Resolve in the face of strawmen

James Lileks in Budgets, Bulbs, and Buggywhips in the March 7 National Reveiw, writing about the proposal to return to 2008 spending levels now that the financial crisis has passed:

It was the year the government officially used shady payday-loan offices to fund essential things, like the Strategic Hummus Reserve or the Federal Zeppelin Corps.  There wasn’t even money for a single blue-ribbon panel, which led to a staggering dearth of Findings, and the lowest number of Recommendations since 1934… Thus this brilliant budget, which jacks up spending to $46 trillion over the next ten years.  (The official term for a number that large is “Zimbabwe.”)  Granted their will be cuts.  The Zeppelin Corps will be merged with the Dirigible Reserve, for example… [and the] government will partner with buggywhip producers to find new ways to inspire horses, using our 21st -century understanding of brain chemistry and animal psychology.  “There are those who say the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of making horses run faster,” the president said, his chin tilted up to indicate resolve in the face of strawmen.  “I say a nation crisscrossed with high-speed stagecoach lines is equipped not just to help businesses compete.  They will also carry the mail and provide easy access to jobs fro tomorrow’s schoolmarms.”

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