"Conservatives are f-ing stupid, and liberals are f-ing stupid, and anyone who makes up their mind on an issue before they hear it is f-ing stupid."

- Chris Rock

"Why is it that with all the actors and musicians trying to make political statements it takes a comedian to say something worthwhile?

- Monroe Blades

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's Not Class Warfare. It's Business as Usual.

    You know that guy who likes to gain false credit by offering things to people when he knows they won't accept.  He offers you some of his wine at dinner knowing you don't like Chablis or he hears from your wife that you have weekend travel plans and then he offers you a ticket to the ball game (a ticket he may not even actually possess).  After a couple of decades of watching politicians I have determined that the root of their strategy is based upon this annoying scammer.  They publicly claim to be for things they really aren't when they know they can blame someone else (usually the other party) for not getting it.  Then when they have the majority the same issues disappear from their discourse.

    The latest round of this liars poker is the President once again assaulting the tax rates of those with higher incomes as part what he is calling a deficit reduction plan.  Now there is a lot to say about the plan itself.  I could talk about that there is not much deficit reducing in this deficit reduction plan.  I could talk about the historically low tax rates the rich are currently enjoying and why raising their rates may seem reasonable (as I touched on in my last post).  I could talk about the need for a more comprehensive tax reform.  But frankly all of this is just a lot of blah blah blah for the talk shows to chew upon because the bottom line is that this legislation has no chance of passing and the President knows it.  To me the important point is that he doesn't want it to pass anymore than anyone else in national government.

    Why would I say such a thing?  Well it's pretty simple really.  If Obama and the Democrats really have such a problem with the tax rates for wealthier Americans then they could have addressed it during the two years they had the majority in all three branches of government.  Instead they just focused on ramming through as many gargantuan spending bills as possible.  The Democrats are not interested in taxing the rich any more than the Republicans because they get campaign financing from the same deep pockets Republicans do.  Those deep pockets want to pay as little in taxes as possible just like the rest of us.  That's how we got such a convoluted tax code in the first place.  A tax code that has evolved over many decades where Democrats held the majority in congress most of the time.  A tax code that favors large corporations and the wealthiest individuals.

    You see tax breaks for large corporations and the wealthy are like raising the debt ceiling; both sides have to be for it but say they are against it publicly when they can get away with it.  This is why Obama and the other democrats voted against raising the debt ceiling when he was in the senate.  They were the minority party and had a Republican President so they forced the senate Republicans to all vote yes on raising the ceiling so they could then publicly criticize them  for doing it.  Later the roles were reversed when Obama became President and the debt ceiling needed to be raised again.

    How is the same sickeningly disingenuous political gamesmanship being played by the Republicans on this issue?  Since they have the congressional majority they cannot agree to the tax hikes (because they could actually pass them) so instead they launch a counter argument that rather than just raising rates on some Americans that we need to overhaul the tax code to get more people paying taxes and to close the loop holes that benefit large corporations.  Of course Republicans were talking about a flat tax decades ago but then when they finally gained the majority in congress they did nothing about it.  Instead they continued to favor tax legislation and trade agreements that favor large corporations to the detriment of the rest of us.  But they will blame Obama and senate Democrats for not being able to get tax reform now.

      What we have in the end is this same old tired phony "agree to disagree" between the parties to set up the same old tired election year talking points.  As usual our leaders in Washington are not interested in actual governing.  They are interested in marketing.  Once again the Democrats will say the Republicans are just for rich people while the Republicans will say the Dems are all about "tax and spend".  These superficial false issues are created so that the electorate can be more easily manipulated with sound byte politics and to distract us from what should be the real issue; the systematic extraction of jobs and wealth from our country courtesy of  a political system corrupted by individuals, corporations and special interests with the vast resources to buy our politicians Democrat and Republican alike.