Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Folly of Lines Drawn in the Sand

A number of years ago, a Republican who ran for and won  the Presidency, kept saying "Read my lips, no new taxes."  It seems a lifetime ago.

Several members of the House (read my paper) signed pledges they would not raise taxes under any circumstances.

Representative John Boehner is now saying the people want us to cooperate and work together, but he won't raise taxes just on the rich.

The twice-elected President of the United States agrees that the two branches must cooperate and work out an agreement, but he won't raise taxes on the middle class, seniors and students -- at least without a raise for the upper class.

Lines in the sand lead to -- do not pass go, go directly to -- a standoff.  No wonder we have gridlock in Washington, D. C.

Now, the man who drew the line in the sand with Iraq eventually went to war with Sadaam Hussein because he would not produce and destroy the weapons of mass destruction it was assumed he had.  After a huge shock and awe campaign, a lengthy occupation and efforts to rebuild the nation we had willfully destroyed -- surprise, they had no weapons of mass destruction!  But, once the line had been drawn in the sand, war was unavoidable.  It has been eleven years now during which time we have lost precious lives, limbs and minds, just because of the foolishness of drawing lines in the sand.  All this and the line drawer has lost face anyway.

Those paper signing congressmen have boxed themselves in with their line drawing.  Either they cannot vote for any compromise that includes a tax on anyone, or they will have to tell their constituents that they were lied to earlier.  The alternative is to let the whole country continue in debt for generations or go bankrupt.  And, by the way, adjusting COLA downward isn't taxing?

John Boehner, Mr. Bluster himself, is once again saying we must work together and compromise, but it won't be conservative Republicans who will do it. 

And you, too, Mr. President?  You'll tax the rich, but not the middle class even though taxing just the rich won't bring sufficient funds to reduce the debt enough?

All of you might need to take a leaf from President George H. W. Bush's book.  Learn from the folly of making unwise promises and erase the lines at once.  Then go back to the drawing board with everything truly on the table and everything negotiable.

And remember the lesson of Iraq -- a person can't produce and destroy something he doesn't have.  The line drawing was a foolish act for which we are all still paying.  The American public should not have to suffer more because our leaders act like school children angling for a fight.

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