Tuesday, March 17, 2015

COTTON, RUBIO, AND WHY MITT ROMNEY WAS THE IDEAL REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

The latest heavily hyped GOP superstar clearly wants war with Iran and absolutely wants a huge increase in defense spending:
While Obama has proposed raising spending on defense to $534 billion and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) advocated a budget of $577 billion, Cotton said the U.S. needs north of $611 billion to manage a world he said had “grown gravely darker” since Obama took office.

Beginning his speech by quoting Winston Churchill’s remarks from 1933, Cotton drew parallels between the current world order and Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany: “[W]e alone are growing weaker while every other nation is growing stronger.”
As Charles Johnson writes at Little Green Footballs:
The Republican Party really, really wants another war, because they know they and their corporate masters will be the ones to reap the profits from it, and they could not care less if it drives the country into even deeper debt and recession. The American public be damned.
But is it true that GOP plutocrats "could not care less" about jacking up the debt? Or would it be more accurate to say that it's part of the plan?

Because jacking up the debt seems to be on a lot of plutocrat-friendly Republicans' minds. Ed Kilgore wrote about this recently:
As 2016 presidential candidates begin to trot out their “tax reform” proposals, the one thing that is clear is that, to quote Dick Cheney from the last decade, “deficits don’t matter” again.
Republicans, as Kilgore notes, want to show concern for ordinary citizens by trotting out tax cuts for the middle class and poor -- but heaven forbid that they should pay for these tax cuts with tax increases on the rich.
... in a situation where something’s got to give, what gives is the GOP’s recently acquired green eyeshades. And it’s going to get worse quickly, as Bloomberg Politics’ Richard Rubin foresees:
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida kicked off the competition with his plan to boost economic growth by slashing taxes on investments, wages and business income. Even the plan’s proponents concede it would reduce tax collections by at least $1.7 trillion in the first decade, largely favoring the top 1 percent of Americans over the middle class.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky says he will propose the biggest tax cut in U.S. history. Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, both considering repeat presidential campaigns, ran on reducing taxes four years ago and would be expected to do so again.
And everybody knows Jeb Bush has to protect his flanks on taxes thanks to the old man’s “read my lips” disaster. And surely Bobby Jindal won’t let anybody exceed him in fiscal irresponsibility, given the mess he’s made in Baton Rouge. And so on and so forth.
What it reminds me of is private equity, as practiced by the Republicans' last presidential nominee, Mitt Romney:
Take a typical Bain transaction involving an Indiana-based company called American Pad and Paper. Bain bought Ampad in 1992 for just $5 million, financing the rest of the deal with borrowed cash. Within three years, Ampad was paying $60 million in annual debt payments, plus an additional $7 million in management fees. A year later, Bain led Ampad to go public, cashed out about $50 million in stock for itself and its investors, charged the firm $2 million for arranging the IPO and pocketed another $5 million in "management" fees. Ampad wound up going bankrupt, and hundreds of workers lost their jobs, but Bain and Romney weren't crying: They'd made more than $100 million on a $5 million investment.
That's what the Mitt Romneys of the world do: they buy companies and make huge profits from the purchases, as they saddle the companies they've bought with debt. That's what the Republican Party and its corporate owners are hoping to do to us: they want tax cuts, they want defense spending, and they want us to shoulder the debt burden.

These guys aren't overlooking the fact that their plans would explode the debt -- they know. What they also know is that when the debt skyrockets, they can blame "tax-and-spend liberals," and liberal social programs such as Medicare and Social Security, which, they'll say, have to be drastically curtailed because "we" have been too greedy. Centrist pundits will nod sagely in agreement. Ordinary Americans, they hope, will fall for the bait-and-switch -- and certainly will never understand how they've been duped. And the rich will just get richer.

6 comments:

Victor said...

And if the world is, indeed, a much more dangerous place than it was before Obama became POTUS, then we can thank the last GOP POTUS for starting needless wars and occupations, and not paying for them with tax increases.

Instead, he lowered taxes on the richest, gave working people a paltry $300 - $600, and put his wars and occupations on credit.

And while the economy isn't booming, it's a hell of a lot better than when W left office, and poor Obama moved in.

Bob Roth said...

Hasn't this drive to hike the deficit been the prime directive since the days of Ronaldus Magnus? Didn't David Stockman spill the beans on this it that infamous Atlantic article? As I recall, Stockman admitted the point was to drive up the deficit so that social safety nets would need to be dismantled. In short, we can have guns OR butter. Not both.

Never Ben Better said...

Why shouldn't they keep at this strategy? It's paid off so well for them, over and over and over....

Lawrence said...

The Ampad story reminds me of how counterintuative these financial transactions are for ordinary consumers. If the company could support 60 million in debt, why did someone sell it to you for 5? Or, if it was only worth about five million, how did you borrow 60 against it? I obviously bank with blue nosed Presbyterians and Mittens just tosses a can of amy nitrate to the guy Dennis Hopper plays in Blue Velvet and watches him write checks.

Philo Vaihinger said...

These guys aren't overlooking the fact that their plans would explode the debt -- they know. What they also know is that when the debt skyrockets, they can blame "tax-and-spend liberals," and liberal social programs such as Medicare and Social Security, which, they'll say, have to be drastically curtailed because "we" have been too greedy. Centrist pundits will nod sagely in agreement. Ordinary Americans, they hope, will fall for the bait-and-switch -- and certainly will never understand how they've been duped. And the rich will just get richer.

Why democracy doesn't work.

Edward Broyles said...

Ampad looks exactly like a classic organized crime "bust out" to me. How exactly is it any different than this episode of "The Sopranos"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bust_Out