I feel great compassion for the “tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of some teeming shore, the homeless, and tempest-tost.”
So how could I not feel the same compassion for Republicans that columnist Charles Krauthammer feels?
To say he tilts right is to say Serena Williams plays tennis. She really, really plays tennis, and he really, really falls over to the right.
Today, his article titled, “Definitely not Paul Ryan’s favorite part of the party,” lamented Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican party and how this was so sad for Ryan, for the Republican Party, and for Krauthammer.
The morning after, the nation awakes asking: What have we done?
Both parties seem intent on throwing the election away.
Whom do the Republicans put up? They had 17 candidates. Any of a dozen could have taken down the near-fatally weak Clinton, unloved, untrusted, living under the shadow of an FBI investigation.
Any of a dozen? Is he talking about the worst, tone-deaf, mean-spirited, bigoted assemblage of men and women ever to grace the election debate stage? Good heavens, where is Sarah Palin when we need her? Her ignorance would be a vast improvement.
Instead, they nominate Donald Trump — conspiracy theorist (from Barack Obama’s Kenyan birth to Ted Cruz’s father’s involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald), fabulist (from his own invented opposition to the Iraq War and the Libya intervention to the “thousands and thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrating 9/11), admirer of strongmen (from Vladimir Putin to the butchers of Tiananmen).
His outrageous provocations have been brilliantly sequenced so that the shock of the new extinguishes the memory of the last.
Though perhaps not his most recent — his gratuitous attack on a “Mexican” federal judge (born and bred in Indiana) for inherent bias because of his ethnicity.
“Textbook racism,” averred Speaker Paul Ryan.. Even Trump acolyte and possible running mate Newt Gingrich called it inexcusable.
Trump promptly doubled down, expanding the universe of the not-to-be-trusted among us by adding American Muslims to the list of those who might be inherently biased.
Yet Trump is the party’s chosen. He won the primary contest fair and square. The people have spoken. What to do?
Well, apparently “what to do” requires massive, right-wing denial. The Republicans lapped up Trump’s “birther” lies like starving dogs around the meat bowl.
In bemoaning Trump’s obvious bigotry, the Republicans love to refer to themselves as the “party of Lincoln,” the legendary President who freed the slaves from bigoted slaveholders.
Republicans are as much the “party of Lincoln” as (to continue the sports metaphor) the so-far, hapless Chicago Cubs are the team of Mordecai (three-finger) Brown, the legendary star of the Cubs’ last championship, way back in 1908.
We’re talking about the Republican Party that during the Nixon years, invented the “Southern Strategy,” the political action designed to take advantage of inherent Southern bigotry.
We’re talking about the Republican Party that lost any moral standing, when it allowed itself to be taken over by the Tea Party, whose fundamental purpose was, and remains, to cut spending for programs that benefit the middle and lower income groups, and to cut taxes on the rich.
We’re talking about the Republican party, so saturated with hatred for Obama and the poor, that Republican governors forced their residents to pay billions more in taxes, just so the poor could not benefit from Medicaid expansion.
We’re talking about a right-wing Supreme Court, so enamored of the rich, that it decided money is free speech, and corporations actually are people whose religious beliefs take precedence over the religious beliefs of their employees. — a Supreme Court whose spiritual leader regularly accepted “gifts” from wealthy potential litigants.
The Republicans main objection to Trump’s disgraceful and cowardly wall, and his plan to destroy poor families by rounding up and deporting 11 million men, women, and children (many of whom would be American citizens), had nothing to do with immorality. The right-wing was concerned (mildly) about the cost.
In right wing morals: Guns are wonderful, but browns and blacks and gays and transgenders and yellows and Muslims and undocumented immigrant families are evil.
We’re talking about a Republican party that has indoctrinated its “base” with lies about immigrant criminality, while also lying that the rich are “makers” and the poor are “takers.”
So why has Trump, a wealthy bigot, now come as such a shock to Republicans and specifically to Krauthammer? Trump is their own Frankenstein monster, desired, bought, and paid for.
First, dare to say that the people aren’t always right. Surely Republicans admit the possibility. Or do they believe the people chose rightly in electing Obama?
Or even more aptly, did the people choose right (far right) in electing Bush, the abominable liar, who caused the Great Recession, and whose Iraq war has infected and will continue to infect the Middle East for generations?
I sympathize with the dilemma of Republican leaders reluctant to affirm. Many are as appalled as I am by Trump, but they don’t have the freedom I do to say, as I have publicly, that I cannot imagine ever voting for him. They have unique party and institutional responsibilities.
Phooey! There is no “dilemma” and there are no “unique responsibilities.” Today’s Republican party cares only to win at all costs, even at the cost of America.
How else can you describe the unprecedented refusal even to consider any Obama Supreme Court nominee, for at least a year?
How else can you describe repeated threats to enforce the ridiculous debt ceiling, and bring the nation to its knees?
How else can you describe fifty (or is it sixty) votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act (i.e Romneycare), while having no plan for a replacement?
Perhaps my memory is wanting, and perhaps you will assist me, but can you name one Republican action that was meant to benefit the poor, the black, the brown, or any member of the underclass as opposed to benefiting the rich?
If Krauthammer is “appalled by Trump,” he should have been appalled by a Republican Party of rich bigots, who took over well before Trump emerged.
For some, that meant endorsing Trump in the belief that they might be able to contain, constrain, guide and perhaps even educate him. To my mind, this thinking has always been hopelessly misbegotten but not necessarily — nor in all cases — venal.
He thinks some Republicans hoped to “contain, constrain, guide and perhaps educate” Trump? Oh, puleeze. Do you really believe any had such a hope? Their only — ONLY — concern is that he can’t win, because the American public is not so stupid as to vote for him. The minute they believe he is a winner, they all will come a’kissing up.
Which brings us to the matter of Paul Ryan, now being excoriated by many conservatives for having said he would vote for Trump.
Yet what was surprising was not Ryan’s ever-so-tepid semi-endorsement, which was always inevitable and unavoidable — but his initial refusal to endorse Trump when, after the Indiana primary, nearly everyone around him was falling mindlessly, some shamelessly, into line.
In the end, Ryan called an armistice. What was he to do? Oppose and resign? And then what? What would remain of conservative leadership in the GOP? And if he created a permanent split in the party, he’d be setting up the GOP’s entire conservative wing as scapegoat if Trump loses in November.
Ryan had no good options. He chose the one he felt was least damaging to the conservative cause to which he has devoted his entire adult life.
How heroic of Ryan. He said, “No,” for moral reasons, but in the end, he said “Yes,” to save the conservative wing — the conservative wing for which compassion and morality are alien terms??? Ah, the lying never ends.
And who will be the scapegoat if Trump WINS in November? Who will admit, “We elected the worst human being in America to be President, but at least we defeated Hillary and we won the Presidency. And after all, that’s the only thing that counts, isn’t it?”
One day, we shall all have to account for what we did and what we said in this scoundrel year. For now, we each have our conscience to attend to.
Fear not, Charles. Conscience is of least concern to today’s Republican party, the party not of Lincoln, but of Nixon and Bush.
Now get out there and deport the Mexican parents of American children.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.)
Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Recessions begin an average of 2 years after the blue line first dips below zero. A common phenomenon is for the line briefly to dip below zero, then rise above zero, before falling dramatically below zero. There was a brief dip below zero in 2015, followed by another dip – the familiar pre-recession pattern.
Recessions are cured by a rising red line.
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..
•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.
•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
•Deficit spending grows the supply of money
•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
•The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
•Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and the rest..
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..