Congress Say the Darnedest Things

SayA few months ago the Republican-led Congress placed a tax bill on Very Stable Genius’s desk which he signed, thus lowering tax burdens by the millions for corporations and rich people while showering the proles with an average tax cut of about $12 a week. Of course there is a cost for this largess.

The Congressional Budget Office reported the other day that – thanks to the latest tax scam – the budget deficit is on pace to surpass $1 trillion in just a couple years. The Party of Fiscal Reprehensibility strikes again. Dems – who have only slightly more credibility on this issue – have strived to take the high ground.

Chuck E. (Cheese) Schumer whined, “From Day one the Republican agenda has always been to balloon the deficit in order to dole out massive tax breaks to the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans, and then use the deficit as an excuse to cut Social Security and Medicare.” Nancy Pelosi blasted, “The C.B.O.’s report exposes the staggering costs of the G.O.P. tax scam and Republicans’ contempt for fiscal responsibility.”

Defending the GOP was Representative Jeff Duncan, a conservative Republican from South Carolina who made this provocative statement: “To every House Democrat on social media today complaining about the debt and deficit for the first time: I look forward to seeing you vote for the balanced budget amendment later this week. That is of course assuming you are actually serious about addressing our debt.”

Congress say the darnedest things.

Let’s make this easier to understand with a bonehead analogy: You work at a Home Depot (sorry). Your colleague Jeff Duncan stacks boxes too high and they keep tumbling down on customers. You complain. In response, Jeff, festooned in an orange apron arrogantly defies you to join him in repealing the law of gravity. You shake your head and quickly apply for a job at Lowes.

Now consider this week’s Congressional inquisition of Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg over his company’s fast ‘n loose stewardship of user data. Zuck the Fuck played the proper trained seal and offered a sufficient quantity of mea culpas to the preening senators to ensure a delay on regulations, thus assuaging stock holders who drove the shares up during his testimony. Give him props, at least, for buttressing his financial position.

Many of the Senators on the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees – prepped, no doubt, by millennial staffers 1/3rd their ages – tried mightily as they grilled Zuck to sound in synch with modern technology, invoking terms like cloud, scraping data and dark web. (Sidebar: At least none of the august members of the committee referred to the internet as a “series of tubes” as defunct crustacean Ted Stevens once risibly did.)

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A lot of moral grandstanding and regulatory threats were spewed forth from the high ‘n mighty senators, but one line of attack seemed ill-considered: Ron Johnson of Wisconsin pushed the Zuck on the subject of Facebook’s terms of service. His contention: No one actually reads the lengthy legalese before clicking “agree.” Of course he’s right. The terms are several thousand words long, many of which are more than two syllables.

In other words, Johnson was chastising Facebook for constructing terms of service documents that are too complicated and wordy for anyone to read, resulting in passive acceptance – and all the shit that follows.

But, when it came time to reflect on the big, 2000-page Republican tax cut bill, Johnson saw things a bit differently. After Dems complained about having no time to review last-minute changes made by the Reps, Johnson said, “You really don’t read this kind of legislation … you have to study it and you have to study the major provisions.”

Congress say the darnedest things.

Speaker of the House and Eddie Munster doppelganger Paul Ryan just announced his retirement as a 20-year government-tit man. Noting, “I didn’t want this job at first and most of you know this, I really actually didn’t,” Ryan went on to revel in his many accomplishments including “reforming” taxes such that rich people and corporations get an even bigger slice while the deficit is set to balloon out of control in a couple years. He also articulated his disdain for big government programs, including Medicaid and Social Security. Ryan said in a recent interview that his goal of capping Medicaid was on the verge of success, noting, “We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around — since you and I were drinking at a keg.”

(Sidebar: I’ve had dreams in my youth when drinking at a keg – and it wasn’t about Medicaid. Not even close.)

Curiously, well before he entered the dark world of politics, young Ryan paid part of his out-of state tuition at an Ohio public university with an evil thing right up there with Medicaid: Social Security survivor benefits received after the death of his father. Mr. Anti-Social Security said later on, “It was a tough time for our family, and Social Security was there to help us when we needed the help.”

Right.

Congress sure do say the darnedest things.

End Note: A Great Word

Aibohpphobia – The fear of palindromes.

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