08/14/2003: "My Pitch to the Club for Growth"
Yesterday I introduced a three-part “Clubbed for Growth” series (or is it Club for Growths?), spotlighting those wacky tax cut extremists the “Club for Growth.” Today I unveil my plan for making myself the ultimate Club for Growth candidate. I expect the money to start rolling in by lunchtime! The mission of the Club for Growth, as described in the NY Times 8/10/03 issue, is “to banish taxes from the earth.” The problem, of course, is that taxes pay for government spending and there are some kinds of government spending that just have to keep going on. I’m speaking of course of the government spending that Big-C Conservatives love: Eisenhower’s Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC), Big-Agriculture subsides and corporate welfare in general, and any kind of government function that can be outsourced to private industry (at which point that government function starts looking a whole lot more attractive!) A partial solution to the dilemma is to take advantage of mortality by pushing payment for today’s Big-C Big-G services beyond one’s lifespan. This of course has an unfortunate side effect - you have to pay some interest while you’re rolling the debt bowling ball down the lane. (If you thought the unfortunate side effect was the immorality of it all, you’re clearly out of touch with Big-C thought leadership!) No, I’ve got an even better solution, one that will have the Club hoisting me to their shoulders. (Warning: you are now entering a parody zone!) Here it is. We should immediately put our expensive M-IC to use by occupying any middle-eastern country with oil. Poof – no more taxes! Is there any doubt we could do this in a cakewalk? What’s the point of spending more than the entire developed world combined on military power if you don’t do anything with it except take out a tin-pot dictator every once in a while? There’s certainly ample historical precedent for this approach. Look at the great civilizations of history, like Egypt, Athens, or Rome. Who do you think paid their taxes? Hint: it wasn’t Egyptians, Athenians, or Romans! Taxes came from the conquered provinces. Why do you think they had those big armies? The thing I like most about this approach is its moral superiority over the deficit option. Running up monster debts is like stealing from babies, a crime not worthy of a great nation. If we’re going to commit a crime, it should be a manly crime like armed robbery, not a wussy crime like credit card fraud. And when great nations commit manly crimes, it comes in the form of good old-fashioned military conquest. Of course, this approach doesn’t accomplish the full Club for Growth agenda - it doesn’t eliminate taxes from the earth, but only from the US. I’m guessing the Club will understand.