Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Herbert says it in a nutshell

Bob Herbert, writing in today's Times, wonders how we could have forgotten what the Republican party is all about, and what it has been doing. Read it here.

I hope to get back to fairly regular blogging now that the new year has begun and the congress will be back doing its thing(s).

The talk of "bipartisanship" floating around just before the winter break was, of course, just more chin music. We'll soon see the Party for The Rich, now controlling the House, doing its best to transfer more money from the middle class to the wealthy -- most likely by cutting spending for programs that the rich have no use for (Social Security, healthcare etc) and making sure that those people who caused this recession by their greed get even more forgiveness and tax breaks. Will we see any spirit in the Dems? In the President? Lots of luck on that.

The most outrageous claim I've heard recently is that taxing hedge-fund managers at the rate that everyone else pays is a "job killer." As if these guys who made and are making millions would stop what they're doing if they had to pay regular taxes instead of the phony "capital gains" 15%. If that were the case, why would anyone paying regular taxes do anything? Furthermore, helping speculators get rich by trading securities has absolutely nothing to do with investment in new ideas, plants and machines -- it's simply enabling a debilitating and unproductive form of social parasitism.

This claim is as phony as the one that says big execs have to make millions a year because their skills are irreplaceable and they wouldn't work for less. Who actually believes this stuff? With few exceptions these guys get the big bucks simply because they and their pals on the boards of big business have been able to perpetuate this myth.

(Note: In fairness, some people who lead companies do so because they have good creative ideas which create useful products and services. Such leaders are in a tiny, tiny minority. Remember Enron's "smartest guys in the room"?)

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