Illustration by POASTERCHILD
BY WILLIAM C. HENRY Question: Do you think it’s good for the American “democracy” to have 10% of its citizens own 75% (and growing more disparate by the minute) of its wealth? I’d prefer to direct this question to the leader of the Republican party, but of course there isn’t one. So far the selection process is only in the I-hate-everything-Obama-likes-more-than-you-do stage which still leaves that most pinnacled of all plutocratic dunce caps searching for a head. So, for the present I guess I’ll have to settle for addressing my query to all of those grand old dragons vying for the cone-shaped hat.
Your phony “trickle ‘up'” economics and your “let-’em-eat-cake”
Let’s begin with how you find it perfectly acceptable for America’s titans of business and industry to “index for inflation” (aka “raising prices” for you folks in Peoria), but would sooner swallow hemlock than see a similar type buffer attach to those drawing the minimum wage. Which, by the way, should be $10.74 today in order to have kept up with inflation alone since 1968! And you say that you really care? Sure you do — and no doubt every right winged flying pig will swear to it.
And then there’s your endorsement of preferential tax rates and outright huge-sum giveaways for campaign contributing corporate welfare queens at the expense of even basic necessities for the needy. That’s about as noble as forcing the about-to-be-hanged to pull the trap door lever themselves. Let’s see, cut unemployment compensation but continue to tax those billionaire hedge fund fellows as if they were carrying tin cups up and down Wall Street. Gives entirely new meaning to the phrase “leveling the fiscal playing field” doncha think? Pretty sure we can cancel those “low-flying boars” warnings.
Oh, did I mention those constant efforts of yours to lessen or eliminate oversight of the mephitic Wall Street “white collars” whose $14 TRILLION worth of unbridled avarice and flagrant criminality — to this day not held to account — trashed the present and future of tens of millions in America’s middle and lower classes. Lemme get this straight: if we don’t rid ourselves of all of these phony food stamp filchers, the wealthy will have to revert to 90-footers or less? Damn. By the way, what do you think of your friends at JP Morgan Chase: 1) having to pay a paltry $13 billion in fines (it’s really only $9 billion, SHOULD HAVE BEEN $200 BILLION, and all of the $9 billion will be tax deductible!) for financial crimes, 2) reporting significantly lower profits, 3) laying off thousands of workers, and 4) giving their CEO a $20 million dollar raise for all the great work he’s doing! Beam me up, Scotty!
Incidentally, what about that year-after-year $100 billion+ you keep pissing down the toilets of 1000 or so utterly useless, outdated, altogether absurd colonial era overseas military bases, while you fight tooth and nail to deny affordable medical care to some 50 million middle and lower class Americans who otherwise couldn’t afford it, and so many of your beneficent corporatocracy ilk simply declined to provide? From your perspective, if you can’t afford to pay for it yourself, you don’t deserve to have it, right? Wrong. Geez, it’s not enough that you want to keep those folks “in their place,” your barely disguised plan for “natural selection” attrition is pretty much a dead giveaway.
And probably not last — and certainly not least — is this not-so-confounding “immigration reform” stance of yours. Almost all of the 11 million “illegals” in question are Latinos with limited education, extremely limited finances, zero political power, and little or no recourse for the treatment, or lack of it, they face every day — especially the dreaded threat of deportation. In other words, they’re poor, powerless and afraid. It’s enough to make one wonder why all you “caring” Republicans are so adamantly opposed to extending them a helping hand. Well, not really. At first I assumed you were at least smart and frugal enough (yeah, I knew the “smart” part was a stretch) to know that we damn sure couldn’t afford to deport them (and, of course, I knew it wasn’t worth raising the morality question). Then it dawned on me. In addition to your plain old inherent bigotry, the hitch lies in the granting of amnesty’s subsequent opportunity to become American citizens.
Hell, this amnesty-over-my-dead-body attitude of yours is in large part about illegal aliens eventually becoming eligible to vote! You folks are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You’ve had to choose between “alienating” one or the other of two potentially competing voting blocks. One with money and one without. One with current voting power and deep pockets, and one with “potential” voting power and the hope of deepening their pockets. The former represents your base. The latter not so much so. But a “reform” of the system that includes a pathway to citizenship attaches the right to vote! And given your on-going middle-finger approach to their plight, which party do you suppose they’ve already made up their minds to shake their own middle digits at?
Preserve, protect, and further enrich the already plentifully so, but cut Social Security, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, cut food stamps, cut unemployment compensation, cut or destroy Obamacare, cut anything and everything that helps the middle and lower classes get by. Get rid of all of it! If they can’t look out for themselves, they should hire servants and nursemaids! I hear ya, Messrs. Boehner, McConnell, Cruz, Ryan, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, a Bachmann, Ailes, Rove, Koch(s) and nearly all of the other billionaires at sea! I hear ya loud and clear, and, hopefully, so does almost every other rational, fair-minded, compassionate, non-bigot in the country. Face it, this Grand Old Party of yours hasn’t proposed — let alone accomplished — anything whatsoever to rectify a situation so insidious as to threaten the devastation of 90% of the American populace. The overriding question, however, is: are the Have Nots and the rational, fair-minded, compassionate, non-bigoted Haves incensed enough to do anything about it?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.