I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends … that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
I, to parrot my favorite curmudgeon Bill Maher, have always understood why 1% of the population would vote Republican. I, however, do NOT for the life of me get why any of the rest of the 99% of them would. Those 99% are not the super-rich who are, and always will be, the Republican’s main concern . A fact that staggers me is that right now, 1% of the population owns 50% of the wealth. That means the rest of us 99% own the other 50%. That’s just gross. Yeah, there’s been some wealth redistribution going on, but wake up people, it’s been the wealth being redistributed UPWARDS.
The other 99% are not spending copious amounts of money hiring lobbyists to convince lawmakers to cut taxes, strip away any regulations on polluting our shared air, land, and water or just generally attempting to make it easier to make, take, and hoard more wealth. Lets face it gang, that is EXACTLY what has happened over the last 30 years or so as every statistic, graph, chart or person with half a brain can show you. Here, check this out and see what you think…
Look, I know a lot of you just hate charts, but that one was really easy to understand, right? It showed how the rich have gotten…yes…cliche’ a’ commin’…RICHER, and the middle class makes almost exactly the same as they did since 1988. Look at how that little red line shoots way the hell up since the Republican Party started their trickle-down assault on the middle-class through their deregulation policies (with a lot of help from Bill Clinton) and, of course, don’t forget the humongous fact that those same rich folks have seen their taxes cut/slashed/reduced in the same time period. In addition, please don’t overlook the other key piece of this puzzle where the decline of labor unions has coincided nicely with the reduction of middle class wages for all. Here’s another easy on the eyes graph showing this fact:
So I reiterate, I totally understand why those one-percenters love those Republicans, and why they also love the Tea Party which has become the little engine that could of the right-wing crazy train, because the Republicans try like hell to make them richer ( more cars, more homes, more vacations…more freaking stuff!), but I really don’t get why anyone else buys into their game.
Let’s be real. President Obama has been obstructed from doing what he wants to do to help the economy since the mouth-breathers of the Tea Party took over The House of Representatives. This stagnant economy is really the Tea Party and Republican economy right now. They came into office to slash away at the government like Jack-the-ripper on crack. What we are clearly seeing now is that this slash and burn mentality, like the austerity program in Europe, is the wrong antidote for a world-wide depression. People need money to stimulate the economy. Seventy percent of the American economy is consumer-driven. How does throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of work allow them to buy things? How does paying out more in food stamps and unemployment insurance reduce the deficit? Oops, sorry, if the conservatives had their way, there would be no safety nets so people would starve so I guess their deficit wouldn’t be as large. I shudder to think how people would be suffering if the Democrats did not control the Senate. The righties would have ended unemployment insurance and probably every other safety net for the 99%, and reduced taxes again on the rich at the same time. Remember folks, some of those monied moguls don’t believe that the rest of us are good for anything but making them richer. We are an afterthought. We are gum stuck to the bottom of their shoe.
Bu’ but, the rich are “job creators” you cry, so we have to reduce their taxes to zero and let them pollute a little more so they will give me a job so I can eat a little. Can’t you just picture a middling class ruffian type tenderly suckling the bloated and tepid fingers of the super-rich, drooling and cowering at their feet while they beg for a job? I can. Anyway, what say you about that you bed-wetting liberal? Hmmm?
First of all, whenever there is talk of changing the tax code, the right will bellow, “it will hurt small business!” I could bore you all day with loads of information about why that is wrong on so many levels, besides the fact that less than 3% of small businesses in the United States are even affected by tax changes, but instead let me link you to a short commentary by a businessman who disputes this common mantra by the right to scare the rest of us into doing what they want. The party of the rich wants to make you believe that “supply side”, trickle-down economics is the only answer. It not only is not, but it is the opposite of what we should be doing right now:
Lots of regular people having money to spend is what creates jobs and businesses. That is the basic idea of demand-side economics and it works. In a consumer-driven economy designed to serve people, regular people with money in their pockets is what keeps everything going. And the equal opportunity of democracy with its reinvestment in infrastructure and education and the other fruits of democracy is fundamental to keeping a demand-side economy functioning.
Now doesn’t that make complete sense? Sure it does. This Ayn Rand philosophy of parasite (us workers) and producer (business) is eerily in effect today. The Republicans see business as the sacred cow and their gravy train. This job creator baloney is thrown out there to scare the average Joe into voting their way, although almost everything the right does is the antithesis of what helps the average Joe.
What they have brilliantly done is gain a lot of disciples through their social policies which tend to be anti-progressive and anti a lot of people who aren’t white, Judeo-Christian, wealthy males. They hate anything that helps the poor ( Jesus’ teachings not-with-standing I guess). They hate unions (we can pay a kid in Indonesia 4 cents a day to do what you do buddy, and he’s grateful!), gays (your virulently anti-gay congressman did not tap his foot three times in the public restroom, he was having a seizure), safety nets (live poor and hungry, die poorer and hungrier), environmental protections (nibble on those those lead paint chips little Johnny and Mary, they won’t hurt ‘cha!) and science (don’t bore us with facts you liberal, scum, Ivy League elitists ).
That average Joe I talked about doesn’t care about the nuances of tax policy or really understand why cutting taxes does NOT always lead to a more robust economy, and how higher taxes can actually INCREASE job growth. He doesn’t get why we need to make it illegal to throw deadly, cancer-causing crap into our kid’s drinking water or pump nasty toxins into the air if it means less jobs, although that is a scare-tactic and just a big, fat lie. Joe needs a job and he doesn’t much like it when he sees a Mexican cutting lawns who he knows is here illegally but it doesn’t dawn on him that it is the sacred “job-creator” who has hired the “illegal” for a lower wage than what he would work for. He really believes that every welfare recipient is a lazy good for nothing who doesn’t want to work and lives off of his taxes. He’s scared because the right says every night through Fox News that social security is bankrupt and won’t be around for him anyway so we need to “privatize” it to “save” it although it is solvent until 2038 as is and with a slight tweak, it will be for decades more. He doesn’t know nothin’ from no “stimulus” crap and Keynesian economics which has proven over time more often than not to help get us out of recessions, he just knows it adds to the deficit that will destroy the planet like Mothra on a bender ( I know deficits matter but severe austerity and cutting during deep recessions is counter-productive). He is bombarded with so many scary subliminal and not-so-subliminal messages like death-panels and anchor-babies and the president who isn’t even an American with his fake birth certificate and the deficit that will devour little babies in its wake, that he simply MUST align himself with the people who say they are the answer to all of those problems. Joe is freakin’ scared and friggen mad. He’s pushing the lever for the R’s.
But here is where Joe is mislead. Those clever fear-mongerers up in D.C. are using all of that stuff for their bait-and-switch game. The trick is to make Joe feel like they are in it for him. We have your back Joe. We are gonna fix it Joe. We are here for you Joe. We get you Joe. But guess what? They are going to make sure through their legislative agenda that Joe doesn’t pay any attention to– because it is too boring, complicated or not talked about on that channel you watch every night–they are going to make sure that through those policies that whose backs they actually have are the ones sitting on K street. They are going to help that multi-national corporation CEO express your job across the sea very, very far away Joe. They are going to reduce those tax rates on businesses so they can make enough to pay their shareholders and continue to invest in those “emerging markets” overseas which don’t add jobs to the American economy but add to their take home pay sho’nuff. Oh, and they will want to cut the capital gains tax too, you bet. Mo’ money, mo’ profit, mo’ stuff we can get! Whoot-whoot!
But hey, don’t take this bleeding-heart lefty’s word for it, why don’t you read what a long-time Republican operative says about his former party. It is stunning in its candor:
“It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant…To be sure, the business wing of the Republican Party consists of the most energetic outsourcers, wage cutters and hirers of sub-minimum wage immigrant labor to be found anywhere on the globe. But the faux-populist wing of the party, knowing the mental compartmentalization that occurs in most low-information voters, played on the fears of that same white working class to focus their anger on scapegoats that do no damage to corporations’ bottom lines: instead of raising the minimum wage, let’s build a wall on the Southern border (then hire a defense contractor to incompetently manage it). Instead of predatory bankers, it’s evil Muslims. Or evil gays. Or evil abortionists.
This is why I don’t understand this voting Republican thing today, I mean unless you are making six-figures. They are the ultimate carnival hucksters. They have always been about helping the rich get richer…and the poor…c’mon… you know.
- President Roosevelt Warns Against Electing Republicans (goodolewoody.wordpress.com)
- The American Jobs Depression, and How to Get Out of It (robertreich.org)