What a surprise! The so-called “Party of Personal Responsibility” is taking no responsibility for their crushing defeat on Election Day. Instead, they’ve decided to try and convince themselves and their willing “average Joe” dupes that their defeat is the fault of a nation of moochers who reelected the President on the promise of more of his “gifts.”
Frightened little man Bill O’Reilly whined on election night that the President won because women and people of color “want stuff” and Mitt Romney told his major donors in a post-election conference call that President Obama enticed his voters with “gifts.”
Funny how Republicans perceive representing the interests of everyday people as underhanded pandering. They’ve spent time, money and energy for the last 30 years trying to influence the public discourse with the belief that solely representing the interests of the 1% is a patriotic imperative, but doing the same for 99% is akin to “unconstitutional handouts.”
Republican “Gifts” Do Nothing for Working America
The fact is that Republicans have a history of giving “stuff” to their constituents – the wealthy plutocrats who pull their strings. Unfortunately, for the working American, “gifts” such as subsidies, tax credits, tax loopholes and deregulation haven’t created the shared prosperity promised by trickle-down voodoo, but have helped turned America from the most to the least upwardly mobile with worse income inequality than the Roman Empire.
Their “gifts” of funneling taxpayer money to organized religion through “faith based” initiatives has also helped chip away the at the wall between church and state – an essential component in the modern conservative mission to drag us back to a time when the rich owned and controlled everything – including the economically insecure working poor who compliantly awaited their rewards in Heaven.
“Financial institutions would have been very happy with a Romney administration that repealed Dodd-Frank, military contractors would have been delighted with Romney’s plan to raise military spending to astronomical levels, and Romney’s wealthy donors would have been delighted with his tax cuts for high earners. These are all “extraordinary financial gifts,” and unlike student loans or health care coverage, they do nothing to help ensure that being born into a family of modest financial means doesn’t prevent a person from succeeding. Help with student loan debt doesn’t mean you didn’t have to work hard to get good grades. A better example of an unearned “gift” is being born the son of a wealthy, famous politician so that you’ll never have to worry about student loan debt.”
Republican’s “Trickle down” religion is nothing but a ruse masquerading as an economic theory in an attempt to deceive the ignorant and ingratiate their wealthy benefactors. Their “gifts” grease the wheels of Plutocracy.
Republicans Pine for the “Good Old Days” Socially, but Not Economically
Paul Krugman nailed it when he wrote,
“…the demise of Hostess has unleashed a wave of baby boomer nostalgia for a seemingly more innocent time.
Needless to say, it wasn’t really innocent. But the ’50s … do offer lessons that remain relevant in the 21st century. … Consider the question of tax rates on the wealthy. The modern American right, and much of the alleged center, is obsessed with the notion that low tax rates at the top are essential to growth…
Yet in the 1950s … taxes on corporate profits were twice as large… The best estimates suggest that circa 1960 the top 0.01 percent … paid an effective federal tax rate of more than 70 percent, twice what they pay today.
Nor were high taxes the only burden wealthy businessmen had to bear. They also faced a labor force with a degree of bargaining power hard to imagine today. In 1955 roughly a third of American workers were union members. In the biggest companies, management and labor bargained as equals…
Squeezed between high taxes and empowered workers, executives were relatively impoverished by the standards of either earlier or later generations. … Between the 1920s and the 1950s real incomes for the richest Americans fell sharply…
Today, of course, the mansions, armies of servants and yachts are back, bigger than ever — and any hint of policies that might crimp plutocrats’ style is met with cries of “socialism.” … Surely, then, the far less plutocrat-friendly environment of the 1950s must have been an economic disaster, right? …
On the contrary,… the high-tax, strong-union decades after World War II were in fact marked by spectacular, widely shared economic growth…
Which brings us back to the nostalgia thing.
There are, let’s face it, some people in our political life who pine for the days when minorities and women knew their place, gays stayed firmly in the closet and congressmen asked, “Are you now or have you ever been?” The rest of us, however, are very glad those days are gone. We are, morally, a much better nation… Oh, and the food has improved a lot, too.
Along the way, however, we’ve forgotten something important — namely, that economic justice and economic growth aren’t incompatible. America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share; it gave workers the power to bargain for decent wages and benefits; yet contrary to right-wing propaganda…, it prospered. And we can do that again.” Read the rest of Krugman’s article here.
Free, democratic, societies are built from the ground up by people who have the economic freedom to be engaged in the system, and not too tired from their third, thankless, “uniquely American” low-paying job to care.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt explained as he advanced an initiative in serious need of a revival – the Second Bill of Rights,
“We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”
As with all conservative narratives, the latest one of “gifts” surrounding their election night drubbing is as calculating and disingenuous as the myth that “supply side economics” is good for prosperity. It is a meme designed to excuse their failures and fulfill the conservative mission of further empowering the powerful and permanently maintaining the once-vibrant working class as their current, more malleable, incarnation as the working poor.
Fortunately, as the reelection of President Obama illustrated, this time around most citizens in the United States understood that representing the interests of the majority is, in fact, not a “gift,” or an assault on the Constitution. It is a phenomena known as “governing.”
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