Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Base's Hissy Fit

Americans are undergoing another case of the mass amnesia for which they're justifiably famous. I suppose "amnesia" it too kind a term. So distracted are they by their technological toys and reality TV shows, they can't be bothered to pay attention to the things that matter. That aloof and unknowable segment of the American electorate that describe themselves as "moderate" are telling pollster after amused pollster that they are unhappy with the way the Democrats have responded to the economic catastrophe that was visited upon this country two years ago. Their solution? Putting the people who are responsible for that catastrophe back in power. I'm not making this up.

Then there is the core of the Democratic vote, the so-called "base". Like the half-witted six-year-old who didn't receive the toy he wanted for Christmas, they're in the process of having a blue-faced tantrum. Because they didn't get all of that nice hope and change stuff that Barack Obama promised them two years ago, they're just going to st
ay home and sulk on Election Day.

Now, let's all just take a deep breath, shall we?

I am in a unique position. I now make my name by writing about the train-wreck that American politics has become in the last thirty years. As a consequence, the lower my country sinks into the depths of societal dysfunction, the higher my stock rises. If you are a frustrated Democratic voter whose plan is to neglect your civic responsibilities on Tuesday, November 2, I have but one message for you: Don't do it for me.

I get the feeling (call it a silly hunch on my part) that the American people don't fully appreciate the implications behind the prospect of the GOP taking back the House and the Senate in January. I know what you're thinking and I agree. The Democrats are beyond worthless. Let's face some serious facts here: Any party with a pathetic and befuddled old Andy Gump like Harry Reid as their leader is going to have - "issues" shall we say? But the thing that has to be remembered about our elected Democratic representatives in Washington is the fact that - for the most part - their hearts are in the right place. The same cannot be said for the Republicans. They long ago ceased being a political party. They are now an organized criminal enterprise. If that sounds to you like the extreme ramblings of an embittered Lefty, that's fine. But I am convinced that within a decade, 20/20 historical hindsight will prove me correct. Call me in ten years and we'll compare notes.

How many ti
mes do I have to say this? They are no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln. They haven't been for nearly a century - 1912 to be exact. That was the year that Theodore Roosevelt arrived at the Republican Convention in Chicago expecting to be nominated as the candidate to face Woodrow Wilson in the general election in the fall. It wasn't a pipe dream on TR's part. After all, he had easily defeated the incumbent president William Howard Taft in the primaries. He had every reason to believe that he would be the GOP's standard bearer that year. Unfortunately, the people who controlled that party had other ideas. They knew damned well that Teddy's progressive policies were a direct threat to the stranglehold that the plutocracy had on the American economy. The nomination went to Taft. That was the end. The progressive wing of the grand old party died right then and there. Twenty years later when Roosevelt's distant cousin Franklin picked up the tarnished progressive banner, he would do so as a Democrat.

I've always wondered what old Ted would think of his party were he to rise from the dead. It doesn't take much insight to conclude that he would be furious that the "malefactors of great wealth" are now calling the shots. I am not implying that he would register today as a Democrat. Knowing as much about TR as I do (and I know a lot) my guess is that he would form a third party, like he did in 1912 when he formed the Progressive or - as it was popularly known - the "Bull Moose" party. It's a fairly safe call that he would be disgusted with the entire American political system.

The question needs to be asked of the voters: Why are you people hellbent on putting these assholes back in power? What the hell is wrong with you? Why can't you understand that you're about to commit economic suicide? Can't you see that the failures of Barack Obama are mostly (although not exclusively) the result of Republican obstructionism? As when Clinton was president, their primary goal is to see to it that he (READ: you and I) fail - utterly and completely. If these people are allowed to take power again, it means one thing: We're screwed. Just look at their history. What part of that don't you get? HELLO???

And to the base: What good will staying home on Election Day do? Is it your intent that the economy be sent even further into the hole just so you can make a stupid and worthless point? What possible sense does that make? I know! I know! Barack Obama has not turned out to be the liberal firebrand that we were all praying for when he was elected two years ago. The guy has been positively tepid in too many areas to count. I guess it was foolish - and maybe even racist - to assume that because he is black he would be a reliable progressive.

But we should not dismiss him as a total failure! He has quite a few accomplishments under his belt that he (and you) can look on with pride. By staying home on Election Day you are virtually guaranteeing that the extreme right wing will seize the moment in January, and that nothing will be accomplished to your benefit between then and 2013. They are already saying out in the open that they plan on doing to him what they did to Bill Clinton: They plan on persecuting him by opening up endless investigations and issuing countless subpoenas. As they did twelve years ago, they will paralyze the executive branch of our government. I don't think we can afford to go through that again, can we? By staying home on Election Day you are also assuring that Obama will be a one-term president. Is that what you want? Think about it.

Take John Boehner - please. Do you really want this reactionary little nincompoop serving as speaker of the house next year, setting the agenda? He is now trying to get us to swallow the idea that they are going to do things differently next time around. Are we going to be stupid enough to take him at his word? His party is now holding the legislative process hostage because they insist on continuing tax breaks for a class of people who already have more money than they know what to do with. Do you think for a minute that their position on that issue is going to change once they reclaim power? If you do, I have a stove made out of balsa wood that I'd just love to sell you. Any takers?

Ask yourself the following question:

"Do I really want a disgusting piece of shit like Mitch McConnell serving as senate majority leader?"

I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do know this: Apathy ain't the way to go. Trust me on this one, kids. Stop pouting and get moving. There is too much at stake. If you refuse to participate in the democratic process this year - of all years - you'll deserve everything that happens to you.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

Here is a link to ACTUALLY hear the ACTUAL voice of the ACTUAL Theodore Roosevelt during the long ago campaign of 1912. They sure don't make Republicans like that anymore. Come to think about it, they don't make Democrats like that anymore either:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv-VNTtUYZo

We sure could use him now.

62 Comments:

At 4:45 AM, Blogger swordfish1543 said...

yes, i'm pissed at so-called Dem leadership...
BUT: i'll very definitely be going to the polls in November... and i will NOT be voting GOP!!!

so... what will YOU and your readers do from now till then to help ensure a Dem victory??? - what will YOU (what will I) do to GOTV???

 
At 12:27 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Amnesia is not the correct word. The antonym awareness is probably what you should have used. Americans had forgotten what the Carter years were like. Now they remember and are aghast.

It will be a big smile on Nov 3.

T-41 Days.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Tom, this choice between the lesser of the evils is getting old. We need a THIRD PARTY not under the control of the establishment. I agree that the Repugs are criminals, but why do you say the Dems have their hearts in the right place ?? THEY DON'T !! They are estabishment capitalist pigs who also worship money. When are you folks going to realize that capitalism only benefits wealthy capitalists ?? It certainly does not benefit the poor and middle class working people who are underpaid and overtaxed. I can understand the apathy that has set in.....this talk of change was nothing other than bullshit from the beginning. Once trust is lost in a civilized society the loss of civility won't be far behind. Neither party is capable of effectuating positve change. The best thing for people who really want change to do is to leave.....but as I've said before there really isn't any place that wants Amerikan political refugees !!

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ellis D., Esq.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, damn, you are good; one of my favorite writers. It is true that Obama has not lived up to everyone's expectations, but not only have many forgotten what Obama has managed to accomplish, they also seem to have forgetten that he did it with NO help from the GOP.

 
At 5:47 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

To coin a phrase, "You took the words right out of my mouth." If the Democratic base doesn't get out in full mass this country is going right down the tubes.

I am so afraid that it will take another Great Depression to wake people up. The Republicans were responsible for that one as well as for this recession. The good times in America are ones that happened when the Democrats were in power. The Republicans have no answers; just obstruct, obstruct, obstruct.

Boltok, study your history again and you will find out that Carter was not the one responsible for the high interest rates that occurred during his tenure. He really wasn't as bad a president as people like you want to portray. Ronald Reagan was the one that put this country in a huge hole and it took a Democrat to bail us out. Then another Republican named Bush put us back in the hole again, only he made it much deeper this time.

Facts seem to have little bearing on how people like Boltok think. Ideology is what they base their beliefs on and they find spurious facts to bolster their beliefs. Reality has little to do with the way they think.

You may smile on November 3, Boltok, but not for long.

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Quickly, please, could someone remind me of exactly what Obama and a Democratic-controlled Congress has accomplished? I mean, outside of what's been done for the benefit of the insurance industry, for wall street, the perpetuation of the military/industrial complex, and for the ruling elite, would someone please be so kind to tabulate exactly what's been done for a very sick and ailing main street?

Yeah, I can't think of anything either (outside of getting GM on its feet).

Until people realize we have one ruling party in this country, a corporatist party comprised of two wings, the Democrats and the Republicans, we'll continue to suffer the indignities and abuse of a ruling monopoly that caters only to its rich and very powerful benefactors.

I agree with Tom, don't stay home on November 2nd. Get out and vote, but vote for a third party -- any party. If there aren't any third party options available on your ballot, vote for yourself -- just don't stay on the merry-go-round of ill-fated dreams and lies and manipulation. That's what they want you to do. Instead, make a statement! Vote for neither!

 
At 8:14 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Darlene,
Paul Volker, Carter's appointment to the Federal Reserve, increased interest rates to fight inflation. My reference to the Carter years is a reference to an otherwise inept president.

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger tnlib said...

Love it when you rant, Babe.

Re third parties. Never in the history of this country has a third party ever succeeded or lasted. Not only that, they take votes away from their base party.

http://www.thisnation.com/question/042.html

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/11/suicidal-history-of-third-parties-in.html

Re Obama's accomplishments:

http://mediamatters.org/research/201001270003

http://www.thepoliticalcarnival.net/2010/03/president-obamas-accomplishments/

and there are many, many more lists. Just google "obama accomplishments."

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Top 10% of earners pay 40% of the tax bill.

Bottom 40% of earners pay virtually nothing.

To say that the rich aren't pulling their weight is absurd. I don't get it - where are folks getting this notion?

 
At 1:11 AM, Blogger Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

A dangerous combination, GOP delusion and DEM apathy.

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Harley A. "Top 10% of earners pay 40% of the tax bill."
The top is the only area where income has increased significantly over the last thirty years.
Lowest fifth 16%, Second fifth 23%, Middle fifth 25%, Fourth fifth 35%, Top fifth 95%, Top 1 percent 281%...Taken together, the CBO data and the Piketty and Saez findings suggest greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928.
(See Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Tripled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show & Wealth, Income, and Power )
The top, in other words, have benefited disproportionately from Reagan on up. The middle is holding ground, monetarily, but the middle class, population-wise, has been decimated (and most of the middle class only held on via equity-based financing, which got its shaky foundation cut out when the Housing Bubble popped). The bottom is losing in every way except for the number of people at, or on their way, there. The America of the 1950's, with a healthy middle class, is well on its way back to the Dirty Thirties (and this time we won't have the massive industrialization around WWII to pull us out).

"Bottom 40% of earners pay virtually nothing."
And? The bottom, after such luxuries as food, shelter and a bus pass have nothing left over. The above that, post mortgage, health coverage and a car, also have nil.

"To say that the rich aren't pulling their weight is absurd. I don't get it - where are folks getting this notion?"
We have millionaires trying to tell you that privatizing Social Security will be a good thing (right after a market crash, no less) and, in any event, peanut butter and cat food are cheap and good sources of protein for your old age.
Everybody has to tighten their belts, except for the top. That's not a stable social contract. That's a recipe for revolution.

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

MO

This is still a country with property rights and individual freedoms. Ergo, it is also a country that allows people to be industrious and earn and build wealth. I bet most of you tax the rich types spend the majority of your time sitting, unshowered for days, in front of your computer jealous that someone has more than you. I am happy that I live in a country where people can have more than me.

Why don't you overachieve, earn, and voluntarily give the majority of your money to the bureaucracy.

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger PCS said...

Are you crazy? Haven't you read the "Pledge to America"? The GOPer's are sincere! Don't you remember that last "pledge" they made....it was a contract of some sort? Remember how successful it was? I for one will stand with those that sign the "Pledge"! Tax cuts for the rich, a lower deficit, deregulation for businesses and letting people with pre-existing medical conditions finally take some personal responsibility. That is the America we want to see.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

The bottom 40% don't earn a living wage unless they work three jobs totaling 80 plus hours a week. That's not easy anymore since a lot of folks have no job at all these days. Jefferson's Guardian is correct. We have a corporatist party in power with the same goal...accumulating as much wealth as possible for their rich friends at the expense of the working class people. It all goes back to the evils of capitalism. The goal of capitalism is to maximize profit, PERIOD. The harm done to society at large as a result of this maximizing profit is irrelevant to these greedy assholes. Even Greenspan finally realized that the rich cannot be trusted to be benevolent and care for the folks who weren't born with silver spoons in their hands. The reason Third Parties have never been successful is that the corporatist party has too much wealth and is able to buy the media and government. The brainwashing of the citizenry by the establishment begins with the school system under the guise of " socialization ". This also contributes to the inability of Third Party ideas to gain acceptance. Votes SHOULD be taken away from the corporatist party. Unfortunately most Amerikans are too brainwashed to realize this and so the game goes on......

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

MO –

First of all, where in our Constitution does it say that there shall be an egalitarian distribution of wealth? It says no such thing. So your study does not interest me. Neither am I interested in playing ping-pong with studies that support whatever position one chooses to take – that would be easy to do. Your study did not precede your worldview – no, your worldview caused you to seek out the study that fit. Might I also say, the same principle typically holds true for the author of the study unfortunately.

Second, did your study look at how the rich fared under Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Van Buren, Hoover, Truman, Kennedy…. ? More often than not, in a free, industrialized capitalist society, the rich (capitalists) do become disproportionately richer. If the capitalist is doing well, I cannot guarantee you that the worker will do well, but if the capitalist is failing, I can certainly guarantee that the worker will suffer greatly.

The real kicker, though, is that to allow the tax cuts to expire will actually hurt those in the lower tax brackets worse than it will top – not to mention be another stress on an already anemic economy. Our problem is spending – no thanks to Bush. We have a mess – no doubt – and not Obama’s fault. But, it’s not the right time to forward liberal egalitarian ideals – the country can’t afford it.

 
At 10:21 AM, Blogger PCS said...

Where in the Constitution does it say we can have an air force! I say dismantle the air force immediately! It's unconstitutional.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Bad analogy. The concept of an egalitarian distribution of wealth was a concept they well understood. An air force was obviously not within their grasp in the 18th century. The constitution does address the fact that the President is the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. Had there been aircraft at the time, the Air Force would undoubtedly have been included in that statement.

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

The workers suffered greatly while the capitalists were doing well. GREED prevails in their mindsets, sharing wealth never enters their minds. I found it almost amusing how they lost control of their sick little game and had to beg their wealthy pals in the government to save their sorry asses !! Of course they were so appreciative of the bailout that they did everything they could to help the working class folks !! NOT !!! Maybe if they had a conscience or had any decency they could have spared a dime ?? Nah, greedy capitalist pigs would never do that...goes against all they believe in. So the game goes on.....

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger PCS said...

Yeah, yeah, I know...it's just the preamble. But the words appear again in Article 1, Section 8. What exactly does "promote the general welfare" mean? And yes, I've read many of the conservative and libertarian rants on the subject. I stand with Alexander Hamilton.

 
At 1:07 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

These people are all experts with other people's money. Just like Joe Biden. He gives $10 to charity and then lecture everyone else on their patriotic duty to spread the money around.

I want to know how many would work an extra 5 hours per week if they new it would all go to the government.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Laneman said...

Two thirds of corporations pay no taxes. In fact they make money from the tax system. Also, since the rich own most of the wealth, earn most of the income and use most of the commons, they should pay most of the taxes.

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

A better question is WHY people should have to work an extra 5 hours per week UNLESS they are getting FAIR compensation for their time and effort ?? I don't give a shit if people have more of whatever than I have. BUT I do give a shit that too many folks have too little of anything while some other fuckers have more of everything than they will ever NEED. I don't care if the " ceiling " goes straight to Heaven so long as the " floor " is raised above Hell !!! Get it ??

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

What is fair compensation? It's a free world. Fair compensation is a reaonable discussion point if people were slaves. If people dont like what they are paid or who they walk for they can quit and do something else. Outside of military servicer, are there any occupations where an employee cannot quit if he/she doesn't like the remuneration?

Corporations are not living entities but represent the ownership of an business by natural persons. As such, dividends and capital gains are taxed. Also, to say that corporations dont pay taxes if nonsense, for starters they pay half of all employment taxes, licensing fees, property taxes, on and on. Also, the US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. What are all your unfairly paid employees going to do when corporations do what they do elsewhere?

 
At 1:59 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

I am also amazed at how many liberals depend on expletives to craft an argument. Some of you are no more civilized than an ape.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

boltok.....that's because I know it pisses off you conservative jackasses !! The same way my long hair used to piss off the establishment back in my High School days. It's all just semantic banter anyhow !! Now regarding compensation and employment.....fair compensation is that which allows a worker to work a reasonable number of hours per week for a LIVING WAGE, a wage that gets the bills paid, allows for some recreation and some savings. What Amerikan workers are paid is ALMOST slavery when one considers how little this compensation buys in a profit driven overpriced society !! So boltok...FUCK YOU !!! :-)

 
At 2:44 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

You don't "piss me off." I laugh at you.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Well boltok don't pull a rib muscle !! Hate for you to get laid up and unable to contribute your stupidity and ignorance to this blog !!

 
At 3:23 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

If I injure myself, it will be your fault. I will call a trial lawyer and sue you.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

boltok.....I'd have to implead Tom as a defendant. But for his blog your injury would not occur :-)

 
At 3:40 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

That shouldn't be a problem. Does he have DEEP pockets?

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Oh yeah Tom is loaded !! Why do you think he doesn't have to work ?? He draws from a huge trust fund set up for him by Cheech & Chong. All that money they made from Up In Smoke is being put to good use !!

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger PCS said...

Damn, I didn't realize it was so easy to get a better paying job. Tomorrow I'm going to quit my job and get a job as CEO of GE.

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger Rastamick61 said...

Randi Rhodes had the best answer I have heard yet : Stockholm Syndrome. They really miss their captors and can't figure out what to do with themselves when they're not being bent over.

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger Rastamick61 said...

Q : how do you spot a libertrollian in the comments section? A : he will not be able to refrain from using the phrases : "property rights" and "liberals" It must be lonely in the basement with nothing but the squawk of the dial up modem and stepmom yelling down the stairs that the hot pockets are ready. I would sooner eat sawdust than hang around an opposing viewpoint blog trying to outwit my enemies and failing all decade. That said, have at it Boretawk

 
At 3:29 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

boltok "This is still a country with property rights and individual freedoms."
Yes. And?

"Ergo, it is also a country that allows people to be industrious and earn and build wealth."
What, like most of the rest of the Western World?
Any nation that, by design, makes the rich richer and the poor poorer is, by design, designed to fail.

"I bet most of you tax the rich types spend the majority of your time sitting, unshowered for days, in front of your computer jealous that someone has more than you."
Actually, I work. Stripping, mostly. It pays the bills. I pop out from behind the curtain, take off my shirt and, when the drunken housewives all scream and run away, I finish off their drinks and go through their purses.
Don't judge me!

"I am happy that I live in a country where people can have more than me."
I, too, live in a country "where people can have more than me". And our cities aren't falling apart. And our public schools aren't bad. And our required stimulus after Wall Street broke your economy was a fraction of yours (which, itself, was a fraction of what was needed). Look North, young man. Look North.

"Why don't you overachieve, earn, and voluntarily give the majority of your money to the bureaucracy."
I wasn't born into the right family, I don't have a head for numbers (I do have a head for letters. Just vowels, though) and I wouldn't fit in with the big money twats of Wall Street because I'm not a sociopath.

In other words, nice job in no way countering anything that I said.

"I want to know how many would work an extra 5 hours per week if they new it would all go to the government."
That depends. I don't mind working a little more knowing that some of the taxation will be used to my benefit (and my familiy's) as well as the benefit of others should I (or they) lose their jobs.
The Social Contract requires those under it to work for more than just themselves. The most likely alternative, Social Darwinism (or, more accurately, privatizing the profits and socializing the losses), is a dark, unstable and messy place. Worse, it's unnecessary.

"I am also amazed at how many liberals depend on expletives to craft an argument. Some of you are no more civilized than an ape."
I know, right?! Liberals are so rude! Darn them and their "freaking out the squares"! It's a perfectly valid reason to ignore the argument between the naughty words! Now, if you will excuse me, I have to clutch my pearls.

 
At 3:31 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Harley A. "First of all, where in our Constitution does it say that there shall be an egalitarian distribution of wealth? It says no such thing."
Oh. Does it say the opposite of that?

"So your study does not interest me."
It should. Unless you're a Neo-Feudalist.

"Neither am I interested in playing ping-pong with studies that support whatever position one chooses to take – that would be easy to do. Your study did not precede your worldview – no, your worldview caused you to seek out the study that fit. Might I also say, the same principle typically holds true for the author of the study unfortunately."
I'm not too familiar with logical fallacies. Is that Ad hominem or the Genetic Fallacy?

"Second, did your study look at how the rich fared under Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Van Buren, Hoover, Truman, Kennedy…. ?"
"...greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928."

"If the capitalist is doing well, I cannot guarantee you that the worker will do well, but if the capitalist is failing, I can certainly guarantee that the worker will suffer greatly."
The New Deal did pretty well for most people. The orgy of tax cuts and deregulation over the last few decades has helped those on the top far more than everybody else.

"The real kicker, though, is that to allow the tax cuts to expire will actually hurt those in the lower tax brackets worse than it will top – not to mention be another stress on an already anemic economy."
If the top cuts are allowed to expire, those earning less than $200,000 a year (if memory serves) will still get their cuts, while those earning more will still get their cuts on the first $200,000.
And tax cuts are among the least effective stimulus. Sadly, there's no chance of more stimulus, so letting some temporary tax cuts expire is all they have left.

"But, it’s not the right time to forward liberal egalitarian ideals – the country can’t afford it."
So when can we afford to not enrichen the top at the expense of everybody else? Before or after "Let them eat cake"?

 
At 3:31 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Harley A. "First of all, where in our Constitution does it say that there shall be an egalitarian distribution of wealth? It says no such thing."
Oh. Does it say the opposite of that?

"So your study does not interest me."
It should. Unless you're a Neo-Feudalist.

"Neither am I interested in playing ping-pong with studies that support whatever position one chooses to take – that would be easy to do. Your study did not precede your worldview – no, your worldview caused you to seek out the study that fit. Might I also say, the same principle typically holds true for the author of the study unfortunately."
I'm not too familiar with logical fallacies. Is that Ad hominem or the Genetic Fallacy?

"Second, did your study look at how the rich fared under Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Van Buren, Hoover, Truman, Kennedy…. ?"
"...greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928."

"If the capitalist is doing well, I cannot guarantee you that the worker will do well, but if the capitalist is failing, I can certainly guarantee that the worker will suffer greatly."
The New Deal did pretty well for most people. The orgy of tax cuts and deregulation over the last few decades has helped those on the top far more than everybody else.

"The real kicker, though, is that to allow the tax cuts to expire will actually hurt those in the lower tax brackets worse than it will top – not to mention be another stress on an already anemic economy."
If the top cuts are allowed to expire, those earning less than $200,000 a year (if memory serves) will still get their cuts, while those earning more will still get their cuts on the first $200,000.
And tax cuts are among the least effective stimulus. Sadly, there's no chance of more stimulus, so letting some temporary tax cuts expire is all they have left.

"But, it’s not the right time to forward liberal egalitarian ideals – the country can’t afford it."
So when can we afford to not enrichen the top at the expense of everybody else? Before or after "Let them eat cake"?

 
At 3:33 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Wups. Feel free to delete the redundant comment. Alternately, turn your monitor sideways and the two will be 3D!

 
At 3:41 AM, Blogger Daij said...

cosign w/swordfish 1543

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Oh. Does it say the opposite of that?
Irrelevant. I can tell you, though, the founding fathers would have been ready for another revolution at 40% taxes – the bracket ALL of them would have been in.

It should. Unless you're a Neo-Feudalist.
I am no neo-feudalist – still not interesting. I explained. I can find you a study to prove most anything you want to prove.

I'm not too familiar with logical fallacies.
I can tell.

Is that Ad hominem or the Genetic Fallacy?
It is neither – it is the truth. An example of ad hominem would be using names like “neo-feudalist” 

"...greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928."
Have you considered that possibly the American worker has been pricing himself out of jobs in the global economy? Look at Detroit. Heck, look at my town Wichita, KS – the “air capital”. Men making $50,000 to do work that takes no education beyond high school and probably takes a month’s worth of training - continuing to strike and demand more. Jobs are leaving everyday. The gap problem is not between the rich and poor in America – it is between America and the rest of the world. My thought is that the global economy will (and is) necessarily cause a leveling of standard of living. Developing nations are now competing for resources, jobs, technology. Not to mention the folks in Mexico (who don’t yet understand how horrific America is for poor people) come over here to work by the hundreds of thousands, relishing the opportunities they receive. You see, I’m not so against that (I wish we had better control of it) but I admire the work ethic. I’d like for them to enjoy more of the benefits of their labor than do many of the “poor” Americans who sit on their asses.

The New Deal did pretty well for most people. The orgy of tax cuts and deregulation over the last few decades has helped those on the top far more than everybody else.
Right, FDR’s policies really assisted the “recovery”. The market made it back to it’s pre-1929 levels by 1955. Nice job. No, many economists (read Niall Ferguson) believe the protectionism and tight monetary policies of the FDR administration extended what may have been a much less disastrous situation.


Now, I’m going to go enjoy my weekend (in a few hours) – you do the same…

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger PCS said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the States of Kansas and Mississippi, which suck off the government teat using taxes collected from states like NY, would take some personal responsibility for their own economic welfare?

Of course, even without the subsidising tax dollars from the NorthEast, you've still got those Koch brothers to keep you libertarians happy.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

So to maximize profit the capitalist pigs outsource jobs and production to places where the profit margin is higher. At the expense of the Amerikan work force. I don't think $50k a yr. for a HS grad. is too much considering the excessive cost of living in our profit driven society. This global competition serves to lower the wages and earning power of the Amerikans who actually belong here. Why it isn't obvious that we need to provide for and take care of our OWN citizens before we worry about the plight of illegal immigrants and those in other countries is a mystery to me. All other countries control immigration and don't open the floodgates to the detriment of its own nationals. Outsourcing jobs and production should be tariffed at such a high rate that it would be more profitable to keep those jobs and production here so our citizens get those jobs and produce those goods. The only people who benefit from global competition are the wealthy ruling class. The large majority of Amerikans are hurt by it. Not because they are lazy and less willing to work hard but because employers are greedy capitalist pigs who are incapable of sharing wealth fairly and equitably. So enjoy your weekend Harlster !!

 
At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very unfair for you to say Republicans do not have a heart. I am a Republican and my heart is definitely in the right place and are most Republican hearts. The problem with democrats, especially those of you involved in media is that you believe in "freedom of speech" and individual opinions, as long as they are the same as yours (the democrat). Democrats are definitely better at personally attacking anyone that doesn't agree with them and say just mean hateful words that are twisted and untrue. Putting aside Republican vs Democrat, where has our Christian hearted society gone to? Without a God or belief of one, people don't hold themselves accountable for such cruelty to others.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Believe me, I was not referring to someone like you. Some of my best friends (and family) are Republicans. I am referring to the "Republican Party". The entire professional political apparatus that emanates from the RNC.

You seem like a very nice person and I meant no offense to you.

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

One does not need to believe in God to act ethically. It should be obvious to any enlightened person that one should A) Do the best they can and put forth their best effort in all they do; B) Share all they have whether it be wealth, knowledge or whatever; C) Not do anything that will hurt anyone. Pretty simple and no religion or belief in a deity is needed !!!

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Anonymous, I have to disagree. There is more hate and mean spiritedness coming from the so called Religious Right than anywhere else. Example: "Minister" or former minister Huckabee is opposed to people with pre existing conditions being allowed to purchase insurance. Do you have any idea how financially devastating that can be to someone who has an expensive and debilitating health issue and is denied insurance? I can. I have been there.

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awareness? Are you aware that unemployment never dropped below 10 per cent during the good ol' Reagan years?

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Anonymous, read what I said again. I never said one word about awareness or unemployment

You stated: "putting aside Republican vs Democrat, where has our Christian hearted society gone to? Without a God or belief of one, people don't hold themselves accountable for such cruelty to others."

I was merely saying that quite often the Bible thumpers and evangelicals act in a most unchristian way. Belief in a God or the Bible does not prevent them from acting cruelly to others.

 
At 1:48 AM, OpenID macklyons said...

"Heck, look at my town Wichita, KS – the “air capital”. Men making $50,000 to do work that takes no education beyond high school and probably takes a month’s worth of training - continuing to strike and demand more."

The cost of living has risen so much that a $50k wage salary doesn't go far anymore, especially not for a family of four that wants to live the ideal "American dream". After the mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, insurance and school expenses, it's cat food and peanut butter for the whole family.

Those advocating the defanging or outright dissolution of unions would probably say somewhere around $25k - $30k to be a more reasonable salary. At that point, the insurance is the first expense to go, followed by cutbacks on unnecessary entertainment (goodbye cable tv and high speed internet) and dining (goodbye McDonalds, hello Mac n' Cheese). Some of these guys may even have health insurance, and THAT might be the next thing to go. Car insurance? Time to join the millions who don't have it (contrary to state law) and pray they don't hit anyone. The car itself? If it's new, time to stop paying the note and turn in the keys. Is it old? Sell it for what you can get and find a cheaper jalopy. And pray it doesn't put you on the side of the road.

Wanna keep going? Try giving up on the mortgage and turning in the keys or better yet, squatting for as long as you can without being evicted by the Sheriff's office. How about selling the furniture and appliances before moving out? The house has a bunch of copper plumbing and wiring that's sure to bring in some change. Recycling's good for the environment anyways, right? After walking out the door for the last time, your options are to either move in with relatives for a while or rough it out in the car for a few weeks until you can get a cheap trailer out in the boonies or an apartment on that rough side of town.

Congratulations. You have now downgraded your lifestyle to accomodate your new $25k or $30k exist........wait, the job you took that $20k-$25k pay cut to save was just shipped off to Mexico, where the natives are more than happy to take a $8.5k wage in pesos? Oh well. Looks like you're fucked. Enjoy the cat food and peanut butter.

At least now you have a legitimate reason to get on the government's tit (welfare). But conservatives will probably call your wife an entitlement queen or something and criticize you for "not taking care of your family", all from the comfort of their $100k luxury sedans and multi-million dollar homes. Life sucks? Suck it up.

 
At 1:49 AM, OpenID macklyons said...

"Why are you people hellbent on putting these assholes back in power? What the hell is wrong with you? Why can't you understand that you're about to commit economic suicide? Can't you see that the failures of Barack Obama are mostly (although not exclusively) the result of Republican obstructionism?"

They don't really care. As you said, the general public is immersed in today's technological bread and circuses, easily being swayed by the biggest and loudest mouths on TV and radio. Good luck trying to get them to look back on history -- they probably wouldn't even know what happened in the past 10 years unless it involved pop culture. Americans of today only respond to ideological tugs on the heartstrings, while not being aware of or ignoring the adoption of both Democrats and Republicans into the corporatist-political fold. Ordinary Americans are operating on "ignorance is bliss.....Oooo, Jersey Shore is on!!! Wow look at Sookie's dress!!!".

 
At 8:56 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

K CARL SMITH!

http://vimeo.com/8940481

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Harley A. "Irrelevant."
So if it doesn't say one thing, that's relevant, but if it doesn't say the opposite, that isn't relevant?

"I can tell you, though, the founding fathers would have been ready for another revolution at 40% taxes – the bracket ALL of them would have been in."
The FFs didn't have an empire, with worldwide oil lanes, ports and nations, to defend.

"I explained. I can find you a study to prove most anything you want to prove."
The numbers don't lie. The gap is increasing. The top of the top is doing really well (even now, in a bad economy). The middle is in trouble. The bottom, population-wise, is getting bigger.

"An example of ad hominem would be using names like 'neo-feudalist'"
No. One who advocates policies that "systematically increase the wealth gap between the rich and the poor while increasing the power of the rich and decreasing the power of the poor" is a neofeudalist. That you see it as a pejorative term indicates that you do, in fact, still have a soul.

"The gap problem is not between the rich and poor in America – it is between America and the rest of the world."
So, is this America's low-wage, safety standard-free, environmental standard-free future? Is this a day at America's future seaside? Is this America's middle class "retirement"?

"No, many economists (read Niall Ferguson) believe the protectionism and tight monetary policies of the FDR administration extended what may have been a much less disastrous situation."
FDR, if memory serves, listened to the deficit hawks partway through. History, inevitably, repeats.

Anonymous "Democrats are definitely better at personally attacking anyone that doesn't agree with them and say just mean hateful words that are twisted and untrue."
Glenn Beck, Dinesh D'souza, Lou Dobbs, Matt Drudge, Pamela Gellar, Newt Gingritch Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Mark Levin, G. Gordon Liddy, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Michael Medved, Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin, Dennis Prager, Karl Rove, Michael Savage, Debbie Schlussel...

"Putting aside Republican vs Democrat, where has our Christian hearted society gone to? Without a God or belief of one, people don't hold themselves accountable for such cruelty to others."
To be fair, for a long time "our Christian hearted society" was too busy motivating indians to cease existing to worry about treating Americans like shit. Unless those Americans were brown. Or Chinese. Or Irish. Or Italian. Or any other number of historical Unpopular Minorities.

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

Tom,

Those deluded tea baggers don't realize (among many other things) that:
1) TARP was the brainstorm of the GW Bush administration,
2) The bailout money that the banks and automakers received has been paid back, and in some cases (GM), taxpayer owned stock was sold at a profit,
3) the stimulus actually did some good,
4) that the middle class paid less in taxes last year, and
4) that they are the complete tools of billionaires like Charles and David Koch and Rupert Murdoch.

As soon at Obama announced his economic team way back in January 09, I knew that the dream was over. I mean, why the hell not Joe Stieglitz and Paul Krugman or (if he was forced by backroom deals to hire a bunch of old Clintonistas), Robert Reich?

Be that as it may, if we sit home on Nov. 2, we deserve the BoehnerNation that we will get on our merry march to serfdom.

 
At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just reading about the need for a 3rd party and I disagree. In my humble opinion each and every democrat should resign from their position and then refuse to stand for re-election. That would give the Republicans every office in the land and then watch how they self destruct. fter a couple of years they would of cocked everything up to such an extent that they would never be voted into any office for 30 years. Short term pain - long term gain.

Den from Oz

 
At 10:33 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Den
One might argue that is exactly what has happened to the Democratic party.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Per Ellis - “The only people who benefit from global competition are the wealthy ruling class. The large majority of Amerikans are hurt by it. Not because they are lazy and less willing to work hard but because employers are greedy capitalist pigs who are incapable of sharing wealth fairly and equitably.”

So, what I take from this is that only Americans are people? The poor in the developing countries who now are able to afford more protein in their diets, maybe afford a form of transportation, benefit from improved infrastructure, etc. - because a “capitalist” invested in their country (and not America) and provided jobs – these who benefit are not people to you? And, the basis by which the rest of the world should operate is the benefit and comfort of Americans? Interesting take.

So, how do the progressives feel about this? I assume from the lack of response, they agree with you…

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Harley, I ABSOLUTELY believe we should be taking care of and providing for our OWN citizens before we assist those abroad. It would be really nice if we could improve the quality of life worldwide but right now we have our own problems to address. How about our capitalists investing in the Amerikan people ?? Instead of greedily outsourcing jobs and insourcing desperate immigrants, how about providing employment for AMERIKAN workers ?? I know, I know, that would cut into the greedy capitalists' profit margin and lessen the amount of wealth they can accumulate at the expense of the people who actually work and produce goods or provide services. We pretend that globalization is to benefit the world when in reality it is soley to benefit the wealthy capitalist pigs who control Amerika. Just more establishment bullshit !!!

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Opinionated Gifts said...

The nonsense coming from the so called base and blogs like FiredogLake seem to have completely forgotten what happened when they voted for Nader in 2000.

Morons. Proof that there are idiots on both sides of the aisle and sadly, when idiots take hold, Republicans win.

And as old as the lesser of two evils argument is, so is the third party argument. Third party of what? The Tea Party? Ross Perot? the aformentioned Ralph Nader?

Fantasyland.

"This is reality Greg"

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Harley A. "So, how do the progressives feel about this? I assume from the lack of response, they agree with you…"
Not really. I prefer, instead of the Race to the Bottom, which has side-effects like this and this (both linked before), to have them have the same kind of regulation we have (which has helped us avoid further rivers setting on fire) while protecting the workers from conditions like this.

 
At 3:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not let the republicans take control again..., then they can set off to bomb Iran, and maybe ...hopefully... the Iranians will wipe out every last stupid jerk that ever thought military service was a good thing.

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger krapaw420 said...

First of all Tom right on, I really could not have said it any better.
As for (Boltok) You are the epitome of why most of us in this country have such a hard time getting a fair shake at the AMERICAN DREAM. All your ranting how you like that people can make more money than you do, have you ever really talked to a real progressive whether they might also like that people can an have lived the AMERICAN DREAM.
As far as the Tax policies go in this country 40% rates would not be necessary if 60% of corporations would only do what is good for people as a whole and we all know that is only a pipe dream so as a concerned nation for all it's people,has to make laws that govern people in control of the purse strings to even the playing field not just because of money, but mostly because a lopsided money situation will obviously cause a person to take advantage of people that do not have it, and we have all seen what happens when a few people have control of most of the money. You can sight numbers all day long and none of them mean anything if you do not care enough about the guy that works for your company that you are willing to pay him in the amount what he actually performs for you and how much that performance makes the company, I guarantee that if that was the standard of pay instead of all the ways that companies have come up with to pay people that work for them it would be easily the best country in the world, instead of national standard wage for every specific job.

 

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