EDITOR’S NOTE: OK, admittedly it’s not a very original title, but it IS accurate. William C. Henry is better known to me as ‘Uncle Bill.’ He’s always been a man of strong opinions and a persuasive argument-maker, but I was a little surprised to learn — after re-connecting with him after a prolonged period of radio silence — that his current perspective so closely mirrors that of Phawker. Which is refreshing, to say the least, since most (white) people seem to turn into Fox News zombies when they get to be his age (early 70s, FYI). Not Uncle Bill. It is often said that Democrats — including our president — need to grow a spine. Well, Uncle Bill is spine incarnate. He’s not afraid to rock the ALL CAPS. Although he does bleep out his own F-bombs, because he’s old school, and that’s how people used to curse back in the day. Be that as it may, I’ve invited him to weigh in from time to time, a la Lewis Black, on whatever is getting his goat at the moment. Without further ado, we bring you the first installment of SHIT MY UNCLE SAYS.
BY WILLIAM C. HENRY I’m going to confess right off the bat that I find this a really tough subject to comment on in any way even approaching a well-reasoned manner. I mean, where do you start when you’re dealing with TROGLODYTES? How do you deal with someone whose whole approach to a particular subject is based ENTIRELY on pure unadulterated BULLSHIT! What’s the game plan when it comes to rebutting outlandish exaggeration, murky obfuscation, purposeful pandering, simplistic fear mongering, and total avoidance of anything even resembling honesty, fairness, or fact? Well, here goes.
Let’s warm up with the changing budget reduction amounts the GOP keeps coming up with. A few days ago it was $31 billion. Then, just when it looked like the Dems might cave, the Teabags decided to “check and raise” to $61 billion. Find anything “disingenuous” about that? All right, hold your water! I told you this wasn’t going to be easy. To begin with, folks, you’ve got to understand that the real meat behind this sky-is-falling/end-of-life-as-we-know-it/ginned up national debt CALAMITY doesn’t amount to a half pound of ground round! These are the same kind of vile, scare-the-living-shit-out-of-the-rubes, lowlife tactics that the radical right wing has always resorted to whenever pressed to E X P L A I N themselves and their position (probably ought to include an (s) here since it’s prone to change depending upon the “fear” du jour) on any opportunistic and/or divisive issue. Anyway, let’s see if we can bring a little CLARITY to the situation.
First off, do you know that on March 1st the GAO (that’s the Congressional General Accounting Office, which is completely non-partisan and works for both sides of the isle) recently issued a report outlining how the government could easily save $200,000,000,000 over the next 10 years simply by eliminating duplication and overlapping of duties and responsibilities among agencies, departments, and other entities within the bureaucracy. I wonder why you don’t hear the Right (or Left for that matter) talking about THAT very much.
Secondly, have you noticed how it is that almost all the cuts, reductions and/or sacrifices the Right proposes never seem to effect the pocketbooks of THEIR particular constituencies, namely the wealthiest and most influential among us. In fact, they are now proposing that the tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires be further increased such that the maximum rate of taxation be no more than 25%! That’s what the rich and powerful call “getting their f _ _ _ _ _ g money’s worth” because they don’t even bother to hide the fact they buy and sell Congress on the open market every day.
Thirdly, Social Security is totally solvent thru 2043. Period. It also happens to be one of the most efficiently run agencies in Washington. Always has been. And, don’t forget, almost all of that outlay gets pumped right back into the economy every single month, month after month.
Finally (for now anyway), ever noticed how the Department of Defense seems to be immune from sacrifice? Do you know that we spend six TIMES as much on OUR military as any other nation on earth?! Do you suppose that means that, if need be, we could obliterate China 6 TIMES OVER?! Christ, you’d think two or three times ought to be sufficient! We’ve got over 800 military BASES around the world (are you shitting me?!)! Those bases are manned by over 2.5 MILLION uniformed personnel (and that doesn’t even count the TENS OF THOUSANDS of civilian personnel!)! What in God’s name do all of them DO?!
I mean, is this the definitive definition of insanity or what?! Do you know that we spend $200,000,000 a f _ _ _ _ _ g day in Afghanistan alone?! Beam me up Scotty, I’d like to try an intelligent civilization for a change! I could go on and on, but what’s the point? The utter stupidity and dimwittedness of it all is an affront even to the lower left-hand side of the Bell curve! So, are you beginning to get the picture? Hell, the biggest thing you and I have to be AFRAID of (and, in this case, I mean be VERY afraid of) is the radical right wing of the Republican party in this country. If they get their way, we’ll no longer be living in a democracy, we’ll be living in a goddamn PLUTOCRACY! Don’t laugh folks, we’re actually well on our way there as I speak. Do we need budgetary restraint? Of course we do for Christ’s sake! But what we need even more is a total restructuring of our P R I O R I T I E S. So, don’t let these right wing assholes tell you that there’s only one way to bring this situation under control. Ask them to E X P L A I N where and how the SACRIFICE is going to be SHARED. Let’s bring an end to the budget BULLSHIT!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William C. Henry is a self-described fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit.