The new welfare queens
October 30, 2011 | The Republicans latest attack line is that Obama is waging "class warfare", pitting class against class and people against each other. This is just another example of the pot calling the kettle black. In fact, it is a rhetorical device of which the Repugnicans are extremely fond — claiming that the adversary is doing what they themselves are doing.
The claims of class-warfare are an attempt to divert attention from the fact that what the Republicans are doing is waging class welfare. They will go to any lengths — shutting down the government and letting people and the economy suffer — to protect the wealthy. It is a systematic effort to impose a welfare state for corporate America.
And it's working. The recent report from the Congressional Budget Office shows what we all know: the rich are getting richer and everybody else is not:
At every opportunity the Repugnicans are looking to stick it to ordinary people. The two "tax reform" plans offered by Herman Cain and Rick Perry are egregious examples. Essentially they want to tax wages and give capital gains a free pass. The Koch brothers, I guarantee, do not get W-2 statements.
People are finally waking up — and what took them so long? — to an awareness that "the system" is rigged in favor of the fat cats. Big money funds politics and buys the government it thinks it deserves. As Tom Friedman put it in this morning's NY Times:
Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.
It's no wonder that the "Occupy fill-in-the-blank" movement is gaining momentum. What is happening in the US is not much different from what happened in the Middle East, where despot after despot has been deposed, not because the people want some abstract democracy, but because the people have looked around and figured out that the system is rigged against them in favor of the politicos and their croneys.
The croney-capitalist-candidate-in-chief is Rick Perry who has made a (long) career as Texas governor by dispensing favors in return to contributions. His history is replete with examples of awarding lucrative contracts to heavy contributors and appointing contributors to remunerative government positions. Take for example, the regents of the University of Texas and Texas A&M: "Regents from A&M donated a total of $2,036,290 and averaged $113,127 per regent, and regents from UT contributed a total of $1,669,263, averaging $83,463 per regent" (WashingtonIndependent).
And all this is happening at the same time that the Repugnican party has become openly hostile and downright mean toward anybody but the 1%. Herman Cain put it baldly: "If you're not rich 'blame yourself'."
Last updated on Jun 5, 2016