“. . . The big winners in the budget “deal” were the people who understood the least: the tea party folk, a minority, generally ignorant, who had a simple plan, easy to execute. They just did nothing but wave the pledges they had signed never to raise taxes, particularly on rich people.
“Their nominal party, the Republicans, could not bring them into the party—or the government, for that matter. Without knowing it, they were fulfilling the dream of William F. Buckley, that is, standing in the path of progress and shouting “Stop!” Of course, they would not understand Buckley, and I doubt he would have been seen in public with them.
“. . . The conventional wisdom is that neither side got what it wanted.
“No. No. No. The know-nothing conservatives, the new members of the House, won a historic victory.”
Maybe, but perhaps instead of wacko right-wingers, real winners are the stealthy interests that provide organizational resources and finances to dupes who populate the tax protests. Writing in Salon, David Sirota proposes that President Obama is purposely accommodating the forces of “organized money” and never intended to be the champion that progressives had expected when they helped elect the 44th Head of State. Indeed, the President seems more comfortable with the company of incredibly wealthy businessmen – the principal beneficiaries of tax and social spending cuts. Ironically, these are the folks behind the ideological machine that is determined to eviscerate the government over which Obama presides.
Former intelligence analyst and Presidential advisor Ray McGovern, writing at commondreams.org says:
“. . . Many dyed-in-the-wool Obama supporters may now summon the courage to let the scales fall from their eyes. Obama’s one-sided “compromise” so clearly promotes the interests of the wealthy over those of the poor that, in Biblical terms, it can readily be seen — literally — as a God-damned deal. . . “
We see organized money trying to stir anti-tax sentiment in Canada. Mainstream media, billionaire funded think tanks and business organizations work that strategy regularly. Global TV’s Liberal columnist Keith Baldrey wrote of BC’s “brewing tax revolt” in one of his recent community newspaper columns. He blamed this partly on “incredibly generous collective agreements” in the public sector. Yeah, like the 0% general wage increase for nurses in both 2010 and 2011, or the 2% for teachers in 2010 or 3% for paramedics. Even the 5 year agreement CUPE signed with Vancouver City provided general wage increases averaging 3.5%. Hardly changes that are incredibly generous.
Baldrey is confused, perhaps thinking the massive pay raises given senior BC Liberal bureaucrats in the last few years were similarly offered to ordinary public servants. Or, maybe he’s watched his own multi-sourced income growing at an incredibly generous rate these past few years. Faithful Baldrey reports that HST opposition is evidence of tax resistance but a better explanation is that citizens object to a multi-billion tax transfer to corporations mostly headquartered outside the province.
The revolt that may be brewing among BC taxpayers is against wasteful spending (see BC Ferries and the David Hahn gang), bankrupting of BC Hydro and no-return gifting of valued public assets such as the waterways accommodating independent power producers. We may object to spending billions of public funds for convention facilities and a white elephant stadium for the benefit of rather few favoured citizens or the destruction of coastal waterways so that a Norwegian salmon-farming oilman is further enriched.
No, efforts in Canada to promote unregulated corporate capitalism while degrading social democratic programs have met with mixed success. Citizens here are not as foolish as our southern neighbours when it come to separating political fiction from political reality.
Categories: Keith Baldrey