Slip Slidin’ Away: The Republican Majority

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away – Paul Simon

Remember that song? Paul Simon actually recorded it for his album Still Crazy After All These Years which was released in 1975, but it didn’t make the cut. Slip Sliding Away was finally released on his greatest hits album in 1977 as an afterthought to fill in the requisite number of songs. It rose to number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1978.

For the record, Simon never thought he’d really nailed the song, which is kind of ironic since the song is a sad one about how people don’t really achieve what they’re after, even when it’s right in front of them:

And I know a father
Who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons
For the things he’d done
He came a long way
Just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and headed home again

So here’s where I’m going with this: The Republican party who were knocked out by the last disastrous years of the Bush Administration and who rebounded to take both houses of Congress in 2014 and the Presidency in November 2016 and who have decimated the Democrats at the state level, can’t realize their dreams either.

Hence the song that keeps running through my mind.

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

See, if you’re a believer in tighter borders, lower taxes, less government regulation or the end of Obamacare, this was going to be the watershed of the political wave. And that doesn’t even include the giddy prospect of a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for a generation. This was the triumphant payoff for the long 8 years of exile in the desert.

The Republican leadership called for the support of their voters: “just give us back the House.” Done. “Now we need the Senate!” Done. “Okay, the final piece, the President.” Done. And by God, the voters delivered. But less than one year into the new Republican Valla Halla, the Republicans in Washington has traveled far to explain themselves but once there, has kissed their sleeping boy and walked away, as the song says, without ever doing what they were sent there to do or meant to do by coming to Washington

First, it was the inability to repeal and replace Obamacare. That was the original reward promised to the Republican voters in 2012 as their party took back the House. But the Republicans have lost sight of why they were sent to Washington.

How do I know this? Because I just got my bill for health insurance for my family for 2018. My premium has increased two and a half times since 2011 when the Affordable Care Act went into effect. The deductibles I’m responsible for have also doubled. People may now just be waking up to the result of this Republican failure.

There was a reason Obamacare was supposed to be replaced – It is unsustainable and failing. Don’t let the rising numbers signing up for the government- sponsored exchanges fool you, it’s because the old system of individual insurance company plans is failing.

Then there was DACA (here’s a refresher course) You remember – the “Dreamers.” Trump erased the Obama regulation that allowed the minor children of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. He then threw the issue back to Congress where it belonged in the first place. This was an excellent opportunity for Republicans to do some horse trading in exchange for the wall or something along those lines. Here that from the Republican leadership? Crickets.

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

The latest slap in the face to the Republican faithful is Tax Reform. The Republican Congress is twisting itself into knots to appeal to well…Democrats. They have caved into years of class warfare by Democrats and the media by actually appearing to raise taxes for some groups while making simplification confusing. Now that’s a good trick!

Like the Obamacare issue, there really is a lot wrong with our corporate and personal tax code. So many revisions have been made by politicians currying favor with voters over the years that it’s a complex jumble. It’s been used to support and reinforce the behavior by Americans that’s in political vogue at a particular point in history. Think of the mortgage interest deduction. It’s simply government reinforcing homeowner’s behavior. Why does the Federal Government allow us to deduct our state and local taxes? Maybe to take the sting off of our already too high state taxes in a lot of states? It’s actually allowed states to spend with impunity.

And, why is it so hard to cut taxes on corporations? The result of our high corporate rate is dollars parked overseas in better tax environments including despicable tax havens. Republicans could act to bring that capital home and it would result in big corporate investment in America and jobs. It’s a layup, a no- brainer, a slam dunk.

So the Republicans, who are in control of Congress and have a Republican president ready to sign a bill, can’t seem to get their act together at the exact moment where their stars have aligned. The House passed one bill, the Senate another and Senators are already lining up to vote against any bill. Tax reform and cuts is unlikely to pass in any meaningful way.

Pretty soon, The people who sent Republicans to do the job they promised will wise up. Meanwhile behind closed doors, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and their minions are laughing hysterically.

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Jon Saltzman is the Publisher and Senior Editor of Political Storm and sadly, is old enough to remember Slip Sliding Away very well.

For Paul Simon fans, here’s a rendition by Simon and his sometime partner, Art Garfunkle in Central Park n 1982:

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TheObjectivePodcast
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Editor

Loved this, Jon. It's unacceptable that in a time where it seems 'the stars have aligned,' the Right can't get it right. What more could Republicans ask for with the House, Senate and the Presidency! It's time for productivity! Hopefully they don't continue like the father in the song!

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