The Journal


Serving the Metropolitan Area


Since 1872



June 11th




By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate


Syndicated by Acme Features


          Folks held this benefit concert for Orange County, somewhiles back. Former Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn rocked the Ice House in Fullerton, coupla miles north of Disneyland. So did DFL, FYP and Nonsense (that last bein' a punk rock group, not editorial comment). Warn't for Commander Cuatro or Darfur, though... not even a comrade busted for kat or gobbing on public sidewalks, not even them Greeks as went broke and got occupied by Germany… again!... the beneficiary was a local gumment! Proud and prosperous Orange Country, you may remember, bankrupted itself after its $1.5 billion treasury disappeared as a result of disastrous investments, then came the downsizing and the drought, the firesm, the plague and the Mexicans. Dada happens!

          Gumment is cheap... sometimes... but never inexpensive. Taxes, the song goes, are the price we pay for a free society.

          Used to be able to tell the difference between donkey boys and the elephant men... yes, there was a smidgen... by the way they talked, or didn't, about paying for societies as they intend to build over us.

          Democrats would mount the stump, wave arms some, promise cradle-to-the-grave healthcare, social security, free college, lunch, breakfasts and suppers. Maybe a pony, too, under all the crap!  Liberals!... as they were… vowing to tax the rich, but never doing so. Republicans would vote against the taxes on Wall Street, banks and other termites as do business behind closed doors, fire up the voters on keeping the nwords and dusky immigrants down, so we called them "conservative" and, come November, there existed a choice to choose between.

          Both, of course, groped their interns and financed jails - lots and lots of jails.

          Things started changing around 1980 when the center fell away... as Mr. Yeats remarks... and both institutional parties rolled into that middle of the bed together, tangled up in silk sheets of delusion. Cut taxes like Ronzo promised, but keep the spending, just as Tip O’Neill wanted, and you have the bipartisan Valhalla, ‘cept for the building up of deficits that were and are maintained by our good friends from Red China. That global Ponzi scam called the Dot Con revolution enabled this dope from Hope to at least stop increasing deficits awhile, so George III after him, then Obama after him, cut taxes on the one-percenters some more and threw the middle class some old car and funny mortgage rebates, then went round starting wars until the dollar dropped to less than half a euro and rose only after that sort of money devalued iself... to which Mr. Pettigrew and the guy as came after the guy and the gal who came after Greenspan, but before him, ganged up with the Tea Party/Alt-Right to promoted a magical cure: the flat tax or, as the black pizza guy briefly floated, ought-twelve, the nine-nine-nine.

          When I brought up this amendment in the Congress to replace their flat tax with a poll tax, like over in England during Maggie Thatcher’s regime, they voted it down five hundred something to six, but more than a few elephant men took me aside to say, more or less: "just give us a little more time on this!" Sure enuff - Senator Boortz' national food tax sailed through committee last March with more Dimmycrats votin' yea than nay thanks to the Immortalist lobbies (and Mister Bloomberg’s money) who got certified organic produce exempted. Hey... poor kids eat too much mac and cheese already; too many Ding Dongs.  Let ‘em munch radicchio!

          And both parties kept throwing money at failed corporations and foreign dictators through laundry machines like Ex-Im or the International Monetary Fund... dollars as get stashed in Belgian banks, promote outsourcing corporations and buy guns that, more often than not, get pointed against our troops when we finally have to invade and settle scores.

          Dobe Lockett, as used to tend the Senator's lawn at Miller's Ridge before marrying down, raised up one boy, Tyrone, on his pay from the magnetic tape people in the next county West. When we reunited, after the Senator's funeral, the tape people had moved on to Malaysia, Tyrone to the Silicon Sahara west of Austin and Dobe was doing odd jobs, besides night shifts at the Gasway off Interstate 75. He's 55 and prematurely retired from the world of money, if not work... one eye put out by a punk with a knife last year, bullet in his rib doctors say costs too much to dig out. So I keep paying him to cut grass twice a month in summers, and he comes to work in the truck his boy bought with stock options from that smart burglar alarm company in Texas. Doesn't talk much now, that Dobe, as used to jaw on about charity-sucking nwords, just a "mornin'!" by the mornings and a "night!" by nights. He's a PROL now... Prematurely Retired, Overqualified, Livin'-off-the-kids. Still one hundred two percent for President Trump, tho’!  Orwell would be right proud.

          Having no money, at least he don't have to fret about this Savings Tax, now, just them Russian mobsters as run most privatized Social Security and Medicare Part D accounts with an insolence to make even Bill Archer, the privatization man, himself, keep mantracizing that he never wanted more than a ten percent privatization for fear of "mischief, political favoritism and less money for Social Security recipients."

          Then there's the healthcare... once the O-Bomb and the Mitt agreed on swag for the insurance lobby and jail for the poor, this uppity Senator, John Kyl of Arizona (which tends to breed Republicans as become interesting, well, unless and until they aspire to higher office) suggested that elderly persons of means pay out-of-pocket premiums to doctors for special treatment over that as our still-busted Medicare and Medicaid allow.  And then The Donald… well, he didn’t repeal the insurance extortion parts of Obamacare, just the parts as let the medical and insurance lobbies go back to not necessarily kicking the old and sick off their rolls, just charging them thirty five hundred or so a month.  If middle-aged boomers have to ship Ma and Pa off to Santo Domingo to avoid getting swept up in the MTRA dragnet and other old codgers prefer to languish in jail for smuggling Lipitor, shootin' the mailman (if’n they can find one) or mercy-killing their spouses 'cause healthcare in the Graybar Hotel's better than anything they could find on the streets, well… ain't this just enlightened self-interest?

          We say that other sort of self-interest when the mess in ought-four was repeated at the height of the Latvian Flu as snuck in under the radar, last winter. A quarter-million Americans died (less than half the Covid casualties, true, but still equivalent to a city near on the size of Cincinnati) because the drug companies accidentally-on-purpose produced less than half the necessary vaccines, and sold much of what they did make to resellers, as asked sixty dollars a shot (a hundred in food stamps or small, negotiable electronics) in alleys behind Senior Centers of Southside Chicago, East Los Angeles and the Bronx.  It took months to get the CDC and Fauci and the NIH and health up to speed, but the speedy little virus manifested, spread, killed and was gone in weeks.

          Liberals, predictably, wailed about a two-tier system with the best health care going to the rich.  Best imitate the Canadians and have jackboot… or, north of Winnipeg… snowshoe thugs prevent those Kardashians from enjoying the celebrity rhinoplasty.  But rich people always have had access to better healthcare than the poor! It's in the Bible, if not the Constitution or Magna Carta... somewhere... we've been feuding over Medicare for decades now, doing nothing, so why shouldn't those as have the means protect their asses with gratuities to the Doc. Like as not he'll appreciate it... more money's going to HMO CEOs with MBAs than to MDs with student IOUs these days, to turn a few initials.

          Seeing as the Catfish way is to ensure minimum standards of care, I don't think it's so terrible at all. Americans tip taxi drivers, hotel maids and cocktail waitresses based on care and service: why not allow their friendly, local proctologist entry into what the smart fellows call a “concierge” system, as requires that they wash their hands a’fore doin’ that thing they do?

          If D-20/M-13 'Publicans and Democrat bootlickers can use an 1872 mining law to sell ten billions in Nevada gold to the effin' Canadians for $5,190 to finance their jackboots n’ snowshoes, us Catfish might as well also cut-out the middlemen, like that Los Angeles County Coroner's Office does with its little gift shop of horrors as sells coffee mugs and T-shirts, body tote bags, even real, surplus personalized toe tags as sex toys, or Austin Tillerman's people have done, offering to de-privatize... publicize?... their "Americas First" retail chain.

          Catfish politics and e-con'mics, remember, is about establishing floors, not ceilings.  After the White House and the Senate minority (but, thanks to their EZ-act filibuster) stopped going in circles over taxing the rich to pay for jobs and roads and bridges and childcare and stuff, everybody just took a nap and waited to see if things would improve after the midterm elections.

          It didn’t.

          This French fellow, Tommy Picketty, as wrote a long, long book that some people were reading during their long, long layovers at the airplane security stations, has an idea of paying off the deficit and the military without cutting entitlements.  He wants to tax the rich… not their incomes, but their capital.  In other words, a savings tax as is actually applied to stock holdings, Caribbean bank accounts and most of the ways in which the elites hide their wealth in addition to Don Jones’ piddling IRA account.  An interesting idea… as is explained in further detail in a Don Jones Index lesson of goin’ on five years ago, but even Frenchy admits that it’s not likely to happen even in Europe, let alone the U. S. of A.  So, in order to finance cutting back on debt and paying for the three, four hundred thousands of boots on the ground it’s gonna take to wipe out Johnny Jihad in Yemen and Juan Valdez in Costa Rica, it’s back to tax increases for the rich… and (despite anything Elizabeth Warren has to say) the middle class and poor… let’s say a ceiling on the order of about 45 percent at over what me or one of them others would make as President, as comes out to about a half million a year.  Plus a ten percent Bush/Obama/Trump surcharge until the national tab gets down to a maximum of ten trillion. Slightly less than half what it is now..

          Got a few other possibilities about securing our national security, paying for the infrastructure maintenance as will keep biting us in the form of trainwrecks and collapsing bridges if’n we don’t… foreign investment taxes for the rich Americans, gas taxes for the poor and death taxes for the dead.  We’re rounding up some e-con-mists as are as-yet not beholden to the plutocrats to lay out a few bare bones propositions as proposed in a DJI of two years ago.

          On the other hand, we could implore America's punk rockers... or grungers, rappers, technos and siliconed Am-Idol jailbait... to do more benefits, like they did in Orange where, said concert promoter John Pantle, "a very, very little" was raised to offset county debts, as ultimately had to be relieved by scrimping, higher taxes and... go figure!... more money from Washington and Sacramento.

          "One of Orange County's best natural resources is teenage angst, anger and resentment," Pantle told the media. "That's a very valuable resource that has yet to be tapped."