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Hullabaloo


Monday, April 28, 2014

 
Rand Paul's populism. He tells those Fat Cats to listen up: he's going to cut their taxes whether they like it or not.

by digby

According to Benjy Sarlin, our man Rand is out there pounding the populist drums insisting that the GOP has to stop being the party of the wealthy. It's vitally important to make sure that Americans understand they are NOT the party of Wall Street but are instead the party of the average Joe the Plumber. And how do they demonstrate this? You might be surprised --- if you don't know Rand Paul:

“What did Ronald Reagan do, did he come forward and say ‘Oh, lets just cut taxes for low-income people?” he said. “No! He said forthrightly ‘Let’s cut everyone’s taxes.’ He did dramatically. The top rate, that’s what rich people pay, the top rate was 70%, he lowered it to 50% then he lowered it again to 28% and 20 million jobs were created!”

Mocking the naysayers who might think better of cutting taxes on the 1% during a period of exploding inequality, Paul quipped: “Anybody here ever work for a poor person?”

And if you're a racial minority you'll benefit even more by Paul's plan to cut certain millionaires' taxes to nothing. Take that, fat cats!

Tax cuts are the communion wine of wingnut religion. Paul is just doing what all the right wing "populists" have been doing for years --- explaining to a certain kind of fool that it's in their best interest to give all the money to rich people. And there are a whole bunch of people out there who buy it.

I've told the story before about the Rush Limbaugh caller I heard years ago who told the 250 hundred million dollar man that he was happy for his boss to get a big bonus while he didn't get a raise because that meant the company was doing well and he'd do well too in the long run. Rush heartily congratulated him on his perspicacity.

The Sarlin piece points out that all the "populist" Republicans from Ryan to Paul to Huckabee have one thing in common: whatever they think the best strategy for winning elections, they are of one mind about cutting taxes and they are making sure that the Fat Cats know they are in no danger of any pitch forks pointing in their direction. Not that there was ever any question about that. Right wing populism aims its pitchforks at the poor parasites, especially those of color, not the rich ones. But as we know, the wealthy plutocrats are very sensitive about all this. The Republican trickle down theory soothes those wounds in in a very comforting way.

On the other hand, it's not as if Democrats have nothing to work with:
Two dozen interviews about the 2016 race with unaligned GOP donors, financial executives and their Washington lobbyists turned up a consistent — and unusual — consolation candidate if Bush demurs, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t recover politically and no other establishment favorite gets nominated: Hillary Clinton.

Most donors and Wall Street titans have not lined up with any candidate yet, waiting for the field to take shape after the midterms. But if Bush doesn’t run, the list of Republican saviors could be short. Some donors fear Christie will never overcome the Bridgegate scandal. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin so far seems more inclined to stay in the House than to run for president. And to varying degrees, other candidates — such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio — are either unknown or untrusted.

The darkest secret in the big money world of the Republican coastal elite is that the most palatable alternative to a nominee such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky would be Clinton, a familiar face on Wall Street following her tenure as a New York senator with relatively moderate views on taxation and financial regulation.

I don't know why this is considered a big secret. Of course they're going to align with Clinton over Cruz or Paul --- those two are very unlikely to be able to win the presidency. I seriously doubt that it's an ideological issue, although I'm sure they all think Cruz and Paul are cranks. But they have nothing to fear from either of them. In fact, they have nothing to fear from any GOP candidate and unless Warren or Sanders could put up a serious campaign, they have nothing to fear from Democrats either, least of all Clinton.

They're betting on winners. It's what they do. They'd prefer to back Republicans because they don't like the hippie faction of the Democratic Party. (Of course, the Bundy faction has them a little spooked as well --- for different reasons.) But all things being equal, these are patriarchal, plutocratic conservative men who are naturally more at home in the Republican Party. But the Democrats are fine too. They can make money either way.

What they really fear are the people.




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