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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 26, 2021
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 26, 2021 by Tony Wikrent Strategic Political Economy “Rich People Are Leading the Anti-Vaccine Movement — and Experts Have a Theory Why” [Money, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-20-21] From 2019, still germane: “Disease experts say the parents least likely to vaccinate their kids live in some of the most afflu […]
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Citizens United backlash

Regarding corporations in Georgia reacting negatively to Georgia’s new election rules, Grim Reaper Mitch weighs in:

“I found it completely discouraging to find a bunch of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics,” McConnell said.

What Do Republicans Actually Support?

Not the proposed Jobs Act Bill. Not one of them plans to vote for it, their rationale being based on their definition of “infrastructure.” “Nope, cannot do it, wouldn’t be prudent.”

Not raising the corporate tax rate back to where it was before they cut it in 2017 from 35% to 21%, adding about two trillion dollars to the deficit, and allowing them to use that as the reason to block any Democratic spending programs in the future.

Not passing the HR1, affording protections to the precious right of Americans to vote. Not passing the Voting Rights Act, which would help insure that minorities were not cheated of this right.

Not the Recovery Act passed a few months ago, where not one single Republican in the House or Senate voted for it. Their argument was that it was not “targeted enough.”

Not anything relating to combating climate change. Not anything relating to gun control legislation, except possibly some very slight closing of loopholes. Not for any viable sweeping immigration bill.

The Republicans talk a lot, but through logical deduction, they stand for absolutely nothing in the way of legislation. What they stand for is, blocking all of the legislation proposed by Democrats. They are thus “The Party of No.” Except when it comes to corporate tax cuts of course. If Trump had won, they would have passed even more of those.

One assumes that after they reached a corporate tax rate of zero, they would be done with it, but who knows? Trump’s political arm has kept taking money out of supporters’ bank and credit card accounts by use of the pre-checked boxes they provided on donation forms “to help Trump fight against the election results.” And in Texas, they funneled hundreds of thousands out of people’s accounts which had automatic-pay for electrical bills. So they will keep taking people’s money even if they have nothing left but credit.

All they have are slogans and catchphrases. I don’t know who invents them, but all of a sudden we hear the same thing being repeated on right-wing TV and on the social media. “Cancel Culture.” “Voter Fraud.” “Global Elites,” “Radical Left Wing Takeover.”Some are new, some are recycled. They have no policies behind them, just the slogans and the labeling.

We have a two-party system. It is not ideal, but a multi-party system does not work here, because Republicans would always come home to their party, and it is the Democrats and Independents who toss away votes to the Naders and Steins. So it is two-party that we must live with. But one of the parties has now devolved into something which is not an antithesis to a synthesis, as in Hegelian dialectic theory, out of which a new synthesis can form. Nor is it a counterbalance. It is just a group of very wealthy people who want to make sure that all of the money gets into their hands, and who will do anything they need to, to insure that the middle-class and poor get nothing, and in many cases cannot even vote to change things. There is no “there” there, beyond that.

How many people in the country identify as Republicans now? Thirty percent or less? The only way that Republicans can win is to convince people not to vote for the Democrats, or to keep the Democrats from voting. Will the Republican Party ever get better? Very doubtful.

First, it was never good since 1880 or so, even in its best times, with the one exception of the Theodore Roosevelt presidency; and Republican leaders never wanted him to be President, he was on the ticket as a sop to New York Republicans, and then became President when McKinley was assassinated. Some media people like to say that “Republicans were once a party of ideas.” What ideas? Lowering the corporate tax rate, of course, this was the major part of Reagan’s platform. Dismantling federal regulations on business or the environment. Destroying the “safety net.” Getting rid of unions. Those were the domestic policies, bulked up by jingoism and tough talk, and of course “law and order,” whatever that actually means. And those are not enacting programs, they are getting rid of programs passed by Democrats in other eras.

There is an obvious theme here. Republicans want complete laissez-faire capitalism with no restrictions or safeguards. That is really all they have. There are some foreign policies, and there are some cultural policies, but the vast part of their ideology is centered on large corporations. So they have nothing to contribute to any dialogue on climate or guns or education or anything to help the middle class and poor They have no positive contributions. Just vote against it; wouldn’t be prudent; now is not the time; too much money; not targeted enough; not really infrastructure; thoughts and prayers; liberal political theatre.

Their portfolio is so skimpy that one wonders how much longer they can survive as a party. But of course if they can suppress 10-20% of the Democratic voters, that provides their only path to survival. The only things that their non-billionaire base can be dragged out to vote for, are the cultural wars which they create to inflame them, while they take their money. It’s a con and a swindle, but it’s all they’ve got in their deck.