I think this important article belongs here more than other forums as an object of discussion and debate about the claims it makes. It (IMO) is the most accurate and incisive discussion I have seen to date about what is really going on in the contemporary political landscape.
I read that too. I wonder what our resident conservatives think about it.
It all seems true to me - demonize, divide, and conquer. All hail Mammon!
“Ever since the bifurcation of electronic media into a more or less respectable “hard news” segment” is his bland characterization of the largely left-leaning acceptable MSM of whom he approves.
Not the only instance of his bias. I also like this:
“there still remains a psychological predisposition toward war and militarism on the part of the GOP. This undoubtedly arises from a neurotic need to demonstrate toughness and dovetails perfectly with the belligerent tough-guy pose one constantly hears on right-wing talk radio. Militarism springs from the same psychological deficit that requires an endless series of enemies, both foreign and domestic.”
Bolding mine. Undoubtedly? Amateur psychologize a lot, guy?
I also note that in his zeal to refute the damning fact that half of Americans pay no income tax he inadvertently contradicts himself by indignantly saying this is a misleading claim, since many (certainly not all) of them do pay “payroll taxes.” Uh, but when he was earlier damning attempts to rein in Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs, he disputed the use of the word “entitlement” by insisting that these were actually “earned benefits” due to the payroll taxes that fund them (putting aside that well-off people pay in a lot more than they may get out, and vice versa). Well, if we’re to regard entitlement payments as merely paybacks from payroll tax, then the people not paying income taxes don’t become “taxpayers” in a substantial sense – they’re at most enforced savers, and they’re not pulling their weight on the general cost of government after all.
The poor who pay little or no Federal tax, pay a far larger proportion of their income in other taxes than the wealthy. They are not getting away with anything.
I quite agree on one point, his psychologizing some sort of ordnance based penis envy for our wildly bloated defense industry. Much simpler to acknowledge that General Dynamics, Lockheed and Haliburton have done quite nicely, thank us very much, and have every reason to want that happy state of affairs to continue on.
But, to be fair, the Pubbies have always been quick to wave the flag and strike up the band whenever they want to shower thier favorites with our money. And an occassional veiled innuendo about the patriotism of those who question is not beneath them.
But they are. They’re getting away with having the same vote that people who pay federal income tax do in federal elections. If you want to talk about regressive sales taxes, fine, but those are local, and the bloated growth of local government (undoubtedly a problem, but a different one) is not what people are talking about when they say the federal government is bloated and broken in part because half of the people allowed to vote in federal elections that lead to federal spending policy do not contribute a nickel to the budget that (is supposed to but cannot) fund the policy that results from the federal politicians pandering for their freerider constituents’ cost-free federal vote.
The articles is spot on. For the last 30 years the exclusive agenda of the Republican Party has been More Money for Rich People. They accomplish this by whipping up low-information voters with misinformation and ideology, then picking their pockets after the election.
But the amount that the bottom half would pay is negligible:
Thanks for reminding me of another obvious bias that jumped out at me – the insinuation that GOP voters are uniformly “low information voters” whereas the Democratic rank and file are high information voters. The reality is a lot closer to being that there are lots and lots of low information voters casting votes for both parties but that he wants to pander to his new leftie friends by indulging their penchant for believing that they’re just much smarter than the right. I’d love to see the IQ or political current events quiz score of the average ACORN organized Obama voter and pit that against the average hardcore evangelical who believes he needs to elect Republicans to usher in the Rapture. It’d be a real race to the bottom.
So you feel that our vote should be based on how much we pay in federal income taxes? If you pay twice as much as me than you should have two votes to my one? People who pay nothing should have no vote?
That certainly seems to be what you’re saying. If so, I strongly disagree.
On the debt ceiling debacle:
Way to go, pubbies! You all just keep defending your dumb anti-citizens, rich-people-uber-alles ideology. The Eisenhower quote about those who would eliminate Social Security is exactly spot on:
I believe in something significantly closer to that than our current system, but that gets kind of OT. I mentioned the perverse incentives that are created by allowing people who have NO skin in the game to have EXACTLY the same vote as those who have lots of skin, only because he was protesting a little too much about the Republicans pointing out the obvious and fairly shocking fact that half of voters have no skin in the federal game – a statistic that Dems (and I guess RINOs like this guy) apparently feel very defensive about.
Actually, I’d call someone who votes against his own self-interest a sucker, not a low-information voter. And most Republicans are, sadly, suckers.
One man, one vote, dude. If the fundamental principles of democracy are odious to you, feel free to relocate to a less representative country.
But they do have skin in the game. Lots of wealthy people are wealthy through skimming the value off the labor of poor people. After they’ve been fleeced, they seek to silence them on the grounds that they’re [del]fleeced[/del] have no skin in the game.
So are you saying Social Security and Medicare are no longer a part of the debt problem? Because that is like 40% of the federal budget. If you dismiss payroll taxes, then you can hardly factor Social Security and Medicare into the debt without committing the same error you accuse the columnist of.
No skin? Are you serious?
I’m trying to imagine how a living person in this country can not have any skin in the game. We all require an income, or some kind of resources to live on.
For one to be totally unaffected by government policies (thus having skin in the game), one would have to live naked off of nuts and berries in the wild.
The poor are most certainly impacted by government policies. Trade and monetary policies, for example. It’s hard for me to see how someone could believe otherwise.
Hell, one could even argue that some of the uber-rich have less to worry about. Some of them could have their wealth cut in half by government policies and not have their lifestyle, let alone their existence, noticeably affected.
The poor certainly DO have skin in what you cynically call the game.
Can’t be a fundamental principle of democracy if you regard the U.S. as having been a democracy at any time before 1960, because up till then this absolutist view of who gets the franchise was never applied or viewed as a prerequisite to having a democratic Republic.
The only purpose of this article is to make sure that his retirement gets publicity by his using every keyword in recent debates and very old debates which has the effect of placing his article high in the search engine indexes.
I purposely did not use his name so as not to contribute to his ranking. His article is nothing but regurgitated puke masquerading as journalism. Let him jump on board the sinking ship of Marxism which is scraping bottom now.
Obama’s only notable legislation is nothing more than a big payout to insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, Lofgren said. Lofgren also said that Obama must raise upwards of Billion dollars to win a general election. In other news it has been reported that 98% of the $86 million thus far received by Obama’s 2012 campaign, far short of the Billion dollars needed, was from 680000 international donors, donating $250 or less in a direct violation of US election laws. Not to worry mate, Obama has another billion Chinese communists he can count on for donations.
He did it to himself when he tried to minimize the very real fact that half of voters aren’t paying net income tax. The reality (as you and I both seem to realize) is that this is true and that income tax and payroll tax are apples and oranges and he was wrong to conflate them.