Unnoticed Role Reversals

I’ve always been amazed at how many “unclothed emperors” pop up in political debates. Since no one else seems to be noticing, I’ll share a couple of current ones here.

First, consider a hot news item these days, involving Russian “elements” placing ads on Facebook to organize people interested in, inter alia, African-American civil rights. A lot of people in Congress, especially Democrats, are up in arms about this. But if you know the history of the U.S. civil rights movement, this should ring a bell. Martin Luther King and his crowd were constantly accused by the right wing of being supported by communists, meaning the Soviet Union. Now the left wing is making the same accusation, oddly enough.

Second, what about the tax reform proposal? Used to be that the Democrats worried about whether working-class people could buy a house. But if I understand things correctly, they are now worried that only working-class people — meaning, in this context, those taking out a mortgage of under $500,000 — would be given help. Ditto regarding deductability of property taxes. Basically, the Republicans want to help the working class and the Dems want to help upper-income white collar professionals.

And don’t get me started about the GOP’s obsession with repealing a health insurance system that was first proposed by the conservative Heritage Foundation and first actualized by the Republican governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.

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14 thoughts on “Unnoticed Role Reversals

  1. None of it makes sense anymore. Some say that confusion is itself a strategy. If you believe that, please send me all your money to prove how insightful you are.

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    • It is only seems senseless if you think the Ds are still proponents of working class. They threw them over for the next big thing,
      – millennial/youth vote – because they’d like to buy the world a Coke (unfamiliar with neoliberalism which does not equal the generic highly preened image of “globalism”) and
      – immigrants and foreign workers aspiring to be immigrants
      who they expect to be majority.
      Both factions of voters are for benefit of industry.

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  2. Do not confuse a Republican-party Massachusetts politician with a Republican.
    Romneycare was a compromise with the inevitable — and if it had been given a few more years it would have been seen to be unworkable (even in a wealthy state), before everything else was dismantled.

    But of course this is the tribalism we’ve seen for the past year and a half. Everything is partisan.

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  3. As usual, modern politicians only support something if:
    1. THEIR party gets the credit; and
    2. THEY get to decide the terms and conditions

    Example: Health Care Insurance. As long as Repubs hold sway in D.C., the Dems will fight tooth and nail to prevent health care issues from being fixed. This echoes the 1950’s, when Eisenhower and the Repubs wanted to pass voting rights for blacks, but were stymied in Congress until the Democrats could get into a position of power, and snatch the issue for their own use.

    Similarly, the Repubs don’t want to “fix Obamacare”, because that would imply they were wrong to oppose it in the first place.

    As for “role reversal” in terms of Russia, remember that Russia under Putin is the “evil empire” for Communists; Russia under Communism was the “evil empire” for U.S. conservatives. Today’s Left would much rather see Russia fail and revert to Communism than to see a stable, prosperous Russia under Putin. Similarly, yesterday’s conservatives were more than happy to see Communism fail in Russia.

    Yet the hypocrisy in all of this is that Pres. Obama and Madame Clinton were only too happy to auction off access to U.S. uranium supplies to Putin’s cabal. Short-term thinking on all fronts.

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    • The point in the last paragraph is mentioned in the press and in Congress only rarely, but the minute Trump says, “Why aren’t they investigating the Clintons?”, the press says he is lying.

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  4. The Soviet Union had two major newspapers – “Pravda” (“Truth”) and “Izvestia” (“News”). So, the joke was that there was no truth in “”Truth” and no news in “News”.

    And now we know that there was no democracy in the Democratic Party election process. It is all fraud, and if Hillary were elected Donna would have kept quiet.

    Sanders also turned out to be quite a fruit for betraying his followers.

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  5. Every Republican presidential candidate from Abraham Lincoln in 1860 to Alf Landon in 1936 ran on a platform calling for tariff protection while the Democrats pushed free trade. Now we hear about the Republican “traditional” support of free trade.

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    • We first and foremost have to acknowledge that many words and concepts have been redefined.
      “job” no longer means 40 hours, living wage, nor benefits. Forbes says 10% of “jobs” were changed to temporary/contract in 2015 alone, and at that time, brought the number of “jobs” that were temporary up to 40% of “jobs”.
      Specific to your post, “free trade” … isn’t. Hence, “trade deals”, which is basically countries swapping industrial import monopolies. NAFTA for instance, gave US corn industry a monopoly in Mexico, hence Mexico’s 2 million farms/farmers wiped out headed north. Free trade would mean we as individuals could order our prescription drugs from Canada, Mexico, India, etc.

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  6. Mayo Clinic website describes Oppositional Defiant Disorder in children as:

    DSM-5 criteria for diagnosis of ODD include both emotional and behavioral symptoms.

    Angry and irritable mood:

    Often loses temper
    Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
    Is often angry and resentful

    Argumentative and defiant behavior:

    Often argues with adults or people in authority
    Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
    Often deliberately annoys people
    Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior

    Vindictiveness:

    Is often spiteful or vindictive
    Has shown spiteful or vindictive behavior at least twice in the past six months

    I think this describes the majority of those in DC who behave more like children who should be sent to their rooms to sulk rather than be allowed to vote on legislation affecting the country. The rhetoric is worse now than at any time in my memory. The totally illogical statements make me wonder if several of the leadership are senile and should be institutionalized for their own protection.

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  7. >> Second, what about the tax reform proposal? Used to be that the Democrats worried about whether working-class people could buy a house. But if I understand things correctly, they are now worried that only working-class people — meaning, in this context, those taking out a mortgage of under $500,000 — would be given help. Ditto regarding deductability of property taxes. Basically, the Republicans want to help the working class and the Dems want to help upper-income white collar professionals.

    I agree that Democrats should show some willingness to discuss phasing out the deductability for high-priced homes. Of course, there may be some debate as to whether the same limits should be used for the entire country since the cost of housing differs so much. Still, the goal should be helping working-class people to buy basic homes, not helping wealthy people to buy fancier homes.

    I did just get done studying the examples of the tax reform proposal released by Paul Ryan’s office and blogged about them at https://usbudget.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-problems-with-taxpayer-examples.html . One disturbing thing is that they appear to be chock full of errors. I created an R Shiny app at https://econdata.shinyapps.io/taxcuts/ which calculates the taxes and compares them to those released by Paul Ryan’s office (which he got from the Committee of Ways and Means). The first example appears correct but the second example appears to be totally incorrect for both the current and proposed tax plan. The third and fourth examples appear to have incorrect numbers for the proposed tax plan. The details are in my blog post and, if anyone should see a problem with my calculations, please let me know. In any case, following is the final paragraph:

    The biggest concern raised by the House Cuts bill is likely the higher taxes that they represent to some lower income taxpayers in the first year and to many more lower income taxpayers in future years. Also, the above plots show that it is helpful to look at taxpayer examples over broad ranges of income. Still, it is very concerning that the examples released by the office of Speaker Paul Ryan (which came from the Committee of Ways and Means) are so full of apparent errors. This suggests that, even for something as seemingly simple as the calculation of taxes under various plans, publications should show their work.

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  8. “the Republicans want to help the working class”
    By shunting the 20% corporate tax rate deficit onto the national debt pile, which will be distributed to all?
    I don’t see how that’s “help” to the “working class”.
    And that’s not including the “tax holiday” for the offshored tax evasion already in existence.

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