Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Wish I Believed in Reincarnation

Maybe I'd get to come back as Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi.

Then I could write things like this.

Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s latest entrant in the seemingly endless series of young, prickish, over-coiffed, anal-retentive deficit Robespierres they’ve sent to the political center stage in the last decade or so, has come out with his new budget plan. All of these smug little jerks look alike to me – from Ralph Reed to Eric Cantor to Jeb Hensarling to Rand Paul and now to Ryan, they all look like overgrown kids who got nipple-twisted in the halls in high school, worked as Applebee’s shift managers in college, and are now taking revenge on the world as grownups by defunding hospice care and student loans and Sesame Street. They all look like they sleep with their ties on, and keep their feet in dress socks when doing their bi-monthly duty with their wives... (continued)

Yes, yes, he begins with some petulant character assassination, but he soon enough gets down to business telling us how we are helping speed ourselves up to, and over, the precipice of financial ruin.

I am so tired and discouraged at seeing my country on its knees and those who have most benefited from our system unwilling to do their part to help. Our national debt is nearly universally cited as an impending national catastrophe, and yet to Republicans it's clearly not as great a catastrophe as failing to deliver more tax cuts to the country's well-off. Tax rates are at an historical low (for modern times) and yet Rupert Murdoch and his cabal have convinced a large part of middle America that they're being pillaged by taxes--and better yet, that the tax burden of rich folks is keeping the economy down!--even as the country is coming apart in front of us. How do you pull off such an illusion and get people to go to the polls eager to chop off their own hands?

We have not had such a dangerous wealth disparity since the days before the Great Depression, and yet I get lectured every day by Republicans about our tax system as a "redistribution of wealth," as though the world is full of deadbeats living fat off the hard-working rich white man. In what is becoming standard Republican strategy, the reality is the mirror-opposite of that narrative: a small group at the top is living super-fat off the poor and middle classes, and off the capital gains of the investments they were able to make by not having to pay a fair share of upkeep for the country that made them rich. No wonder guys want to get into business and become moguls and stock brokers and currency traders and CEOs.

The tax code in this country may be byzantine and as full of holes as swiss cheese, but the idea that the rich are being punished by taxation is a lie. And I'd like to stop hearing people try to make this argument to me.


Sadie Lou said...

Okay. I posted. I could really just post on one of your points in order to keep a shorter post-an easier read. I'll tackle more as I have time. Thanks for the opportunity

Sadie Lou said...

shrimplate said...

"...Ryan’s gambit, ultimately, is all about trying to get middle-class voters to swallow paying for tax cuts for rich people."

I'm not complaining about my financial situation. As a nurse, I am compensated enough to pay the bills and with a little borrowing I'll probably be able to get my one kid into college.

So why are the rich always demanding more? They have a lot more than I'll make in my entire life, and yet they want billions more. What for?