Saturday, April 9, 2011

WWH: Wake'N'Bake 101 ~~ "Repairs"

Last week, Dr. Woody heard Vt. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thom Hartmann--both really sincere, admirable men--and was again struck by how totally, hopelessly, blindingly, wrenchingly IMPOTENT they seem. They pose exquisitely correct solutions to the most intractable problems whose ONLY flaw is that they must be approved by...

Yeah. Congress.

Hartmann's fix for the national economic difficulties is to return the top marginal tax rate to what it was pre-Reagan--about 70%. I'm not competent to say whether it would fix the problem or not, not being an economist. But I am almost 100% certain we won't find out, because it's not gonna happen. Why? Because any taxation measure to go through Congress must originate in the (now thoroughly Teahadist) House, which wouldn't pass such piece of legislatiuon if you were holding members' families hostage. There's the rub.

Any plausible repairs to the existing system have--MUST, unequivocally--go through both Houses of Congress, a Congress owned by and beholden to the same corpoRat interests which would 'suffer' from any democratizing changes, or which materially shifted the responsibility for funding the State back onto those who benefit most from it. Any member with the temerity to INTRODUCE a measure which, if passed, would lead to the diminishment of the nominal legitimacy of the thievery and bunkum the Owners now run on us poof hicks would find her or himself faced, in the next primary, a well-financed, bomb-throwing Fundie and another waiting in the General.

So those changes so beloved by Hartmann an his cadres--renewing tariff laws, a "national economic/industrial policy," the restoration of the USer industrial infrastructure-- cannot (and I daringly predict WILL NEVER) occur. This is as true for tax increases for the rich as it would be for constitutional amendments to roll back the vile, indefensible Citizen's United decision, as for the mischief the Opus Deists are gonna do with poor Ms. Dukes, et al. The ERA (remember the ERA?) has languished in Amendment limbo for almost 40 years. It still lacks ratification by one or two States. And it NEVER had the opposition that would confront ANY legislation attacking corporate personhood or raising marginal, individual tax rates would engender.

Folks wanna say, the people are waking up.

Mebbe. But if they are, it is only because they were awakened by the Ship of State slamming headlong into the CorpoRat "iceberg." ‎"We" re not going to "take back control" of the vessel or the voyage. That moment, if it ever existed, passed decades ago. The collision has already occurred. We're awakening to the cold realization that it's going down, slowly now, but... That's the sad truth.

The inertia of the existing power arrangements is such that, even if "we" were able to disrupt it, the shock would crash EVERYTHING.

Let me hastily assure you: I am NOT counseling defeatism. Fight Back! Indeed. Definitely. Send very harsh memoranda to your Representatives! Personally, I make stingingly sarcastic phone calls to the offices of both of my Sens and my Rep. I use low-power bulbs. I recycle. I conserve. I sign petitions. I blog like a futhermocker. I try to follow Aurelius: Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

And I do NOT delude myself that it actually accomplishes anything. And, yes, I shall return to the barricades, when the chance of my being shot for being there is closer to random than obvious, cuz I don't move as agilely as once I did...

(*Cartoon by Adam Zyglis / The Buffalo News / Daryl Cagle.)

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