GOP Economist Gives Moral Reasoning Behind Concentration Of Wealth (Rich People are Inherently Superior)

Gregory Mankiw plays a small but important role in the political ecology: an accomplished Harvard professor who validates Republican economic policies. It’s almost impossible to find empirical support for debt-financed tax cuts, but when George W. Bush proposed them, Mankiw and his Harvard pedigree were there to reassure that they were “fiscally responsible” and would surely lead to higher growth. The failure of these reassurances to come true has not prompted Mankiw to reassess his thinking. That’s because the fundamental basis for his beliefs about such matters has nothing to do with economics. Mankiw believes rich people deserve to keep their money, regardless of economic consequences.

Now, many conservatives share this belief, but since it is unpopular, they instead argue that higher taxes on the rich hurt the non-rich. Mankiw, to his enormous credit, does not conceal his agenda. He lays his agenda on the table in the form of a paper, “Defending the One Percent,” explicating his beliefs. In so doing, Mankiw — perhaps admirably, or at least bravely — ventures completely outside his area of expertise, economics, into moral philosophy. The result is — well, there’s no other way to put it. It’s an embarrassing piece of ignorant tripe.

via GOP Economist Makes Terrible Defense of the 1% — Daily Intelligencer.

For those that aren’t aware of *why* the GOP thinks this way, here’s two more stories for you.

First up, how many people’s hatred of immigration reform is based exactly where’d you guess.

The very first video submitted was premised on the notion that immigration reform should be stopped because otherwise whites would become the minority in America.

Second up, just look at the graphs.

The results were striking: The researchers’ mathematical model suggests that of the seven states in the country with the highest percentage of people who are biased against black people, six are Southern states—Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina—required to seek federal approval for election law changes under the VRA. Arizona and Alaska, the other two states required to get the feds’ permission before changing their election laws, ranked much lower in anti-black bias. But as Elmendorf and Spencer note, these states are presumably required to seek that permission because of other bias—anti-Latino in Arizona and anti-Native American in Alaska—which their study did not measure. (Besides the eight states mentioned above, the VRA requires some counties and municipalities in seven other states to seek federal permission to change election rules.)

Note: actual graphs start about page 39.

So, if you haven’t figure out yet why the GOP institution as an old, white, rich stereotype is destined for the trashbin of history (after some serious attempts at oppression to retain democratic power), now you know.

Not only do they represent this stereotype, they think it’s a good thing.

Today in “Concessions Granted to Republicans for Smaller Government” Quarterly we find…

In addition, states will be allowed to perform drug tests on individuals applying for unemployment benefits if those people lost their previous job because they either failed or refused an employer’s drug test. Individuals receiving unemployment assistance could also be tested if they are seeking a job that generally requires a drug test.

Also, welfare beneficiaries will be banned from accessing public assistance funds at ATMs in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos.

via Congress passes payroll tax cut deal – CNN.com.

It should be noted, these are Republican demands and illustrate just how much they want to get government *out* of people’s lives…or something.

If this confuses you, realize that when Republican politicians say “smaller government” what they really are calling for is “lower taxes on my benefactors”.

It has, as one can see here, absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with reducing government intrusion into people’s personal lives (or as the dictionary calls it “freedom”).

Republicans block jobs bill, demand Obama do somethig about jobs

NationalJournal.com – Obama Jobs Bill Dies in Senate – Tuesday, October 11, 2011 http://mobile.nationaljournal.com/congress/obama-jobs-bill-dies-in-senate-20111011

Republican opposition had assured defeat of the jobs bill for some time but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has worked for weeks to try to unify Democrats in support of cloture on the package. Democrats hoped their relative unity would highlight GOP opposition to a measure that polls well. After inserting a provision to pay for the bill by raising income tax rates by 5.6 percent on people who earn more than a $1 million a year, Democrats accused the GOP of blocking the legislation both to deny Obama a victory and to protect millionaires at the expense of the rest of the country. “Folks should ask their senators, why would you consider voting against putting teachers and police officers back to work?” President Obama said in a speech Tuesday in Pittsburgh. “Ask them what’s wrong with having folks who have made millions or billions of dollars to pay a little more.”

Update:

The $447 billion plan died on a 50-49 tally that garnered a majority of the 100-member Senate but fell well short of the 60 votes needed to keep the bill alive.

Republican filibustered it. You remember Bush’s original tax cuts that started this mess? They passed with the same vote count (it was 50-50 with Cheney being the final straw), except Democrats aren’t total assholes that put party politics above the Constitution.

Eric Cantor, D-Bag Extraordinairre, Typical 21st Century Republican

So I’ve mentioned before I’ve been following the debt limit discussions currently going on in Washington.   They came to a halt last Friday after Eric Cantor (R-VA) deciding that constantly saying that taxes SIMPLY CANNOT be part of the solution to government debt wasn’t working and everyone kept asking him to be more realistic.

That was never going to happen.  His departure from the “debt commission” was planned.

GOP aides and lawmakers said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) decision to exit debt talks led by Vice President Biden was inevitable.

The timing of Cantor’s exit from the talks has been discussed for weeks, and senior House Republicans cast it as a natural progression for the negotiations.

“There have been discussions about when these talks need to end and when the Speaker and the president need to get in the game,” one GOP aide explained.

[full story]

When the guy quit last week, he had this to say…

“There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation,” Cantor said. “I believe it is time for the president to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue.”

What’s wild about this is that Cantor is now using the economic troubles caused by running huge deficits (created by tax cuts) and a war (paid for with…tax cuts) and lax regulation, as an argument against raising any government revenue.    The doublespeak here is off the charts.

Luckily there are a couple honest Republicans out there to try and balance out this stuff.   Well, former Republicans.  So it takes old people who have seen the errors of their ways to make the obvious point to the oblivious masses, old people like Reagan’s budget guy.

The sickest thing here…if Obama hadn’t given in to the hostage takers last December…we wouldn’t be having this “crisis” or this discussion.  The Bush Tax Cuts would be gone, and we’d be back on the path to fiscal sanity.

What’s even more wild is that about half of *actual* Republicans are rational enough to understand the governments can raise taxes to pay down government debt.

On tackling the deficit, voters by a margin of 2-to-1 support raising taxes on incomes above $250,000, with 64 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed.

Independents supported higher taxes on the wealthy by 63-34 percent; Democrats by 83-15 percent; and Republicans opposed by 43-54 percent.

This is the disconnect, BTW.  Four out of ten *actual Republicans* understand how low taxes are right now, and that they can be used by governments to pay down debt.   But when you get to Republican leadership, the support for any kind of taxes at all drops directly to 0%.
If you don’t understand why this is, you don’t understand how campaign finance reforms have made the Republicans a party that represents the interests of 1% of the population, but is able to use their wealth to buy 50% (and sometimes more) of the government.     Sit it on this meeting to find out how that works.

Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, had between $1,000 and $15,000 invested in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT. The fund aggressively “shorts” long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, meaning that it performs well when U.S. debt is undesirable. (A short is when the trader hopes to profit from the decline in the value of an asset.)

According to his latest financial disclosure statement, which covers the year 2010 and has been publicly available since this spring, Cantor still has up to $15,000 in the same fund. Contacted by Salon this week, Cantor’s office gave no indication that the Virginia Republican, who has played a leading role in the debt ceiling negotiations, has divested himself of these holdings since his last filing. Unless an agreement can be reached, the U.S. could begin defaulting on its debt payments on Aug. 2. If that happens and Cantor is still invested in the fund, the value of his holdings would skyrocket.

I think we can all rest happy knowing that if the U.S. defaults on their debt, Eric Cantor will do just fine.    Heck, the fund is up 3.3 percent just since he quit last week.