Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No TEA for me please.

Rand Paul has things backwards and I don't mean his name. His win in the Kentucky Senate Republican Primary is not quite the same thing as being elected Senator and of course it's at least a few furlongs short of winning the Derby, or "taking back the Government" since, of course it wasn't taken from the voters in the first place. OK, there was Bush V. Gore, but you know what I mean.

Pretending that having been voted out of office was a breach of democracy seems to work for those at the Tea Party table, but then anything seems to work except reality and the reality is that we're not taxed enough already and we haven't had the tax increase they hope you believe we've had. Yes, we may be taxed unfairly and tax policy may have been written by people who can afford lobbyists and huge campaign donations, but beyond the amorphous anger, I haven't heard any proposals for a new tax code that could approach remedying the debt in any reasonable time much less as quickly as we paid off World War II.

They won't come up with one either unless they dispense with the repeatedly disproved fallacy that cutting taxes for the very rich will increase government revenues, spur investment in new businesses and boost employment and won't cause investment bubbles -- and that laissez faire capitalism doesn't lead to monopolies, corruption of government, fewer choices for consumers and less opportunities for small business.

In real terms most of us are paying less in Income tax than we used to -- less than at any time in my lifetime. The countries that have lower taxes are few and tend to have economies based on gambling, money laundering or revenues from things like the Panama Canal. The Republicans were ousted because of public anger and frustration with corporate control over people's lives, because of another apparently pointless and interminable war and the fear mongering that's eroded our freedom. I don't see where Mad Hatters like Rand Paul are addressing that and I do see that the Tea movement, if we can fall it that, is based on the hope that shattering the old form of government will magically cause freedom, justice and prosperity to break out and allow "the people" to control their own destiny. Sound like Marx to you? It does to me too. Does it sound like the same old: "don't trust them, but trust us even though we don't really have a plan other than to cloud your mind with anger?" It does to me too.


  1. Excellent post (as usual), Captain. Mad Tea Hatters have good reasons to be angry, but they draw wrong conclusions from their righteous ire. Those clouded minds you mentioned have been conditioned for decades by the pro-corporate propaganda to make them think and act just right -- i.e., supporting the interests of the ruling class, no matter what.

    I encourage you -- nah, I implore you (all of you reading this) -- to watch Richard Wolff's lecture, Capitalism Hits the Fan. It is long -- an hour and forty five minutes -- but I can honestly promise you this to be the best almost two hours you'll spend watching anything on them tubes this week.

    But be warned: It will likely make you mad. Mad-hatting, or tea-bagging, mad. (As it should.)

  2. Capt. Fogg,

    Yes, Rand Paul's embrace of the 'baggery may gain him a platform, but it seems to me that it will prove a bad idea come November. When you combine the smiling-faced extremism of some libertarian policy views -- abolish this, that and the other, etc. -- with the racism, selfish atomistic anti-Americanism and general idiocy of many Tea Partyists, I think what you get is a toxic mix that a majority of voters will reject in favor of anything tolerably sane. At least, I hope so -- the trouble with egging on the 'bagger candidates is that some of the might actually win. Paul is a very presentable candidate in terms of looks, style, and campaign organization, so if people don't pay too close attention to what he says, well . . . . (I'm assuming but can't say for certain that his policy views are not too different from those of his affably ultra-libertarian dad, at least in most areas.)

  3. Physician. Tea bagger.

    Physician. Tea bagger.

    Physician. Tea bagger.

    'Intelligence' and training provide no immunity to self-absorption, greed and grandiosity.

    I'm still old-fashioned enough to believe college graduates have had some training in critical thinking and might, just might have learned to take a look beyond their own narrow self-interest.

    But then I'm a dropout so can be excused my ignorance of just what an 'education' can provide. In this case and in countless like his, merely more ammunition to bolster shallow and ill-considered beliefs.

  4. Captain Fogg, if reason prevailed in election outcomes, George Bus would never have lost the last election. Common sense will only prevail to defeat Rand Paul if media outlets convince enough voters that the government belongs to all of us, corporations belong to the wealthy few. Often the few on top became wealthy on the backs of average Americans, and taxes should be a way to pay back.


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