Monday, December 10, 2012
It’s just about cost shifting for the GOP
You don't have to be a genius to figure out what's behind the GOP's reluctance to raise the rates of the top 2%. It's a 40 year plan of reducing the government's role in our lives by starving it to death. If we only cut out the loopholes and deductions, it would hit some in the middle class and then they too would be clamoring to cut more spending. Raising the tax rates to that of the Clinton era would buy us the time to come up with a manageable reform of the entitlements and it would force us to look at the wasteful defense spending. That's the reason the GOP wants to raise the Medicare eligibility age to age 67. Even though that two year cost shifting will not amount to much; it's a start.
The conservatives I see and listen to, whether it be locally or on the television do not want government to provide social services or anything beyond the necessities because they feel it's coming out of their personal pocket. They usually have a different opinion of what “we the people” means because their world is composed of “makers and takers.” That's why we always reach an impasse when both parties try to negotiate.
This can also be seen on the social level where a local land/building owner decided he couldn't in good conscience allow a pharmacist to continue to sell the Plan B on a piece of property he owned. The pharmacist couldn't just tell his customers that they don't carry the “morning after pill “so now we have a full blown political argument It's an unwinnable argument because the land owner probably thinks that the day after conception, the embryo is entitled to a Social Security number and property rights. Good luck having that argument.
This morning Joe Scarborough tried to make a case for conservatism, by saying that creating an era of dependency only hurts the poor. I'm not arguing with the statement as a whole but I don't think that's necessarily a view that's held only by conservatives. Joe Scarborough doesn't see that income inequality continues to create a low wage population. The GOP continues to try to dismantle the unions, the minimum wage, and laws which will help workers get into the middle class. He quoted a story in the New York Times where the Appalachian families were encouraging their offspring to remain illiterate, so they could get SSI checks. That's a practice that should be stopped but is that the exception rather than the norm and what's the ratio of investigators to SSI abuse cases?
Joe Scarborough said that President Ronald Reagan brought in conservatism just as people were getting tired of liberalism. The conservatives had a good 10 year reign until conservatism became a business (talk radio, selling books) and then radicalism took the place of good ideas. I tend to agree with that. I've quoted good republican ideas like the “Clean Air Act,” the EPA, Cap & Trade and most recently the “individual mandate.” Today, it's more about individualism than what we can do collectively. The GOP is going through an internal struggle like the democrats did after the 2000 election but on a much broader scale. It wasn't hard for the democrats to become more inclusive because all they had to do was accept fiscal conservative Democrats. The GOP is using the threat of a primary to rein in those who dare to compromise. We’ll see who wins the war between the Wall Street Journal who's arguing for more conservative purity or the Weekly Standard who making a case for taking what you can get and becoming a party for the future.