This week in Ames, Iowa all 10 GOP candidates raised their hands to affirm that they would reject a budget plan that raised government revenues by $1 for every $10 of reduced spending. I thought the question was intended to be ludicrous, but it took on a rather ominous connotation with the uniformly absurd response of the Republicans on stage and the applause they received from their audience.
The issue of refusing to raise taxes is not about solving the budget problem. The only time since the 1960s that the budget was balanced and a surplus was generated was when President Clinton raised taxes as well as reduced expenditures. Virtually every economist has agreed that increased revenue is essential. It’s not about creating jobs either, because the only history of the relationship between taxes and jobs growth since the Clinton surplus has been exactly the opposite of what Conservatives claim – the more taxes have been lowered, the less jobs have been created.
So if there is no rational economic argument for refusing to raise taxes as well as reduce spending, in what reality does the Tea Party exist? Tea Party radicals reject reality in favor if ideology. They refuse to allow any increase in revenues because their real agenda is not economic, it is political: they believe that they can destroy the US Government by starving it of tax revenues. They equate less government with more liberties, a proposition that is not entirely without merit, except when carried to their extremes.
These are the kind of liberties the Tea Party would produce for us: the freedom to not have a response from Police or Fire Departments; the freedom to drive on dirt roads instead of highways; the freedom to lose our life savings by unregulated banks; the freedom to drink polluted water and breathe polluted air; the freedom to allow corporations to run the government… well, maybe you get the idea.
That’s what makes the response of the 10 GOP candidates so ominous: they buy into the idea of destroying the government to save us all. Our credit was downgraded because S&P 500 believed that the politics of debt reduction would sabotage any debt reduction. This is just a preview of what those radicals have in mind for the good old USA.
I don’t get the way these people think. They want to privatize libraries and schools. They want to spread the idea that if you’re not filthy rich like they are then you’re not working hard enough. I actually met a woman online who was in her 60s, I think, and retired in 2004 (the year I got my first job). On my Facebook page, she constantly commented on any “status” update or blog post I had that could potentially be misconstrued to be political. I tried to be patient with her because I knew she had Asperger’s syndrome (and I know how it feels to be misunderstood on a regular basis) but I told her that I did not want to discuss politics with her. She completely ignored that and just kept doing it, even going as far to say things like I “haven’t lived it” and that because she’s older than me she can tell me I “just don’t get it yet” because of my young age (30).
Not knowing anything about my life, she accused me of not working hard enough and also said she doesn’t believe in public schools, libraries or anything. Oh, she went to a private school all right, because her family was rich enough… and they deserved to be rich because they worked hard! I told her about my job history, where I started at a $7.00/hr job and worked for an abusive, racist boss for six months just so I could build my resume, about how I lived in a horrible apartment building with a bunch of drug addicts and perverts, and after several years of one dead end job (that often ended after money ran out) and shitty apartment after another, I finally, in 8/2010, got a government job (which, little did I know at the time, would be taken away from me later because of the layoffs).
Instead of seeing that I’m a human being, too, who works hard and has been dealt lemons that I’m trying hard to make into lemonade, she told me again that I haven’t lived it, implored me to get a job and keep it. She also told me that we have homeless people because of “entitlement” and that they expect everything to be handed to them. I have no idea what she was thinking when she said that especially since in order to get “entitlement” you have to have worked for a certain amount of time! She then said that maybe we should “part ways” because she doesn’t want to turn her Facebook page into an arena (or something to that effect). Hilarious since she was the one who essentially turned everything I said, not directed toward her, into a debate. I realized that this was not Asperger’s syndrome– especially since she’s married and has a kid, so clearly loneliness or whatever has nothing to do with it– this was her being a self-righteous bitch. So I told her in no uncertain terms to fuck off and I removed her from my friends list.
It would be easy for me to chalk this anecdote up to one person being an asshole. But it seems to me that this is how a lot of these right-wingers think. They judge your work ethic based on how much money you have. Social Darwinism at its finest. Isn’t it ironic that the biggest Social Darwinists are often the ones who are the most shit-scared of evolution being a fact because they think it could warp our morals?
Two observations: Geoff’s comments about what liberties the Tea Party would like and what Julie pointed out in her conversation with the elderlay lady.
Geoff’s comments about what the TP would like is 100% on target. What the TP wants is anarchy. Why the populace cannot see that is
The woman Julie conversed with wrote she didn’t like public schools.
That’s quite obvious and supported by the madness in Michigan to have no limits on charter school legislation that our magnificent legislature is looking at enacting. Why someone doesn’t sue over the fact that Charters are really private institutions being funded by money from taxes collected from the public baffles me.
It is criminal that no one is challenging the legitimacy of charter schools.
Why are there not class action suits against those who brought about the housing crisis and have profited from it; the banks and wall street?
Fieger, this is up your alley.
@Jim, I dislike public schools but for my own personal reasons. This woman doesn’t like the fact that they’re a social institution! According to her, it makes people expect everything to be handed to them!
@Sbanicki, Agreed! Why can’t there be a class action suit against those sociopathic fat cats?
As I am watching one of the Sunday morning talk shows and thinking about the economic mess we are in, a commercial comes on for Bank of America. I then realize that here is a company that is part of an oligopoly that controls the financial services industry that I have been complaining about destroying our free markets. It made me think further about the fact that these oligopolies are not only controlling our free markets, but they also have a heavy influence on our “free press”.
Later in the same day I read an article about who is monetarily watering the Tea Party movement. Guess what; it is not totally a grass roots movement. Per the New Yotk Times article highlighted above “….the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.”
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