With all due respect, if they were alive today, I would like to kick either Prince Siddhartha or Aristotle in their sack. The Buddha’s “The Middle Way” or Aristotle’s view of virtue have been grasped by our supposedly progressive punditry and ran with like a dog with a new toy. Oh some make fun of the Republican’s idea of compromise, but have a hard time seeing that their side is too quick to compromise, or to give merit where there is none to the opposing side’s views. Yes, it is a good idea to be open to other’s ideas, but not when, after examination, they have no value whatsoever.
Look at our current budget “crisis.” First off, with the exception of Paul Krugman, few pundits out there are mentioning the fact that deficits, even huge ones, are not the end of the world. Are they idea? Of course not, but we are not destroying our children’s future at our current rate of deficit. We could probably double the deficit and still have some bright and shiny days ahead of us.
Leaving that aside, though, the solutions are ridiculous. The fact that raising revenue by raising taxes is completely off the table and it shouldn’t be. It definitely shouldn’t be when we consider that a large portion of the largest corporations pay no taxes whatsoever, and a few of those even pay negative taxes. Which is to say we, the American tax payers, pay them just to exist. Imagine how much we could close those budget gaps you hate so much if we had them paying even half of what they are supposed to. Instead we want to cut programs that would put money in the hands of people who first off, need it, and second off, will spend it, boosting the economy and… wait for it… raise tax revenues and therefore close the budget gap.
The truly frustrating part of this, or with our penchant for ignoring logic altogether in this country, is the fact that so many of these ideas are glaringly bad, or conversely, obviously good, and yet so many smart people fall into the trap. We have liberal icons such as Jon Stewart (and no, he is not alone in this) acting like his fellow lefties behave as badly as the right based on what? Keith Olbermann? Two facts I would like to point out about that: one, a single pundit on the left does not an entire network on the right make, and two, Olbermann is a self-aggrandizing, smug, often foul-mouthed jerk but he is also, often, factually correct.
So do me a favor, oh champions of the middle way, take the time to look over the arguments before telling me one side is just as bad as the other. If we look at the facts, and apply logic, it is clear this is not the case. Oh, and apologies to Sid and Ari, I know it’s not your fault that your advocates don’t get you.