Dear pals and other people, is that not one hellishly handsome birthday cake? It was delivered at Windycon, a gift from Malcolm Phifer, and the only thing that isn’t exactly right about it is that I won’t actually turn 93 until the 26th of this month. But better early than never is what I always say — or more accurately, I’ve never said it before, but now for the sake of gratitude for a kind thought I’ll say it loud and clear. Thank you, Malcolm!
In fact, I’ll go further than Malcolm or anyone at Windycon may have intended. I take this cake to be a testimonial to the fact that people who live a long time and don’t lose the ability to recognize bunkum when somebody tries to sell it to them deserve to be listened to now and then.
Me, for instance.
Through this blog and every other way I have to communicate an opinion, I’ve been urging you guys to sniff what the employees of the Koch brothers have been handing you before you swallow any of it. They spent fortune after fortune on TV ads and hired “commentators” to try to make you and the rest of the American people believe that tax cuts equal prosperity. That’s not true, and anybody who has tried to understand our country’s history knows it isn’t true.
One of the most prosperous periods our country ever had was in the years just after WWII. There were a lot of reasons for that prosperity, but cutting taxes wasn’t one of them. Our highest tax rate now is 30%. The highest tax rate then was three times that — 90%! — and the prosperity sailed on.
Does anybody really believe in such other fictions as that making drastic tax cuts for the extremely wealthy helps anyone but the same extremely wealthy? Can you imagine that Mrs. Romney would have tripped down the White House stairs to where her husband was chuckling over the latest Wall Street Journal and said, “Oh, darling, thank you for that new tax cut. Now I can afford that fourth Cadillac, and maybe you won’t have to put Detroit in bankruptcy!”
Well, it isn’t good form to kick people when they’re down, although with all that money I can’t feel real sorry for the man. It’s an enjoyable sport, but I’m going to turn to other subjects, including a few ideas that I’ve been turning over in my mind.
For instance, there are a few hundred people scattered around the world who get up early every morning to try to save some of our wildlife. They check the ground around every skyscraper to take away the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of bodies of songbirds that have committed suicide during the night by flying head-on into the banks of fiercely bright lights aimed at the sky in almost every tall building. (If the seekers are very lucky, they may find a few birds that can be saved.)
So what do we do about it? We (1) create a tax on high-up lighting above a certain brightness which (2) gets more expensive every year, thus giving landlords time to make changes to lower the tax, at the same time (3) making our cities less deadly to wildlife as well as (4) slowing down the yearly increase in burning oil, coal and natural gas to generate electricity that has been increasing the carbon loading on the atmosphere and currently getting worse every year, and — oh, yeah (5), giving our mayors, governors and presidents what they’ve all been looking for so desperately, something new to tax.