Let the Democrats Remember: The Wealth of the Nation Doesn't Come from Yachts
Pins and needles, waiting for the Democrats to open in Charlotte. I am so worried the Obama campaign might stumble on an editorial from The Dallas Morning News and actually read it. Well, not that worried. That would take a lot of stumbling.
But what a shame if they did take the News' consistent editorial line -- or the same line from someone else -- as any kind of serious advice to be weighed. Again Saturday the News repeated its numbingly monotonous mantra to the effect that Obama needs to sound more like a Republican.
Yeah, and maybe we should all just tape our billfolds to our asses so they won't have to actually reach into our pockets.
Despite why you might have heard, this is not George Washington.
The whole danger and disappointment of early Obama was that he kept looking like the best Republican the Democrats ever elected. Gun control, Guantanamo, invasion of privacy, habeas: I've lost track of all the smaller bones he tossed them. But the big one -- the backbone itself -- was too big to fail.
The entire thrust of the early years seemed to be about bailing out Wall Street and making sure no cockroach bankers ever got sent to the Big Motel. In total it was a tacit concession to the Koch brothers, who insist that we had all better keep the super-rich fat and sassy or they might just take back the money supply and keep it on their yachts.
We talked here last March about the growing body of evidence proving what a joke the whole Republican "Laffer Curve" dogma has turned out to be when put to the test of time. I'm talking about the idea that the best way to create prosperity is to slash taxes on rich people.
We've tried that. Since the 1950s top marginal tax rates in this country have been slashed to a third of what they were with no measurable boost to the economy. In fact when taxes go up, as they did under Clinton, we pay off deficits and the economy booms.
When taxes got cut the way the Koch brothers wanted under George W., the economy tanked so hard and so deep we still haven't broken water. But at least we're headed up there.
This line about the "job creators" is the real tell. Beneath all the phony Joe-the-Plumber posing by Mitt Romney (puhleeeze), the job-creator line may be the one bit of truth to emerge from the Republican campaign. They truly believe that wealth, innovation and the ultimate security of the nation all come from the yachts. If the yachts sail away, we're all going to drown.
That's not a mentality President Obama should contemplate or compromise with for a moment or an iota. It's not sideways. It's upside down. It's the opposite of our history and our national destiny. It's not even American. It's more 19th century European.
This country was built by tree-chopping farmers, school teachers, printers, drafted G.I.'s, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and Bill Gates, not by plutocrats who think they have the right to bestow or withhold our prosperity like a dog treat.
I am sitting here with my fingers crossed hoping the Democrats will explode out of Charlotte with a battle cry, a call to take back our country from the European-style oligarchs who have subverted and corrupted it over the last 15 years. I'm proud of America. I want it back.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.