Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Who'll Drink to That?

When we heard that former Massachusetts Governor William “Happy Hour” Weld had been defrosted and returned to political life as the Vice-Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, we had only one thought:


Yup, it was time to unscrew a new bottle of S.S. Pierce scotch and pour ourselves (and Bill) triples to celebrate the return of the crowd-pleasing Brahmin.  We hadn't heard much from him since he dumped his first wife and Cambridge mansion and ankled to Fun City.  His absence seemed to make many hearts grow fonder, including Charlie Pierce's.

The Libertarian Party ticket hits the bar [Surely,
 the campaign trail? – Ed.]

But we woke the following morning and after a nip of the hair of the dog that bit us, we started to wonder what Weldo was getting himself into.  Topping his ticket is one Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, who holds fairly strong libertarian views (as might be expected) on issues such as taxing the rich and aiding the poor.  As you might imagine, he takes a dim view of both.

In 2012, he proposed cutting all Federal spending by 43%, including Medicare and Medicaid.  He's retreated from that and now only proposes cutting health care for the elderly and poor by 20%.  What happens to the unfortunate who die because they didn't get the medical treatment they couldn't afford?  Who knows?  Who cares?  Have another Chivas rocks, and soon you'll forget what you were worried about.

At the same time Johnson is afflicting the afflicted, he's eager to comfort the comfortable by repealing the income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax, or in other words, giving huge tax cuts to the rich and imposing on the poor and middle class a 30+% sales tax on everything consumed, including food.

As for trying to keep assault weapons and other deadly arms out of the hands of the deranged, the Libertarian Party and its standard bearer favor abolishing all controls on arms, including presumably the right to own and use machine guns, bazookas, portable ground-to-air missiles, and plutonium weapons.  Charlie Pierce's hero had to swallow hard and walk away from his previous position in favor of gun safety laws.  Above all, libertarians treasure freedom, including the freedom of kindergartners to be massacred beside their teachers by a deranged gunman with an assault rifle.

But don't say that Ten for the Tonsils Weld has lost his backbone.  When asked where he disagreed with the Libertarian Party platform, the Weldster replied that he preferred a flat tax (which also gives huge tax cuts to the plutocracy) to no income tax.  That might be because an across-the-board consumption tax would raise the price of Weld's favorite amber fluids by that same 30%.  At those prices, a Harvard man could die of thirst.  Unlike dying for lack of health care or in an elementary-school massacre, such a fate would be unthinkable.

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