Government of the .01%, by the .01%, for the .01%
The Mitt seems to think Lincoln had it wrong. After all, Lincoln’s famous peroration from his Gettysburg Address was “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” In the Mitt’s world, most of us don’t matter. Only the top hundredth of a percent really matter. Sure, The Mitt needs the votes of the people, but that’s just a technicality. The Mitt works for those like him, the very, very rich.
You don’t think so? Let’s examine some signposts.
The Mitt wants to reduce taxes on the very, very rich. He says it will make the economy better. Never mind that taxes are at historic lows. Never mind that there is not a shred of evidence – not a trace of real data – to support the claim that low taxes on the very rich means more jobs. Or that there is overwhelming evidence for the opposite.
The Mitt himself has put a big chunk of his immense wealth in an off-shore account. Because he doesn’t understand the difference between “legal” and “moral,” he thinks it is perfectly all right. That’s what the very, very rich do: put their money off shore. Can someone explain to WC how those off-shore accounts generate jobs for Americans?
The Mitt and his very, very rich best buddies believe in privilege. Definitely including the privileges of the rich. At a recent fund-raising event in the Hamptons, one of the Mitt’s very, very rich donors asked, “Where’s the V.I.P. line, we’re definitely V.I.P.s.” The word “privilege” comes from the Latin privilegium, meaning a law affecting one person, private law. “The advantages and immunities enjoyed by a small usually powerful group or class, especially to the disadvantage of others.”
It was the superrich who invented the financial instruments they didn’t understand , which led to the current recession. Paddy Hirsch’s champagne metaphor is especially apt, since we are talking about the superrich here. So the rich made themselves richer in significant part by careening down the path to the current recession. And now The Mitt wants to lower their taxes? Hello, how does this make sense. Unless it’s the .01% working for the .01% again.
The economic crash was so bad that the U.S. government had to bail out a whole series of banks and insurance companies whose very rich management had made these immense mistakes. Understandably cranky about having to save capitalism from itself, Congress managed to pass some relatively mild laws trying prevent those superrich bankers from doing it to the economy again. The Mitt, with the support of those same very rich bankers, wants to repeal those reforms.
Environmental protections? They hamper the economy, get rid of them. The air is just fine in the Hamptons.
The Mitt generally doesn’t acknowledge any of this. Like a lot of the superrich, he seems to pretend the recession didn’t happen, and that current economic woes are solely the fault of President Obama. But when he does deign to acknowledge it, he claims that the financial sector has learned its lessons, and that government should get out of the way. Inconveniently, JPMorgan Chase announced recently that the losses in the first quarter from dubious trading combined with losses in the second quarter now amount to as much as $7 billion, up just a tad from the $2 billion reported earlier.
When the man in the very good suit tells us to “trust him,” WC’s instinct is to clutch his wallet and run away. The Mitt and his superrich buddies want your vote and nothing more. Their first and foremost goal is and remains government of the .01%, by the .01%, for the .01%.