The Two Those Kind of People

Those PeopleYou may remember last month, I wrote about Dave Camp’s budget plan that I called Another Giveaway to the Rich. There were a lot of things I didn’t like about it, most especially the timing gimmicks that would “starve the beast” over the long term, and a reduction in the number of tax rates to move toward a flat tax. But I also made a point of noting that the best thing in the plan, a tax on the big banks, was flawed. The idea was to tax the big banks to pay for their implicit “too big to fail” insurance. The problem was that the tax was an order of magnitude less than the benefits they were getting. It would be like giving a 50-year-old full health insurance for $40 per month—something Republicans are absolutely, positively against.

I learned today from Jonathan Chait that even this little tax was too much for the Titans of Wall Street, The Republican Party’s Prague Spring Is Officially Over. He explained the situation thusly:

Wall Street unleashed a furious campaign to destroy and isolate Camp, canceling all fundraisers for the party until his fellow members agreed to denounce his heresy.

And now Wall Street’s efforts have borne fruit. The Wall Street Journal reports today that more than 50 House Republicans have sent a letter to Camp assailing his financial tax, which they call “arbitrary” and say “threatens our economic vitality by reducing access to credit, curbing economic growth, and worsening our nation’s unacceptably high unemployment rate.”

What Republicans Stand For

What should be clear to everyone about this is how the Republican Party operates as a revolutionary movement. There can be no brooking of even the smallest deviation from ideological purity when it comes to the core issues of the movement. And this was the wealthy’s outrage at having to pay 10¢ on the dollar for their insurance. Just imagine what their reaction would have been had Camp suggested taxing them at a proper level. They would have been screaming. And rightly so! These huge financial institutions wouldn’t show much profitability at all if they didn’t have “too big to fail” insurance. In other words, the federal government is keeping inefficient companies in business. And the main protector of these inefficient companies is the Republican Party.

Although Chait still seems enamored with Camp’s budget, and doesn’t seem to understand that the “too big to fail” tax was a pittance compared to its worth, he fully understands what the Republican Party is all about:

The most important thing to understand about the contemporary Republican Party (which is why I wrote a book about it) is that its organizing purpose is to safeguard the economic interests of the very rich. This isn’t the goal of all or most of the people who vote Republican, or even the goal of all its elites, but even if different vectors within the party veer off in different directions, this is the Party’s inevitable thrust.

He’s quite right that this isn’t the goal of Republican voters. I talk to them all the time. They are often willfully ignorant and hold some of the stupidest and vilest of beliefs. But in general, they hate Wall Street as much or more than the liberals do. They hate crony capitalism as much or more than liberals do. They hate the bank bailouts as much or more than liberals do.

Those Kind of People

But while all that was happening, Republican voters sat on their hands. But when the government was going to give low income homeowners mortgage relief, well, that was a different matter! Then it was time to take to the streets! I just watched Inequality for All, the new Robert Reich documentary. (I’ll probably write more later today.) One of the things I didn’t like in the film was how it tried to equate the Tea Party with Occupy Wall Street. It’s true, as I just indicated, that listening to the rhetoric of the Tea Party (at least at the beginning), they cared about the same issues. But when all is said and done, the Republican Party can depend upon conservatives to vote for it because the voters know the Democrats represent those kind of people. And by that, I’m not even necessarily talking race. Those people are just the other—younger, darker, far away, whatever—and therefore undeserving.

Another aspect of this that I find frustrating is that small business owners skew heavily toward the Republican Party. Yet the Democratic Party is actually better for this group. The Republican Party does not represent business. They don’t even represent big business. They represent the super rich and an outcome of that is that they are freakishly pro-corporate to the point of being anti-American. We can’t stop corporations from hiding their money overseas! But this would never fly without a hundred million people voting to hurt those kind of people. But there’s another those kind of people who the Republican base ought to be paying attention to. Because the Republican Party gives away far more to its those kind of people (the super rich) than the Democratic Party ever even thought about giving to its own (the poor).

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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