Friday, October 28, 2011

The Real Proponents of Class Warfare

While Obama continues some what fecklessly to to try to get some type of jobs bill passed a meaningful deficit reduction package through the super committee, the demagogues in the Republican Party - e.g., Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner who have about the same level of truth and veracity as Tony Perkins, Linda Harvey, Maggie Gallagher or Pat Robertson - continue the disingenuous mantra that Obama and the Democrats are engaging in "class warfare." One can only surmise that these lying douche bags are looking in the mirror when they make such statements. While the wealthiest Americans continue to do quite well during this time of economic hardship, I continue to daily see clients who have had their financial/economic dreams wiped out. Yet these every day individuals are the people the Republicans want to saddle with the burden of deficit reduction even as the income disparity in the nation widens further. For a political party that gives lip service to religiosity and worship of Christ, the hypocrisy is numbing. Eugene Robinson looks at the real truth in a column in today's Washington Post. Here are some highlights:

The hard-right conservatives who dominate the Republican Party claim to despise the redistribution of wealth, but secretly they love it — as long as the process involves depriving the poor and middle class to benefit the rich, not the other way around.

That is precisely what has been happening, as a jaw-dropping new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office demonstrates. Three decades of trickle-down economic theory, see-no-evil deregulation and tax-cutting fervor have led to massive redistribution. Another word for what’s been happening might be theft.

The gist of the CBO study, titled “Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007,” is that while we’ve become wealthier overall, these new riches have largely bypassed many Americans and instead flowed mostly to the affluent. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I don’t remember voting to turn the United States into a nation starkly divided between haves and have-nots. Yet that’s where we’ve been led.

For those at the bottom — the one-fifth of households with the lowest incomes — the increase was just 18 percent. . . . . By contrast, look at the top 1 percent of earners. Their after-tax household income increased by an astonishing 275 percent. For those keeping track, this means it nearly quadrupled. Nice work, if you can get it.

This is not what Republicans want you to think of when you hear the word redistribution. . . . . If Americans were to realize they’ve been the victims of Republican-style redistribution — stealing from the poor to give to the rich — the whole political atmosphere might change. I believe that’s one reason why the Occupy Wall Street protests have struck such a nerve. The far-right and its media mouthpieces have worked themselves into a frenzy trying to disregard, dismiss or discredit the demonstrations.

[T]he system is rigged. Wealthy individuals and corporations have disproportionate influence over public policy because of the often decisive role that money plays in elections.

Second, and more broadly, the real issue is what kind of nation we want to be. Thomas Jefferson’s “All men are created equal” is properly understood as calling for equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. But the more we become a nation of rich and poor, the less we can pretend to be offering the same opportunities to every American. As polarization increases, mobility declines. The whole point of the American Dream is that it is available to everyone, not just those who awaken from their slumbers on down-filled pillows and 800-thread-count sheets.

We believe in individual initiative and the free market, but we also believe that nationhood necessarily involves a commitment to our fellow citizens, an acknowledgment that we’re engaged in a common enterprise.

As I noted yesterday, when "Old Europe" offers more opportunity for upward social mobility than the United States, something is seriously f*cked up in this country.


Jack Scott said...

Michael, I'm well aware that wolves sometimes appear in sheep's clothing, but I have to say I could hardly believe my ears when I heard the following news report concerning Pat Robertson.

I'm sure the opinion he is stating here is nuanced, but no matter what the nuance, I think the comment is astounding.

"Pat Robertson provided a statement Monday afternoon that some may consider a “pot meets kettle” moment.

On the latest installment of The 700 Club, the televangelist the televangelist admitted that even he believes many in the Republican Party have shifted too far to the right.

“I believe it was Lyndon Johnson that said, ‘Don’t these people realize if they push me over to an extreme position I’ll lose the election?’” Robertson said. “Those people in the Republican primary have got to lay off of this stuff. They’re forcing their leaders, the frontrunners, into positions that will mean they lose the general election.”

He added: “You appeal to the narrow base and they’ll applaud the daylights out of what you’re saying and then you hit the general election and they say ‘no way’ and then the Democrat, whoever it is, is going to just play these statements to the hilt. They’ve got to stop this! It’s just so counterproductive!”

It is telling that Robertson, a man renowned for his myriad of controversial comments, believes that the party he supports needs to scale back on its fervor. These comments are significant because Robertson was a co-founder of the Christian Coalition, which became the most powerful faction of the Republican Party in the 80s and 90s.

The group lost influence during the second Bush administration as they were rocked by scandals and overtaken by big business interests."

The above is quoted from "The Raw Story" at

Jack Scott

Michael-in-Norfolk said...


I too was shocked and did a post about it. Living in Pat Robertson's back yard we in Hampton Roads typically cringe when brother Pat makes one of his insane pronouncement (that are usually laced with bogotry and intolerance), so this statement was a real surprise.