Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Wrong Party

by WILLIAM O'CONNOR

I slammed my empty Jameson’s glass and screamed.

“All politicians are crooks.”

A giant pounded the mahogany bar.

“Screw you.”

I said meekly, “You a politician?”

“No a crook.”

“Sorry.”

 * * *

Politicians have rammed it up my keister for six decades.

When candidates say they want to make a difference, spread your cheeks and bite hard. It only hurts the first few hundred times. Forget campaign promises.

In an age of derivatives, double speak, and deception, Mencken’s. “uninformed many electing the corrupt few” can count on one thing. Corporations cheat the people to pay Congress, so they count on legislative support.

Both parties peddle their ass to the highest bidders, so conceptually, Reagan was right. Government is the problem.

Republicans build blunders and bullshit into National Policy.

* * *

Before WW II, FDR initiated the Lend Lease Act.

Republicans opposed it.

Right wing isolationists even lobbied against America’s involvement in Hitler’s war, but FDR realized that if we didn’t fight Germany then, with allies, we’d have to fight him later alone.

After WW II, George Marshall architected Europe’s bailout. Conservatives cried,

“European welfare.”

Republicans labeled Eisenhower’s former boss a communist.

Dead wrong.

Marshall was our most cerebral and, many say, our greatest general. Bailing out Europe saved Italy, Greece and Spain from turning communist.

Now?

Republican Paul Wolfowitz said the Iraq war would pay for itself.

Republicans Bush and Cheney said Iraq would welcome us with open arms.

The Republican Heritage Foundation predicted the Bush Tax Cuts would pay down the Federal Debt by fiscal year 2010.

Wrong on foreign policy.

Wrong on economics.

Wrong about global warming.

Wrong that public and civic investment is socialism. Wrong that privatization is cheaper than public management — check out Fed Ex — $13 to mail a letter.

Republicans, not government, are the problem.

* * *

The party that gave us the depression, deregulation and two useless wars keeps shoveling bullshit against an ever-deepening tide.

When time proves them wrong, they simply spew more:

Teachers, firefighters, and policemen created our economic problems.

Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam Hussein had an alliance with Al Queda.

Iraqis blew up the World Trade Center.

We must increase military spending beyond the rest of the world combined.

We shouldn’t invest in schools and higher education.

We must divert funding from renewable energy.

We don’t need financial regulation.

We should let oil companies police themselves.

Homosexuality is a choice.

If gay marriage becomes legal, people will marry animals.

We need to regulate women’s vaginas.

Our government can’t do great things.

And the most egregious and fatuous: increasing taxes of the rich won’t decrease the deficit.

Huh?

* * *

Wrong about corporate personhood.

Wrong about birth control.

Wrong about Fox News being fair and balanced.

Wrong about job creators.

Wrong about our economic history.

Wrong to dismantle worker’s unions.

Wrong to cut public sector jobs in a recession.

Wrong to force teach creationism.

Wrong to tax investment less than labor.

Wrong to call social security an entitlement.

* * *

The great communicator, (of bullshit?) Ronald Reagan, affably promised his disciples,

“Tax cuts for the rich will trickle down and help the poor.”

The economics major from Eureka College — total enrollment 250 – professed that the poor, who depend on scraps from the tables of the rich, would be better served if only we gave the rich bigger portions.

I’ve only taken two basic university economics classes, but two things are undeniable.

Both the Reagan and Bush era tax cuts led to larger deficits and long-term decline in growth, and deregulating any industry too much can lead to disaster.

If Republicans don’t know the truth they’re idiots. If they know the truth but call it lies, they’re crooks.

* * *

Clinton raised taxes and created 22 million jobs.

Bush lowered them and created a massive deficit, engineered a stock market collapse and teetered us on a depression.

We’ve had Bush’s tax cuts for 14 years now. Where are the fucken jobs?

* * *

Read Adam Smith on Capitalism.

A graduated tax is necessary, because then the only way rich people (land owners as he called them) can make more money is to reinvest their capital.

Although counterintuitive, a progressive tax is the very engine of capitalism.

In the ‘50s to protect Lucille Ball from Eisenhower’s 92 percent tax rate, her husband, Desi Arnaz, started Desilu and created 1000s of jobs.

Republicans haven’t missed the obvious evidence. To appease their money masters, they ignore it

* * *

 Smith insisted, “Tradesmen have to be paid a fair wage.”

Wages have been flat vs. GDP since Reagan.

Smith said, “The system cannot allow favor to be bought.”

We have K Street.

“The system cannot allow money to be taken out.”

We have Swiss and Cayman banks.

The bastardized form of capitalism force-fed us by corporations, media moguls and complicit lawmakers, doesn’t vaguely resemble what Smith described in “Wealth of Nations.”

 * * *

Republicans rile about “socialist” Obama, yet oil companies write our energy policy, investment banks write our fiscal policy and insurance companies write our health care policy.

When you have government working with, and currying favor with, big business, that’s not socialism, and privatizing profits and socializing losses is certainly not capitalism.

When government caters to and bolsters profits for the rich, we have at best oligarchy, at worst fascism.

* * *

A half-century ago, Steinbeck said,

“Someone has to re-inspect our system and soon. We can’t expect to raise our children to be good and honorable men when the city, the state, the government, the corporations all offer higher rewards for chicanery and deceit than probity and truth. On all levels it is rigged.”

Today, it’s worse, intolerable, and I’ve had enough.

One percent of our greedy inhabitants corral one third of our nation’s wealth. Inhabitants, not citizens, because “Citizen” implies a sense of shared responsibility.

In fact, they are worse than inhabitants.

These parasites, both Democrats and Republicans, live on the toil and sweat of a rapidly growing permanent underclass and, like lice, won’t be removed easily.

Our Congress has a 9 percent approval rate and a 91 percent re-election rate?

Stop the insanity.

 * * *

Take to the streets. Start scores of recalls. Organize a third, or even fourth, political party.

It’s a class war, and we can only win it if we fight back. Wisconsin was only the beginning.

Take back our airwaves and then our government.

The U.S. is only one of two industrialized countries without a labor party.

Why?

Fight organized greed with organized labor.

A worker has a right to a decent wage, decent working conditions and a right to age at the same rate as his employer.

* * *

Repeal Citizens United. Deprive corporations of their tit. Stop corporate and government welfare. Vote instead for schools, jobs and healthcare.

Drive the moneylenders from the temple of our Republic.

In Nov. 2014, send this useless craven Congress to the unemployment line.

William O’Connor is a Vietnam veteran, former Bronx firefighter and pub and restaurant owner. He is a stand-up comic and a UF journalism graduate.  O’Connor has a weekly column that can be found on-line entitled, “Confessions of a New York Bookie.” He can be reached at: Oconnor.WilliamP@gmail.com

 

 

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail