Tom Purcell, 3/21/2011 [Archive]

A Cowboy Poem

Editor Note: It is best to publish this in italics.

A Cowboy Poem

By Tom Purcell

Well, Mr. Harry Reid, leader of the U.S. Senate majority,

You're plum wrong about federal-funded cowboy poetry.

A few weeks back, you took to the Senate floor

Deploring cuts to a cowboy-poetry festival you said would be no more.

It exists through the benevolence of the federal government, you decried,

Whose funding makes it bona fide.

Don't you know, Mr. Harry Reid,

That America is the land of the free?

We built this land through our grit and our guts,

Not the misuse of taxpayer funds.

That's the thing we're desperate to be ending,

Ridiculous spending and Chinese lending.

But in Washington, D.C., there's a disconnect,

Between those who produce and those who collect.

We already spend on things we can't cover,

Yet some politicians are eager to add others.

Here's what is worrying us average Joes,

We're worried for our kids and what their future holds.

We broke, we're flat, we've got nothing to spend,

Unnecessary programs must come to an end.

Yet for the prior two years, sir, you and some others

Have grown government to the point that it smothers.

And so it was you took an economic mess

And you did your best to make it a "permanent worse."

The stimulus program you said was a "must"

Is dang near a trillion-dollar bust.

Thanks to the health care "plan" your party rammed through,

Private job creators aren't sure what to do.

Spending too little is the least of our woes,

Our federal budget is nearly $4 trillion -- twice what it was a decade ago!

There's no mystery why unemployment remains high,

Yet big-spending politicians scratch their heads -- why?

Your spendthrift ways we won't keep "swallerin',"

And you still have no clue what is causing our hollerin'?

Here's something we want you to try,

Embrace the wisdom of the poems you want us to buy.

You need not worry about cowboy poets,

They're Americans strong and resilient, you just don't know it.

If it's a cowboy-poetry festival they wish to run,

They'll figure out how to raise private funds.

America did better without government largess,

A key contributor to our deficit mess.

With all due respect, Mr. Harry Reid,

It is introspection you need.

Your "yearnin's" have got ahead of our "earnin's,"

That's why our economy keeps not "returnin'."

Any fool knows this maxim to be a big one,

When you've dug yourself into a hole, a smart feller stops digging!

Not you, though, Mr. Harry Reid,

There's nothing to impede your spending need.

We know of only one thing that will do,

Though we'll have to wait till 2012 for that to come true.

We hope and pray that our once great land

Will muster the courage to take a stand.

That we elect new political leaders who do the right thing,

Which is to bring discipline to our spending.

Leadership is what we need,

Boldness, courage and honesty, indeed.

We need a paradigm shift if we are to recover,

A simplified government we must rediscover.

If we do not rein in our reckless ways,

Growth will evade for many more days.

Massive growth is essential, you see,

To generate billions more in new tax money.

We need fewer people across our great land,

Turning to our government and holding out hands.

As nice as cowboy poetry may be,

Taxpayers shouldn't fund it in this democracy.

You got that, Mr. Harry Reid?

© 2011 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, a freelance writer is also a humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For more info contact Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Email Tom at

RESTRICTIONS: Tom Purcell's column may not be reprinted in general circulation print media in Pennsylvania's Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties. It may appear only in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and its sister publications.

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