Tampa Is Ground Zero for the Real Class Warfare

Republicans gather this week in Tampa, to nominate Mitt Romney for president. This is GroundZero for the real class warfare being waged in America. No more “quiet rooms” where Romney says taxes should be discussed. They will ruminate endlessly over how to change the national mood toward the absolute necessity of limited government, individual liberties and free markets. And they will disparage ad nauseum  the so-called  “takers” in our society. The welfare moms. The lazy American. The women who want to murder zygotes because they’ve been everything from brutally raped to simply couldn’t keep their knees together holding an aspirin. This is the white, privileged, male, evangelical, tea party view of women and their rights.  The “too good for honest work bums” that want to take their hard-inherited money away from them.

These are the “honorable ideologies” that have energized Republicans for a generation. It’s the Tea Party with the rough edges sanded down. Or is it?

As  some self-righteous loyalists listen to Republican candidates(I can’t bear to do so myself) cloaked in their holier-than-thou world of delusions, we  bleeding heart liberal are condemned for our caring about our fellow Americans and are somehow able to read between the lines, to the less admirable condescension: moaning about people who are on government support. Some will actually  speak disparagingly of the poor as the “takers” for paying no federal income taxes while getting food stamps, government health care and unemployment checks, never stopping to think that they don’t want to be unemployed, or poor. It’s all just a charade to take what the poor rich people have been rightfully born into.

President Barack Obama, the allegation goes, has gutted the 1996 welfare-reform law’s work requirements. Grotesquely blatant lies in television ads from Romney and speeches by his running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan,promote the Obama-ruined-welfare- reform idea daily. Radio talk-show hosts and conservative bloggers rail about Obama’s call for higher taxes on the rich as a war on the “productive class”. Smarmy executives charge Obama of being a closet socialist, draining off Rourke.

As far as the Republican Party cares, the moocher class is now made up of women, Hispanics, and any other skin color than white; and this, and every, election year’s target of propaganda and scorn. The same scorn uttered by Mrs. Romney when referring to “you people”, who dare ask her husband impudent questions. After all, he has to “approve” her entry into Mormon heaven-his planet, or she’s forever sentenced to purgatory. No, that’s not a cult. Sounds normal to me.

Small Potatoes

The U.S. in fiscal 2012 will spend about $210 billion on unemployment insurance, foodstamps, and welfare. Toss in Medicaid and the check swells to about $480 billion. Still, compared with the $1.3 trillion the U.S. will spend on Social Security and Medicare alone, it’s miniscule. Add $700 billion for defense to the mix , and the “takers” payment looks even smaller.

And that doesn’t account for the abundant government benefits that used to be called “pork” — farm subsidies, oil and gas allowances, and other corporate welfare , or the tax breaks for mortgage interest, employer-provided health insurance and charitable contributions.

Republicans Tell More Fairy Tales Than Grimm 

The “takers” mythologists don’t forget that the U.S. just went through its worst recession in 75 years, they want YOU to forget it. The “takers” mythologists don’t forget that unemployment has exceeded 8 percent for almost four years because of the Bush Administrations failed policies and House Republicans who have obstructed every single effort to bring us out of this economic quagmire, they want YOU to forget it.  The “takers” mythologists don’t forget that 700,000 jobs were being lost PER MONTH in Bush’s last two months and President Obama’s first two months, or that their obstructionism took us to the brink of  defaulting on the very bills they ran up, they want YOU to forget it.

The U.S. is on the brink of having a permanent jobless class made up largely of middle-age workers whose occupations were destroyed because of automation and globalization. And the Republicans at GroundZero in Tampa don’t give a rat’s ass.

The “takers” mythologists also ignore data showing that average U.S. household incomes have stagnated or declined for over a 25 years, not just the three years under President Obama, and that income inequality has skyrocketed. The top-earning 1 percent of households now brings home about 20 percent of total income, versus about 10 percent in 1970. Recent studies conclude that upward mobility is easier in Europe than in the U.S. And Republican try to incite nightmares over the U.S. becoming a European-style welfare state? And they all have free healthcare and contrary to the lies the GOP tells, it’s equal to ours except in the most rare cases…like a 70+ yr. old hater with a history of heart disease vaulting to the head of the list for a heart transplant ahead of otherwise healthy 20-yr olds.

The FOX News brain-washing, the Joe Scarborough and David Gregory propoagandizing, of the veiled remnants of real news, completely ignores the assault on women’s rights, Hispanic’s rights, black’s rights,  from the Republican Party that cares more about zygotes than human babies once delivered. They scoff at it and make cruel jokes or try to sound incredulous at its very idea, even though absolutely true. It has been widely held that the very reason Republicans make such an issue over the unborn is rooted in the sadistic desire to create an ever-larger base of unwanted, dis-advantaged youth in order to “prove” their claims about a lower class of people soaking up the nations’ resources.

Why the Super Wealthy Are Throwing Everything they Have At This Election 

Two questions arise. The first is familiar: why has the public response to this assault on public life and public welfare been so muted? Where are the massive and sustained protests we might have expected? Where are the firemen, the policemen, the teachers? But the other is just as puzzling: where are the economic elite? WHERE IS THE UNBIASED MEDIA THAT WE ONCE HELD IN THE HIGHEST ESTEEM? It’s gone. It’s replaced by “entertainment” news or worse, FOX “News” propaganda.

Surely the corporate class and the super-rich( the only people the government will listen to) can see that these policies are destroying the demand on which their wealth relies? Surely they can see that this scorched-earth capitalism is failing even on its own terms? Surely they can see that the REAL Golden Geese are the workers spitting out the Faberge Eggs to which the elite feel so entitled.

When the state cuts regulation and social provisions, business is enriched.Of course it is. Without laws crooks always prosper disproportionately.  They use this wealth to trample on the very doctrine that enabled it. Through campaign finance, networking and lobbying, big business recruits the state to champion its interests only to tear it down once they’ve milked everyone elses.

The GOP has long been the party of Anti-Capitalism. Monopolies are in direct opposition to free markets, yet I doubt if a single Republican will ever speak kindly of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act that is now routinely ignored.  The GOP has rendered anti-trust laws totally impotent. It has excluded new entrants to the market (through its advertising budgets and distribution networks); and become big enough to prevent its own exit even when it fails (note the bailout of the banks, where hundreds of thousands of Americans lost everything to people just like Romney, without a single prosecution). Too big to fail is now bigger than ever and STILL Romney calls for less regulation!

Nobody ever claimed that wealthy are necessarily smart. They simply have the resources to make stupid plans work. Even Romney’s father got rich making the ugliest cars ever assembled.

  1. The Rambler Metropolitan?
  2. The Gremlin?
  3. The Ambassador?
  4. The <uggh> Pacer?

Our Own Lost Decade Could Be Our Last if Republicans Fool Us One More Time

The Pew Research Center reported last week that the U.S. middle class just experienced a lost quarter century, not a lost three years, shrinking for the first time since World War II.  Median household income fell 4.8 percent to $69,487 in 2010 from an inflation-adjusted $72,956 in 2001. Median wealth (including retirement savings and home values, minus debt) tumbled an even greater 28 percent, to $93,150 from $129,582, largely because of the housing crash.

Another party dog whistle is that Obama’s stimulus spending shifted wealth from “makers to takers.” It’s more accurate to say that the stimulus, by essentially every reputable  economists’ reckoning, was a giant earmarking exercise that sent tax dollars back to the districts of lawmakers in both parties. Without it, an economy that shrank 6.3 percent in 2008 would have fallen into an abyss more deep than the Great Depression.  Yet the GOP propaganda machine marches on, blaming President Obama for their own failures with propaganda that makes the Chinese government look tame.

Deficit Distraction

In any event, increased federal spending under Obama isn’t the major cause of the deficit. Nor are the Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as Democrats believe. As a Bloomberg-Government study shows, the rise in the deficit (from an average of 1.9 percent of gross domestic product in the pre-crisis years (2005 to 2007) to 9.3 percent of GDP post- crisis (2009-2011), is almost entirely due to the economic decline. That reduction in productive output drove down tax receipts and pushed up spending on all government safety nets no matter who the president may have been.

Republican bobble-heads (on NBC -David Gregory in particular…on MSNBC -Joe Scarborough-who blatantly has ON HIS PANEL for 3 hours at a time, Dan Senor, and any other conservative talking head who was a major adviser to George W. Bush and now Romney) repeatedly beat the deficit drum blaming Obama, knowing full well that Romney’s and Ryan’s budget Plan ADDS TRILLIONS to the deficit. There hasn’t been a Republican Administration for 40 years that has reduced the deficit by even a dollar! Bill Clinton is the only one, and he was a Democrat!!!  Which George W. Bush immediately took and spent us into deficit oblivion. Make no mistake; Romney is surrounded by ex-George W. Bush string-pullers and will be a repeat of George W. Bush only without the modicum of compassion. As a matter-of-fact, the last Republican President to lower the deficit was Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s!!!

Last of all, it’s incorrect to say Obama undermined welfare reform. According to the GAO,  Temporary Aid to Needy Families, as it’s formally known, is a $16.5 billion block grant to the states, only 40 percent of which goes toward benefits. This past July, President Obama invited states to apply for waivers that would give them greater flexibility to design programs that promote employment, while relieving them from some paperwork requirements. If granted, states would still have to move adults into jobs within two years and cap lifetime benefits (usually five years). Don’t Republicans normally approve of block grants that come with fewer federal strings?

Instead of worrying about the rise of a moocher class, Republicans could come up with ways to benefit all Americans by improving the standard of living for the next generation, and making sure the benefits of economic growth expand the vital middle class. That means improving education and transportation, on which the private sector depends. It would involve figuring out how to control health-care costs and means-testing Social Security and Medicare and removing the cap on wages subject to social security and medicare deductions, but leaving the cap in place for employers. It means holding our system of national defense accountable for successes and failures when jets are designed and assembled but can not fly.

It also means a change in state of mind. Send Little Grover Norquist and his masters to the bullpen. The party can’t cling to tax cuts as its cure-all for decades. Federal income taxes are at the lowest level since the 1950s, and for what? Decimation for the goose that made the wealthy rich…the middle class work ethic.

At a time when the U.S. can borrow for 10 years at about 1.6 percent, and when 12.8 million people are unemployed (and 8 million more part-timers would prefer full-time work), we are out of our minds not to borrow and spend to fix problems and give the economy the boost that’s so badly needed. A serious, long-term austerity diet can certainly be phased in later.

At the single most vital moment in U.S. history since the Great Depression that leadership doesn’t require immediately shrinking government, but cries out for the “demand of last resort” provider, we let the Republican work their propaganda machine.

The takers, many of whom will be cheering Romney-Ryan on in Tampa just do not understand that they are the true unsuspecting puppets in this tragic drama that will not end well un less they wake up….SOON!

Hatred blinds more people every years than diabetes, fireworks, looking at the sun too long, and genetics combined. DON’T LET IT BLIND YOU.
Harvey Gold

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  2 comments for “Tampa Is Ground Zero for the Real Class Warfare

  1. Atheist579
    August 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Otherwise a stellar piece! It’s too bad the majority of the US population will never see it

  2. Atheist579
    August 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Hg.. misspelling 1st para. – hyperlink “quite rooms”.

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