Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Clue: The GOP, In America, With The Candlestick

Tim Dickinson's piece in Rolling Stone on how the GOP became the party of the One Percent is required reading for an informed electorate.

Republicans talk about job creation, about preserving family farms and defending small businesses, and reforming Medicare and Social Security. But almost without exception, every proposal put forth by GOP lawmakers and presidential candidates is intended to preserve or expand tax privileges for the wealthiest Americans. And most of their plans, which are presented as common-sense measures that will aid all Americans, would actually result in higher taxes for middle-class taxpayers and the poor. With 14 million Americans out of work, and with one in seven families turning to food stamps simply to feed their children, Republicans have responded to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by slashing inheritance taxes, extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and endorsing a tax amnesty for big corporations that have hidden billions in profits in offshore tax havens. They also wrecked the nation's credit rating by rejecting a debt-ceiling deal that would have slashed future deficits by $4 trillion – simply because one-quarter of the money would have come from closing tax loopholes on the rich.

The intransigence over the debt ceiling enraged Republican stalwarts. George Voinovich, the former GOP senator from Ohio, likens his party's new guard to arsonists whose attitude is: "We're going to get what we want or the country can go to hell." Even an architect of the Bush tax cuts, economist Glenn Hubbard, tells Rolling Stone that there should have been a "revenue contribution" to the debt-ceiling deal, "structured to fall mainly on the well-to-do." Instead, the GOP strong-armed America into sacrificing $1 trillion in vital government services – including education, health care and defense – all to safeguard tax breaks for oil companies, yacht owners and hedge-fund managers. The party's leaders were triumphant: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even bragged that America's creditworthiness had been a "hostage that's worth ransoming."

It's the kind of thinking that only money can buy. "It's a vicious circle," says Stiglitz. "The rich are using their money to secure tax provisions to let them get richer still. Rather than investing in new technology or R&D, the rich get a better return by investing in Washington."

As one of your constituents there Mitch, may I say without reservation that you are destroying this country at the expense of the people who voted you into office.  You're going to find 2014 a tough re-election.  You won't be Senate majority leader, that's for damn sure.  Not if I can help it.

Do read the entire essay, and share it with your friends.  This has been the GOP playbook for three decades now, and it's worked beyond everyone's wildest dreams for the top, and worst nightmares for the rest of us.  It's the anatomy of a crime scene, and Dickinson's detective story based on the homocide of the American middle-class is gripping reading.

It's time for the folks holding the bloody knives to pay.  Yesterday proved that we can still do that.

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