Democratic Underground

The Tax Cut Man
May 25, 2001
by Art Bushwald

It was a fine, sunny day in River City, and the entire population was standing all abuzz along Main Street, watching the most glorious procession that they had ever seen. There were seventy-six trombones in that big parade, with a hundred and ten cornets right behind. They were followed by rows and rows of the finest virtuosos, who were all, joyously, singing:

Oho, the Tax Cut Bandwagon is a-comin' down the street
Oh don't let him pass you by
Oho, the Tax Cut Bandwagon is a-comin' down the street
To tell you all the things that you could buy

You just might get a Happy Meal at McDonald's
To put food on your fa-a-mily
Or maybe buy a muffler from Midas
Or get enough to put a gallon in your SUV

Oho, the Tax Cut Bandwagon...

As the music faded, the good people of River City strained to see what was bringing up the rear of the parade. It was a very ornately decorated circus wagon, with the words "Doctor Dubya's Traveling Tax Cut Show' emblazoned in gold letters across a magnificent bunting of red, white and blue. The wagon pulled to a stop in front of the cheering crowd, and two crisply dressed barkers started opening up the shutters of the wagon. Inside was a third, very immaculately attired gentleman who, according to some of the townspeople, looked amazingly like a chimpanzee.

"Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up and feast your eyes on Doctor Dubya's Traveling Tax Cut Show!" yelled one of the barkers, a balding, boyish looking man with glasses. "Witness the remarkable healing powers that tax cuts can have! Doctor Dubya's tax cuts have already had profound effects on the good people of Texas, and they can have a tremendous impact on you! So gather 'round, friends, and listen to the honorable and dignified words of the greatest healer of our time, Doctor Dubya!"

"Friends," began Doctor Dubya, reading from some 3x5 cards, "there is trouble here in River City. Trouble, I tell you, with a capital 'T'. The economy is going in the crapper. Our kids is not learning. And the corporations that built this great country are seeing reduced profits. But I got a solution to all that, my friends, and that is my magical mystery tax cut. It'll cure anything! Got rickety bridges? My tax cuts is just the thing for them. Is your schools falling apart? My tax cuts will fix 'em in a flash. Have a troubled marriage? My take cuts will get you and your loved one back together in no time. And the best part is, this is a ten year deal, folks, ten years of giving away the money that rightfully belongs to you!"

"How much money are we going to get back?" asked one of the townspeople.

"Sixteen hundred dollars, my friend," came the answer.

"Is everyone going to get sixteen hundred dollars?" asked another.

"No, some of you are going to get a bunch more, most will get less. It's gonna largely depend on how much you have previously contributed to the cause of Doctor Dubya."

Just then a young, frail-looking woman, obviously struggling with the tribulations of daily life, came forward with a baby in her arms. "Doctor Dubya, am I and my baby going to get anything?" she squeaked.

"Little lady, the best way to relieve families from time is to let them keep some of their own money," replied the 'Doctor', shuffling through his cards. "A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness. I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question."

The young mother looked perplexed and bewildered by the Doctor's reply, but Barker No. 1 thoughtfully provided a clarification: "That's a big NO."

Next, a very rotund gentleman dressed in a tuxedo and top hat that was emblazoned with an energy company insignia stepped forward. Barker No. 2, a balding man in his 60's, started to to become very excited.

"An oil man! A man after our own heart!" he exclaimed as he ran to hug the smartly garbed citizen. "Sir, you must be one of those poor starving millionaires that we have been hearing so much about! Believe me, sir, our hearts go out to you and to the hundreds of others like you who are fighting for your daily survival with less than modest means. Please, sir, take this," said the barker as he handed the tuxedoed man a suitcase stuffed with money. "And come again, sir, there'll be plenty more where that came from."

"Did you see that, folks?" shouted an onlooker named Matthews, who did not appear to be one of the local townsfolk. "Doctor Dubya and his people have hearts of gold! They understand all about the troubles of working folks like us! Surely we can trust them!"

"Indeed, they have immense hearts filled with unqualified compassion for the, ugh, common man," agreed another obsequious onlooker who was known by his friends as 'Will the Shill'. "The magnaminous doctor and his entourage are selfless citizens of the highest order of honor and integrity whose noble and courageous work is restoring dignity to this great land of ours."

However, at least one citizen, a grand old lady named Molly, was not impressed by the Doctor's show. "Hey, you quack!" she jeered. "I'm from Texas and I've seen what your tax cut elixir has done down there. Those folks are waking up with one hell of a hangover from all that snake oil you peddled them."

"Hey, what can I say, " shrugged the suddenly reticent Dubya. "I'm just glad I'm not there to deal with it."

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