St. Patrick's Day Sanity
By: Tom Purcell
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Ah, the St. Patrick's Day season is upon us. It couldn't come soon enough.
markets are rattled. Our new leaders don't appear to know what to do to
fix the financial system, but they sure are clear about their plans to
explode the government and raise taxes.
Their approach is spooking Wall Street, which reminds me of the Irish laborer who fell off a roof at a construction site:
"Were you hurt by the fall?" said his supervisor.
"The fall didn't hurt me," said the Irishman. "It was the sudden stop."
the 1930s Depression, humorist Will Rogers said, "If stupidity got us
into this mess, then stupidity can get us out of it." That would appear
to be the strategy of the "smart" people now running our government.
want to "invest" money they don't have -- they're borrowing billions
from our children, who will repay it when they are adults -- in giant,
new government programs.
By letting the tax cuts passed under Bush expire, they aren't "increasing taxes." They're "generating savings."
by not spending money on the war in Iraq -- money we weren't going to
spend anymore anyhow -- they're generating more "savings."
clever fellows remind me of the time Paddy was being tried for robbing
a bank. Paddy was so surprised that the jury declared him "not guilty"
he rushed to the judge and said, "Does that mean I get to keep the
Our economy, some fear, is on the brink of a depression.
I certainly hoped and expected that President Obama would devote his
time to repairing that sizable problem first-- not worry about
longer-term challenges that we can debate once things stabilize.
that isn't what he's doing. He's trying to unleash a barrage of old,
big-government programs -- the Democrats have a clever strategy to put
America on the road to nationalized health care, for instance -- that
just don't work.
Their propensity to push more of the same
reminds me of the Irishman who finds a teakettle in the woods. When he
rubs it, a genie pops out and grants him three wishes. The Irishman
wishes for a bottle of whiskey; it appears in his hands. When he drinks
it, the bottle automatically replenishes itself. He drinks it again,
and it replenishes again.
"What's that?" the Irishman said.
the bottle of infinity," said the genie. "Every time you empty it, it
will automatically refill. Now, you have two more wishes. What do you
"I'll have two more bottles!" said the Irishman.
Fred Barnes, on the tube the other day, shared an interesting
statistic. Since the Reagan tax cuts and pro-growth policies were
implemented in the early '80s, America has created 40 million new jobs.
During this same period, the high-tax countries in Europe have stayed
Nonetheless, President Obama is eager to raise taxes. He
wants to lift the ceiling on Social Security and Medicare taxes, which
would amount to massive tax increases for higher-income earners, which
will shift much-needed capital away from private investments and into
Onerous taxation will cause the most
productive citizens to invest less, work less or do everything they can
to shield their income. That reminds me of the time an IRS auditor
called Father O'Malley:
"Father, do you know Ted Houlihan?" said the auditor.
"Aye," said the priest. "He's one of my parishioners."
"Did he donate $10,000 to the church?"
"He will," said Father O'Malley.
early yet and I certainly hope Obama and his people come to their
senses. I hope they ratchet back their plans to increase taxes and
explode the government -- not steer America toward European style
socialism. I hope they focus all their energies on staving off a
depression and getting our financial markets to function.
if they keep spending as they are, I fear that the Chinese, and others
who buy our debt, will stop lending us money. They'll view us as Irish
leprechauns, as illustrated by this Irish riddle:
Question: Why don't leprechauns pay back their loans?
Answer: Because they're always a little short.
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