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Like All Robbers, They Wore Masks

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QAnon Shaman and his associates in that room emitted more gravitas and a less unsettling vibe than last night’s covetous bunch.

Hundreds of masked people conspired to rob your children and grandchildren on Wednesday evening in Washington. Like the Hamburglar, Robin Hood, and the Riddler, the thieves hid their faces behind masks.

Chalking up the facial accoutrement to the bylaws of the Secret Society of the Knights of Fauci misses something beyond their identities. The already vaccinated wore masks for the reasons other violators of “thou shalt not steal” do: so their victims cannot pick them out of a lineup, to allow the anonymity to boost their courage, to psychologically separate themselves from the act, shame.

The conspirator-in-chief outlined the $6 trillion in proposed and actual spending during his first 100 days in office at the gathering. “We can afford it,” Joe Biden assured his audience. But the weight of a $28 trillion debt and a fiscal year 2021 projected (before Biden took office) deficit of $2.3 trillion contradicts those words.

And who is this “we” of which the president speaks?

He insists the “We Those People” excludes everybody making less than $400,000 a year (strange that the cutoff comes at precisely the president’s salary). He implores the “wealthy Americans” to “just pay your fair share.” But the top 1 percent of earners already pays 38.5 percent of all income taxes — much more than the bottom 90 percent does. Does not that subjective phrase “fair share” more readily apply to the bottom 50 percent of earners paying just 3 percent of income taxes? Given that Biden issues his highwayman “stand and deliver” threat to a tiny fraction of the population on behalf of everyone else, the math works politically even if it fails to add up economically.

Apart from a sharp spike in corporate taxes, the proposal includes a more modest rise in individual rates to 39.6 percent. “That’s where it was when George W. was president,” Biden insists. Yes, and rates were zero under Woodrow Wilson and 70 percent under Ronald Reagan. He left out that part about Bush almost immediately changing that reality by cutting rates to the lowest of any president since his father. Joe Wilson, did you not get the invite for Wednesday night’s speech?

Biden says all this pays for “investments,” a euphemism that actually means bureaucracy and wealth transfers and big-government programs and not what millions of Americans voluntarily give to private-sector entities in hopes of a financial return — a return that generally arrives in a Madoffian manner on government “investments.” Hunter Biden, a master at this type of investing, surely profits here as he did in Ukraine and China. But the rest of us lacking his “investment” skills likely see little if any payoff.

A disconnect exists between Biden’s boasts and his promises. He brags of 1.3 million new jobs in his first 100 days in office. Then he says we need “the largest jobs plan since World War II.” Why does a nation with a rapidly falling unemployment rate now at six percent require a $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan from a man who never created one and who last worked in a private-sector job before the completion of the 20-years-gone World Trade Center? Joe Biden convinces listeners that they do not need his plan even as he tries to convince them that they do. One guesses that more unintended consequences follow for the American Jobs Plan.

The $1.8 trillion American Families Plan calls for free community college (the educational equivalent of housing projects), free babysitters (you get what you pay for), tax credits for families (real families or people who identify as families), and 12 weeks of paid family leave (because after COVID lockdowns the president believes employers can afford to pay people for not working).

The president also bravely said, “Let’s end cancer as we know it.”

Biden spoke of “a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues America.” He did not also declare war on Rougarou, the Jersey Devil, and Slender Man.

The president exchanged fist bumps with congressmen presumably to avoid contracting the coronavirus despite all parties receiving a vaccination they urge us to take.

He assured gun owners, “We’re not changing the Constitution. We’re being reasonable.” Phew!

He further perfected the Biden Whisper (“It’s making a difference — you all know it”), insincere earnestness through a planned lowering of the volume and slowing of cadence to spontaneously connect with strangers — a revolution in political rhetoric akin to the impact of “Magnum” on male modeling.

On the positive side, the commander-in-chief spoke of “ending the forever war in Afghanistan” and retired, if but for one night, the obnoxious habit of presidents using human props to gain support for their proposals.

A squinty-eyed Joe Biden mercifully finished reading words that others wrote for him after an hour and six minutes. The speaker of the House did not rip up the manuscript.