BRAD FROM SALEM
Over the past few years I have heard people who are either low-interest voters or Fox watching, Limbaugh listening “Independents” complain that Congress as a whole is at fault for the stagnation and paralysis that results in nothing happening in DC. I would also venture to guess that of the entire group I just described, half of them blame President Obama more than Congress or at least equally.
Who are these low-interest voters and why do they matter? Low interest voters are like a baseball fan that never goes to the games, rarely watches them on TV, and only reads the game accounts on-line or in the newspaper. They do know if their team is doing well. But they know nothing about how the manager is utilizing his pitching staff or how well the critical, but not famous, players are doing, along with the myriad of details that make up an educated assessment of a baseball team.
These people are not uninterested in politics for the most part, they just don’t have the time or inclination to pay close attention to every issue and politician. What they want is their taxes to go down, the price of stuff to not go up, and they want a job with a paycheck that allows them to splurge every now and then. When the latter is not happening then all of the former, perception wise, is also not happening.
So, a lot of people believe their taxes are going up and that prices are rising. They that is true because their paycheck is not going as far as it did a year ago. The truth of whether their taxes have gone up or whether or not inflation is eating up their paycheck is irrelevant. Who is to blame is their main concern.
The answer for most is easy, they blame the people they put in charge to keep their taxes low, prices stable, and their job secure; along with a paycheck large enough to feel like life continues to get better. The more their job is not secure and the more they feel their life is getting harder, the more the blame goes to their elected leaders.
And, they are correct. The larger the problem to solve the more we turn to government to resolve the problem. And there is the conundrum. What if your information source (Fox News and Limbaugh) keep telling you that it is government taxes preventing you from getting all of your earnings in your paycheck, and it’s the government spending causing prices to increase, and worst of all it is the size of government that is taking away all the jobs and using your money from your paycheck to do it? And don’t forget that all the regulations make it impossible for businesses to operate at a profit, unless they cut jobs.
Here is how the Rush/Limbaugh people do. They blame them all, the more ticked off you are, the more you blame the President. He is in charge after all. And if you are a Fox/Limbaugh person, you tell your low-interest friends that it is government that is causing all your problems. And so the Fox/Limbaugh folks recruit their fair weather fan friends to vote for people who say they will lower taxes and shrink government. They believe that by following the Modern Republican Agenda of lower taxes, less regulation, low inflation, and smaller government, then your boss can give you a raise because the company is paying less taxes. And your taxes will go down too, so you can feel good about your personal economic future. And with the government slowly dismantling itself, there are less regulations forcing business to constantly raise their prices inflation stays low and jobs even begin to increase.
The economics are simple, they explain to all that will listen. Any school kid after learning about supply and demand would understand it. Any person that had to balance a home budget can see the logic in it. So, we have the genesis of the Modern Republican agenda. Lower taxes, less regulation of business, and a smaller government is the Republican recipe for personal financial security. And about 50% of America believes that is precisely true, even many Democrats.
The problem is, that it is not true. When the Fox/Limbaugh people explain this to high political interest Liberals, and the Liberals challenge their views, the Liberals get ridiculed. Even Liberals with PhD’s in economics are told they don’t know what they are talking about.
The real challenge as Liberals, as Progressives, as Bleeding Hearts, and as Socialist Democrats is to dismiss the fallacies. The roots of the weeds must be ripped out of the ground, so the Modern Republican Agenda will no longer overspread the political landscape. In short we need to plant new ideas and old ideas. But what is most important is that we take the agenda away from the Modern Republicans and replace it as the core of our economic and political discussions.
My next post will begin examining what is wrong with Modern Republican thinking. I look forward to reading any comments about this post.