Lower taxes are not going to improve the lives of most Americans. We live in a chaos of junk food, pornography, vapid entertainment, environmental desolation, and cheap consumer goods built upon usury and the exploitation of foreign wage slaves whose lives are a mystery to us. More people have died of drug overdoses in this country in the last 10 years than were lost in our adventures in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq combined. It is practically impossible for those who are not millionaires to purchase homes in most of our major metropolitan areas, and even renting something that can accommodate more than one or two children comfortably is a pipe dream for many families. American engineers have built tiny mobile phones with more processing power than the average home computer available only a decade ago, but we cannot even build workable trains that run faster than 70 miles per hour — and when we do, they are expensive, delay-ridden, grimy messes.

Sometime early next year, Republican leaders should retire to a hunting lodge somewhere in the wilds of Alaska, drink scotch, maybe bag a few grizzlies, and think about life. In the evenings they might watch some relaxing vintage children’s television and ask themselves why for so many young people, and not a few adults, Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood and Shining Time Station seem like such a jolly, life-enhancing places in comparison with strip malls and fake brick suburban plazas full of casual dining chains.