Politics & Policy

Growth On Earth & Tax Cuts For All Good Men

A Christmas letter.

Dear Friend and Devoted NRO Reader:

The year 2003 was a blessed one in so many ways for the Moore family. One of the highlights was that Steve was asked by Arnold Schwarzenegger to join his economic team to help balance the budget in California. As a token of his gratitude for Steve’s help, in exchange for these advisory services, Arnold has agreed to play the role of Steve in an upcoming movie about the Club for Growth (tentatively titled, you guessed it, “The Tax Terminator”). Arnold says that along with being elected governor of California and winning the Mr. Universe contest, this has always been one of his life long dreams. One rather awkward moment arose when Steve very politely told Arnold that “if you are going to play me in this movie, you’re really going to have to get back in shape and tone those muscles.”

One highlight of 2003 was getting David, age 2 1/2, potty trained. We tried all of the conventional approaches and none of them worked. After months of infuriating non-cooperation on David’s part with him sitting in the bathroom for hours with nary a drop, Steve got the brilliant idea of pasting a photo of Hillary Clinton with a bullseye target on the bottom of the potty. And ever since then, it’s been like Niagara Falls–and with perfect accuracy–every time nature calls. (Steve has applied for a patent.) But you wouldn’t believe the strange looks he gets at preschool when he marches up to his teacher and earnestly informs her: “Mrs. Hathaway, I’ve got to go tee tee on Hillary.”

Justin (12) and William (10) are behaving much better this year too thanks to yet another ingenious child rearing technique. Remember those gruesome pictures of Uday and Quday Hussein’s mangled and bloody bodies in the newspapers? Well Steve cut them out and scotch-taped them to the refrigerator door with a message in bold black letters: “THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO KIDS THAT GROW UP TO BE DEMOCRATS!”

Justin is learning all about the evils of excessive taxation from Steve. Steve pays him $20 a month allowance (for what exactly we can’t explain since he does no work at all around the house and has won the award for the laziest kid in America two years in a row, both time barely nudging out his brother for the honor). But we digress. Anyways, after he gets the 20 bucks, Steve makes him fill out a 1040 IRS form and then takes back $4 in federal income tax, $3 in payroll tax, $2.50 in state income tax, $2 in workers compensation tax, and most recently another $1 to help pay for H. Ross Perot’s free prescription drugs under the new Medicare program. Then he explains to Justin that if Howard Dean is elected president, you will have to give me another $4 and if George W. Bush is re-elected and keeps running up these massive budget deficits, not you, but your children and children’s children will have to pay another $4. Too which he responds, “Dad, can’t we just get rid of the government and pay no taxes?” Now you can see why he’s in the gifted and talented program.

William’s latest get-rich-quick scheme is to completely bypass high school, and be the first pre-teen ever to be drafted into the NBA. This is his latest excuse for his mediocre report cards. “Dad do you really think Lebron James needed to know how to add fractions or diagram a sentence after He sign his $60 million shoe contract with Nike.” The boy has an excellent point. The only tiny wrinkle in an otherwise well thought out plan is that Will has no athletic talent, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has ever watched Allison play tennis or shoot a free throw. (Let’s just say that this acorn hasn’t fallen far from the tree.) Will’s one talent is that he dunks with astonishing flair, creativity and gravity defying leaps, but he can only do this on the computer.

Despite all Will’s athletic deficiencies, Steve managed to coach his fifth-grade team to a championship last year. After they won the title game, Steve lost all decorum and rushed onto the court like Jimmy Valvano looking for somebody to hug. Steve coached his heart out and was proud that his team developed a well-earned reputation for Vince Lombardi like hardnosed defense, trash talking, taunting, and running up the score on teams with inferior talent. Alas, this crowning achievement of Steve’s coaching career, the very pinnacle of his success, was tarnished due to a scandal. We won’t dwell on this sore subject but just ask: How was Steve supposed to know that antibiotic steroids were banned from the league? He was just trying to get the kids to bulk up with a few harmless injections of testosterone. Justin, by the way, who started a Blame France First Club in school, thinks that every French male over the age of 12 needs a few extra doses of testosterone-and who could argue with that?

Allison consumes but she still doesn’t produce. She now falls into the category of what economists call “long-term unemployed.” Steve describes her as the family’s “loss leader.” She manages to keep busy though, what with her anger-management class in the morning, weight watchers in the afternoon, and then Tuesday and Thursday evenings she and Steve attend couple’s therapy. Anger management is $150 a session and the only worthwhile advice she has received is so obvious: “to control your temper stay as far away as possible from your husband.” Meanwhile, in couple’s therapy Steve and Allison have pinpointed the problem that makes their marriage so dysfunctional. It turns out that Steve has been making about four withdrawals from the love bank for every deposit–and this has been going on for years. Hey, he’s a supply sider; he believes in running big deficits. Honey, he reasons, this is just a debt we owe to ourselves. We’ll grow our way out of the problem.

Baby David is in danger of being expelled from pre-school which would be an inauspicious start to his academic career. His teacher complained to us that he seems to think that “it’s all about me,” and he doesn’t share toys, take turns, stay in line, or “show a shred of respect for authority figures.” And to think that this time last year we were worried that he wasn’t really a Moore!

We hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

The Moore Family (Amazingly Still Intact for Another Year!)

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