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Right-wing millionaires warn of left-wing elites

EnlightenmentFan (617608) writes | more than 11 years ago

News 8

Voters beware!--a powerful elite controls the media, forces its ugly values into the classroom, and sneers with disdain at the average working American. That's the big Republican meme these days. And who are the "elite" they hope voters will rise up against? (Hint--not the millionaires who run our country.)Voters beware!--a powerful elite controls the media, forces its ugly values into the classroom, and sneers with disdain at the average working American. That's the big Republican meme these days. And who are the "elite" they hope voters will rise up against? (Hint--not the millionaires who run our country.)

We are the evil "elite." Young couples marching for peace with their babies in strollers. People of color sending kids to college. Four-eyed professors who drive rusting Volvos. People who don't get their news from Fox and their values from Rush Limbaugh.

When Democrats said the Bush tax cut was big for billionaires and lousy for most of us, Republicans were outraged. Bush called it "the typical class warfare rhetoric, trying to pit one group of people against another."

But pitting one group of people against another is almost a family value for the Right. Southern Democrats pioneered the trick, holding onto power by keeping blacks from voting and keeping whites afraid of voting by blacks. (Republicans try to be subtler with the white-versus-black trick.) The big thing now is promoting "family values", with the implied threat that if Democrats get elected your baby sister will star in lesbian porno.

When Pennsylvania's Sen. Rick Santorum compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery, many people were outraged by his effort to spread--and benefit from--division and hatred. Dean, Kerry, and Lieberman spoke out against it. Republicans saw the liberal outrage as a PR bonanza --"proof" that the left is elitist and anti-family:

Conservative Republicans, including former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, rallied to Santorum's defense. 'I think that while some elites may be upset by those comments, they're pretty much in the mainstream of where most of the country is,' Bauer said.

In the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto gloated the Democrats' reaction could cost them votes:

Many Americans have deeply held religious or moral objections to homosexuality, and it would not be unreasonable for them to take the Democrats' attack on Santorum as an attack on their own values.

So, in conclusion

  • It is evil, divisive, unAmerican class warfare for economists to point out that the Bush tax cuts benefit billionaires.
  • It is noble and heartfelt to assert that American family life will be destroyed unless the law forbids "bad" sex between consulting adults.
  • And the "left-wing intellectuals," the "self-styled experts," the "Hollywood elites" who think homosexuals should be treated like human beings--we will be painted as the real enemy of American voters.

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Blamed Catholic Church scandal on liberals too (1)

cyranoVR (518628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5798679)

I don't know how this one slipped through the cracks...aparently "liberals" are responsible for Priests molesting little boys and the church subsequently covering it up for the past 20 years! []

Relevant passage:

AP: Speaking of liberalism, there was a story in The Washington Post about six months ago, they'd pulled something off the Web, some article that you wrote blaming, according to The Washington Post, blaming in part the Catholic Church scandal on liberalism. Can you explain that?

SANTORUM: You have the problem within the church. Again, it goes back to this moral relativism, which is very accepting of a variety of different lifestyles. And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home? If you say, there is no deviant as long as it's private, as long as it's consensual, then don't be surprised what you get. You're going to get a lot of things that you're sending signals that as long as you do it privately and consensually, we don't really care what you do. And that leads to a culture that is not one that is nurturing and necessarily healthy. I would make the argument in areas where you have that as an accepted lifestyle, don't be surprised that you get more of it.

Talk about abdicating responsibility...yeesh. When in doubt, blame it on "Clinton."

How about the shoe on the other foot? (1)

EnlightenmentFan (617608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5804982)

as you do it privately and consensually, we don't really care what you do

You know, I bet there are lots of things the Santorum family do privately and consensually that I think are bad. If they want to send police into my home to make sure I'm not getting it on with priests and poodles, do I get to send police into their home to make sure their kids don't watch too much TV?

Childhood obesity is a national issue--let's send the cops over to the Santorum household and make sure their fridge is full of healthy snacks. And I want every Santorum kid to get weighed, every day.

I could go on--but Fifi and Father Bill are getting restless.

Counter point? (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 11 years ago | (#5798771)

Can I offer a counter-point? What do you consider wealthy? Just start with total income/year... I suspect the bar is much lower than you think. The truly wealthy don't pay taxes anyhow - they shelter most of their money. Those of us who's families bring in (very low) six figures get nuked, however.

Using 2000 Tax data

The top 25% of US income started at $ 55,225

The Top 5% of US income started at $128,336

The Top 1% of US income started at $313,469

Tax cuts for billionaires? I'm sure their bill will be lowered. Don't forget that it is not a flat tax either, so you keep less the more you make. Accumulating wealth is actually quite hard.

As for politicians and celebrities spouting stupid stuff, well... I've long stopped caring what they say. Faith was lost a long time ago.

Re:Counter point? (1)

memfree (227515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5798917)

The thing that drives me crazy about using Tax data to represent income is that it always seems like most everyone grabs the adjusted numbers -- not the wealth gained in a year, but only the part left after excluding tax shelters (like retirement savings in IRAs), dontations, mortgage/depreciation deductions, gifts, 'business' expenses at sumptuous resorts, and so forth.

I rarely find cumulative data on gross earnings, and I wish I did. It'd be interestnig to compare how much people gross vs. their net tax claim.

Re:Counter point? (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 11 years ago | (#5799224)

I know my wife and I get pounded - most of the things like a child tax credit or any other 'cut' is usually worth 20-50% of what a normal tax-payer would receive... Were their better raw numbers, I would have used them. I'd love to have a non-adjusted gross income breakdown as well.

As for 401K and IRA planning - that money will be taxed, but not until we are in a position to spend it. Tax deferred, for the most part. I know way to many people who are not saving anything for retirement, which is just amazing. We started saving we had a combined $15/hour salary. Do people actually think Social Security will still be viable in 20-30 years, much less a livable wage?

Looking at myself, we maxed our 401K, moved what we could afford into IRA's, used our mortgage to optimize interest deductions, and gave a significant cash sum (very low five figures) to local charities. It made less than $30k difference between net and gross.

As for business... I don't currently have a home business, so no write-offs for me there. Likewise, I'm not an exec - no sumptuous resorts for my kind. Were it my own business, I would consider it a huge waste of capitol, unless it was part of closing a deal. (In which it is working in paradise, rather than vacationing).

Re:Counter point? (1)

EnlightenmentFan (617608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5804876)

What do you consider wealthy?

I was talking about millionaires in my post, so I guess I think of them as wealthy, which doesn't mean I hate millionaires. Like most Americans, I'd like to be one--someday.

My complaint about the Bush tax cuts is that they mean big cuts in government services--schools, hospitals, police, etc. etc. These service cuts hurt the poor much more than the rich. But what makes the service cuts necessay is the huge tax bonanza given to rich people. If we gave a tax cut only to people in the lower 99% bracket--that is, if people already earning more than $313,469 per year kept paying at their same rate--the cost to our government would be vastly lower. (I think Howard Dean proposed something like this.)

You are absolutely right when you say that the low-six-figure income is getting whacked--by the alternative minimum tax and probably other stuff as well.

A little late, but nonetheless (1)

AntiFreeze (31247) | more than 11 years ago | (#5804454)

I'd like to point out that the "family values" the Republicans would like to "return to" only existed in America for about 10 years in the 50s.

How can you return to values that only were prevelant for ten years? I know not. Apparently most Republicans do.

Now, it's fine to like said values and want to mimic them, but it's not fine to claim that these values existed for mainstream America for a long period of time, and that we've lost our way and should return to them. In a word, that is bullshit.

</annoyed Rant>

Something good about the fifties (1)

EnlightenmentFan (617608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5804919)

Well, if the Republicans want to take us back to the fifties, I would like to see us go back to the prosperity and security that working-class families had then. They didn't need two parents working fulltime to afford a house, garage, and swing set out back--or to put four kids through college. But I haven't noticed any signs the Republicans want a strong labor movement. Even though that would do much more for the strength of American families than slinging mud at gay people....

BTW, if you read novels from the fifties, there was a lot of sex of many kinds going on, even in those suburbs....

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