Bauhaus, "Kick In The Eye"

>> Friday, September 07, 2012

No, not because I'm feeling satori; because this morning has me feeling like I've been kicked in the head a lot today and I started silently, in-my-brain humming/singing "Kick in the eye--oh-oh-oh--kick in the eyyyye--whoo!" in my best recollection of Peter Murphy.

Actually, I do have this one enlightened flash: I do not like being kicked in the head and I would like it to stop happening, please, okay, thanks, bye.

No wait, that's a gopher moat lesson.

While I'm here, I suppose I might as well admit I didn't think the President's acceptance speech was great, though it was perfectly alright. I suppose by saying it wasn't great I'm comparing it--and perhaps unfairly--to Bill Clinton's tour de force the other night. (And yeah--I went back and listened to the final night of the Convention, what can I say?) I wondered if he was a little tired, but a friend who watched it on TV and a friend who was lucky enough to get into the arena said the President was pretty fired up, though he started slow and got a little emotional at times; disadvantage of radio, I guess, that you don't get the full... ahem, picture (dammit--why couldn't I avoid walking right into that one).

It's not a matter of policies at this point, of course. I think Mitt Romney is probably the kind of guy who would strap a dog to his car roof for a drive to Canada or bully a kid by holding him down and cutting his hair, and Paul Ryan is the sort of guy who'd lie about how fast he ran a marathon. They're assholes, in other words. And they represent a party whose polices are that they want to return the United States to the Gilded Age, pretty much.

I can't even joke that I'm straight, white and middle class and therefore ought to be voting Republican anymore, because even some of Romney's advisors say he wants to raise my taxes; of course, Romney isn't coming out himself and saying that, because his whole thing is he has a secret plan to get us out of Vietnam the deficit, but it's pretty clear Romney's plan to slash the marginal tax rate on $250k-plus incomes only works if he either lets the deficit balloon or if he gets rid of the few tax breaks I actually bother claiming (specifically, the mortgage interest and student loan deductions), and while the Obama camp has (to be fair) hinted that these breaks might have to be on the table, the main thing they want to do is raise the marginal income tax rate and I at least know, if they do have to raise my taxes, what they want to spend the money on (e.g. Medicare, education, clean energy); Romney wants to cut the social programs I care about and give the military money the Joint Chiefs Of Staff have specifically said they wouldn't know what to do with, so basically the Republicans have turned into what Reagan and his ilk always meant when they talked about "tax and spend" politicians.

You know, I also need to point out that one of the biggest problems with tax policy right now is that we've somehow divorced the taxing and spending from each other in our discourse. That's an unnecessarily elaborate way to phrase it. Sorry. What I mean is, if I come up to you and say I need twenty bucks to feed and shelter orphaned kittens, you're liable to go reaching for your wallet or pocketbook, or ask me if I take checks or can ask you again on payday; while if I just came up to you and said, "Hey, gimmie twenty dollars," you'd want to know what I needed it for and might not give it to me if I didn't have a good answer for what I wanted to do with it. I wonder if people wouldn't be more reasonable about taxes if the instruction booklet came with some kind of breakdown of "Your Tax Dollars At Work", however simplified ("Item 3,288,002: The Lady Bird Johnson National Home For Wee Sad Kittehz... .000023% of YOUR tax dollar at work"). People don't have any kind of rational comprehension whatsoever of how their money is spent--lots of people apparently think we airdrop sacks of cash on foreigners so they can roll around in them like they're the Koch Brothers, for instance. And most of us, I think, understand as adults you have to pay for things: when I was a kid, I used to want a comic book and think it sucked when I couldn't have it; now that I'm a grown-up, I still want the comic, but I get that if I buy that fifty dollar hardcover anthology of Warren comics, I may have to scrimp at the supermarket at the end of the month, for instance. But I don't begrudge the comic-book-guy not giving me free comics, I just take into account that nice things (National Parks, for example! interstates! olds not dying in the gutter right in front of my home!) cost money.

Anyway. Hopefully the Dems got the job done and pulled a few fencesitters into their yard. Suppose we'll find out in November, right?


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