The Prez delivered another speech today, this time at the Associated Press Luncheon, and there is a transcript of the whole thing, along with a couple of follow-up questions here. It’s worth a look.
It’s taken three years for him to start doing what no small number of us were screaming at him to do two-and-a-half years ago and more, which is basically telling it like it is — the GOP is now a crazy and dysfunctional bunch of ideologues who would, today, be perfectly incapable of nominating someone like Ronald Reagan. Or even Barry Goldwater for that matter.
Finally, at long last, he’s sounding like he gets it. But he sounded like he got it during his campaign for ’08 also, so we shall see, but at least he’s calling out the trickle down advocates;
In this country, broad-based prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy few ….. And yet, for much of the last century, we have been having the same argument with folks who keep peddling some version of trickle-down economics. They keep telling us that if we’d convert more of our investments in education and research and health care into tax cuts — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger. They keep telling us that if we’d just strip away more regulations, and let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity, that somehow we’d all be better off. We’re told that when the wealthy become even wealthier, and corporations are allowed to maximize their profits by whatever means necessary, it’s good for America, and that their success will automatically translate into more jobs and prosperity for everybody else. That’s the theory.
What was so hard about that, Barack? Finally. Jesus. Onward;
Now, the problem for advocates of this theory is that we’ve tried their approach — on a massive scale. The results of their experiment are there for all to see. At the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest Americans received a huge tax cut in 2001 and another huge tax cut in 2003. We were promised that these tax cuts would lead to faster job growth. They did not. The wealthy got wealthier — we would expect that. The income of the top 1 percent has grown by more than 275 percent over the last few decades, to an average of $1.3 million a year. But prosperity sure didn’t trickle down.
Instead, during the last decade, we had the slowest job growth in half a century. And the typical American family actually saw their incomes fall by about 6 percent, even as the economy was growing.
Glad you noticed. You obviously didn’t read my letter, or you would have talked about this non-stop, as would all your operatives, since day one — and you would have fired that piece of shit Chief of Staff who called me and my friends “fucking retards” on the spot. Publicly. Oh well, spilled milk and all that. Welcome home. Now sit the fuck down over there and listen up….
… Look, people get all that. Sure, there are some who don’t, but they’re not going to support you anyway, now or ever. There’s even a healthy portion of the TeaPeople who get that, as do OWS, and the both of them sure as hell get this next part;
It was a period when insurance companies and mortgage lenders and financial institutions didn’t have to abide by strong enough regulations, or they found their ways around them. And what was the result? Profits for many of these companies soared. But so did people’s health insurance premiums. Patients were routinely denied care, often when they needed it most. Families were enticed, and sometimes just plain tricked, into buying homes they couldn’t afford. Huge, reckless bets were made with other people’s money on the line. And our entire financial system was nearly destroyed.
So we tried this theory out. And you would think that after the results of this experiment in trickle-down economics, after the results were made painfully clear, that the proponents of this theory might show some humility, might moderate their views a bit. You’d think they’d say, you know what, maybe some rules and regulations are necessary to protect the economy and prevent people from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or credit card companies or mortgage lenders. Maybe, just maybe, at a time of growing debt and widening inequality, we should hold off on giving the wealthiest Americans another round of big tax cuts…..
…..But that’s exactly the opposite of what they’ve done. Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down, and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal.
Right, now whittle that down to a pithy phrase, and nail it to the wall. “It’s the economy, stupid.” is already used up, so y’all are going to have to work on it. You have people for that. If you get stuck, leave a message here in the comment thread and we’ll help you out. See if you can work the word “predatory” into things on down the road too. People get that in a big way. Trust me.
While we have you here, Mr P., run on down to the DoJ and get the morons down there to go after the whiz-kids who bundled all those mortgages in RMBS instruments without proper documentation, then started inventing it on the spot so as to repossess. If they need help, have them call the kids at the German Bank HSH Nordbank, since they got tired of waiting for your sorry ass and are now suing Barclay’s over this whole mess. Basically they sold RMBS (Residential Mortgage Backed Securities) that were not backed by mortgages but by, wait for it, nothing, since the transfer paperwork was nonexistent.
That’s for starters. Then tell Tim Geithner, who is already making noises about the perils of too much “austerity” (you’ve had him hopping all over Europe, taking it all in, so he won’t be hard to convince) to come out blasting about just how malevolent these Norquist/Randian assholes really are. He’s been one for long enough he understands that territory well.
You need weapons, and you’ve finally stumbled on the obvious one;
For generations, nearly all of these investments — from transportation to education to retirement programs — have been supported by people in both parties. As much as we might associate the G.I. Bill with Franklin Roosevelt, or Medicare with Lyndon Johnson, it was a Republican, Lincoln, who launched the Transcontinental Railroad, the National Academy of Sciences, land grant colleges. It was Eisenhower who launched the Interstate Highway System and new investment in scientific research. It was Richard Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency, Ronald Reagan who worked with Democrats to save Social Security. It was George W. Bush who added prescription drug coverage to Medicare.
There you go — you take saner Republicans from the past (do you have any idea how hard it was for me to write “saner Republicans” in reference to Nixon and Dubya? You couldn’t possibly, but I’m here to help and willing to make sacrifices) and you bundle them up into a big fucking club and you start beating them with it. Today and every day for the rest of the year without respite. You take that club and you bitch-slap that asshole Ryan (who Tengrain calls that “blue-eyed Snidely Whiplash wannabe”) with it daily. You make it clear, also daily, just how far the “center” has now been dragged to the right, and thus what used to be thought of as “centrists” now have to be Pol Pot to occupy the middle ground. You make it clear that the “center” is no longer habitable by reasonable people. Most Americans are reasonable people, at least most of those who you will need to pound the streets to get you elected again.
Damn right I’ve got more suggestions, but I don’t want to bewilder you too much too soon, but there is one more thing: you do all this for the rest of the campaign season, and with a bit of luck (nothing too crazy happens to the economy, or Iran, or whatever) you get re-elected. Fine.
Then you quit trying to work with what’s left of these assholes and you throw the ball right at their goddam head. Ditch the “pre-emptive compromise” strategy. It won’t work with people who are trying to kill you. Sane remnants of the GOP are already beginning to utter “now, er, wait a minute” kinda things about Norquist’s “pledge”. Amplify all that, and use it. Set the stage now for Willard’s arduous trek back to a politically plausible etch-a-sketch image of himself by littering the path with indelible vignettes from his journey into wingnuttistan. God knows, he’s provided you with enough of them. Unlike him, you don’t have to make anything up.