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Saturday | January 11, 2003

Strategery

Billmon

On the face of it, that big oily hunk of metal sitting in the middle of the road back there might look like the engine that just fell out of the Bush Administration's foreign policy.

I mean, what with North Korea riding hell-for-leather towards nuclear power status, and the UN arms inspectors in Iraq ad libbing like mad instead of following the director's script ("I just don't think that 'guilty, guilty, guilty!' line is right for my character, George") and with even the BRITS showing something resembling a backbone, you might think the past week has been something of a foreign policy fiasco for Team Bush, right?

Ah, but you would be wrong. In fact, the administration scored a major, major foreign policy victory this week, a triumph that was only obscured because of the VAST LEFT WING MEDIA CONSPIRACY, which as we all know has an iron grip on the primary source of news for most Americans: blogs, especially this blog. (I mean, we are "bleedin' edge" here, right?)

So what was this enormous victory? It was the President's tax plan.

Yes, that's right: that enormous heap of ultrarich pork fat -- which even now is sitting over in the House Clerk's Office, waiting to get fitted for a suit of legislative language, looking just like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, only not as charismatic.

Um. where was I? Oh, yeah, the President's big foreign policy victory!

Now what, you may ask, what does giving humongous tax breaks to the kind of people who fly the Concorde to Paris for lunch have to do with foreign policy? (Unless, of course, you're Kenny Boy Lay, in which case flying the Concorde to Paris for lunch is a foreign policy, and a damned profitable one at that.)

Well. We haven't been keeping up on our national security strategy documents, have we?

Last summer, instead of writing that paper about "what I did on my vacation," Condi Rice stayed up late every night drafting the administration's bold, sweeping, heroic plan for securing the blessing of prosperity on ourselves and our . . . wait. Sorry, wrong paper. . . Four score and seven years ago? . . . Pay any price; bear any burden? Hang on.

Ah, here it is: "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America" -- the new Manhattan telephone directory-sized guide to our foreign policy future. Hah! Take that, John DiIulio. They do so do policy.

Now in preparing this document, Condi Rice no doubt pondered much sage advice from many wise sources on how the United States should deal with the problems and opportunities facing the world's only superpower in the 21st century.

She then ignored all that bleeding heart rubbish and wrote her door stopper, which can be fairly summarized as: "Just do it." I understand the White House wanted to put the Swoosh logo on the cover, but the Nike people were just a little too fussy about the trademark thing.

Anyway, instead of embracing a patient policy of multilateral cooperation, alliance building and collective security -- in other words, the foreign policy of just about every U.S. leader since World War II whose name is not Ollie North -- Rice argued that the United States shouldn't be afraid to act alone, facing down the forces of evil and injustice, then riding off into the sunset like the Lone Ranger.

Well, of course, this bold and adventurous policy has already managed to get us into a very bold, very adventurous and very deep bucket of shit. And instead of looking like the Lone Ranger, Rice's boss is starting to look more like a certain part of Silver's anatomy, and I'm not talking about his long flowing mane.

But ALL IS NOT LOST. If you read deep into Rice's tome, you will find Chapter 6, Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth Through Free Markets and Trade. And in that chapter you will find this:

"We will use our economic engagement with other countries to underscore the benefits of policies that generate higher productivity and sustained economic growth, including . . . tax policies (particularly lower marginal tax rates (my emphasis) that improve incentives for work and investment."

Yes, that's right -- lower marginal rates are now officially part of America's National Security Strategy. The supply-side millennium has arrived.

And what better way to lead the world into those broad and shining uplands of lower marginal taxation, than by setting a clear and uncompromising example here at home? (Pay any price; bear any burden.)

So cheer up America! (Cue swelling patriotic music) Though the path may seem dark and our President clueless, there is still hope. By accelerating reductions in the top marginal federal income tax rate, we can send a message that will be heard by free people around the world!

Thank you, and may God bless.

Posted January 11, 2003 11:41 AM | Comments (64)





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