The Broadway musical "Annie" is enjoying another revival on Broadway. The show opened during the Carter administration when America was in need of some optimism. "The sun'll come out tomorrow," sang Annie, and with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, for a while, it did.
Now we're back in "Hooverville," the name given to shanty towns that popped up during the Great Depression. It isn't that bad yet, though the Obama administration is forecasting gloom and doom if Republicans don't cave on another tax increase.
"We'd like to thank you Herbert Hoover for really showing us the way," sang the fictional residents of "Hooverville" in "Annie." Now, I think we need an updated song that reflects what this administration has given us and so I offer these original lyrics to be sung to the tune of "Margaritaville." All together now:
Millions on food stamps
Finding jobs? No chance
Government spending has put us in hock
Taxing and spending
Without any ending
If we go on like this we'll all be in shock.
Wasting away today in new Sequesterville
Searching for some honest pols in D.C.
Some people claim that just one party's to blame
But I know the real problem is we.
Yes, the real problem is that too many of us send these politicians from different parties to Washington only to then complain about the gridlock. It's because too many of us haven't made up our minds what we want government to be, what we should expect from it and, more importantly, what we should expect from ourselves.
The entire sequester scenario is about delivering the House of Representatives to Democrats in 2014. The Washington Post last week exposed that strategy. "Obama, fresh off his November re-election," writes the Post, "began almost at once executing plans to win back the House in 2014, which he and his advisers believe will be crucial to the outcome of his second term and to his legacy as president. He is doing so by trying to articulate for the American electorate his own feelings -- an exasperation with an opposition party that blocks even the most politically popular elements of his agenda."
Furloughing people from government jobs is part of the process, but unnecessary. According to projections from the Congressional Budget Office, tax revenue could hit $2.7 trillion in 2013. Government doesn't lack revenue. Government lacks restraint.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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