Remember that Kevin Costner movie from the 90′s where he plays a character that goes to war in the middle east. Then he comes home from overseas to find his house foreclosed on and that a faction of the government, led by a man named John, has turned against its own people. In his absence, the country had been turned into a Banana Republic, a place where 1% of the population has over 20% of the wealth. While he was gone, 80% of the wealth generated had gone to the same top 1%. At the same time, the poor were being squeezed for every last shilling they had. Programs put in place to help the least fortunate were thrown out and the money given to the wealthy. New taxes were levied on the poor but cut for the rich. Economic inequality had risen to its highest point since before the invasion of the Normans.
You remember this movie right? What happens? Kevin Costner doesn’t put up with that shit. He joins forces with a black Muslim, a big ass white guy, a member of the clergy and Christian Slater and hunts down these assholes and returns the money they stole from the poor, the sick and the downtrodden. At the end of the movie he even hooks up with the maid. What a guy!
People like the moral of this story. That flaming arrow scene was cool too. But regardless, people tend to think of this character, as dashing and over the top as he might be, as a hero.
If you haven’t guessed already, let me spoil it for you. This clever Robin Hood blog is thinly veiled reference to the impending 2012 budget show down. The John I’m referring to isn’t the wayward price, but the John with a Boehner (Yeah, I know, it’s pronounced with an A). But like the guy who got some really bad advice from his sheriff, this motley crew feels a sense of entitlement that couldn’t be more unpatriotic. To them, our country is nothing more than a giant country club and we serfs should be grateful to make sure their drinks are on the house.
We all realize there is an economic crisis going on. I think most people figured that out when the guy from the bank threw them out of their houses and not when the Republicans blamed the death of Jesus on NPR. But actions speak louder than words.
The Republican budget proposal for 2012, crafted by the Sheriff of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, reveals their true intentions to anyone who cares to read it. It’s filled with cuts to such things as cancer research. Because cancer patients have had it far too easy for far too long. Cuts to Planned Parenthood because birth control is immoral. Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency because…well, fuck a clean glass of water. Why don’t you cut the fire department while you’re at it, those fuckin freeloaders.
What’s next? Taking kids lunch money? Ohh never mind, they thought of that too. The budget proposal includes plenty of cuts to the Head Start program because those starving kids are dead weight and need to get a job.
The Pentagon sent a list of items that they themselves consider wasteful spending, and should be cut. But what’s better than cutting defense spending? Emergency funding for people who can’t afford to heat their homes in the winter, lets cut that. And as if this wasn’t enough of a bag over the head, they went ahead and put more tax cuts for the wealthy and the corporations in this budget solution. Because nothing brings down a deficit like reducing revenue. That’s right, Paul Ryan wants to lower the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans from 35% to 25%. What a dick.
Never mind the fact that Exxon Mobile and GE, two of the most profitable corporations in the world, pay 0 taxes. And for those of you at home keeping score, this isn’t a metaphorical zero…it’s an actual one. But somehow its the poor who have to sacrifice for this budget crisis and pad the pockets of the wealthy just a little bit more in the process.
Paul Ryan and John Boehner and quite literally taking from the poor and giving it to the rich. If this were the movies, Robin Hood would swing off the top of the House of Representatives, crash through the window and make them give it back. And just for good measure he would probably take their clothes.
Of course Robin Hood is a fictional character, but Kevin Costner is real. Perhaps someday soon he’ll show up and help us restore economic equality. But just like Robin Hood, he won’t be able to accomplish this by himself. If only there was a black man with a middle-eastern sounding name that would help us. I’m not sure that we have anyone like that though, do we?