Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Election Season - SOS, a letter to my brother

I don't think there is anything you can say to him, his mind is closed. Yeah he hates the war (so he says...) but as long as GWB is not on the ticket he will vote GOP (I bet he voted GOP in 2004 too).

No surprise to me he will vote for John McSame... people like him don't really care about the war in Iraq, he cares more about his make-believe war against 'liberals' (hence his 'are you with us or against us' are you a liberal or conservative rant at the end). In his mind you can only be on the good side or the bad side.... issues are just to divide up the sides not actual problems to be examined and resolved.

His belief system epitomizes many die-hard GOPers, they claim to hate the war but their mind is so inured to the last 40 years's worth of GOP lies and spin that they simply can't 'free their minds'.... (I could have told you that after the 15 minute chat at your wedding reception.... these people are so obvious it is like they come out of a cookie cutter.)

Take his examples - 'welfare' and 'deficit spending.' It is a matter of fact that the two biggest deficit spenders in US history are REAGAN and BUSH (hmm both had GOP congresses too - Reagan with the boll weevil dems in the house and a GOP majority in Senate, Bush with GOP majorities period). NO one else even comes close.... in fact, the only balanced budgets for the last 25 years have been under Clinton. The facts show that it is the Democrats who are the fiscal 'conservatives' - why? Because they believe government has a positive role to play in society, but only if it is run responsibly.

The GOP could care less about deficits - as history and their own philosophy show us.... Why? because they fundamentally don't believe in government as anything other than a means of giving away other people;s money (basically your stepfatherinlaws own words) - and so it is not a big leap from that belief to the one that says... if the money is going to be 'given away game' (your stepfatheinlaw's own word, a 'GAME,' that all this is for the GOPers, a fucking 'game') we might as well 'give' to our own --- hence historic levels of corruption at every level as in Iraq and Halliburton, Katrina and FEMA, you name it. A call for government aid is for the GOP another opportunity to get cash give-aways.... which brings us to welfare

'WELFARE' probably the scariest word in the GOP lexicon (next to 'uppity black people' LOL), what is welfare? Is Social Security welfare? Medicare, is that welfare? Unemployment insurance, is that welfare too? No doubt it must also be food stamps.... that is what has cost America more than the 100x Iraq war????? Last I heard it is valuable to invest in your own people... but then I am not making a killing importing faulty or dangerous products produced by slave labor in China...

And in fact is was 'welfare' (and the priorities it symbolizes) that made America great - we were able to win two wars on two separate continents, educate an entire generation, go to the moon, make great strides in societal justice and integration, virtually eliminate poverty amongst the elderly and raise our country to the highest standard of living in the world due to the Democrats and their 'welfare'. Over the past 40 years it has been nothing but decline as investment in safety, education, infrastructure, an our own people's health has been cut cut cut to give fat subsidies to corporate bloodsuckers like the oil, nuclear, pharmaceutical and military industries. The GOP has turned the US from the beacon of the workd into a hyper-militarized version of Brazil - the super-rich and then the rest of us desperately running to stay in the same place (come to think of it, maybe China would be a better analogy, you know iwth all the hyper-jingoism to keep the peasants in line etc).

When it comes to really expensive welfare - no bid contracts for years on end.... the GOP is suddenly silent (just as they are when it comes to any fee or premium or tax other than the income tax...) Where did those FEMA toxic trailers come from? Why does Halliburton get paid millions for supplying tainted water for the troops? where are the competitive bids? Why does the magic of the market place work for everyone but the GOP contributers? This is what is called 'crony capitalism' and it is the bedrock of the GOP - screw process, screw transparency, screw markets and especially screw the taxpayer. Wrap it up in a flag and serve it country-fried and people will eat it as long as you scare them with talk about 'taxes' and sixties hippies (just like the latest McCain ad).... after all, why tax when we can just borrow and borrow and borrow to support our campaign contributors obscene lifestyles?

Speaking of taxes.... your interlocutor should at least try and get his facts straight... the current payroll tax is regressive people only pay on the first $75k or so of income, it is tax free after that. Obama's proposal is to raise that ceiling (don't you think the currency has inflated a bit since the program was set up during the Great Depression?) - I would do away with it altogether (isn't the flat tax the thing these tax-whackos profess to love?) What is so terrible about that? Don;t you think there is something wrong with a system that charges a lower percentage to someone making a shit load more money? (Heaven forbid someone suggest to make FICA slightly progressive for those with incomes over $250,000.00 a year - I'm sure 100 more years in Iraq is preferable to that LOL).

And who is convincing who that the govt owes them a living...? I've not met one working person who assumes union membership means govt owes them a living... I've met plenty who wish we could get drugs at the same price as Canadians do, or that they could do something other with one of their two monthly paychecks than send it to day care, or that they could actually get some coverage and customer service in exchange for the bloated premiums we pay for health insurance, or that their kids could actually be on their health insurance rather than on Medicaid....

The only people who I have any contact with (via the non-stop media) that assume the govt owes them a living is the GOP-enabling punditocracy/govt staffers who infest washington scuttling between their GOP thinktanks, govt 'service' their gigs on fox, cnn and the networks... gee, what do you know, people just like David Brooks and his cocktail party pals or those at Tax Vox (or whatever the hell it is...), now that sounds like folks who are really public spirited, who live in Georgetown, and attend whitehouse dinners and drive around in their luxury autos texting each other on the different ways they've dreamed up of telling the American people that every Democratic candidate since FDR is corrupt or cynical or manipulative or are just really weird people, because, you know they talk about the public interest and boring stuff like that.

Your stepfatherinlaw lives in an entirely different universe from the rest of us, unfortunately it is people like him who have run this country into the dirt for the past 40 years and who continue to run it like it was their own private social engineering experiment with us folks who actually work for a living day in and day out as their fucking test subjects. They are so inured in the lies they have told themselves for the past 40 years to cover for their own greed that they have come to believe them.... they are like the old guard of the Soviet Union, corrupt, cynical yet still highly ideological, so when a true reformer comes around (like Gorbachev) they are piss-angry with envy because all they can see is someone just like them with what they think is an even bigger 'con-job.' They are the tired old gluttonous husks of men full of envy and spite who, tied to our back, would rather we all drown than that they get their toes wet with any kind of reform as we try and swim thought the ocean of their own past excesses towards a better future for all.

PS and why the fuck can't he spell your name correctly? You've only been fucking married to Kristin for, what, the last decade?

Love, your big brother LOL

----- Original Message -----
From: Charlie XXXXXX
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 8:18 AM
Subject: Fw: Obama? Are you sure? More

Hey when you have a chance I want some help responding to my foolsih father-in-law.

----- Original Message -----
To: Charlie XXXXXX
Cc: Kristin XXXXXX
Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2008 9:41 AM
Subject: RE: Obama? Are you sure? More


Thanks for the articles.

As I said, I believe we need to look beyond what the candidates say and address what the Dems. and Reps. have stood for for the past 50-60 yrs. To believe that Obama will do otherwise and go against his party's wishes/platform is, to me, drinking his campaign Kool-Aid rhetoric. What would motivate Obama to go against what the Dems. have stood for forever?

As I indicated in my last email to you, in my adult lifetime the Dem. majority controlled Congress has ALWAYS endorsed and executed countless tax and spend welfare-type programs. Their M.O. has been to convince Johnny-lunch-buckets (JLB's) that somehow the "rich" and corporations don't deserve what they have so tax them heavily and give their money to you JLB's..because you work harder than the rich so you deserve it.

Worse yet, the Dem. decided that if a little welfare was good, a lot would be better--so they financed it with deficit spending. The JLB's who don't know or care how Dem. taxation, income distribution, and deficit spending programs have hurt the country, so they got off their 4-wheelers, put down their 7 babies and voted for the Dems. It's been the Dems. liberal "game" to make the JLB's their fiefs by convincing them that gov. owes them a living.

If you carefully read the article you sent re Obama with an eye toward past Dem. welfare programs you will note "..lack of specificity" in several Obama comments--here's one from that article:

"That lack of specificity concerns some tax experts. "If Obama is hinting that those making more than $250,000 would pay a higher payroll tax rate ... it would fundamentally change the way Social Security operates and run the risk of making the program look less like social insurance and more like welfare," Tax Vox blog editor Howard Gleickman wrote for the Tax Policy Center."

Personally, I believe the 50 yrs. of Dem. welfare programs have been 100x more harmful to the US than the Iraq invasion..and you know how much I hate the Iraq fiasco.

The Reps. have stood for the opposite approach over the last 50 yrs.--low taxation, fiscal responsibility in gov. with little/no deficit spending. The Reps. believed in responsibility for oneself--that welfare should only be given to those who are physically/mentally disabled. Unfortunately W has screwed up this philosophy with deficit spending, etc., as he has screwed up everything else, but his programs are not what most conservatives believe in.

Basically, one is either a conservative in thinking or one is not when it comes to our current voting choices. I wish we had more choices but we don't. While I don't agree with several Rep. platform positions like gun control and abortion rights, my compromise is much better than choosing another tax/spend Dem.

As for McCain, he doesn't excite me like some Reps. in the past. However I do believe he's honest enough to be forthright with us if push comes to shove. He may have flip-flopped on AMT, but as the article you sent says about McCain's AMT policy "... presumably, the AMT would (now) at least be hitting those for whom it was originally intended."

Question: Are you a basically a Dem. (liberal) in your thinking/beliefs or a Rep. (conservative) and why?