Following absolutely true to the script of The Fourth Turning (see www.fourthturning.com), namely that we are at the end of the saeculum, and the social contract is breaking totally apart, the Democrats have shown stupidity and cowardice in not framing the debate about the Bush tax cuts in terms of what really ails America, that it has become a banana republic run by and for the rich ruling class, who have looted American corporations and manipulated the tax system to their express benefit lo these thirty years—no, the Democrats have backed off having a vote before the elections on Obama’s eminently reasonable proposal to keep the middle class tax cuts and let those on the rich expire.
At a $70 billion annual run rate, the tax increase on the rich amounts to less than $5,000 per each of the 15 million officially unemployed persons in America. As I have suggested, the economy would get the most benefit if the increased taxes on the rich were simply transferred to the unemployed, so that they and their children do not suffer further damage.
Obama has ignored the lessons of recent electoral history, that it is the independents who decide presidential elections. He lost the independents with Afghanistan and his sycophantic bailouts of the Wall Street banks. The independents are leaning toward the Republicans, the party of keeping tax rates low on the rich, in the probably mistaken belief that the Republicans represent fiscal sanity, which Republican incumbents in the White House since Reagan most certainly have not.
Reagan sold a bill of goods to the public, who got happy on tax cuts, insisting that the tax cuts would be self-financing via “supply side economics,” which they were not. The Bushes were both budget busters, although Bush I at least tried to pay his own way. Only a Republican Congress with Clinton in the White House achieved anything resembling fiscal sanity, which is why the independents are lurching right.
The billionaire Koch brothers are bankrolling the Tea Party movement, which is likely exploit the public’s desire for fiscal sanity by cutting programs that are actuarially solvent for years to come, like Social Security (see www.angrybear.com reference, for example).
It’s a cluster, the makings of highly nonlinear adjustments in the near future.
This excellent BBC series traces the rise of public relations and how the independents now decide presidential elections. This is the first episode; links to succeeding episodes appear at the end.