Okay, so I allowed myself to be tortured this evening and watched the Repub debate with Rob. Every tax plan these people put forth is about trickle down economics – the Milton Friedman answer to everything. Give the uber wealthy tax breaks and they will create jobs through the trickle down. Naomi Klein made a great case against trickle down economics in her brilliant book, The Shock Doctrine.
Trickle down economics worked oh so well that the financial market collapsed in 2007-2008 and millions of people lost their homes, their savings, everything.
The Huffington Post pegged all the Republican tax plans as “basically insane.”
“Donald Trump’s plan would cost over $10 trillion.
Bobby Jindal’s plan would cost $9 trillion.
Rick Santorum’s would cost $1.1 trillion.
Jeb Bush’s plan? $1.6 trillion.
Marco Rubio? More than $1 trillion over the next decade.
One exception: The Tax Foundation says Rand Paul’s tax plan would save the government $737 billion. But other tax experts are far less sanguine. Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that Paul’s plan would cost $15 trillion. Much of the difference is due to less optimistic assumptions about economic growth. The Tax Foundation assumes that tax cuts benefitting Wall Street and the wealthy will generate very high levels of growth. Citizens for Tax Justice does not.
Total debt held by the public is currently $13.08 trillion.”
None of these candidates likes Medicare, Social Security, food stamps for the poor, Planned Parenthood, and oh, definitely get rid of ObamaCare, which has provided health care for millions since it was implemented. And what would replace ObamaCare?
Ben Carson, the pediatric neurologist: health care savings accounts.
What middle class family can save enough to pay for an embedded insulin pump for diabetes? For a transplant? Or, for even less drastic health matters, for the birth of a child?
There was one interesting synchronicity highlighted in the debate, though that term wasn’t used. It was a comment by Mike Huckabee, a genial right-wing religious fanatic who doesn’t have a prayer of a chance of getting the nomination, much less the presidency. Huckabee pointed out that earlier in the day a ‘government’ balloon had escaped creating a hazard. The balloon dragged 6,700 feet of cable that snapped power lines in Pennsylvania and cut electricity to thousands of customers. It finally came to rest near tiny Moreland Township, Pa., after about four hours on the loose.
Huckabee compared it to bloated government spending, an object full of gas destroying everything in its path. Word to that effect. That’s fine, Mike. But you failed to point out what part of the government you were referring to. Let’s spell it out: the bloated U.S. military. The balloon, which traveled for 160 miles before being corralled, is the most dramatic in a series of problems for a deeply troubled $2.7 billion Army effort to mount powerful radars high in the skies. One independent investigation reported last month that the 17-year effort to develop the system had created an unkillable “zombie” program beset by high costs, low reliability and questionable performance.
The point here is that all the Republican candidates with the exception of the Libertarian Rand Paul want to beef up the military, which no consumes more than 40 percent of the budget and is larger than the military of China and three or four other top militarized nations combined. So much for the Republicans concept of small government.
These candidates live in another universe and they have selective memories. They tout their party as “small government,” yet under George W. Bush, the size of the federal government exploded. We suddenly had Homeland Security, the TSA, and a number of sub-agencies that hadn’t existed previous to 9-11.
Chris Christie sounds like a thug, a Mafia wise guy. If you don’t vote for me, I’ll close the bridge to your county. After Hurricane Sandy devastated his state, he was humbly grateful for federal aid – which his compatriot Ted Cruz voted against. Hurricane Sandy also changed his views on climate change. He believes in it now.
Marco Rubio comes across as an ambitious Cuban-American who is against immigration. He’s a climate change denier, even though in his district, there are parts of South Miami Beach that regularly flood during high tide, something that never happened in the past.
Ben Carson: the government over regulates. Well, even in food? If you do away with the USDA, how do we know what we’re eating? Get rid of Medicare and substitute – what? Private vouchers?
Carly Fiorina: also favors getting rid of most government regulations. Yeah, okay, Carly. You would drive the country into the ground just as you did to Hewlett Packard. She chills me. And she would attack every country that even had hostile thoughts about the U.S.
Ted Cruz: get rid of the IRS, get rid of everything in government. We’re about small government. Sure, Ted. Look back to W’s presidency. And, oh yes, Ted led the crusade against Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides health care to millions of women. A small percentage of their care – three percent?- provides abortions. That’s the thing Cruz hates. Defend the unborn until they’re born – then, oh well, you’re on your own.
Rand Paul: Some things he said I actually agreed with – why are we the world cop? Why are we constantly at war with someone? But if I’m not mistaken, I think his fiscal policies are based on the writings of Ayn Rand – a cheerleader’s guide to the glories of capitalism and the evils of any government regulation. However, he wants to audit the Federal Reserve – a private organization, not a government unit – that regulates interest rates and $ in this country. Their genesis is shady and his suggestion doesn’t go far enough. Getting rid of the federal reserve would be a good place to start.
Donald Trump: Sigh.
Jeb Bush: He was our disastrous governor for 8 years, W’s younger brother, and he defends W’s invasion of Iraq, defends most of the things that W did. At one point, he was the front runner, the guy everyone expected would be the Repub candidate against Clinton because his super pac had raised $100 million for his campaign. But Jeb is campaigning in the shadow of his brother and his father, Bush Sr. and I don’t think his campaign is going anywhere except into oblivion.
In the early stages of this campaign season, the media said it would be a Bush/Clinton contest. I would be happy if Clinton would just retire. Yes, Clinton is qualified. But she’s a hawk and I don’t trust her.
In a perfect world, the U.S. presidential ticket would be Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, in any combination that works for the two of them. Since Warren isn’t running, that probably won’t happen. So who will the candidates be?