One Of Those Rare Win-Win-Win-Win-Win- Win-Win-Win-Win-Win Situations
Hey everybody, get out the party hats and pop the corks, it's tax-cut time. And everyone in Washington loves tax-cut time better than big fat manila envelopes stuffed full of cash. Well, almost. And I'm talking everyone. Interns. Hot dog vendors. Mylar balloon blower uppers. Cadaver dogs. Everyone.
But nobody goes as wicked crazy as our House of Representatives. Our Capitol dwelling boys and girls are so excited they're quivering like a pet store full of Chihuahua puppies waiting for the dry food chutes to be filled. If you listen real close you can almost hear the toenails on the linoleum. We should hire out camera crews and shoot them in the halls, then sell the tapes on late night television infomercials: "Congress Gone Wild."
The House is celebrating ramming through their version totaling $550 billion in tax cuts and now it's the Senate's turn to do the "Reverse Robin Hood" dance. However the Senior Circuit's celebrations are a bit more subdued. Expected to ratify a smaller measure including an increase in some fees, (yes, tax boosts) so that the final cuts average out to $350 billion, they'll probably commemorate their triumph by shaking the powder out of their wigs.
Don't bother asking why they're raising some taxes in order to cut others. That's why they're members of the Most Deliberative Body in the World and we're not. Afterwards, we can expect to be treated to months of partisan splooey while the two differing bills merge in committee, eventually getting handed up to the President who will sign what will inevitably be called his "Showdown on Joblessness." Oooh, maybe we'll get to see him wear his flight suit again.
Because this DC pas de deux is expected to hold something for everyone, this could very well prove to be one of those rare win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win situations. Let's look at a few of the potential winners.
- Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Finance Committee: Wins. Vowed to restrict vote to $350 billion in real money. Maintains his word and integrity. Risks getting kicked out of the Senate Republican Who Cares What I Said Then, I'm Saying This Now Club.
- Haliburton: Wins. I don't know why, but they're going to get something out of this. Trust me.
- Incumbents: Win. Already filming next year's campaign commercials. "Combating the evildoers, your Congressperson went to the wall to return your money to where it would do the most good: back in your wallet."
- Senate Challengers: Win. Senate version actually raises some taxes. Already filming next year's campaign commercials. "Succumbing to the will of the evildoers, your Senator removed money from the most important program of all: your wallet."
- Rich people. Win. Rich people always win.
- Republicans: Win. See rich people.
- Democrats: Win. Minority status mean they are unable to stop this freight train and if economy doesn't rebound they can go "See! Told you so." Not that they would actually root for the economy to tank. Right?
- President Bush: Wins. He's on a roll. Kicking economic ass just as sweet as kicking Iraqi ass. Except there's more looting.
- Dick Cheney: Wins. See Haliburton, rich people, Republicans, and President Bush.
- Deficits. Win. Approaching brand new record setting levels. USA. #1.
- Me: Win exponential factor three. Opportunity to do work out material like, "Can someone tell me how giving tax cuts to rich folks right at the roll out of new yacht season is supposed to create jobs outside of the burgeoning deck swabbing industry?"
And speaking of "Win," perhaps now might be a wise moment to harken back to the ancient days of Gerald Ford. Forced to deal with his contrary financial vortex, Ford began a national campaign called WIN, short for "Whip Inflation Now," going so far as to distributing WIN buttons all over the country. However, because the buttons were printed in big block letters, they also were readable upside down-"NIM," which nattering nabobs of negativism declared stood for "No Immediate Miracles." And as most economists (also winners) will tell you, when you you think you win by cutting taxes, expect no immediate miracles. But I'm sure Bush and his folks know that. Right?
Will Durst can pop corks with the best of them.