Thursday, February 2, 2012

Some Light Bulbs are Screwy

Some Light Bulbs are Screwy
Thursday, February 2, 2012
by Burt Prelutsky

When I heard Newt Gingrich seriously suggest that America, a nation perched on the edge of economic collapse because of Obama’s sending our debt soaring from $10 trillion to $16 trillion, should consider setting up a colony on the moon -- and, furthermore, granting statehood when the colony population reached 13,000 -- it occurred to me that “lunacy” is a word derived from Luna, a Roman deity who personified the moon.

When people insist that Gingrich would make a great president, they generally emphasize how many ideas he generates on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. What they overlook is that a great many of his brainstorms are all wet.

In the old days, whenever someone in the cartoons came up with an idea, the cartoonist would illustrate the event by showing a large light bulb floating over the character’s head. If I were drawing a strip called “Newt,” his ideas would be represented by those CFL twisty bulbs that not only provide very little illumination, but contain mercury, meaning that disposing of them is about as hazardous as trying to unload nuclear waste.

I’m not saying that all of Mr. Gingrich’s ideas are toxic, but it’s not as if the ones that aren’t are all that splendiferous. He’s merely a politician, after all, not a scientist trying to find a cure for cancer.

The nice thing about being president is that you don’t have to be the fountainhead of all ideas; the president has access to every good idea floating around in America. But because of Newt’s narcissism, which I don’t find all that different from Obama’s, I suspect that Gingrich doesn’t have too much interest in anyone else’s ideas and far too much love and respect for any and all that happen to spring from his own head.

Speaking of the egotist-in-chief, what I find so confounding about Barack Obama isn’t that he sticks to his guns in spite of one failure after another, but that so many Democrats still blindly support him. Understand, I don’t expect liberals to turn on him because he continues to promote the redistribution of wealth. After all, that’s what he promised to do as a candidate in 2008 and is one of the few campaign promises he has kept.

But when, during his State of the Union address, he had the gall to say that it’s not fair that Warren Buffet’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, pays more in income taxes than billionaire Buffet, I don’t recall hearing any of the Party faithful call him on it. As we all know, tax rate is not the same thing as tax obligation. Even Ms. Bosanek, whom Obama had planted in the royal box with Michelle, knows she doesn’t write a bigger check to the IRS than her boss. We also know, as does Obama, that folks like Buffet and Romney already paid income taxes on the money they earned at a rate of 35% before getting to invest whatever was left and then pay an additional 15% on those capital gains. The IRS, a gang of ghouls who would cheerfully pry the gold from the teeth of the deceased, then gets a third crack at their money in the form of death taxes.

The notion that rich people don’t pay their fair share of taxes is such a blatant lie that only that half of the population that pays nothing, while in some cases collecting “refunds,” would be hypocritical enough to turn it into their favorite mantra.

One of the other gargantuan lies that leapt off the TV screen during Obama’s address was that, thanks to him, the U.S. has greater influence and garners more respect around the world than ever before. The idea that Obama could deliver that knee-slapper with a straight face, and that his puppets in Congress could compound the joke by giving him a standing ovation, suggests he just might be able to reverse Reagan’s career arc and end up as the president of SAG.

The fact of the matter is that he has about as much respect and influence on the world stage as Dennis Kucinich.

Otherwise, isn’t it safe to assume that the 2016 Olympic Games would be taking place in Chicago, and not Rio?

To read another article by Burt Prelutsky, click here.

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