Thursday, October 29, 2015

Never forget the GOP's central goal

I didn't watch the absurdity known as yesterday's GOP debate last night, as I preferred to watch the Royals take it to Jacob DeGrom for 4 runs in the 5th inning of Game 2. Fortunately, I had the Twitter machine to catch me up on the whininess in real timd, and the great Charlie Pierce to tell the truths today that more "legitimate" media won't.
The economics the [GOP candidates] are pushing do only one thing well: shove more of the country's wealth upwards. History tells us this. The candidates don't tell all of us this, but they tell their donors this very thing when they think nobody's listening—or covertly taping their remarks. Right, Mitt? The contempt for ordinary workers, the suckers who vote for them because of scary Muslims or Jeebus or both, is manifested most clearly when they talk to their primary constituencies within the country's oligarchy. Sometimes, though, the truth slips out. Marco Rubio wants no taxes at all on investment income. None. Zero. Zippola. Bupkis. And he quoted JFK to support his position in the clumsiest example of the chronic supply-sider tic of enlisting Kennedy as a premature Lafferite I think I've ever seen. As I usually say in such circumstances, when we get the top marginal rate back up to 65 percent, which is the level to which Kennedy's tax cut reduced it, then we can start to talk about the rest of it. I think it's significant to note that, when Rubio tossed this turkey from the helicopter last spring, even supply-side fanatic Steve Moore thought it was at best incoherent nonsense, albeit because it also includes a head-fake toward middle-class tax relief that Moore believes leaves the plan open to reneging on its glorious promises to the yacht-owning classes.
Hey, if Marco Rubio wants to bring back a 65% tax rate on the rich, then maybe his budgets would have a snowball's chance in Hell of balancing. But I'm guessing I'll have to keep waiting for that.

You're seeing this in Wisconsin as well, from a bill being discussed next week to come up with yet another way to make it tougher for laid-off workers to receive unemployment benefits, to the proposals being circulated to eradicate Wisconsin's "first in the nation" workers compensation program. This is in addition to all the abusive laws passed in Wisconsin over last 4 1/2 years, from Act 10 and (right-to) work-for-less's union-busting, to numerous tax breaks that favor the rich, to wanting rich oligarchs to be able to hide their donors through dark-money third party organizations while encouraging discrimination against those who signed a petition to recall the governor, to the redirecting of funds away from public education and into private schools with vouchers.

The GOP's pattern is clear, whether at the federal level, or in an ALEC state like Wisconsin. The inner circle of donors and the wealthy are given every advantage, often at the detriment of the working classes. Social issues like guns, religion, and racism are used as a wedges to try to distract enough non-rich (white) voters to be suckered into voting GOP, allowing the downward spiral to continue. But make no mistake what the GOP's puppetmasters are REALLY about, and it isn't being culture warriors.

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