Monday, February 23, 2009

Barack Obama's Flying Circus

When Barack Obama is not reading up on Abraham Lincoln for tips on how to be President, it seems that he is combing through the collected works of Monty Python for ideas on how to increase tax revenues.

Well, perhaps it was not an idea the administration floated by means of the sucker at the head of the Department of Transportation. Perhaps the idea actually originated there.

The Obama administration will not support a policy of taxing drivers based on their mileage, the Transportation Department said Friday after a published interview in which Secretary Ray LaHood called it an idea "we should look at." In a written statement, the department said, "The policy of taxing motorists based on how many miles they have traveled is not and will not be Obama administration policy."

Speaking to The Associated Press, Transportation Secretary LaHood, an Illinois Republican, said, "We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled." The remark was part of a discussion about various options to help make up for the highway funding shortfall on the federal level (CNN, February 20, 2009).

If not the policy itself, at least the approach bears a striking resemblance to the Monty Python's Flying Circus "Tax on Thingy" sketch (1970). (The sketch itself starts at 1 minute 40 seconds on the clip.)

Should we anticipate the establishment of a Department of Silly Walks? It could mean a million new jobs.

But apparently I am not the first to connect Mr. Obama's approach to government with the zany, madcap comedy troupe. This picture, along with several others, comes from Comedy Central's Indecision 2008. One commenter wondered how, if he were elected President, Sen. Obama would protect the country against attacks with fresh fruit. A month into his administration, we still don't have an answer to that question.

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