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The Party of the Lottery Winner

December 5th, 2012

Jindal and others in the GOP are awakening to a new concept:

Jindal said the Republican Party needs to convince voters it is the party of the middle class and upward mobility.

You know what would be a good way to start? By not refusing to give the middle class an extension on their tax cuts unless the rich get one too.

And while you’re at it, stop trying to dismantle programs the middle class depends upon; Social Security and Medicare are not just for poor people.

Stop attacking institutions like education and unions which helped make the middle class.

Stop endorsing policies that scream, “We’re trying to increase income inequality.”

Stop favoring banks and financial institutions over the middle class.

Stop… aw, hell. You can see where this is going. The GOP would more or less have to dismantle its entire policy structure in order to be the party of the middle class.

Instead, they will likely do what they have always done: push policies that hurt the middle class while insisting that they are “the party of the middle class.”

The problem is, lying like that requires that you not delude yourself, else your lies become transparently ludicrous. That’s hard when you think like this:

“We’ve got to be the party of the middle class. I don’t know why we’ve essentially ceded that ground to the Democrats,” said strategist Matt Mackowiak. “We don’t believe our policies only help rich people. We believe our policies help people become rich.”

“We believe our policies help people become rich”? What happened to “We built that”? I thought their entire point was that government can’t do squat to help people.

At best, what this kind of person is saying is, if you are in the middle class, and you decide to start a business (most don’t), and, without our help, that business succeeds (most don’t), and then it becomes so successful that you become rich (most don’t)… then we’re on your side, and we’ll cut you special tax breaks and help you stay rich.

As for the rest of you middle-class people, the people who try to open businesses but who either fail or just do OK… and most significantly, to the majority of people in the middle class who simply work hard and expect to stay afloat in at least modest comfort… well, you can all go screw yourselves. We’re seeing after the people who can make something of themselves. They deserve our help; you don’t.

I wonder why that’s not working better?

The sad thing is, it’s working a lot better than it should. America has too much of a “lottery winner” mentality.

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  1. Troy
    December 5th, 2012 at 16:07 | #1

    America has too much of a “lottery winner” mentality.

    “Social-ism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” — John Steinbeck

    1600-1900 we had good land free for the taking, well mostly free I guess.

    1900-1930 was kinda tough, boom/bust, but we had the beginnings of Progressivism plus the outright militant Social-ism of the age to win better working rights. Plus I guess rising productivity thanks to mechanization, information science, and the automobile helped with distributing prosperity more widely.

    1930-1940 was when everything fell apart, but 1940-1970 was the golden age of America, where we had the resources, the capital wealth, and the people to develop a first-class industrialized state.

    But 1981-2006 we got stupid and let conservatives run the show, more than they were 1950-1980 at least. Hell, even “ObamaCare” is what conservatives wanted for our healthcare system.

    We’ve stood by as trillions of dollars flow overseas thanks to our trade deficit:


    and our Gini rise to match Mexico’s:


    Government is spending $20,000 per capita (!) but only taxing $17,000 per capita. That doesn’t sound so bad but few families have the resources to pony up $9,000, $12,000, or $15,000 each year in higher taxes!

    As Romney so wisely observed, 47% of households don’t pay income taxes at all!

    Conservatives here have successfully walled off the discussion from the social-welfare experience of Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Canada.

    These more leftish economies may not be perfect, but they’re doing a damn sight better than ours.

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