Bin Laden and his terrorist cohorts evidently took note of our pathetic response to the flooding of New Orleans, the faulty dykes, the pathetic failure to deliver aid to the victims, the racist response to the disaster from all too many Americans, and the fact that the city’s core is still a dysfunctional mess, and they decided that the Great Satan was way past his prime, and wasn’t worth the trouble and expense of another big-time assault.
Why waste bullets on a comatose behemoth taking its last gasping breaths?
And events since Katrina only provide more evidence to support such a condescending viewpoint. It would take a thousand bin Ladens decades to wreak the kind of havoc a few hundred Tea Party governors and congressmen have wrought in the last few months. Right here in Colorado, Republicans in the State Legislature are trying to eliminate the state tax on cigarettes because it supposedly “hurts small businesses” (they don’t explain how), and plan to make up the resulting shortfall in state revenue (by cutting $200 million from public school funding!).
That’s what I call far-sighted, visionary thinking (not), and it’s taking effect across the entire nation, on both the federal and state levels. TPs are using a budget crunch they created by cutting taxes to the wealthy as an excuse to punish the most vulnerable members of our society, the unemployed and poor, in addition to teachers, EMTs and other people who actually do something useful, in contrast to the CEOs, bankers, glorified loan sharks and swindlers who make up most of the top 1 percent of our country.
Don’t like my description of our nabobs and plutocrats? Here are a few facts you might like to consider. The oil and gas and mining companies who get rich pillaging our public lands pay next to nothing to the government in return.
Lumber companies logging on National Forests are only profitable because we, the public, pay for the roads they use to access our timber, for which they pay little if anything. Offshore oil drilling outfits, like British Petroleum, pay zero for the right to suck oil out of our seabed and sell it back to us. Huge agribusiness depends on government-funded irrigation projects and price supports to become richer and richer. And these 14-carat-gold-plated cheats, swindlers and parasites talk about “welfare chiselers” (masses of jobless Americans who supposedly would rather live on unemployment benefits than find honest work) and arrogant unionized teachers, cops, firemen and the like (whose “over-inflated salaries” are bankrupting our governments!).
It would be hilarious if it weren’t incredibly obscene.
And all this is going on in an America where there are 120,000 Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan vets living on our streets, homeless, victims of PTSD and a society that pretends to honor them but would rather buy a bigger SUV and a couple of extra ATVs than upgrade the VA’s overwhelmed medical system; where poor schoolchildren go without lunches, and poor families have to forego medical care because they can’t afford it; where it’s becoming almost impossible for middle-class Americans to send their sons and daughters to college without virtually bankrupting themselves; where the new federal budget rammed through by the TP-ers will cut the EPA’s budget in half, at a time when air and water pollution in “National Sacrifice Areas” like the low-income outskirts of Houston and the Navajo Indian Reservation is poisoning generations of people….
Behold the future the Tea Party is laying out for us: a third rate country controlled by a tiny elite class of super-wealthy men and women, a 21st century Banana Republic where those with the gold make the rules and the rest of us live out our lives in quiet desperation.
Maybe “class warfare,” that bugaboo of Republican propagandists and their hacks in the media, isn’t such a bad idea after all.