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Monday, August 31, 2009

Zombie Reagan rises from the grave
Posted by Jill | 4:58 AM
So, Average Joe, now that you've lost your job, you can't find another one, your unemployment is about to run out, you're using your 401(k) which is worth half of what it used to be to put food on the table, and you're going to be kicked out of your house next month, do you still obsess about the undeserving, those who don't deserve a helping hand because they've squandered what little they had? Do you still think that the Rich Man™ is going to let you into his club if you Just Work Hard Enough? How hard do you think that is? Hmmmmm????

Are you realizing yet that YOU have become what you always hated?


After many months of conservative claims that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are determined to engineer a "government takeover" of the private sector in order to "redistribute" income, Steele is upping the ante to suggest that Obama wants to redistribute healthcare – and perhaps even the opportunity to take another breath – as well.

This should be familiar to any political observer over the age of 30 as a new version of the old "welfare wedge": the emotionally powerful conservative argument that Democrats want to use Big Government to take away the good things of life from people who have earned them and give them to people who haven't.

The "welfare wedge" largely disappeared from national political life in the wake of the 1996 welfare reform initiative that eliminated any federal entitlement to cash assistance for families, imposed a work requirement for temporary assistance, and generated, for a while at least, a massive reduction in "welfare" caseloads.

It returned during the latter stages of the 2008 presidential campaign, when conservative gabbers and ultimately the McCain-Palin campaign attacked Barack Obama's tax proposals as a "redistributive" effort to offer "welfare" by boosting the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit – by definition eligible only to families with earned income and stiff payroll tax liability. This was interesting not only because the EITC had long been a staple of conservative social policy, but because previous efforts to call refundable EITC payments "welfare" had been denounced by George W. Bush and John McCain.

After the election, the "welfare" treatment of Obama's tax policies was echoed by similar conservative rhetoric about proposals to help homebuyers getting hammered by the mortgage and real estate collapse. Most famously, CNBC financial reporter Rick Santelli became a right-wing folk hero for a rant about the injustice of being asked to help the "losers" who took out mortgages they should have known they couldn't pay. This was at about the same time as Republican members of Congress began handing out copies of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," with its prophecy of a dystopic society in which socialist "looters" and Christian "altruists" had brought the United States to its knees, and some conservative agitators began urging "productive" Americans to emulate Rand's plutocratic heroes by "going Galt" and refusing to contribute to the welfare state. The "tea party" movement that ramped up in opposition to Obama's economic stimulus proposals was heavily freighted with this sort of revolt-of-the-producers attitude.

Fucking idiots. These people remind me of the black-eyed yahoos of fictional Bon Temps, Louisiana -- the town on True Blood whose denizens have been driven so mad (and stupid) by an evil Maenad that they're duped into believing that one of the few still-sane townspeople is "the God that comes" with the help of a few flares, a gas mask, and some tree branches (watch it before YouTube takes it down):

This is what Republicans are so good at doing -- lifting your wallet out of your back pocket while pointing down the economic ladder and saying "Look! Down there! THERE'S the reason you're losing ground!" And the Charlie Browns who are captive to their racism, their fear of anyone who isn't white, and yes, their fear and recognition that they themselves are sliding down that ladder, fall for it every damn time.

Meanwhile, down in Texas, the Lone Star breed of yahoo is calling for secession again:
Rick Perry's talk of secession appears to have buoyed efforts by Texas secessionists who want the governor to follow through. At a rally Saturday on the Capitol steps, members of the of the Texas Nationalist Movement called on the governor and the Legislature to put a referendum on the state ballot on whether Texas should leave the union. At an anti-tax "tea party" protest in April, Perry touted states rights and raised the possibility of secession.

On Saturday, secessionist speakers denounced the federal government in general - and the Obama administration in particular. One speaker said, "We are aware that stepping off into secession may be a bloody war. We understand!" Another self-styled patriot invoked George Washington as an ally of secession (History lesson: Washington presided over creation of the union) and Sam Houston - "You go ask Sam Houston what he thought about secession. He did it anyway." (History lesson: Houston opposed secession. He ran for governor as an independent Unionist in 1859. Despite his efforts, the people of Texas voted to secede, and he was forced out of office in March 1861. )

I say let them secede. And I say let all these teabaggers voluntarily give up everything paid for by tax dollars. Let them give up the Federal money that they get which we in the blue states pay for. Let them give up maintenance of their interstate highways. And above all, let them give up their Social Security checks and their Medicare. Because once they become the Gun-Totin' Republic of Texas, they are no longer eligible.

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Anonymous jb said...
If Texas were to announce its intention to formally secede, thousands of Americans from sea to shining sea would rally and march into the Lone Star State . . . to help them pack.

"Let the erring sisters go in peace," Horace Greeley said in 1861. They'd have been begging to return within a generation. If Texas were to go now, they'd be begging to return the morning after the independence parade. Tools.

Blogger Interrobang said...
Maybe it's 'cause I'm a dirty socialist furriner or something, and I've been on (*gasp*) welfare before (working and paying a shitload of taxes now, amen!), but I like welfare. I think there should be more of it. People who are getting relatively generous welfare benefits from the state aren't stealing my shit from my house, they're not panhandling, they're not sleeping in bus shelters and under bridges, and they've got a place to live, so they're not contracting tuberculosis in homeless shelters, therefore they're not costing far more in tax money by being in jail or in long-term medical care.

Someone over at Hullabaloo the other day said that "jail is the welfare white Americans will pay for," which I guess just goes to show how stupid white Americans must be collectively, since it costs way, way more to keep someone in jail than it does to pay to get them a place to live and a few groceries and utilities each month.

Blogger Steve said...
Actually, Texas is one of the rare red states that pays more in Fed taxes than they receive. That would change when all US military installations, and their attending economy, have to vacate to blue states. Or, like Hugo Chavez, they'll try to nationalize them.

It will be interesting to see if they seek UN recognition or not. Also.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ayn Rand's books are best read as comedies. There is no coherence in regard to anyone who is a common person in the entire set of nonsense.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Make sure they take Mississippi with them !

Anonymous Anonymous said...
How about if we just send these brain dead morons to Mississippi and let them secede there. That way y'all can lay off the rest of us.


Anonymous ProfDumbledor said...
From what my Texas friends say, Texas pays more in Fed tax than the rest of us combined -- ie, they insist they and they alone are paying to run the US...
But I don't see the logic in the rest of your statement. If the US installations leave, even less US tax money would be flowing to Texas...

But if the Texas politicians believe it's such a good idea, why don't their Congresspersons introduce the legislation that will allow it to happen??? I definitely don't see that taking place!!