The Root of All Evil; Taxes and Lobbyists

Change We Can Believe In

Change We Can Believe In

….Herein lies the root of the problem. Did these people read all 7500 pages of rules and intentionally cheat or is the entire code a ridiculous mess that has the potential to take even Billy Graham down. A good rule of thumb is to always stick with Billy Graham. If Barack would devote as much energy to rewriting the tax code as he is to bailing out irresponsible home buyers and incompetent business’, life would be far better for all Americans and we would make the joke a reality and find a spot for him at Mt. Rushmore.

The mantras of ‘Yes We Can’ and ‘Change We Can Believe In’ have taken on a ‘Not So Fast’ and ‘Same Old Song and Dance’ tone. Can’t blame George and Dick for this one. But then again, they made the same mistake when they took over at 1600 in 2001. Remember the advent of an era of change where Compassionate Conservatism would reach across the aisle and get the people’s business done in a bipartisan way.  Campaign and post election rhetoric always gets mired in the same real world rut the day after the inaugural dancing stops. Bush found out that he didn’t have as many friends in DC as he thought and life there wasn’t going to be like it was in Austin. President Obama is in the same boat.

Hope doesn’t operate under the same rules as does change.

Aside from Joe Biden, Barack’s current bane of existence is finding a few good men or women to nominate ….. (without issues) to help him promote the hope and change thing. So far the tax issue has two casualties Daschle and Killefer, and one walking wounded; Geithner. This isn’t anything new though as Bill Clinton had to deal with Zoe Baird and Ron Brown, while George W. Bush had Linda Chavez. Appointees aren’t the only ones with tax code interpretation problems. Charlie Rangel, staunch Democrat ally and head of the House Ways and Means Committee which Obama desperately needs to get his agenda done, is in the same lifeboat.

While my inclination is to make the distinction between generally good citizens and insufferable political hacks, the fact of the matter is all of these smart people should have known better. Or should they? I’m almost wiling to give all of them a pass just to make a larger point.

John Walker, founder of Fourmilab informs us in U.S. Tax Code Online that at 24 megabytes in length, containing more than 3.4 million words; it would fill 7500 letter-size pages printed at 60 lines to the page…

Herein lies the root of the problem. Did these people read all 7500 pages of rules and intentionally cheat or is the entire code a ridiculous mess that has the potential to take even Billy Graham down. My rule of thumb is to always stick with Billy Graham. If Barack would devote more energy to rewriting the tax code than he is to bailing out irresponsible home buyers and incompetent business’, life would be far better for Americans and we would make the joke a reality and find a spot for him at Mt. Rushmore.

Now to the lobbyists and Barack’s shot across their bow. How did President Obama think business was done in DC to believe he could isolate his team from this staple of political life? But reading further into the directive, one finds the hidden nugget in the fine print. There it is; the loophole needed to allow registered lobbyists Mark Patterson (Goldman Sachs Group) and Mark Lynn (Raytheon) onto Team Obama bringing their real world expertise and valuable Rolodexes to the job. The first wave of many I would assume. And what did anyone think Tom Daschle was doing for the last four years earning a million a year? Some would call it influence peddling or just another term for lobbyist, registered or not.  The initial proclamation sounded noble, but in reality not much change there.

So there are the two hot button topics that have brought President Obama’s honeymoon to a quick close; too soon I might add. BasicMan was at least amused, if not in agreement with the media love fest. But all good things eventually come to an end; even rhetoric when it meets reality.

In general, life is tough, but change is tougher. Just ask Detroit. Wholesale political change however, may present the most difficult challenge. Which is why it always seems to quietly disappear from formerly robust political slogans.

Maybe we should just find something else to hope for.

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