The Onion turns to straight reporting

Don’t know if you saw this at The Onion. What grabbed me about it is that it is in no way an exaggeration. There are hundreds of Republicans across the nation who are actually, sincerely torn by the horns of this very “dilemma,” even though they wouldn’t describe it in the same words:

Congressman Torn Between Meaningless Pledge To Anti-Tax Zealot, Well-Being Of Nation

WASHINGTON—Amid ongoing negotiations in Congress over the looming “fiscal cliff,” Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) told reporters Wednesday he is “completely torn” between his commitment to conservative activist Grover Norquist’s meaningless anti-tax pledge and the general welfare of the entire country. “On the one hand, you have a nonsensical promise to blindly oppose tax increases regardless of circumstances, but on the other, you have the well-being of more than 300 million people and the long-term stability of the entire U.S. economy,” said Reed, adding that he is “really stuck between a rock and a hard place” now that he must decide between his loyalty to a dogmatic political lobbyist and his responsibility to serve the best interests of his constituents. “At the end of the day, it’s a question of whether a nonbinding signature on an outdated and worthless pledge written 26 years ago is more important than preventing the nation from completely going to hell. I just don’t know what to do here.” When reached for comment, Norquist urged the pledge’s signatories in Congress to “remember what’s really important” before sacrificing utterly irrational principles for the sake of the country’s future.

16 thoughts on “The Onion turns to straight reporting

  1. bud

    Is it true that the Onion posted a satirical report proclaiming the North Korean leader as “Hunk of the Year”? And the North Korean press picked up on this, unaware that it was a spoof. Priceless if that’s true.

  2. Mark Stewart

    I’m not so sure. What better way for the editors of an English-language Chinese paper to tweak their own leadership’s attachment to North Korea? Sometimes Dumb and Dumber is the smart play.

    We will never know, however, either way.

  3. Steve Gordy

    WRT The Onion’s report on Kim Jong Eun as “hunk of the year,” when I saw the news reports that the Chinese media were reporting it as a factual item, I almost sprayed coffee all over my keyboard.

  4. Brad

    Also, I should probably say that Reed is NOT seen as among the wilder ideologues of the 2010 freshman class. In fact, he’s more of a liaison between them and the GOP leadership, according to Politico:

    “Ever since he won a special election to replace Eric Massa last year, Reed has been central to leadership’s dealings with the freshmen. And he was rewarded for that with a conference committee position on the payroll tax bill (though he may not thank them for it forever.) If Reed survives New York’s redistricting process, expect him to be a player in future sessions.”

  5. Silence

    If revenues are increased, we’ll just spend more money. There’s no tax revenue problem, it’s purely a spending issue. I applaud Grover Norquist and his relentless efforts on behalf of the taxpayer.

  6. Brad

    Silence, we’ll just spend more money anyway. We’re already doing it, and we did it spectacularly the last time a Republican was in the White House.

    If you can say “I applaud Grover Norquist,” then I don’t know what to tell you. Beyond saying that you must have never met him.

  7. bud

    There’s no tax revenue problem, it’s purely a spending issue.

    Wow Silence you better get back in the time machine and head back to the 1980s. That comment is nothing more than a worn out cliche designed to convinve folks that cutting taxes for the rich is some kind of noble crusade to fight the evils of the tax and spend liberal crowd. What a croc.

    I say it’s high time to call the GOP obstructionists and simply go over the cliff. Until they can specify what loopholes they want to cut then all they’re really doing is posturing in an attempt to kick the can down the road. By now that can must look pretty beatup.

  8. Brad

    To be completely fair to the real-life Rep. Tom Reed, he is at least keeping his options open on tax increases:

    “Reed, who has signed lobbyist Grover Norquist‘s pledge to never raise taxes, stopped short of saying a tax increase for the wealthy is out of the question.

    “Asked if he would take a deal raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, Reed said, ‘We’re going to have to wait and see exactly what the package is.'”

    Ironically, seeing that he apparently styles himself a fiscal conservative, is that Rep. Reed’s other top priority, along with avoiding the fiscal cliff, is passing a farm bill, which historically has been one of the biggest boondoggles in the discretionary budget…

  9. Silence

    Well, I’ve obviously never met Grover Norquist. However, I’d rather run a deficit with low tax rates than high ones. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Agreed though, that R’s and D’s both overspend together in lockstep.

    I think the only famous people I’ve met are:
    Bill Clinton
    Al Gore
    Joe Lieberman
    Alfonzo Ribiero
    Vanessa Williams
    Heather Nauert
    Scott Baio
    D.L. Hughley
    Michael Stipe

  10. Mark Stewart

    It’s the J. Edgar Hoover-ish edge to his personality that would seem to be absolutely off-putting to almost all politicians. How is it that they don’t see that they have given Norquist the power he holds over them?

    All they have to do is walk and he is a non-entity in the discourse.

    Silence is right; this is all about spending. But it’s even more about balance. Too many pundits are trying to force this down to a teeter-totter viewpoint when the entire tax and spend issue is more like a three-axis array. We have who (to tax), how (to distribute or close loopholes & distibutions) and how much (revenue in & expenditures out) to consider here.

  11. bud

    During a severe recession you tear down an old bridge and build a new one. If you have no bridges in need of replacement you tear down a perfectly good bridge and build a new one. When the economy overheats to the point of inflation setting in you raise taxes and cut spending. This will lead to budget surpluses which can then be used to pay for building bridges when recession hits. If managed properly this fiscal policy approach, in conjunction with sound monetary policy, should prevent extreme unemployment or inflation. Sadly our government doesn’t work that way.

  12. Steve Gordy

    If taxes go up, everyone who pays taxes will have more of a stake in holding our representatives accountable for wasteful spending. Grover Norquist will never stop beating the “no more taxes, not no way, not no how” for any reason. He makes too good a living from doing it.

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