26 Mar 2009 16:09
The Tired Donkey is on a plane on his way to New York as he writes these words. He is going to that sad epicenter of our current crisis to do the kind of business that donkeys do, but the trip is also making him consider the good that may emerge from New York’s brutal humbling. Now—you may ask yourself—what good could the Tired Donkey possibly see coming out of this time of troubles? Is he friends with someone who got an AIG bonus and wants to blow it on a gluttonous, hedonistic dinner in the Tired Donkey’s honor? Is he staying at a luxurious, over-the-top hotel almost for free because no one can afford to travel anymore after paying for the AIG bailout? To these three questions, the Tired Donkey answers, in order: (1) he will tell you below, (2) no (but—he promises you—he will be eating well) and (3) yes.
On, then, to the good that can come from our current suffering. You may have read various paranoid commentators who have asserted that Great Donkey Ronald Reagan ran up huge deficits on purpose so that the federal government would be forced to get smaller by virtue of not having enough money to feed its massive bulk. The Tired Donkey—while paranoid at times—is not one of these commentators. Great Donkey Reagan ran up those deficits to destroy the Soviet Union without having to fight a war with them, and the Tired Donkey thanks him for it. But that is neither here nor there; there is a point to all this. A deficit is an increase in the nation’s debt, and that debt must be repaid. With money. And the government is soon going to run out of that unless the tax base gets broader. There is simply not enough donkey money in the United States to pay for everything Myrmidon Donkey Obama wants to do and—at the same time—pay the vig on all this new debt. In short, our economic woes have finally done what the paranoid commentators have always accused Great Donkey Reagan of doing: they are making our national debt so huge that we may crumble under it. And the tax reform discussion has already begun.
Just yesterday, the Tired Donkey heard a piece on NPR in which a very bright woman from the Tax Policy Center made exactly this point: MD Obama’s administration is going to have to start thinking about broadening the tax base because they have no choice but to think about it. Having read this last sentence, you may feel a vague sense of dislocation and unease, as if something is not quite right with the world. The Tired Donkey understands, and he will help you. You feel strange because that quote is from a program on National Public Radio, the propoganda arm of the Freeloaders and home to many Stockholm Donkeys. And you may now be saying to yourself, “My God! If NPR is having a discussion about broadening the tax base—even a short discussion—a crisis must be brewing, a fiscal crisis that is going to force the country to inject some fairness into the tax code.” You would be right to say this to yourself. But not too loudly. There are still many miles to go before we sleep, and we don’t want the Freeloaders to recognize that the tide has turned until it is too late.
10 Mar 2009 17:23 Filed in: Foundational Posts
“Myrmidon” is a term used to describe “a faithful follower who carries out orders without question,” and Myrmidon Donkeys are the subject of this post. But it will take a minute to get there. While it may not appear likely for the next several paragraphs, the Tired Donkey promises there will be a tax-related point to this post. Read on.
The Tired Donkey has long been aware that the etymology of “myrmidon” is connected to Greek mythology. But he has never researched the matter. Knowing that he was preparing this post and knowing also the discerning nature of his readers, the Tired Donkey decided that it would be interesting to dig into Greek mythology to provide his readers with a deeper understanding of the term. This was an error. The internet is a bad place to research Greek myths because there are more versions of each myth than there are internet pages describing the myth. But this has led the Tired Donkey to a startling conclusion: since the myths are all just invented stories, anyway, the Tired Donkey is free to choose the version he likes best and present that to his readers. And here it is:
The Tired Donkey is no prude, but the story of the conception of Aeacus is a strange one. Zeus turned himself into an eagle and made off with Aegina, eventually taking her to an island which now bears her name. According to the Wikipedia entry, she became pregnant after Zeus took the form of an ant and seduced her. Please don’t ask the Tired Donkey how this happened because he does not know and is unwilling to speculate; he will state for the record, however, that this seems farfetched even by the standards of Greek myths. Anyway, Aegina soon gave birth to Aeacus; no source the Tired Donkey could find—not even Wikipedia—alleges that Aeacus looked like some kind of human-ant mash-up, but the Tired Donkey believes it may be possible. Hera, Zeus’s sister and wife, became jealous as sisters will, and used a plague to kill all the inhabitants of the island; she spared only Aeacus and his mother. Aeacus was lonely and prayed to his father for company. Zeus, apparently still in the grip of his ant phase, responded by transforming the island’s ants into men and women who came to be called Myrmidons after the Greek word for ant. The Myrmidons were fierce fighters who followed orders without question; they eventually went to Troy with Achilles. Some sources claim the Myrmidons had six arms; most do not. The Tired Donkey chooses to believe that they did indeed have six arms.
So now we come to the heart of the matter. While writing recent posts, the Tired Donkey spent time considering the special nature of members of Congress and other politicians—including President Obama—who support policies that will increase the ranks of the Freeloaders. These creatures are not Stockholm Donkeys because Stockholm Donkeys are victims of their own weak minds. No, the Freeloader-voting members of Congress are different. They are calculating and actively court Freeloaders; in fact, they solicit money from Freeloaders with promises to swell their ranks and deliver more goodies to them after confiscating more donkey money. They are something worse than Stockholm Donkeys. They are Myrmidon Donkeys: politicians who are in the thrall of the Freeloaders and do their every bidding.