This is an interesting dialogue I’ve been eavesedropping on..
Phi Beta Iota: Others have been on this story for decades–the rest of the world is just now catching on. It is a two-party tyranny–voting for one or the other is NOT an option. What we need is an end to the one party winner take all system. Here's a starting point: Seven Promises to America–Who Will Do This?
From: John Neffinger
To Drew's point, check out this AP story from a couple days ago, noting that Obama is having trouble selling the Republican talking points he has adopted about how budget cuts that lay people off create jobs by reassuring the business community.
What is new about this moment is that things have gotten so bad, the American people see very clearly that the richest few of us are paying less than ever in taxes and should pay more. Even Republicans know this. David Brooks lashed out at his own party last week for taking its ideological aversion to taxes to a new, cult-like level of irrationality.
But to call them ideologues misses the point. The majority of rank-and-file Republicans admit that taxes on top earners should be higher, and the people calling the shots aren't mere ideologues either. They are running a hugely successful business enterprise. It's not irrational, it's very rational (if not so enlightened). The contributors invest in the politicians and lobbyists, and they make very handsome returns on their investments. To Brooks' question, the reason Washington Republicans won't cut any taxes at all as part of an otherwise very favorable deficit deal is that lowering taxes is the entire point. The concern about deficits is only a charade, just another way to discredit our government. The Republican party is not a cult. The Republican party is a racket.
This might be a moment we could make that point with new clarity. That yes there are honest and well-meaning Republicans all across the country, but their whole party is run as a racket. That Republican politicians are just errand boys, as Colonel Kurtz would say , who work only for the rich conservatives who pay for their campaigns.
Prior emails and other links below the line…
On Sat, Jul 9, 2011 at 2:30 PM, Westen, Drew wrote:
The problem, of course, is not just the Republicans. The President is stealing Mitch McConnell’s talking points, the Senate leadership is echoing many of them (except by occasionally making references to jobs, which they’ve done nothing to create, and tax cuts to the rich, which they just voted for), and only the House Democrats are speaking up for ordinary Americans. The problem is how to unseat Democrats who don’t care what the polls say because the only polls they’re listening to are the polls of Wall Street bankers and oil company CEOs who are paying for their television ads. Sadly, the data from research in political science shows that polls are essentially irrelevant to Congressional votes, particularly when they conflict with polls of the upper 1%.
From: On Behalf Of Gideon Rosenblatt
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2011 9:27 AM
Subject: [GameChangerSalon] The debt ceiling, taxes, and greed
Republicans are using the debt ceiling to lower the deficit by slashing government spending without raising taxes. Economists and business leaders are worried, very worried, that this reckless brinksmanship could unravel any hopes of an economic recovery and even spiral us into a depression should the US default on its debt.
The far right is so far out of line on this one, they are alienating business leaders and other traditional allies (see below quotes and link from The Economist).
This is one of those moments when greed is exposed in its most naked form. The rabid anti-tax position is putting our country (and the world) at great risk, cynically unaccountable for their recklessness.
Here is my question to this very smart group: is there a way to use this situation as part of a bigger strategy? How do we elevate what's happening here, make the connection to reckless greed and keep it reverberating for longer than just one news cycle…long enough to cause some real political consequences next fall?
– Gideon Rosenblatt
Here is The Economist, yes, The Economist. coming out strongly against the Republican moves and making a strong case for raising taxes:
“The sticking-point is not on the spending side. It is because the vast majority of Republicans, driven on by the wilder-eyed members of their party and the cacophony of conservative media, are clinging to the position that not a single cent of deficit reduction must come from a higher tax take. This is economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical.
This newspaper has a strong dislike of big government; we have long argued that the main way to right America’s finances is through spending cuts. But you cannot get there without any tax rises. In Britain, for instance, the coalition government aims to tame its deficit with a 3:1 ratio of cuts to hikes. America’s tax take is at its lowest level for decades: even Ronald Reagan raised taxes when he needed to do so.
Both parties have in recent months been guilty of fiscal recklessness. Right now, though, the blame falls clearly on the Republicans. Independent voters should take note.”