Monday, July 10, 2017

The GOP's Class War Against Their Own Base-- Bernie Is Fighting Back For Them

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Many 2018 congressional candidates are delighted to campaign against Trump and to tie their opponents to him, especially the ones with big Trump vote scores. Several of the Blue America-endorsed candidates are running against far right GOP incumbents who literally have 100% pro-Trump voting records, as Doug Applegate has pointed out about Darrell Issa and Katie Hill has pointed out in the case of Steve Knight, who blatantly lies to his Santa Clarita/Simi Valley/Antelope Valley constituents in trying to pain himself as "bipartisan" and "mainstream." Randy Bryce's opponent, Paul Ryan, has a 100% Trump score as does Paul Clements' opponent, Fred Upton.

And more candidates than not are delighted to point out the glaring Putin-Gate scandals that have become a nightly staple of the #1 and #2-rated cable TV shows, Rachel Maddow's and Lawrence O'Donnell's, both of which are absolutely crushing Fox News in their time slots, with Fox News adamantly refusing to expose Trump's and his Regime's Putin escapades. Yesterday Bernie was in Morgantown, West Virginia and Covington, Kentucky, not to talk about Russia or Trump or Putin-Gate but to talk with voters in these two states Trump won in landslides (68.7-26.5% in West Virginia and 62.5-32.7% in Kentucky) about the Republican legislation they're passing off as "healthcare" that is really nothing but the Republican Party's class warfare against workers. Before the rally in Covington Bernie issued a shot across the bow of Kentucky's senior senator, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, no state in the country has benefited more from the ACA than Kentucky. The uninsured rate for adults in Kentucky has gone down from 20.4 percent in 2013 to just 7.8 percent in 2016-- the largest reduction in America. Today, as a result of the ACA, only 4 percent of children in Kentucky are uninsured.

Unbelievably, at a time when Kentucky has made significant progress in health care, the Republican bill being proposed in the Senate by Kentucky’s own Senator Mitch McConnell would throw over 230,000 people in Kentucky off of health insurance. It would also decimate the Medicaid program in the state which provides insurance for more than 2 million people, including 40 percent of all children.

Further, at a time when Kentucky is struggling with an opioid addiction epidemic, there is no question that if McConnell’s legislation were to be passed, thousands of Kentuckians would no longer be able to receive the treatment they desperately need.

The bottom line is that this legislation, which nationally would throw 22 million Americans off of health insurance, cut Medicaid by almost $800 billion, substantially raise premiums for older workers and defund Planned Parenthood, is a disaster for America but an even greater disaster for Kentucky and other states that voted heavily for Trump. This Republican legislation must be defeated.
Bernie's populism is as different from Trump's as their Twitter feeds are

I want to reiterate something we looked at Saturday morning. Covington is the county seat of Kenton County, Kentucky's third most populous county. And, yes, Trump won that county decisively in November-- 59.7% to 33.7% but on primary day, Kenton County told a far different story. On the Republican side, Ted Cruz won Kenton Co. with 2,475 votes to Trump's 1,997. And Hillary and Bernie each beat both of them. Bernie won 4,880 votes countywide-- more than Cruz and Trump combined. Bernie was on the road punching back-- and so are the candidates who have been inspired and energized by his message. You think candidates like Randy Bryce in Wisconsin, Dave Gill in Illinois and Jenny Marshall are going to shy away from talking about how economic inequality is impacting working families in their districts? That is largely what their campaigns are about? That and how they plan to fight back against Republican efforts to tilt the scales further in favor of the top 2% of wealth-holders. This morning Randy Bryce told us that "Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that it’s not a working person’s house that he is speaking on behalf of. In addition to not wanting to have a public town hall because of his horrible policies, he is trying to steal what we have left of health care. Now that our campaign has taken off, he’s had the NRCC unleashed against me even though he won his last election by 35 points! What is he afraid of? Oh yeah-- that would be the people in the district. He can run but he can’t hide. November 6, 2018 can’t get here soon enough."

Jenny Marshall, the Blue America-endorsed progressive running against Trump/Ryan rubber stamp Virginia Foxx in central North Carolina, has a similar perspective. "As I travel the 5th district talking to people on the street," she told us, "the overwhelming issue that keeps coming up is money. It doesn’t surprise me in the least, as the poverty rate across the 5th district is 18.6% which is 4.3% higher than the nation's average. A staggering 44% of the households in the district are low-income meaning their incomes were less than twice the poverty level ($48,500 for a family of 4). People are hurting. They want a representative who understands and will fight for a better future for their family. We cannot ignore their pain any longer." Last month, a short article in The Economist about how little tax the Scandinavian super-rich pay gave them more fodder.

Of life's two certainties, death cannot be dodged even by the well-to-do. Taxes are another matter. Quantifying quite how much they manage to keep from the taxman, however, has always been tricky. One common approach governments take is to conduct randomised audits of tax returns. This methodology can give regulators a rough sense of overall tax revenues lost. But it is far from ideal. For instance, studies based on randomised tax audits are usually both too small and too crude to reflect accurately the financial shenanigans of the most egregious tax-dodgers: the super-rich.

A new study by Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen and Gabriel Zucman, three economists, tackles this problem by investigating two recent financial-data hoards: the “Swiss leaks,” a record of bank accounts held at HSBC in Switzerland; and the “Panama papers,” files that document the use of offshore accounts and shell companies by clients of Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in Panama. By matching the leaked information with wealth data from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the authors are able to construct the most detailed estimate to date of the extent of tax evasion.

Their research leads to two conclusions. First, tax evasion is extremely concentrated. The average Scandinavian household paid around 3% too little in taxes in 2006; the richest 1% of households, with net assets of at least $2m, underpaid by around 10%. The truly rich, though, behave truly differently. The top 0.01% of households, with net assets of over $40m, short-changed the taxman by a whopping 30%.

Second, the numbers imply that previous estimates of wealth inequality, often based on tax data, have understated the problem. And the Scandinavian statistics may provide a conservative estimate of worldwide tax-dodging: only around 2% of Scandinavian household wealth is held in offshore accounts, compared with the global average of 4%.

Globalisation has disproportionately benefited the rich in part by rewarding capital more handsomely than labour. But globalisation has also made it easier for the well-heeled to hide their wealth. In that sense, maybe the data should cause even more surprise: despite the best efforts of a lucrative global tax-evasion industry, Scandinavia’s ultra-rich are paying 70% of their taxes.
As Alan Grayson reminded me yesterday Citizens for Tax Justice has research that shows basically identical anti-social trends by the super-rich here in the U.S. Earlier today, Ro Khanna (D-CA), who has become one of Congress' top champion's of action to make economic equality and equality of opportunity attainable goals in this country, reminded is that "Picketty has shown that today's economy favors capital over labor. Our tax rules also favor shareholders over the working class. That is why working families feel that the system is rigged against them-- that they are working harder but making less. We need to restructure the economy to reward work instead of speculation and to hold the investor class accountable for the taxes they owe."

Goal Thermometer I look forward to do the day Ro Khanna is working with Dr. Dave Gill, a central Illinois House candidate, to translate these lofty goals and ideals into programs and tangible progress. "Here in IL-13," Dave told us this morning, "we've seen the impact of economic inequality for the past 20-30 years, with jobs sent overseas and reduced access to appropriate health care and educational opportunities. As I travel through the district, I see the blight of poverty everywhere, and it pains me to know that IL-13 voted for Trump by 5 points last year. There is good news on the horizon, though-- I talk with citizens throughout the district, and among those who did vote for Trump, there are huge levels of buyer's remorse. They now recognize that his 'economic populism' was a crock, and they're angry that they got deceived by him. It started with his Cabinet picks, and the anger has grown as they've come to learn more about TrumpCare. As an E.R. physician, I know all too well the consequences of a bad healthcare system, and I look forward to going to Congress and helping to lead the charge toward Single-Payer. I've been a Bernie fan since the early 90's, and I'm proud that Bernie handily won our district in the Democratic primary last year. I hope to follow in his footsteps and ultimately join him in Washington."

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4 Comments:

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buyers' remorse? No way. The extended Snopes family that is the Republican base will fall in line every election day just as long as the R candidate is prepared to say the right thing about Nigras, Mooslims, gays, unisex bathrooms, and guns.

They will tolerate any level of privation, relishing the knowledge that there are others worse off than themselves who will remain that way as long as Republicans have any say in the matter.

 
At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only does the R base not care about losing the class war, they actually SUPPORT it. They'll eagerly kill all those who do not support it. Wars have been fought for the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and cheney/bush because of it.

It's part of the peculiarity of humans that their brains and emotions can combine such that they will advocate and support their own ass raping by those who are viewed as powerful.

It's also one of the several factors that will exterminate humankind some day... soon.

 
At 4:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we can all agree that if Sanders had been nominated, he would have taken essentially all HRC's ultimate voters and a healthy percentage of those who voted for His Hairness? AND that this was clearly evident to ALL, except the Dems superstupid delegates, from pre-convention, primary season, hypothetical, general election head-to-head poll results?

Sanders is again listed as an "Independent" on the senate web site.

Can we presume that the general absence of Democratic Party members of congress, or other party big wigs, talking remotely like Sanders suggests that they don't want to "tarnish" the party's hard-fought collective credentials as eager licker of corporate nether regions?

John Puma

 
At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP, it seems that Bernie would have gotten MOST of $hillbillary's voters PLUS an unknown number of the dormant third of eligibles but MINUS a healthy portion of the black voters.

In a verification of lack of intellect and/or anti-Semitism, the black voters LIKED the lying corrupt warmongering bankers' whore and did NOT like the FDR Democrat-ish Jew.
I don't know who those hapless blacks would have voted for or whether they'd have stayed home. It would be the ultimate in stupidity and delicious irony had they voted for the retarded orange-utang rather than Bernie.

I do not really believe that many of the voters for the drumpfsterfire would have been Bernie supporters. That would indicate a level of sentience that their ultimate vote repudiates.

 

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