Tim Pagliara’s frustration turned to action on the upper slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Scaling Africa’s tallest mountain for the fifth time last November, the CEO of CapWealth Advisors in Cool Springs was thinking — again — about the fiscal and spending problems facing the United States. Specifically, he found himself wondering — again — why the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson plan failed to get traction after it was released in late 2010, especially during and after the contentious debt ceiling debate of last summer.
Mount Kilimanjaro? I do my best thinking when The Captain and I heli-ski the Vallée Blanc! To each his own, old chap! To each his own.
I don’t know why this story from a Nashville business rag chapped my ass but it did. It just screams 1% privilege, and how the Ownership Class is trying desperately to take the narrative back from the great unwashed who went and Occupied their cocktail party. Pagliara has formed a 501(c)(4) called Citizens for Enacting The Bowles-Simpson Plan and, according to the article, he’s evidently sunk more than $50,000 of his personal fortune into the organization. He’s also trying to recruit other well-heeled CEOs to the cause because, as he notes:
“The American people are tired of hearing about birth control pills,” he said.
Yes, we are tired of hearing about it. But until Republicans stop attacking it with actual legislation in our state legislatures and the nation’s capitol, we’re gonna keep talking about it, because from our cold, dead hands, buckaroo! So stick a cork in it.
And you know what else? That’s what you get for voting for fucking Republicans, Tim Pagliara. That’s what you get for giving $1,000 to Marsha Blackburn, who was first in line at the microphone to fearmonger about losing her “religious freedom” because of the private insurance mandate for contraception. Which started this whole mess. What the hell did you expect?
Pagliara is hoping a passion for Bowles-Simpson will sweep through the nation with the same fervor as the Occupy movement — yes, he really said that. Which is just so laughably clueless. I hate to break it to you but no one cares about the damn budget deficit unless it’s politically useful to do so. Because Ronald Reagan proved that “deficits don’t matter,” in the immortal words of the last Republican vice president, whose administration rammed through tax cuts for the wealthy while also engaging in not one but two full-fledged wars and a massive unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit which sent our budget deficit soaring in the first place.
Look, it’s an election year. The more the economy improves, the more you will hear about birth control and abortion and President Obama being a radical blackety-black man and did we mention he’s black? And maybe foreign? And the less anyone will care about your precious Cat Food Commission. Which is what we on the left call it, since that is what it will reduce senior citizens to eating … those of us not swilling champagne after scaling Mount Kilimanjaro for the fifth time, that is.
This is what the Republican Party has become. If you want all of your free-market fairies, you have to buy the Bible-banging, fundamentalist crap too. You have to expect to spend copious amounts of time discussing what the Bible says about birth control, abortion, gays, environmentalism, Muslims, and everything else.
If you want to have a grown-up conversation about grown-up things then stick with the Democrats. I know, you guys like to think that we’re all Commies and hippies but here’s the thing: Republicans all fall in line behind whomever is screaming the loudest at the moment. All of the sane people have been purged out of the Republican Party. If you want fiscal responsibility, well Republicans are the ones who told you that deficits don’t matter. Instead I give you Nashville’s own Jim Cooper, a notorious fiscal hawk who was pushing for a vote on this Bowles-Simpson stuff to begin with. You should have given him your $1,000, if that’s what you’re after. If you want a robust military, there’s always Joe Lieberman to bang the war drums. You want to drill, baby, drill? I give you Sen. Mary Landrieu. Much as I wish every Democrat in Congress were Bernie Sanders, they’re not.
In fact, since you guys worship “divided government,” let me show you the divided Democratic Party. Give the Democrats all three branches of government and I guarantee you will have all the haranguing and negotiating and compromising that gives the Third Way folks hard-ons. You will think it’s Christmas in July, I guarantee it.
But hey, don’t listen to me. Keep hoping Bowles-Simpson will take the nation by storm. Maybe it will, what do I know. It just seems to me that during an election year, adult conversations are on hiatus.