Stevieslaw: The White Rabbit to the Rescue
Pennsylvania is one of many states still trying to recover economically from the Great Recession. In many ways, our lawmakers are to blame for not being sufficiently “quick on their feet.” Minnesota, for example, immediately changed the name of the state to The Minnesota State-too-big-to-fail Bank and benefited from a generous federal bailout.
Republicans have controlled both houses of state government for many years in Pennsylvania and have steadfastly refused to raise taxes. They have even refused to follow the example of all other states and raise taxes and fees on the Marcellus Shale fracking companies, for fear their reelection campaigns will be underfunded. Over the years, they have borrowed money, cut non-essential spending—Governor Corbett cut the funds for public education by a billion dollars, and taken money from other programs.
The state will lose its ability to pay its bills on Friday. While for many families that’s as common as the Friday before payday, it’s a relatively new feeling for the state. The PA House, back from vacation in the nick of time, has come up with a radical plan to borrow and cut non-essentially spending and shift money from programs that don’t need it—like public transportation. Some spoilsports have pointed out that the budget plan depends on shifting money from programs that don’t exist.
Now, House Speaker, Mike Turzai, has come up with a startling new plan. He will borrow the money from his friend Harvey, an invisible 6 ‘ 31/2” white rabbit—you may remember him from the movie of the same name. Mike says, “This will revolutionize funding in Pennsylvania. And Harvey has lots of money, he’s always buying the next round at the local.”
We are not alone at likening the current Republican Party to the know-nothing party of the mid-1850’s. The party, which was known actually known as the American Party (earlier the Native American Party) was an anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic movement. When adherents to the party were asked about the specifics of their party’s platform, they were told to reply, “I know nothing.”
It would be refreshing if the current Republicans could return to that simple statement. They could still say “I’m not a scientist,” as long as they didn’t continue with the “but.” Think of all the absolute garbage we would not have to hear about reproductive rights, nice white supremacists, climate change and the poor, if they would just respond with the simple and accurate, “I know nothing.”
Too much to hope for?