The Republican House members who voted for Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand wet-dream budget are apparently getting an earful from their constituents. And the earful isn’t coming from people wearing Bradley Manning T-shirts, but from crusty old baby boomers who probably voted for the GOP in the last election.
Too bad their angst isn’t being amplified a hundredfold through a gigantic echo chamber like the one Fox News and talk radio leashed out to the Tea Party in their anti-”Obamacare” outbursts of August 2009.
The biggest difference between the two is not the astroturfing from Americans for Prosperity or all the corporate money from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the other predatory corporations feasting on the corpses of sick people, but the Grand Old Party — you gotta hand it to ‘em — the GOP latched on to the Tea Partiers, the Birthers, the disgruntled white folks, in short, their base, and rode their anger into power in 2010. The Great Shellacking.
And the Democrats’ response to the wave of anger arising from their base? Do you think they’re going to channel it and ride it into power? With people like Kent Conrad and Erskine Bowles and Mark Warner who for some bizarre reason still affix a large-case “D” to their names, more or less endorsing the Paul Ryan-Ayn Rand wet-dream budget, but a slightly less Randian version (or so they say), my hopes aren’t running high.
And where does our leader stand on all of this? As was the case with holding Wall Street accountable, or Guantanamo, or the public option, or the wars, etc., he’s what we might call “out-of-the-loop.” Afraid to give the workers in Wisconsin or Ohio or Michigan or Florida his full-fledged support lest it might upset the Goldman Sachs boys who he needs to pile up that $1 billion in campaign cash to get re-elected. And, of course, if we just wait it out now, when he gets re-elected then all the “Change” and “Hope” at that time is gonna come asplashin’ down all around us.
The Republican base matters, the Democratic base doesn’t. That’s how the game has played out for decades now, through the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years, only now we’re really in a deep crisis with neither the will nor the vision nor the ability to climb out of it.
Isn’t it amusing that we hear the loudest yelps about not burdening “the children” with a large national debt from the same politicians who:
- Created the debt in the first place; and
- Now doing everything in their power to stop any sensible tax increases on the rich and corporations to deal with the debt?
And isn’t it also kind of funny that these same politicians who are so concerned about “the children” when they’re talking about the debt are blocking any progress on cap and trade to reduce greenhouse gases? And they’re trying their damnedest to shred the safety net for everyone in this country who is unlucky enough NOT to have been born wealthy or isn’t over 50 years old.
Sitting right on the table in front of Erskine Bowles and Kent Conrad and Mark Warner and the rest of the Democrat-in-name-only (DINO) deficit “hawks” is easily about $700 billion in corporate taxes that could be collected today, and no one among the middle or working classes would feel it one bit. In fact, even the corporations — these “human” entities endowed by their creator (the Supreme Court) with certain inalienable rights — wouldn’t “feel” it either.
If corporate profits account for about 10 percent of our GDP, and the GDP is about $14 trillion, if we taxed McDonalds and Home Depot and Wal-Mart and Goldman Sachs for just one year at a 50 percent rate, we could dump $700 billion right into the U.S. Treasury. But since these corporations apparently own both major political parties, the Supreme Court, and both houses of Congress (not to mention state houses and governorships across the land) we can forget about seeing any relief for working people any time soon. In fact, the opposite is happening.
We have a Democrat sitting in the White House at the very moment the public sector is experiencing across-the-board (state, county, and municipal institutions) the most drastic and onerous contraction since before the New Deal.
And you know what’s really hard to swallow? That these bond holders that our “leaders” are dismantling the public sector to serve would probably respond more favorably if the rich and the corporations were forced to pay more in taxes than seeing the destruction in the name of “the children” of public institutions across the country that took decades to build and contribute mightily to making the United States an attractive place to invest (or at least a nice place for foreigners to park their money). cont’d on page 2
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