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Friday, October 27, 2006

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

An election - an advanced
auction of the stolen merchandise

Whoo boy, the excitement is electrifying. In a couple of days we, as American citizens, will march to the polls and make our voice heard.

Politicians are in full form right now, from county to nation - doing their best to convince us that each is the best choice to represent our interests.

Personally, I am nearly in a tizzy as I add up the pros and cons for this and that candidate. Take the Texas governor’s race. So many candidates, and only one vote.

First there is our reigning governor, Mr. Perry, whom I think of as Mr. Hair. Every time I see him I think of Sam Malone, the star character of the Cheers television show.

Remember him? A hurricane could blow through and Sam’s first thought was his hair. What a girl, and I mean Mr. Perry, not Sam. Then there is Chris Bell. Who is he?

Believe it or not, he is the candidate for the other party in our amazing two-party system. It was recently said by a Democrat political organizer that Bush, and hence the Republicans, are so well hated at the moment that the Democrats could run a refrigerator against a Republican incumbent and win.

I can only theorize that Chris Bell is the Texas Democratic party’s attempt to actually prove this theory.

Of course there are the best-publicized independent candidates: One-Tough-Grandma-Strayhorn-hyphenated-something-or-other (the woman has more names than a book on choosing a name for your new baby) and good old Kinky Friedman, a cigar-smoking Jew-writer-bad-singer in a cowboy hat who tells off-color jokes.

Strayhorn-whatever bills herself as an outsider to the Austin political camp, but whose resume reveals she never drew a paycheck that wasn’t signed by a bureaucrat.

Kinky, well, is just kinky. A while back, I would actually have been breathless to vote for someone who was not just another politician looking for a free ride. That was back when I thought the system was broken, but could be fixed.

A couple of decades of watching the system in action have cured me of that particular fantasy.

Anyway, at least Kinky makes the governor’s race interesting, which is more than I can say about any of the others - from county on up.

The only reason Kinky is interesting is that Governor Kinky would just have to screw things up in Austin for a little while - and anytime the bureaucratic machine has a monkey wrench in it is a good time for the mooks who pay taxes.

But, they would probably get to him pretty quick, and in a few months, he would be signing this spending bill, and awarding this grant to this agency, lobbying for this money to go to these people, and trying to figure out how to milk more money from the taxpayers to hand out.

It all comes down to just what an election is. Recently, I heard the best definition ever.

The true definition of an election: “An advanced auction of the stolen merchandise.” Bubba, that just sums it up, from county to D.C.

Because that is all we are really talking about when we talk about who we are going to vote for - what we mean is, “Who do we think will give us a bigger piece of the pie.”

The pie is tax revenue, and facing facts, tax money is stolen money. I don’t see how you could consider it anything but stolen money.

Can you imagine how many tax dollars would flow to the County or Austin or Washington if they didn’t have a loaded gun pointed at people’s heads when they stick their hands out?

“An advanced auction of the stolen merchandise.”

It sums up the whole game.

With that in mind, here are my political predictions for the coming elections:

We will elect a lot of incumbents and a few newcomers.

These winners will make a few speeches in which they will begin to hint at not being able to come through on all the promises they made to you while buying your vote.

Later they will take office and amazingly find out that there just is not enough money to “pay the bills,” kind of like when there is not enough money at the Briggs house to pay the bills when Smokey spends a few too many hours trying to win back the rent playing online poker.

Which is basically what they were doing when they were campaigning - promising to send you money if you’ll just ante up “one more time.”

And, like a bunch of gambling junkies, we did, and voted for them.

Amazingly, taxes will go up, in one form or another. Don’t believe me?

When was the last time your total tax bill - from property taxes to income tax to gasoline tax to… -- actually went down?

It never has.


And it never will.

Then, as the tax revenues flow in, the stolen goods will start to flow out - mostly to benefit the special interests that bought and paid for your friendly politician.

“An advanced auction of the stolen merchandise,” - the perfect definition of an election.

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