Friday, December 26, 2008

Screw the Rich

You know, there was a time when Democrats like Harry Truman were not afraid of saying "The Republicans are the Rich Man's Party, while the Democrats are the Party of The Common Man."

Here's the thing: screw the rich. They've been doing just fine for the last 35 years, getting richer and richer and richer, while no one else has gotten a raise.

The top marginal tax rate during the administration of that notorious Leninist, Ike, was 91.5 percent. That is not a typo. It resulted in it not being worthwhile to make 300 times as much as your lower paid workers, because taxes would eat up the portion of your income that could be described as obscene. The fifties were not exactly a time of breadlines and hardship. There was a broad and solid middle class.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Unaffordable Homes were supposed to make everyone rich, or something

Anyway, as I've said many times... all you had to do was look at home prices, look at incomes, and realize that not enough people actually made enough money to afford those mortgages. If you wanted some confirmation you could look at rent-to-own ratios, as someone did in the Bush White House (and was ignored), and look at what was happening to Option ARM mortgages (negative amortization). Those things were up front and obvious, even if not everything was.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

From the Police Blotter

LAPD detectives were hunting Friday for a thief who made off with an estimated $2 million worth of jewelry after ransacking the Mulholland Estates mansion of socialite Paris Hilton in a brazen overnight burglary.

In what may be one of the city's highest-dollar home break-ins this year, a security guard called police shortly after 5 a.m. Friday to report a burglary at Hilton's house in a gated community nestled in the hills of Sherman Oaks.

A man Identified only as "Lazarus," who lives outside the gates of her community, was unhurt in the incident.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Republicans Alienating Their Remaining Working-Class Base

By standing against The UAW in their recent torpedoing of the auto company bailout, Republicans will only continue to alienate their remaining working class voters. Which is fine by me. The Republican Party is, at its core, the rich peoples’ party, and the sooner the working classes wake up to that fact, the sooner the Republican Party will be further marginalized.

Passage of The Employee Free Choice Act is part of the solution; another part is repealing portions of Taft-Hartley, specifically section 14(b) which lets states decide whether or not to allow union-shop agreements, would overturn “right to work” laws, and make it even easier to organize in those states, further eroding Republican support in their southern strongholds.

If southern workers want to work in a union shop, they can’t, due to the provisions of Taft-Hartley I mentioned. The owners in the south are very anti-union and have managed to convince some of their workers that they should oppose unions too…but it is in their workers’ interests to organize, and repealing “right to work” would allow southern workers to discover this. Once they are organized and represented by a union, there will be no going back.

The southern elites know this of course, which is why I expect this will be a battle of monumental proportions. I look forward to it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Republican Support for their [Real] Base

More evidence of who the real Republican base is (and it ain't socially conservative bible-belters):

But at the last minute, the Bush administration insisted on a one-sentence change to the provision, congressional aides said. The change stipulated that the penalty would apply only to firms that received bailout funds by selling troubled assets to the government in an auction, which was the way the Treasury Department had said it planned to use the money.

Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole, according to lawmakers and legal experts. In a reversal, the Bush administration has not used auctions for any of the $335 billion committed so far from the rescue package, nor does it plan to use them in the future. Lawmakers and legal experts say the change has effectively repealed the only enforcement mechanism in the law dealing with lavish pay for top executives.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boy, is conservatism expensive...

Lithiumcola, at Dailykos, talking about the staggering cost in treasure and human misery of the Bush presidency:

Bilmes and Stiglitz further state, "the total bill for Bush-era excess -- the total new debt combined with the total new accrued obligations -- amounts to $10.35 trillion."

In that time -- that is to say, in the time that Washington was racking up that excess, using that money for something-or-other; the time from when President Bush took office to now -- the cost of a family health insurance premium has gone up 87%; the number of uninsured people has gone up 19%; the number of families living in poverty has gone up 19%; real median household income has dropped 1%; and corporate profits have gone up 68%.

Note that last: everyone is worse off, except the people whom the Republicans really serve: the rich.