With the general election just over two months away, a cascade of bad economic news keeps drowning the hopes of Americans. Worse, everywhere you look there are either new congressional measures or White House executive actions that have failed or even backfired.
The Republicans had a hand in helping to create today's economic morass. Now the party is trying desperately to resuscitate is policies from the days of Ronald Reagan, and of Newt Gingrich's revolution. Recently, House Minority Leader John Boehner listed an assortment of proposals the GOP would seek to revive if they regain power.
In so doing, Boehner revealed a debilitating aspect of recent Obama-led legislation. It's a requirement that companies big and small must issue a 1099 federal tax form to any entity to whom they pay more than $600 a year. If strictly interpreted by the IRS, it could mean a mom-and-pop business having to call, say, Home Depot, to obtain its federal identification number. To say nothing of the extra paperwork.
Forget for a moment the waste of time and money this would require. What of the additional trees that would have to be cut down just to create the paper needed for such a jewel of a law? Al Gore, where are you when we need you?
For the moment, those trees are still standing, and as the political winds start to blow harder, I see them leaning evermore to the right. If things get much worse, they might topple. And so might the whole political forest we so reluctantly dwell in.