Beyond The Phony Battle Over The Bush Tax Cuts
There's also a plurality of voters who would like to see the tax on capital gains rise, something the GOP is apoplectic about. Instead the Republicans want to cut Medicaid spending, which 70% of voters oppose and only 25% support. and even the GOP's polling form, Rasmussen, is reporting a gigantic preference among voters for congressional Democrats over Republicans-- an eleven point lead, the kind of lead that could even overcome the precisely gerrymandered GOP reelection strategies in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Michigan. Rasmussen says it found that "47% of likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Democrat in their district’s congressional race if the election were held today, while 36% would choose the Republican instead." And, Jim DeMint won't be in the Senate starting in January, having taken a job that pays over a million dollars a year at a think tank he hopes to make relevant to normal people outside Wingnutia.
So why ask anyone to look at all these polling numbers the first thing in the morning? Well, Wednesday I was on a conference call hosted by Rep. Xavier Becerra and Americans For Tax Fairness that discussed the Democrats strategy to win the Grand Bargain battle and, once again, it occurred to me that "our" side was fighting on a battlefield chosen precisely by our mortal enemies. Republicans should be begging Obama to not raise the margin tax rates to Eisenhower era rates-- when top earners paid 91% on the millions they made and the whole concept of sociopathic-criminal plutocracy was a structural impossibility in America. Instead, we're being prepared for Democrats bartering away pieces of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in return for... for what? The temporary Bush tax cuts that are due to expire on December 31 anyway?
Why isn't the national discussion about hiking the estate tax? Why isn't it about ending the cap on the Social Security tax and on really growth-positive moves like lowering the age of retirement and expanding Medicare so that everyone is in the pool? Why isn't the discussion about taxing allincome equally, both what people make from working and what they get from clipping coupons? How about that Wall Street transaction tax and a tax to make hedge fund predators pay their fair share like everyone else? Obama a socialist? I don't think so. The Democrats might be a little better-- as a party-- than the Republicans but, like when Obama says the rich should paid "a little" more in taxes-- the phrase "a little" better is the key to compared the Democrats and the Republicans. Look, even criminal fascists like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers are fine with gay marriage and abortions. What they want from the politicians they buy is an economic system that privileges that already privileged and minimizes social mobility, democracy and anything smacking of economic fairness.
If you sometimes wonder why Blue America fights as hard against ConservaDems as we do against Republicans, just consider Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu, whose Senate seat is up in 2014. Right now she's vowing to wreck the whole Grand Bargain unless she gets her way on Estate Taxes-- lowering them for the very wealthy folks who have underwritten her-- and her family's-- political careers. Once, the twenty wealthiest families in America were forced to depend on Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to protect dynasty building; now they have someone in the heart of the action inside the Democratic Senate caucus fighting their battle for them, even more effectively than the clownish Kyl. Will there be a Blanche Lincoln-style primary against Landrieu? Or one against Mark Pryor (D-AR) who's at least as bad? Of course not... don't be silly.