by Jonah Goldberg
It's at times like this I'm ashamed to admit I live inside the Beltway.
Well, that's probably not specific enough since I'm usually ashamed to admit I live inside the Beltway.
Still, the second you try to explain the stupidity of this "fiscal cliff" fiasco to a normal person, it makes William F. Buckley's famous declaration that he'd rather be governed by the first few hundred people listed in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of
While there are some responsible politicians and policymakers in Washington, if you look at the whole place collectively, Uncle Sam starts to look like a junkie. The logic of addiction dictates that you make a deal that allows you to avoid all of your problems now and enjoy a quick high in exchange for a painful confrontation with reality down the road.
Almost exactly a year ago, during the famed debt ceiling negotiations, Speaker of the House John Boehner boasted that he'd forced tough concessions from the Democrats, achieving the first real cut in government spending in ages. He claimed his "real, enforceable cut" amounted to
"Which of these numbers is accurate?" asked columnist Mark Steyn at the time. Answering his own question, he wrote: "The correct answer is: Who cares?"
And he was right. At the time, the U.S. was spending
America already has a more progressive tax system than Europe, according to the
Now here's a distinction that the first few hundred people in the Boston phone book would probably grasp better than the folks at
So the Republicans are, in fact, in favor of raising taxes by the rules of the real world. In exchange for doing this, they want the Democrats to deal with the real problem: spending. You could confiscate 100 percent of income over
But the Democrats want to do ... nothing. Or at least that's the position they seemed to be taking this week.
OK, here's the credit: That is about .09 percent of the deficit. Take .09 percent of a bow Harry.
As Republicans sort all that out, the guy who actually won the election by claiming he had a better plan hasn't proposed any plan at all. That's life in the Beltway for you.
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