As the New Year creeps closer, and the jobless go on wondering when they’ll next be employed, Congress fiddles and diddles. We learn that Chi Chi Rodriguez is being honored for his service to professional golf. And we’re still waiting for Congress to serve us.
The weary nation can be glad, at least, that this is a lame-duck session. We may teeter on the brink of war with North Korea or maybe even China — but Chi Chi has received his due. If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, what will be the government’s due? We see mad scrambles at Toys R Us on the TV news, but from the lame ducks we hear not a peep.
Instead we’re entertained with speculations about Wills and Kate’s big wedding. We can hope that, come next holiday season, we’ll no longer be exposed to cancerous radiation at the TSA’s checkpoints, nor our children molested by its goons. But these are razzle-dazzles, too. What will happen to our tax cuts?
The powers-that-be in Washington treat us like children clamoring for train sets or dollies that pee. They think those are sugarplums dancing in our heads. “Those tax cuts,” we keep insisting. They persist in enchanting us, telling us how brave our president was when the doctor stitched up his lip. “When,” they wonder, “will those kiddies quiet down about the goodies we don’t want to give them?”
This is when we must remind them that they aren’t “giving” us anything. The matter under discussion is whether we will be allowed to keep the money we have rightfully earned. They are debating whether to take even more of it than they already do or whether they — in their infinite wisdom — see fit to go on playing Santa Claus and take no more than they do now.
If we allow ourselves to be distracted, those tax cuts will be gone. We need to keep our wits about us and press our cause all the way through to Auld Lang Syne. If we get on the phone to our representatives, deluge them with emails and just generally keep up a fuss, they’ll get the message that we care more about our future than we do about blowout Christmas sales. Then, and only then, will we have a New Year worth celebrating.
For the power to keep this country going, we can depend on no one but ourselves. Batteries are not included. The extension of our tax cut isn’t going to come from Toys R Us. Nor can we expect any help from Chi Chi, Wills or Kate.