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July 2, 2018


Without metaphors our ability to communicate would be constrained, as noted by George Lakoff, retired cognitive brain scientist and others. My older now-deceased brother made use of this lingual trick when he used to designate those “who had been around” with the label “They’ve been to a few county fairs.” The phrases are interchangeable.  He used this “county fair” label especially in connection with oft-divorced men and women, women of the night, corrupt politicians and the like. It was designed to convey a moral judgment from his superior perch as adjudicator of the society’s mores and folkways.

It occurs to me that our present political situation would fit nicely into his metaphor of “a few county fairs,” and it goes like this: Trump has certainly been to “a few county fairs” in his personal and business lives which are contrary to any rational or moral understanding of society’s mores, folkways and even the laws we have devised to protect the innocent from criminal conduct, but in matters political he is a blustering novice with little understanding of cause and effect flowing from thoughtless stands (either real or pretended) on trade, immigration, taxes and budget, foreign policy and the like.

However, Trump at least has the defense of ignorance and inexperience, but the same cannot be said of the Republican leadership in the House and Senate. McConnell and Ryan are neither inexperienced nor ignorant and have been to many county fairs in matters political. Even now they are plotting another corporate tax cut following the disastrous tax cut they foisted off on Americans and their children’s children just a little over six months ago. Apparently they see the handwriting on the wall coming this November and want to take your tax money and mine while the taking is good and again reward Wall Street with tax cuts at the cost in the aggregate of billions or trillions more in our national debt (made worse with increasing interest rates in management of that debt – the CBO has already predicted that interest on the debt by 2024 will exceed our costs for defense!). Think of what that wasted interest  money would do for the healthcare and education of our people, not to mention infrastructure repair and renewal and the millions of good-paying jobs such an effort would bring to our economy.

I have predicted a recession this year or next year at the latest resulting from the tax cut McConnell and Ryan gave Wall Street some six months ago. If this new tax bill (Scam #2) passes which will add to the pain and which Trump will sign since it adds to his bankroll, then I think the recession (or worse) will arrive earlier. The hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in additional interest when added to lesser rates of tax for the rich not only distorts our economy but may be a hit our economy cannot withstand and I think this scene is reminiscent of the “Roaring Twenties,” the then stock market crash and the Great Depression which followed.

I would be the last to compliment Trump, but I am beginning to think that he is not the worst actor on the political scene today since, after all, he is just attending his first county fair and could do little but for the assistance of Republican leadership. That cannot be said for McConnell and Ryan, who are veterans and have been to many county fairs and can add and subtract and know precisely what they are doing on behalf of the greedy. They apparently do not care about where America is headed with such reckless tax giveaways and its impact on budgets and associated costs such as interest and a Moody’s relook at the debt market and our creditworthiness.

Hold on to your hats, and resist with all your might the new tax cut for the rich bill just thrown into the legislative hopper. It could make the difference between recession and depression.    GERALD       E






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