Vintage South America map circa 1654 – Pawlenty and Bachmann Race to The Bottom

Vintage South America map circa 1654

Back in high school, you know the public institution packed with capitalist hating liberals of the radical Right’s sick imagination, we were introduced to the capitalist concept of bidding for contracts. We divided up into groups and each became a transportation company trying to sell our services to wholesalers and manufactures. We did have a cost sheet. The concept is very much like selling vegetables on a road side stand. If a tomato cost you so much plus the costs of gas, bags, little baskets and any other expenses, how much do you need to sell the tomato for in order to make a profit. We came up with a bid based on our costs and what we considered a reasonable profit. We lost the bid. I’m wasn’t than and I’m not now crazy about losing. So the next round of bids our bid allowed for costs plus pennies in profit. We lost again. I almost glared at the other groups. Their bids could not be this low. Well they could be this low but promising services based on their bids they could not make a profit and thus could not stay in business for long. On the next bid our group just took the last winning bid and subtracted a few dollars. We still lost. At that point I turned to the instructor who seemed to know this would happen. How can these people keep bidding so low. They’re not considering costs. They would soon be out of business in the real world. They’re not letting their actions be shaped by the  realities of running an actual business. The instructor repeated by what I was thinking. The groups had let their bids be shaped solely by the goal of winning the bid. A short-term, short sighted victory. In the real world if my group had thrown up their hands, refused to bid and bide our time we would have lost business in the short-term, but in the long-term our competitors would have gone out of business. Except for the details on the cost sheet the game was simple. That’s because the basics of generating revenue are simple. They’re so simple that even radical presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann should be able to understand them. Yet both are in the race to bankrupt the country. Pawlenty’s plans include massive tax cuts, Pawlenty Moves from Sam’s Club to the Country Club

Pawlenty’s windfall for the wealthy would make George Bush and Paul Ryan blush. While the corporate tax rate would be slashed from 35% to 15%, Pawlenty would create two tax brackets of 10% for those earning up to $50,000 and 25% above. (As with the Paul Ryan plan, the loopholes Tim Pawlenty would close remain unnamed.) At a time of when the federal tax burden is at a 60 year low and income inequality at an 80 year high, Pawlenty insists “we should eliminate altogether the capital gains tax, interest income tax, dividends tax, and the death tax.” (It is worth noting that less than one-quarter of one percent of U.S. families pay the estate tax, while George W. Bush’s last round of capital gains and dividend tax cuts in 2003 delivered 70% of their savings to “top 2 percent of taxpayers, those making more than $200,000.”)

In the race to see who can have the lowest bid and the fastest track to crippling the economy the Republican majority in the House has already placed its bid. They have voted for Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan twice. So it is not as though Pawlenty is part of a fringe within the bubble of his own party anyway. Our bids thus far all break the bank. What a great opening for an astute conservative to be the voice of sanity. Michele Bachmann(R-MN) has never been one to be attracted to reason or sanity, Taking Michelle Bachmann Seriously

If she were to take her shot, she’d run on an economic package reminiscent of Jack Kemp, the late congressman who championed supply-side economics and was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 1996. “In my perfect world,” she explains, “we’d take the 35% corporate tax rate down to nine so that we’re the most competitive in the industrialized world. Zero out capital gains. Zero out the alternative minimum tax. Zero out the death tax.”

Such a reduction in the corporate tax rate alone would reduce federal revenue over the next 9/10 years by over $900 billion dollars. Who knows I might have some billionaire readers, though the chances of anyone paying are about as great as someone’s chances of winning millions in their state lottery ( where odds of 12 to 14 million to one are common). Now who is going to benefit from doing away with the estate tax completely – the one that few people pay anyway – 0.24% of estates pay estate taxes. A hand full of billionaires. Bachmann is a true voodooist when it comes to the supply-side assault on the American way of life. Do away with the capital gains tax when 68% of capital gains profits go to the richest 1% of Americans. These tax rates have been in effect for over a decade. When they were enacted the promise was they would crate jobs and prosperity across the board. Where are those jobs and where is that prosperity. Supply-siders promised the Bush tax cuts would create jobs, balance the budget, pay for themselves and toast your waffles into golden brown goodness. None of that happened – The Bush  Tax Cuts, a Decade Later: How They Helped Break the Economy

We are, in other words, talking about a party that tried an ambitious and radical experiment, saw it fail, and decided what’s needed now is significantly more failure.

I mind that Republicans got this wrong and we’ll be dealing with the consequences for many years to come, but I really mind that Republicans think they were right. As Ezra noted the other day, the party not only “hasn’t learned anything from the failure of the Bush tax cuts,” it’s actually managed to “unlearn some things, too.”

Conservatives enjoy the fact, as many of us do, that communism has been a failure. They still write articles about it. They rarely mention that  progressive social policies such Medicare, the minimum wage, child labor laws, Social Security and public education help save capitalism. Bush, Ryan, Pawlenty, Bachmann, Palin, Gingrich, the current cadre of radical Right republican governors, the tea bags all have one thing in common if not the exact numbers and how fast they would accelerate the race to the bottom for the middle-class, the desire to take the United States back to the Age of the Robber Barons. America as the land of monopolies, rampant corruption, vote buying via corporations like Koch Industries, gutting the social safety net that keeps millions of seniors and children out of poverty, crippling public education from grade school to public universities and sabotaging environmental laws that save millions of lives. The Right’s deeply radical agenda is clear enough. For reasons that defy rational explanation conservatives think this plutocratic model is compatible with a healthy democratic republic and a modern progressive industrialized economy. Or more likely they have no desire to have an enlightened society. The worse kind of authoritarian Pottersville seems to be  their goal.

Ten Charts that Prove the United States Is a Low-Tax Country

The United States is a low-tax country. That’s true for individuals and for corporations, and it’s true whether you compare us to other countries or the America of the past. No matter how you slice it the conclusion is the same.

Conservatives like to claim that our budget deficits are purely a “spending problem.” Said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “We don’t have this problem because we tax too little. We have it because we spent too much.”

It’s a popular talking point, but it simply isn’t true. Deficits do not stem from spending levels alone. They are the product of a mismatch between spending and revenue. And when revenue is as low as ours is, you end up with big deficits.

I’ll just post the section on taxes on investments, which include capital gains,

Taxes on investments lowest since 1933

And taking into account President Obama recent attempts to extend the hand of compromise, estate taxes are down to 0.14%. One would think conservatives, supposedly fans of hard work and self-sufficiency, would want the families of the extremely rich to go out and earn at least some of their own money. Kind of like that Paris Hilton reality show where they go off to work on a farm to send how the other half lives.

Fox News has a new game show on with  Eric Bolling seeing how many bizarre attempts he can make at being hip in between hurling not too thinly veiled racists comments at President Obama – Fox’s Eric Bolling: Obama Is Hosting “Hoodlums” In “The Hizzouse” 

During the opening of Fox Business’ Follow the Money on Friday, Eric Bolling teased a segment about the White House hosting the president of Gabon by saying, “Guess who’s coming to dinner? A dictator. Mr. Obama shares a laugh with one of Africa’s kleptocrats. It’s not first time he’s had a hoodlum in the hizzouse.”

[  ]…As Bolling said that Obama had previously hosted “a hoodlum in the hizzouse,” footage of the rapper Common aired…

I was fair. I searched to see if there was a similarly tainted story on Fox which was as insulting to MBA frat boys like Bush 43 who also meet with President Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon. I am shocked to find that no such racist slanted “journalism” exists in regards Bush.It is fairly common practice among those rascals in the executive branch to meet with people. That way you can tell them you do not approve of their human rights record, as President Obama took the opportunity to do with Ondimba.

President George W. Bush and President Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon meet in the Oval Office Wednesday, May 26, 2004.