A Republic If You Can Keep It - "Let the River Run"
An Appeal to Heaven - For Creative Thinking
Let the River Run
Recently I heard for the first time in years Carly Simon's Academy Award winning song from the 80s, "Let the River Run." In light of what is currently going on in Washington, the opening and closing words grabbed me - "Let the river run. Let all the dreamers wake the nation. Come the New Jerusalem!"
In the current fray over whether to extend the so-called "Bush tax cuts," both Republicans and Democrats are "sleepers" but not "dreamers." They offer "we the people" two tired and previously failed alternatives - extend the cuts or repeal them. No dreaming involved there.
Extend the cuts. Otherwise investment for new business and the creation of much needed jobs will dry up. There is an element of truth there. But what's to guarantee that the money for taxes foregone will be invested in new business and jobs? Why not the feeding of lavish life styles or foreign investment?
Repeal the cuts. We need the money to spend on "stimulus." Washington has done such a great job pouring good money after bad so far. Lets give them more to spend, if indeed the assumption is right that the so-called dirty, filthy rich will just keep on generating the income to tax. And if the taxes don't bring in enough, just borrow more from China!
Publius was "impressed" with what the current, incumbent Democratic governor of Ohio had to say in a recent interview about the future of the state's finances. We will have to make difficult and painful choices (translation: raises taxes). And, of course, we will be looking to our "friends" in the White House and Congress to bail us out until this recession is over.
I submit that both are wrong and have badly missed the mark. We have no assurance that money not taxed will go to investment that will create permanent jobs in this country. And we can't assume that the revenue inventory will remain constant after higher taxes or that our "friends" in Washington will spend any additional money collected in a productive way.
So let the river run, and let the "dreamers" wake the nation. First, repeal the tax cuts. But exempt from these higher taxes income invested in creating real American jobs or donated to charities that address real human needs - food, housing, clothing, health care, basic education. Government should give "we the people" the choice between paying higher taxes or doing something constructive with the dollars otherwise going into the black hole that is Washington. But the Democrats and the Republicans in power now are irrevocably immersed in a dreamless sleep.
The "New Jerusalem" of the Bible is the "Kingdom of God." The elimination of all of the fruits of evil - hunger, pain, illness, ignorance, injustice, and ultimately death. As Jesus made clear, we have the commission to build the Kingdom here on earth by our good works. The government is not charged with building the Kingdom, we are; but it can and should assist and give us the incentive to do so. Through us, we the people - the citizens of the Kingdom, the New Jerusalem can and must come.
But wait, how can the rules ever be written to make certain that the investments and contributions proposed by Publius are made, the nay-saying sleepers in the current Washington establishment will say. That logic didn't stop our representatives from passing the "health care reform" bill that few Congress persons read or purported to understand. They had the faith that someone could write the regulations to make sense of that bill.
The river is dry, our Congress and President are irrevocably trapped in a dreamless sleep, and the New Jerusalem remains elusive. But we the people in November have the power to let the river run, let the dreamers wake the nation, and call for the coming of the New Jerusalem. We have the right and opportunity to pass judgment on dreamless Republicans and Democrats alike. We still have a republic if only we will keep it.