Talkin’ with my old buddy Locutius. He was swilling Maker’s Mark and pondering taxes, I was swilling George Dickel and pondering the same. So, needless to say, we topped up our glasses and got to talking about taxes and who pays them and how, not matter what amount of money you make, it still pisses you off.
Then, probably due to the ingestion of good whiskey, I started to realize how we got to the mess that we are in. It was Ronnie Reagan on Miltie Friedman that got us thinking that we could have our cake and eat it too.
It is kinda like the old culty film “reefer madness”. Those two lovable thieves offered us the first toke. Where we are is the unravelling of lives of excess that started back in the late seventies and early eighties with those two charming con-men. They told us that we could ramp up the military, and cut taxes. They tried to cut all the unnecessary dreck like lunches for poor children, but the squeaking of enraged liberals made them laugh so hard that the forgot to finish that project.
But they sold us the first toke that led us to ruin. They got us used to the “facts” of government should be gutted and taxes were unforgivable intrusions on our personal freedom. Hell, the pull of “no taxes” and “lower taxes” still ring strong today. But the progressive taxes of the time would have gone a long way to reining in the greed that so permeates the banks. The close supervision of the banks and the separation of functions under Glass-Steigal kept the banks from becoming so powerful.
In the end, Ronnie and Miltie sold us the seeds to our own doom. They were little different than our old buddy Gordon Gecko in their praise of greed. Now the greed that as a society we have so assiduously cultivated is reaching out to strangle us.