Thingish Things

You’re All Fools!

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Aug• 03•11


My wife watches Jon Stewart every night. It’s payback for, well, a lot of things.

She mercifully tapes the show so she can watch it around me, generally while I’m punching out a last item for this page in an office off our bedroom. But I can hear the guy. His voice cuts through the wall, rather like a chain saw.

What bugs me most is when he makes me laugh. Because he is hysterically funny at times, and I get mad at myself when I succumb to his humor. But its tough: he’s smart and quick-witted. Not quite Dennis-Miller-quick, but close and with his own enviable style.

But while involuntarily listening to Stewart over the past few nights, and in reading opinion pieces by leading thinkers of the American Left, I can’t help but notice how very off the mainstream American script they are beginning to read. They have become utterly unconvincing in their arguments.  

I’m generally confident about my political opinions. But I’m  rarely 100% sure. I’ve been wrong about far too many things over the years, and certain certitudes of my youth have attained a hue of grey over time. But the Stewarts of the world are making me feel a whole lot better of late.

The issue that marks them as most unreasonable, indeed, irrational, is U.S. debt. Some refuse to acknowledge it as a valid issue; some say it’s normal, even healthy, like a mortgage or a car loan, and all of them point to the richest Americans — that greedy one percent that already pays almost half the income tax in America — as the dastardly villains of American decline (never mind that if the government expropriated the wealth of every one of them, it would barely dent the federal deficit.)

The Left is calling for higher taxes and more spending at a  time when the average American instinctively sees higher spending and taxing as an existential crisis. This may be the worst moment in U.S. history to make that argument.

The Paul Krugman’s of the world tell readers on a daily basis how stupid they are:  “We’re all broke,” they shout. “Spend!  It’s the way forward. Keynes said so.” The academics know better. They learned counterintuitiveness at Harvard.

That’s the bottom line. The Left is calling on Americans to abandon the reason and common sense hardwired in their brains, to head deeper into the dark tunnel rather than into the light in the distance. They want us to ignore our instincts and listen to them at a critical time in our nation’s history.

All I can say is “good luck with that.”

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  1. Your Friend says:

    Just moments before the Twin Towers fell, fire fighters were rushing in to save people. Why? Because you do everything you can, that’s why. Increasing taxes won’t solve the debt problem, you’re right about that. But the fact that your side of the aisle is unwilling to consider it is the real problem in American politics right now. The cutting is already happening on an epic scale (just ask the kids who won’t be able to go to head start anymore). Why no new taxes too? Most Americans support tax increases. I don’t want them — I have three kids to send to college. But if the buildings are falling down around us as you claim, how can I be unwilling to part with another $50 per paycheck? It won’t solve the problem, but it will help. Sign me up. And call me a real American.

  2. Daniel Suib says:

    This is a hard one. Being a stong supporter of the Democratic party, it’s hard to admit that part of Bill’s views are correct. I don’t think this country could stand a tax increase. But I also don’t think it can withstand cutting to deeply in our spending. There is a solution somewhere in the middle. The Republicans were wrong to consider the solution to our economic debt as being purely spending gone a muck. We need increased revenues along with the cutting of spending. But the Democratws need to get a grip on the spending.

    I truly believe that a re-structuring of the tax code is more appropriate. Not so much a tax “increase” like the Republicans are presenting it, but a restructuring of the system to create a “better” system. Just my view. Good points Bill and “Your Friend”. I hate to be the flip=flopper here, but I think both sides are right…and both sides are wrong at the same time.

    • Your Friend says:

      You’re 100% right. It needs to be a balanced approach. When I say new taxes, I really mean new revenue. So if re-writing the tax code gets us to real new revenue, that’s fine. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t trust the GOP to rewrite the tax code. History has proven that whenever they get their hands on the tax code, it turns into a new tax cut. The best way is to raise taxes. Pause. Then rewrite the tax code with that new level of revenue as a floor. Otherwise, we’ll just be stuck well below the historical tax rates for the country and that will never get us out of this jam.

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