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Larry Kirwan
Chorus and Verse Blog
Posted: December 7, 2011 10:24 pm (-06:00)
Larry Kirwan
Musician/Novelist/Activist - Leader of Black 47
Slouching Towards DC

Looking for New Year's Eve plans? Don't miss Black 47's 22nd New Year's Eve gig at Connolly's, 121 W. 45th St., NYC - 212-597-5126. $20 - Doors at 9pm. Tickets on sale at Connolly's or www.black47.tickets.musictoday.com. Closest gig to dropping of the ball!

As we slouch towards another presidential election the common wisdom is that we are undeserving of the current crop of Washington politicians, as if they were foisted upon us by some divine hand.

This is probably inevitable since many of the elected feel that the much-saluted deity who provides home runs to baseball sluggers has also had a hand in guiding their footsteps into congress.

Still the sad fact is – we voted for this posse of political procrastinators, grandstanders and poll watchers.

So, what to do in 2012? Well, a rule of thumb would be to vote for some person, idea or course of action rather than against.

Cutting spending in the midst of an economic downturn is like closing the stable door long after the nag has wandered off. The time to do that was when we were cutting taxes and fighting two wars on a Chinese credit card.

And you’re quite right, that is water under the bridge, besides which the current occupant of the White House is indeed still fighting a war without end in Afghanistan and has as yet been unable to turn the economy around.

You’d also be right in saying that, just like President Bush after 9/11, President Obama blew a great watershed moment after his election by a reluctance to go for the political jugular coupled with a lofty desire to rule by consensus.

And yet, let’s consider the alternatives. I seem to hear just two major ideas from the Republican Party – cut taxes and regulations. Am I mistaken or were those not the two domestic policies at the core of the Bush presidency?

I beg your pardon I have not mentioned Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax policy - all credit to a candidate who has at least offered a concrete suggestion. His proposal would certainly bring change – an even greater handover of wealth to the top 10% earners and a further flaying of the working and middle classes.

And all hail Michele Bachman for reminding us that if you turn Mr. Cain’s figures on their heads you will be confronted with the mark of the devil – who would have suspected that she was a closet Black Sabbath fan!

There is no doubting that either Mr. Cain or Rep. Bachman would provide more exciting presidencies than the present ho-hum and steady-as-we-go office-holder. But I’m still flummoxed that an electorate so badly burned by the recent financial crises would be willing to jump straight out of the frying pan and back into the fire of tax and regulation cuts.

How anyone can be for eviscerating the anemic Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act baffles me? But I suppose credit card companies, mortgage brokers and banks have mothers that love them too and should be protected from a rapacious public sick of being overcharged and taken advantage of.

Even more troubling - neither the SEC nor the Treasury has a finger upon the almost daily dizzying lurches on various stock exchanges. Has anyone even suggested regulating high frequency program trading on super-computers? But that will come too – after a seismic crash.

Less regulation, you say, Governors Romney and Perry? You obviously haven’t got your 401(k) shekels invested in mutual funds like many regular Americans.

Tax cuts should work to some degree but of late that hasn’t been the case; probably because of the double-whammy housing bubble-burst and the reluctance of banks to give credit. Tax cut recipients are wisely paying down debt rather than rushing out to buy new flat-screens or Manolo stilettos.

Now is the hour for investment in American infrastructure; the cost of labor, capital and equipment will never again be as inexpensive – and it better be done soon or the joint will come crashing down around our ears.

Sure, it will raise the deficit in the short term but a resurgent economy will inevitably reduce it as happened in the Clinton years.

Tax and regulation cuts are yesterday’s solutions. In fact they caused today’s problems.

So come on you nattering nabobs of negativity, time to reboot and come up with a couple of decent new ideas.

Larry Kirwan

Larry Kirwan is the leader, singer/guitarist and composer for the Irish-American rock band Black 47. Black 47 has released thirteen CDs for both major and independent labels. The band has appeared on Leno, Letterman and O'Brien and been profiled in most major magazines and newspapers in the US. Their album, Trouble in the Land, was recently voted the "top album of the decade" by readers of www.Irishcentral.com. Bankers and Gangsters, Black 47's latest CD, was released in March 2010 by UFO Music.

Kirwan has also recorded Kilroy Was Here and Keltic Kids as solo efforts.

He has written twelve plays and musicals, five of which are collected in the book Mad Angels. Liverpool Fantasy, his best-known play, has been produced Off-Broadway and at the Dublin Theatre Festival. He has also written a novel version of Liverpool Fantasy (translated into Japanese, Spanish and Greek), a memoir - Green Suede Shoes - and Livin' in America, a collection of songs and stories. Rockin' The Bronx, his latest novel, was recently published in the US and UK/Ireland.

Kirwan hosts and produces Celtic Crush for SiriusXM Satellite Radio and writes a weekly column for the Irish Echo.

A political activist, he has long been involved in Irish and American causes.

He is currently working on a new novel about the aftermath of 9/11 and a musical with Thomas Keneally of Schindler's List fame.

Connect with Larry Kirwan on:
Black 47 Official Website Black 47 Official Website
Black 47 on Facebook Black 47 on Facebook
Black 47 on Twitter Black 47 on Twitter
©2011, Chorus and Verse
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