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The Parable of the Thieves

January 22nd, 2012 · No Comments · Health Care, Lobbying, Media, Politics, Populism, Taxes, Wall Street

When reason fails, people fall back on superstition. The American society has long operated under the basic principle that hard work creates abundance and abundance may solve all our earthly ills. When that logic, which has always been one of our foundations, along with “fair play” and “brotherhood” among citizens…although a creaky stair-climb with many slips and falls on our way to the current level…no longer rings true and evidence overwhelms the ideals…we panic.

When we panic, often in our ignorance or our short sightedness at the facts of what is really happening, some of us…a sizeable number…fall back on old ways. Just as the pagans fell back on false idols and their original powerful symbols when learning the new symbols of the new myth, Christianity, so do we fall back on the idea of strong leaders and big corporations providing sustenance. That, of course, will never happen. It is the greatest myth of all—that the Corporation “cares.”

The Corporation does not care. The corporation…despite the decision of the Supreme Court or all the decisions of all the Supreme Courts…is not an animate being. The corporation is merely printed words on a printed page or small electronic dots or absence thereof in an electronic counting machine, which, when printed out, give the semblance of meaning. But there is no compassion anywhere in sight.

Our simplest minds do not ask where the larger currents of power are being directed. They do not ask where those large swaths of the collective power of determination and will are headed. They do not ask because they have been taught that big government is bad and that big corporations are good.

They have been taught by a corrupted media called “Liberal” but owned and programmed by rich white men who are anything but Liberal. They want you to believe that the media constantly attacks the Right Wing…but ask yourself when was the last time that Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity attacked the Right Wing. Limbaugh is the radio broadcaster with the largest audience and Hannity’s Fox News is still the largest cable opinion network. And there are literally hundreds of others, from Laura Ingraham and Bill O’Reilly to Michael Savage and Hugh Hewitt.

The People have been lied to repeatedly by the Conservatives on radio and the propagandists on much of television. So…having been told that the government is composed of thieves, they vote in thieves who are represented by these propagandists as reformers. Those thieves create more corruption.

Corruption in Congress is not…as we have been told by these propagandists…a problem “on both sides of the aisle.” It is the Republicans. It is the Republicans who have filibustered 200 times including every jobs bill that the President sent them…costing Americans hundreds of thousands of jobs and costing taxpayers billions in unemployment. It is the Republicans who tried to shut down government. It is the Republicans who refuse to extend unemployment after the laxity in the Bush Republican administration caused an economic collapse.

Is there any one person more responsible than others for the collapse? Yes. The anti-regulation, free-trade, pro-lobbyist, pro-Wall Street House of Representatives member Chris Cox, whom Bush made head of the SEC. He was chosen for his anti-regulatory stance and it was that hands-off approach and the firing of large numbers of investigators and the refusal to indict Wall Street firms guilty of all kinds of infractions that led to the collapse of Wall Street.

In the hearings on Bernie Madoff it became clear that the SEC under Chris Cox had been decimated. Investigators were told to keep hands off many “favored” firms. Investigations were closed by Cox arbitrarily. So, if you want to resolve the issue, you should find Chris Cox, kidnap him, take him to the steps of the Federal Reserve and hang him by the neck until dead in front of the entire executive memberships of every Wall Street firm. Then you should let them know that if they do not stop their unethical practices, they will be next.

Now we have the parable of the new Theives. We have the parable of the thieves…Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Santorum.

And what do they propose? Let’s take Romney first because he’s the leader. Romney wants a flat tax. He only pays about 15% on his income now. So it stands to reason that his idea of a 20% flat tax is a fraud. The reason the Republicans want a flat tax is so that they can reduce the top marginal rate from 35% down to 20% at a time when they know that the mood in the country is to raise the top marginal rate to at least 40%.

The rich have never been richer, and Romney’s tax rate of 15% or so, according to him, shows us why. If you earn even 4% on wealth like his, somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million, you’re income is going to be around $6 million a year. Right now he pays a capital gains tax of around 15% he says. But if we had a flat tax of 20%, one of two things would happen. Everyone would pay 20% at the top income level, or there would need to be a capital gains rate. The capital gains rate would be lower or there would be no point to having one. That means that Romney’s income, and those of his friends on Wall Street would stay at somewhere around 15%.

But the main reason for the flat tax at 20% rather than an income tax with all kinds of deductions at 35%, even though some of the very rich pay no taxes at all, is that they all know that things can be changed. First you get a deduction for your house or for some other investment that helps the middle class…so the rich get it too. So they know that deductions will come back, and that, even though they will be paying less with a flat tax, then will eventually pay even less because a Republican administration will bring back deductions.

After tax cuts, the biggest boogyman that the five remaining candidates can unearth is the amorphous term…”regulations.” The thing stifling our economy, they say, is regulations. Regulations are vast and confusing to businessmen and are keeping them unsettled, undecided on what to do. Of course that is nonsense. The real reason why businessmen are not creating more businesses and more jobs is two simple things. There is no demand and there is no investment capital available.

Since 5 banks basically control all investment in this country and since those banks are now being regulated more heavily as a result of the financial collapse, and because they do not want to be regulated, they are holding up investment until after the 2012 general election, hoping that a damaged economy will cost the President the election.

And because they will not invest in small or medium sized businesses, there is no advance in employment and since there is no advance in employment, there is no consumer demand. So, the economy has nothing to do with regulations. It is merely that the banks do not want regulation. They want to continue to gamble with your money. And they feel that you are out of luck.

If they can get the Congress and the Presidency for their friends, the Republicans, they will do to you in another several years what they did to you in 2008. Have you noticed that the stock market is up above 12,000? Should you be happy or should you be afraid? If you are not an “insider” and have an interest in whether the market goes up or down, you should be very, very afraid. This market is manipulated by a handful of very rich men. They will sell out and drop the market faster than you can run a comb through your hair.

All these candidates have their guilty pasts.

Romney has killed more jobs and sent more jobs abroad than George W. Bush, whose policies he would like to restore. His idea of an economy that works is to create more retail clerk jobs like those at Staples, a company that created nothing new, but merely took jobs away from workers at Office Max and Office Depot. The pot stayed the same size, but more ladles were dipped into it. Romney has no new solutions except those that will make the rich not only richer, but totally dominant. He does not want democracy; he wants plutocracy, if not totalitarianism. He’s an elitist who wants to run everything without Congress. He wants to run the government like a business or a military operation.

Gingrich worked tirelessly to kill health care reform under Clinton. Then he returned in 2009, founding an anti-reform organization, sponsored by huge corporations in the health insurance and hospital businesses, to try to kill it again. Now, when it is already helping millions of Americans and will reduce health care costs, according to the CBO, by a trillion dollars…going into the pockets of average American families…he wants to repeal it and return to health savings accounts….health care for the rich and upper classes.

Santorum is a religious fanatic. We founded this country on the idea that no state, like the government of Great Britain at the time, could tell us that we could not be Catholics, or Lutherans, or Presbyterians or Puritans. Now Santorum has specifically said that his religion would be the religion he would espouse for everyone…he would put certain aspects of it into federal legislation. He would not allow abortion. He would not allow contraception. He would forbid marriage between two gay men or two lesbian women. He would, in short, take us back to the old British loyalist days, against which we fought a Revolutionary War. We do not need religious fanatics running the country.

Ron Paul will never be elected. The Republicans do not like him any more than Democrats do. Why not? He wants to do away with the military. Half of the Republicans are either rabid war mongers, people who think that problems should be solved with guns, or somehow involved with the military as contractors or officers in the military. Ron Paul wants to do away with criminalizing minor drug offenses. That won’t work for the Republicans who have become entrepreneurs in the judicial punishment system. How can you vote for a man who wants to treat drug addicts instead of putting them in prison? How is this going to help your friends and partners in the business of building and running prisons?

So…there are no rational Republican presidential candidates. And that does not include of course those who were already weeded out as too crazy or to phony or too stupid to possibly be elected even by the knuckle-dragging hicks who listen daily to Rush Limbaugh.

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