John Nichols gives Sen. Collins(R-Maine) credit for speaking out loud that she does not support Paul Ryan’s(R-WI) pie in the sky balanced budget plan – that will not only gut Medicare, but severely weaken Social Security. He notes that Ryan voted for Bush’s TARP. Ryan also supported the domestic auto industry bail-out. While both those programs were hot potatoes in 2009 because of the tea bags, since both programs have been largely repaid by Wall St and the auto industry, respectively, the taint of making those votes is not quite what it was short a few short months ago. Ryan went on to defend his vote for TARP and the auto industry loan as arm twisting by the Bush administration and than piled on the BS by claiming President Obama turned TARP into a “slush” ( according to Michelle Malkin – Next use for TARP: Government union slush fund). Ryan and Malkin failed to supply any supporting facts, but the newly courageous and brave Ryan peddled backwards well enough to generally buy his way back into the hearts of Wingnuttia. Not exactly breaking news that yet another conservative is a weal kneed short sighted opportunist who can’t even think of convincing lies to tell the freaks under his own circus tent. Though it does speak to Ryan’s blind opportunism and lack of any real guiding principles, except political survival. That is not to say he is not consistent in his own brand of conservative-libertarian loyalty to oneself first. Obviously he sincerely believes in putting himself first and the best interests of his fellow citizens someone further down his list of priorities, if they are on the list at all.
Republicans Just Voted To End Medicare — So Where’s The Outrage? So let’s get this straight. Paul Ryan(R-WI) and House Leader John Boehner(R-OH) led the charge to gut Medicare because, you know, because it costs too much. Were the same guys that voted for TARP, the auto industry bail-out, the Bush tax cuts and the invasion of Iraq. Even though 80 percent of the public ( and 70% of tea baggers) do not want cuts to Medicare. There has been the first waves of a backlash, Town Hall Citizens Confront Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) For Voting To Privatize Medicare And Defend Tax Breaks For Rich, Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA) Faces Constituent Anger After Breaking Campaign Promise To Not Privatize Medicare, and Paul Ryan’s Plan To End Medicare Stirs Anger At Pennsylvania Town Hall Event. Why hasn’t there been more outrage. One reason is that the bill passed in the House is dead on arrival. Even if it made it to a vote in the Senate there are not enough votes to pass and President Obama is certain to veto it. The other reason is a perennial one, not just for Democrats, but for non-kool-aid drinkers in general. We don’t have a Fox News and a Koch brothers promoting the equivalent of the tea smoker town hall disruptions. Democrats are out there, but they have their hands full with fighting legislation at the state level. The Republicans in the House have passed a few purely symbolic votes. If you have finite time and money, it does not pay to spend them on fighting symbolism. Republican governors are doing well pushing their radical agenda. An agenda that will likely pay dividends for Democrats in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida. The Florida business community is pissed and bewildered at Criminal-in-Chief Rick Scott’s rejection of high speed rail road funds. Scott is another Scott Walker clone – he is shifting costs and cutting services to the poorest Floridians while pushing a large corporate tax cut. If corporate tax cuts were the fuel that drove job creation the country should be at 2% unemployment. At what point does the American public see that conservatives and conservatism is built on a house of cards. Its clumsy deceits uncovered over and over again. Remember all that stuff during the Bush era about Republicans being the daddy party. Maybe they are. They the irresponsible daddy that tells the kids they can have great services, great education, great communities and all the material goodies a kid could dream of, all without paying for them. Most of our taxes are not going to support that imaginary legend of right-wing demagoguery – the welfare queen – driving to buy caviar in her new Mercedes, its going to buy Exxon, Citigroup, Pfizer and other huge corporations even more power. They’re also the abusive daddy who thinks it is time for children, the disabled and seniors to make even more sacrifices.
Most human beings come with the potential for an almost unlimited supply of compassion. While dehumanizing people who have large incomes is uncalled for, it is pushing it to start the ridiculous meme that we should all be using up large portions of compassion for the well off. Increasing Taxes on the Wealthy is Unfair???
You can tell something’s happening in the economic policy debate when you start reading more things like AEI’s Arthur Brooks explaining that it would simply be unfair to raise taxes on the rich. Harvard economics professor and former Council of Economics Advisor chairman Greg Mankiw has said the same thing. And of course Representative Paul Ryan is both a fan of Books and a fan of the works of Ayn Rand. Which is just to say that we used to have a debate in which the left said redistributive taxation might be a good idea and then the right replied that it might sound good, but actually the consequences would be bad. Lower taxes on the rich would lead to more growth and faster increase in incomes.
Now that idea seems to be so unsupportable that the talking point is switched. It’s not that higher taxes on our Galtian Overlords would backfire and make us worse off. It’s just that it would be immoral of us to ask them to pay more taxes even if doing so would, in fact, improve overall human welfare.
If that sounds remotely plausible to you, you might have a lucrative career ahead of you working as an apologist for said Galtian Overlords. If not, then congratulations for possessing a modicum of common sense.
And related to this poor poor pitiful rich meme is the rich are supporting our lazy asses, Zombie Taxes
Following up the recent commenter who repeated the oft-told lie that wealthy people carry most of the tax burden — Paul Krugman addresses this on his blog today, in a post called “Zombie Tax Lies.” If you figure all taxes — income, FICA, state taxes, etc. — the percentage of the total tax burden is remarkably un-progressive…
It should go without saying that when a cop or school teacher or a millionaire buys a set of tires they all pay the same sales tax rate. Even renters pay property taxes as part of their rent. Those who make minimum wage to up to the median range of household income $50k per year might pay little or any federal income tax, but they are not using the nations’ resources the way Microsoft or BP is using them. Who benefits more from engineers, accountants,scientists and so forth who got tax payer guaranteed student loans and grants to public universities. The corporations who need those skilled workers. Who benefits more from the nation’s infrastructure, from police, the Coast Guard and fire protection – wealthy corporations. It is not unreasonable to make the people who profit most from the commonweal to pay the most.