fully enjoy the following Harley Sorensen
column, you might try listen as you read to
Rule The World," a ditty by Scott Morrison
of Petaluma, CA.]
In his weekly radio address a few weeks ago,
our esteemed president, His Royal Highness
George W. Bush (Ruler of the Known Universe,
King of Kings, Master of All He Surveys, Scion
of the House of Bush, long-term supporter
of the House of Anheuser-Busch) urged Congress
to cut taxes by $550 billion.
That tax cut, as everyone with an I.Q. higher
than 75 knows, was designed to further enrich
the rich of America, who are also known as
"the plutocracy," a term derived from the
Greek word "Pluto," or "god of the underworld."
In order to sell his tax cut to the handful
of Republican voters who are neither rich
nor convinced they'll win the lottery next
week, Mr. Bush said his tax cut would create
a million jobs.
A million jobs! That's an awful lot of hamburgers
The New Yorker magazine was so impressed by
Mr. Bush's proposal that it did the math.
And the way the math comes out is one job
for every $550,000 of rich-folks tax cut.
I'm impressed! And humbled! You mean those
rich folks would actually do that for us?
For every half million dollars or so we shove
into their pockets, they'd create one whole
Such generosity! You rich folks are just too
good to us.
(Those one million jobs would replace the
one and one-half million jobs that went down
the drain since Bush's last big tax cut, according
to The New Yorker. According to less optimistic
sources, they'd be replacing the seven million
jobs lost since Bush took office.)
As everybody with an I.Q. of 76 knows, America's
states, counties and cities are in dire financial
straits. They're all spending more than they
have, borrowing money and betting the economy
will improve soon.
How would it work out, I wonder, if instead
of providing a tax cut for the rich, Bush's
Congress instead continued to tax the people
who have used America's economic system to
amass wealth, and then give $550 billion of
their tax dollars to the states?
(Rich people who don't like paying taxes in
the country that gave them the opportunity
to make their fortunes should be encouraged
to move to other countries more suitable for
them. I could suggest a few, but won't.)
If $550 billion of federal dollars were passed
along to the states, the average state would
get $11 billion as its share. Do you think
states like North Carolina or Minnesota could
use an extra $11 billion? If they had it,
they might be able to keep their schools and
libraries and hospitals in full operation.
California's share of that $550 billion, based
on population, would be roughly $55 billion.
Do you think California could use an extra
$55 billion these days?
Or should that money go to the rich, who will
(heh-heh-heh) "create jobs" with it?
Almost two years ago, on July 23, 2001, when
the Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered around
10,400 and the experts were still two months
away from declaring a recession, a wise man
asked what the government was going to do
when it found out unemployed people don't
Okay, the writer wasn't a wise man, it was
me, lamenting the economy's free-fall and
government's lack of acknowledgment of the
obviously failing economy.
Only in recent months have politicians started
to rein in spending. Now, finally, with not
nearly enough money coming in, they're starting
to lay off employees, cut wages, and trim
And guess what, folks? We have a huge shock
awaiting us. On July 1, 2003, we're going
to experience what may be the largest single-day
layoff of workers in American history.
July 1 is the day the new fiscal year ends.
It's the day when tons of government employees
will be dropped from the payroll.
I don't have any statistics available (I doubt
anyone does), but I'd guess from 5 to 10 percent
of all government employees will lose their
jobs and start collecting unemployment insurance
on July 1.
That's the bad news. The good news is that
George W. Bush is still president and he has
a secret plan to lead us out of the recession
and into prosperity, full employment, lasting
peace, and another four years in the White
House for him and a bright future for an as-yet-unnamed
future Bush president.
I'm not kidding. Much as I dislike Bush, I
have to give him credit for manipulating the
public in a way that would bring tears to
P.T. Barnum's eyes. This man is good at what
Here's his secret plan. He will, sooner or
later, continue to crush his Axis of Evil,
which, at last report, was Iraq, Iran and
North Korea. However, axes being what they
are, Syria may join the club soon . . . and
then there's the problem of Lebanon. You get
the picture. What needs to be destroyed will
be destroyed. Today Iraq, tomorrow Saudi Arabia?
What gets blown up must be rebuilt, so Bush's
success at destroying things will lead to
many, many new labor opportunities. Before
long, American contractors will have jobs
all over the world, which will mean a fat
handful of new jobs for American experts (and
millions of new jobs for local people beaten
down by war and willing to work for peanuts).
Finally, Bush will discover -- much to his
surprise -- that all the countries he's pulverized
have riches under their soil, most often in
the form of petroleum. So some day he'll come
to the stunning realization that the United
States controls most of the world's petroleum
sources. Goodby, OPEC. Look out, Norway and
What that'll mean, come election time 2004,
is that the U.S. will control oil prices.
That means you and I will be able to fill
up our SUVs with fewer dollars. Those dollars,
now going to Arabian countries, will suddenly
flow into the American economy.
Everybody will be happy. Republicans will
run around saying, "I told you so," and thumbing
their noses at Democrats. Joe Lieberman will
become an historical asterisk. Al Sharpton
will become an asterisk to the asterisk, and
so on. Peace and glory and sunshine will reign,
and there will be dancing in the streets (provided
the dancers don't touch; John Ashcroft will
still be around).
Of course, I could be wrong.
Harley Sorensen's columns appear most Mondays
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