t unnerstan’ it half drunk, it too complikated!”
You think I could be exaggerating? One of their provisions is a flat tax. Sure, that makes a LOT of sense in a country where half the population has 2.5% of the wealth. In fact, I bet a flat tax would be very attractive to the top 1%, who own 34% of the wealth, because they know the actual rate would be chosen by populist assent among the people who hardly have anything compared to them.
Waaaaaiiit a minute… Do you suppose that richest 1% (and their neighbors on the next rung or two down the ladder) could actually be the ones promoting this flat-tax nonsense?
Nahh… couldn’t be. Could it? “Cui bono?”
Anyway, tax day seems like as good a day as any for ***Dave to take the “Contract From America” apart piece by piece, while actually suggesting a few good ideas to replace it as a side dish. A sample:
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington
Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning. (63.37%)
Yes, if only a Blue Ribbon taskforce were appointed (like every other such task force that every administration has appointed) to do a “complete audit” of the billions of dollars of programs and the entire government top-to-bottom, we could doubtless save massive amounts of money and shift most of Washington back to the states where, because the programs are duplicated 50 times over, I’m sure they will be more economical.
Again, everyone wants government to be more efficient. But waving of hands, summoning of a “Blue Ribbon Commission,” and assuming that these folks will be able to (a) properly judge what’s wasteful, (b) what’s best left to the states, (c) what’s actually constitutional, and (d) actually get their recommendations enacted is both naive and, probably, unconstitutional itself.
This is very complete and masterful deconstruction that should (if they had the sense*) leave any Tea Partier cowering in the basement afraid to come out. It’s also excellent ammunition, because we’re going to see this “Contract From America” all over the place and it deserves a very public humiliation. Enjoy!
* (Of course if they had the sense, they wouldn’t say stupid stuff like that in the first place.)
As long as it’s tax day, when you get done at ***Dave’s, go over to Ed Darrell’s place and find out what Oliver Wendell Holmes really said about taxes. It’s short and powerful, and apparently, historical (as opposed to apocryphal).