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.
24 Mar 2009 15:56
The Tired Donkey made several points yesterday that should be reviewed briefly before continuing: (1) the current Tea Party movement suffers from a surfeit of anger accompanied by a lack of ideas; and (2) to be effective, any “movement” must have intellectual vigor, a direct action component and pressure applied at a tipping-point. Let us also remember the Tired Donkey’s purpose: to serve as a beacon of light in the quest for a fair tax system in which every potential taxpayer pays something to help maintain this great country. The Tired Donkey’s purpose is not to make sure that our government spends its tax dollars wisely; he is sympathetic to the donkey Tea Party cause, but a donkey can only get serious about so many causes at a time. And—it turns out—the Taxpayer Tea Party donkeys need to abandon their cause for a bit and join the Tired Donkey’s cause because they can’t get what they want unless the Tired Donkey gets what he wants first. Allow the Tired Donkey to explain what he means.
The Tired Donkey has pointed out elsewhere that the Democrats and Republicans are Myrmidon Donkeys bent on taking your tax money to court Freeloader votes; the Republicans talk a good game from time to time, but the result is always the same: fewer and fewer donkeys shouldering more and more of the tax burden. And when you combine the ranks of the Freeloaders with the ranks of the pitiful Stockholm Donkeys, you arrive at a number that is more than half of the electorate. In short, loyal donkeys are under siege and in the minority. So. Where does this leave us? The Tired Donkey will tell you.
As we have seen, more than half the people in this country don’t give a damn about how your tax dollars are spent because they either pay no taxes or have been co-opted by those who pay no taxes. The Myrmidon Donkeys know they no longer need donkey votes to maintain the power that feeds them, and so they have no incentive to spend donkey dollars wisely. The only way to change this is to strike fear in the hearts of the Myrmidon Donkeys. To do this, we need only release the Stockholm Donkeys from the thrall of the Freeloaders and give the public-spritied Freeloaders—and there are many of those despite what you may believe—a cause they can believe in. This, of course, is more easily said than done, but if we can harness the anger afoot in the land to create a fair-tax majority, we can all get what we want. More tomorrow.
05 Mar 2009 18:10 Filed in: Foundational Posts
In comments from readers of this blog, the Tired Donkey has noticed that a recurring theme is a discussion of class warfare. Certain Stockholm Donkeys of his acquaintance have accused the Tired Donkey of waging class warfare, while some Steadfast Donkeys have corresponded with him complaining that the Obama Administration is waging class warfare against them. It would seem that class warfare is in the air, and the Tired Donkey enjoys few things more than he does clearing the air.
The question of who is waging war against whom is an interesting one, but it is not the Tired Donkey’s purpose to engage with this question. Rather, the Tired Donkey is attempting to make a simple point: the current tax policy of the United States allows nearly half of the potential taxpayers who live in this great land to pay no income tax at all, and this is improper, unjust and—the Tired Donkey submits—immoral. This issue is not being addressed at all in the debate about how much more of the overall tax burden the wealthiest donkeys ought to shoulder; that is an important debate, but the Tired Donkey believe that an even more important debate is whether or not it is appropriate for Freeloaders to be allowed a voice in these questions. If you do not contribute funds to running the country, what right do you have to interfere in the affairs of the donkeys who do contribute these funds? The Tired Donkey has an answer to this question: none. Another, more inflammatory way to put this—a way the Tired Donkey favors—is this: no representation without taxation. You may call that class warfare if you wish; the Tired Donkey calls it common sense.
A good example of the absence of this important question from the current debate was provided yesterday by Stockholm Donkey Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times. In his piece on class warfare, he blathers on at length about top tax brackets and income redistribution (which he heartily endorses) and hedge-fund managers and other things that Stockholm Donkeys like to talk about. He even trots out an Addled Donkey from Manhattan Beach, a retired computed executive, who says that “all the tax rebates to the rich never made sense” to him and goes on to “fully endorse the idea that it’s about time the middle class got a crack at” tax rebates for themselves.
In case you were so stunned by the ignorance displayed by the poor Addled Donkey that you missed the point, the Tired Donkey will make it clear for you: Stockholm Donkey Hiltzik used this run-down creature to hide the real question from his no-doubt equally muttonheaded readers: how can someone who pays no taxes get a tax "rebate?" Once again, the Tired Donkey has an answer to this question: he can't.
03 Mar 2009 07:17 Filed in: Foundational Posts
The Stockholm Syndrome is a phenomenon in which a hostage begins to identify with and grow sympathetic to his or her captor. Unfortunately, many donkeys—after years of brutal work on behalf of the Freeloaders—as in the picture to the left—fall prey to this condition. A useful example of this phenomenon is Mr. Jay Bookman of the sad little Atlanta paper, the Journal-Constitution. There are, of course, many other examples of more prominent Stockholm Donkeys, particularly in the media, but the Tired Donkey is singling out Mr. Bookman today because a blog entry he posted last year is a particularly poignant representation of the affliction.
In this post, Stockholm Donkey Bookman argues that the Tired Donkey’s entire premise is a fraud since our Congress—in its infinite wisdom—spends some portion of Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes—which even Freeloaders have to pay—on things they are not supposed to spend it on like paying park rangers. Now Stockholm Donkey Bookman is no idiot, he is just dishonest, and the Tired Donkey will expose his little tricks on a future date. For now, it must be sufficient to point out that the overwhelming majority of Social Security and payroll taxes are paid by the Donkeys, not the Freeloaders; the fact that the Freeloaders may carry their own water bottle while us Donkeys carry all their household possessions does not make what is happening in this country fair. But the Tired Donkey digresses, and he must now return to his primary subject: the Stockholm Donkey.
A Stockholm Donkey is, plainly and simply, a donkey who has lost his way, who has begun to identify with his oppressors and help them achieve their goals instead of finding his way to freedom. Stockholm Donkey Bookman should remember what happened to Patty Hearst before he posts any more spurious blogs that aim to increase his own tax burden. The Tired Donkey is not hard-hearted, and he understands that some may view the Stockholm Donkeys as victims who lack the mental toughness necessary to resist their captors. But he urges all Stockholm Donkeys to fight their affliction and join the donkey quest for freedom.
NOTE: The Tired Donkey has no access to Stockholm Donkey Bookman’s tax returns and recognizes that Stockholm Donkey Bookman may actually be a Freeloader, particularly since he works for such a minor paper. If this is the case, the Tired Donkey apologizes and urges Mr. Bookman to thank a donkey.