Essay: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come

"But not on us!" the oysters cried,

Turning a little blue.

"After such kindness, that would be

A dismal thing to do!"

--Through the Looking-Glass

If the shrieks reverberating through Washington last week were considerably louder than the murmuring of some doomed oysters, that was because the victims are larger and more numerous and more sensitive to threats of pain. Congressional oratory turned to images of mayhem. "Today's cuts are like trimming your nails," said New York Democratic Congressman Charles Schumer. "What is coming will be like chopping off your hand." Pennsylvania Democrat William Gray, chairman of the House Budget Committee,...

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