Ralph Benko

As early as tomorrow, and certainly in the next fortnight, the Republican-led House and the Democratic-led Senate is delivering an announcement of their virtuous intention to hit us with a whopping tax increase coupled with patently inauthentic promises of some spending “cuts” someday. The fact that Republicans appear to be planning to connive at class “millionaire tax” warfare makes it worse, not better. It’s not a zero sum game. You don’t raise those at the bottom of society by fleecing those who have earned a place at the top. Jack Kennedy understood. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Big Government has become the grotesque man-devouring giant Gargantua, skewered by Rabelais half a millennium ago. Those who encourage a “shared sacrifices” compromise are “feed the beast” appeasers rather than responsible officials. In all likelihood, however, avowals of the tax-increasers, frightening and irresponsible as they are, are “weapons of mass hysteria,” rather than of mass destruction.

Republican officials who give aid and comfort to the tax collectors thereby conveniently provide confessions in the open court of public opinion of stupidity and dishonor. Thank you. We, the Tea Party, will (again) court martial and purge these from our national legislature.

Once the great goat rodeos and high melodrama (or, perhaps, farce) in which Washington excels die down the most likely result will be… nothing. Washington lives to preserve the status quo. It feels a need to theatricalize preserving that status quo by flamboyant gestures worthy of Tom Sawyer professing determination to mend his rascally ways. Not really. The Christian Science Monitor’s Gail Russell Chaddock shrewdly observes:

If the super committee fails, will there be any real consequences? Or will a future Congress take one look at the draconian automatic cuts set to take hold in 2013 – $600 billion to defense, $600 billion to entitlements – and say, no way. That’s the latest rumor in Washington this week, as the 12-member joint deficit reduction committee struggles to find a $1.2 trillion package of cuts that can pass the panel and the Congress.


Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.