Archive for April 11th, 2012

I periodically praise Chuck Asay for being a great political cartoonist. I’m not sure if my favorite is this one featuring the three little pigs, or this one showing why parasites shouldn’t kill their host animal.

And you’ll find some other funny ones here, here, here, and here.

But now I’m conflicted. Mr. Asay has a new cartoon that is really good and really bad. So I’m taking some liberties and showing the good part first (you get your ice cream before your spinach in this post).

Needless to say, you don’t want Obama to be your lifeguard. The details of the cartoon are what make it so effective, including the characters in the lower right of the frame.

And if you like the use of the anchor, here’s another cartoon that you’ll appreciate. It’s not by Chuck Asay, but it bashes the value-added tax, and that’s a quick way to get on my good side.

So what’s the bad part of the cartoon? Well, here’s the full image. As you can see, Romney has a co-starring role, and it portrays him as a supporter of free enterprise.

We should be so lucky. Romney is sympathetic to a VAT. Is that free enterprise?

Romney criticized personal retirement accounts earlier in the campaign. Is that free enterprise?

Romney supports corrupt ethanol subsidies. Is that free enterprise?

Romney still says nice things about the TARP bailout. Is that free enterprise?

And I don’t need to remind anybody about Obamacare’s evil twin. Is that free enterprise?

The moral of the story is that red anchors are just as ineffective as blue anchors.

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Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT and a former IMF official. With that kind of resume, you won’t be surprised to learn that he is much too sympathetic to big government.

For instance, we both testified to the Ways & Means Committee last year about the value-added tax, and he sided with all the other witnesses and favored adding a pernicious European-style national sales tax on top of the income tax.

He also wants the Bush tax cuts to expire. All of them.

That’s the topic we debated on Larry Kudlow’s program. I didn’t get much air time in this interview, but I’m glad that I got out the key point about the real problem being big government rather than red ink.

Prof. Johnson vaguely acknowledges that a huge tax increase might hinder the economy, but his proposed solution is a repeat of the Keynesian payroll tax holiday. I’ve previously explained that temporary tax gimmicks don’t generate long-term job creation, so I obviously don’t see why a policy which hasn’t worked the past two years will magically start working next year.

As with the debate I posted yesterday, I tried to sneak in a final comment (making up for all those years when I was married and never got the last word). In this case, I said Congressman Ryan’s entitlement reforms are the solution, though I’m not sure how many people heard.

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