I loved J.R. Ewing. Wheeler-dealer, villain, rascal, scoundrel. Larry Hagman was an interesting guy, too. He died Friday, and I’m going to miss him. One of the most highly watched episodes of Dallas, the prime-time soap opera that ran for 13 years from 1978-1991 was the episode that answered that most famous cliff-hanger question, Who Shot J.R.?
Now our national fiscal budget has been reduced to sound bites. We are coming near a “Fiscal Cliff-Hanger.” Really? REALLY? Well the alleged cliff which we are hanging on was the President’s idea for “holding Congress’ feet to the fire” over budget reform. We must tax those extremely wealthy people making $200,000! That will pay for 8 days of the national budget! Surely Shirley that will solve all of our financial problems.
Republicans and Democrats are talking in code. We won’t raise taxes on the middle class! No sir! We are simply going to simplify the tax code and “reform” the deductions. Read between the lines, that’s the end of itemized deductions like the charitable deduction and the mortgage interest deduction. Goodbye American Red Cross, Salvation Army, World Vision and Feed the Children, along with all of the other foundations set up by billionaires to avoid income tax and huge estate taxes like the Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
Luckily we have sound-bite slogans like triggers, sequesters and lock-boxes to pretend that we can’t balance our checkbook and it is impossible to get a credit limit increase on the National Visa Card. Isn’t it about time that we got some people in charge who are less interested in keeping their jobs than in solving the very serious problems facing our nation.
P.S. Remind me not to watch Sunday morning political talk shows…Breathe in, Breathe out, Breathe in, Breathe out.