The World According to Keitho

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The conservative credo

Posted by keithosaunders on February 5, 2010

If you speak to a Republican he or she will proudly tell you that the conservative credo is fiscal restraint and small government.  He is for less taxes and believes that an economy favorable to corporate business will trickle down to the middle class.  On the face of it this seems like a reasonable blueprint .  If you consider, however, that the U.S.  has had Republican rule 20 of the last 30 years (and Clinton, though a Democrat, certainly favored big business) and after all the deregulation and tax cutting we still ended with our economy in shambles.  In fact we barely avoiding a depression.

I have reached the conclusion that what the Republican party has to offer — its chief asset  — is an excuse for wealthy not to feel guilty.   If you are poor it is your own fault.  You have been made complacent by a government that has coddled you.   If you have money this is a result of hard work and superior intelligence.  Perhaps you have even having pulled yourself up from your bootstraps, and the thought of sharing a portion of your wealth with someone less fortunate is an anathema. 

If you are a racist or a homophobe, the Republican tent is the perfect place for you.  You can couch your racism in your love of small government.  Your intolerance of gays can easily be masked by the smoke screen of family values.   

There is one possible pitfall, however.  If, for any reason, you were suddenly to become destitute, thus requiring affordable housing and medical insurance, things could get dicey.  At that point your family values and love of trickle down economics will be worthless and you will learn that empathy is a commodity not easily found in the party of Lincoln.

3 Responses to “The conservative credo”

  1. planetofbob said

    Keith, while I think that your description of the right is probably spot on for some people, I don’t think it’s an accurate portrayal of most. Just as I doubt that what most conservatives think a “typical” liberal is would truly cover but a small fringe part of the left.

    What is the exact proper mix of corporate taxes to be favorable to the economic interests to society as a whole, while not rewarding the rich simply for being rich? I don’t know, but just as I know there is a point where too many tax cuts will only benefit the rich, I also know there is a point where playing “soak the rich” will only cost jobs and livelihoods.

    “If you consider, however, that the U.S. has had Republican rule 20 of the last 30 years…”, first, you need to forget who is in the White House. Congress is where the power is – The President can’t spend penny one. And if you’re looking for a “Republican congresses are great and democrat congresses are crap” argument – or vice-versa – you won’t get it. The difference between the two is a blur. Honestly, the worst thing this country can have is the same party controlling the White House and Congress – regardless of the Party. We saw it with Bush, and now we’re seeing it with Obama. Probably the most productive this country has been in the last 30 years is a democratic congress under Reagan and a republican congress under Clinton.

    And why the hell should the wealthy feel guilty? Oh sure, there are a few evil bastards out there – but what, there aren’t any evil middle-class or poor people.

    We champion people pulling themselves out of poverty and making a life for themselves. We champion the hard working, middle-class who take the risks, create the businesses, and employee the rest of American. That is, we champion these people until they are successes, at which point they are “Guilty”. Guilty of what? Success?

    Bill Gates is the richest man in America because he created something that a lot of people wanted. Was he suppose to stop after he sold his millionth copy of Microsoft Office and say “That’s good, I’m rich enough.”?

    The top 10% of wage earners – be they Democrats or Republicans (and if I’m not mistaken, the two richest men in America – Gates and Buffet – are democrats) pay 65% of income taxes. Just what do they have to feel guilty about. On the other side of the scale, the bottom FIFTY PERCENT of wage earners pay 4% of taxes.

    I have been fortunate during my life time to meet a number of what you would consider to be wealthy individuals. Not wall street financiers like the left thinks of as the “typical” rich in America, but the real rich in America, men and women who have built construction companies, farming operations, small businesses (many of which are now large businesses), manufacturing plants, and the like, and all of these people have one thing in common – they work their asses off and sacrificed everything they have to make it.

    And, I have meet several people who have also sacrificed and worked hard, only to end up with not too much to show for it. However, these people are exceptions, and while I can’t honestly say that every hard working person I know ended up rich, I can say that the vast majority ended up with a decent living.

    And I can’t say that every poor person is poor because they are lazy, uneducated or crooked. I have a number of friends on the entire socio-economic scale, and I would say that 95%+ of these people are where they are because of the choices they have made, good or bad.

    A have a friend that is a fireman, makes a decent living, and raised three kids in a small 2 bedroom home while his wife stayed home. She could have worked, they could have taken fewer vacations, and probably been able to afford a better home. But that didn’t matter to him. His wife was able to stay home and raise the kids, and by not only living within their means, but actually beneath their means, he was able to give his kids more family experiences.

    And consider my brother. My brother bought the medium-sized construction company that my Dad was the vice-president of while we were growing up. It was already a successful company, and my dad made a comfortable living, but my brother has been able to take a nice family business and turn it into one of the largest firms in the state.

    Along the way he has been able to afford a very nice home for himself on some acreage, and has set himself up for a comfortable retirement.

    He has also served as the President of the local United Way, as well as serving on the boards for the local hospital, two banks, and numerous charitable organizations. Last year his business was honored as “Philanthropic Small Business of the year” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. His business currently funds two full time and three partial scholarships to the local university, and over the last 20 years he has donated over $1 million to University. Upon his death, his wife and children will receive 40% of the business, the other 60% going to the university (a public university by the way).

    Tell me, what the hell does he have to feel guilty about? And before you consider his case to be an exception, let me tell you, it is not. Maybe in it’s scope, but take away all of the good that the wealthy do in this country and see what kind of a mess we end up in.

    Racism & Homophobia Keith? Really? While I will sadly agree with you that you will find more homophobia on the right than the left, this does not mean it is not prevalent on the left. Consider that the vast, vast majority of African Americans – over 90% – voted for Obama in the last election. Not exactly surprising numbers. But did you know that over 60% of the black vote that went for Obama also went for Prop. 8, shutting down Gay marriage in California?

    And Racism? Racism is a disease, it needs to be wiped out through education and open, honest dialogue. Are more republicans racist than democrats? probably, but that number will never, ever budge unless the left is going to quite calling anyone who disagrees with Obama a racist.

    Racism is intolerance, and there probably is more racism on the right. But from where I stand, there is more – much more – intolerance on the left.

    • I like Bob too and I enjoyed reading his thoughtful response to my [admittedly] provocative post. There are some points that he and I are not that far apart on. I agree that the left cannot get by on simply labelling Obama’s critics as racists. In addition, I agree that sacrifice and hard work are necessary for success.
      Yesterday’s New York Times had a long editorial on how to solve the deficit. The conclusion they reached was that without health care reform there is no chance at lowering the deficit. Allowing that there is no chance of cutting military spending, or tinkering with medicare, health care reform is the only avenue left. Certainly tax cuts will not get the job done.
      Yet Republicans continue to oppose this. Even after the OMB’s study yielded that the deficit would decrease under the proposed HCR initiative Republicans continue to state that spending would increase. This, in my opinion, is a grave disconnect.

  2. bakes73 said

    i like this planetogbob guy.

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