Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Self-interest and trust

The post the other day about the bullshit survey which supposedly showed Obamacare was scaring doctors into early retirement was inspired by finding the Tea Party ties of the group conducting the survey.  When someone has an interest in the outcome of something, it's fair to assume that what they are saying can't be taken at face value.

In light of this, it makes sense that Obama's current political focus is on Romney's goals as Bain Capital CEO and his offshore accounts.  Romney's campaign is built almost entirely on his success as a businessman leading to his massive personal fortune.  In a strategy that must make Karl Rove blush, the Obama campaign is seeking to turn Romney's one strength into an albatross around his neck.  They have been hammering Romney's use of his IRA, which were intended to help middle-class workers save for retirement, to shelter tens of millions.  They also emphasize his accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.  There is nothing to suggest Romney violated any laws, but he certainly exploited loopholes where possible.  Even Republican Senator Lindsey Graham freely admits that Romney gamed the system for his own benefit.

The Republican economic platform is based on the idea that we will all benefit if only we could cut taxes and get out of rich people's way.  As the Obama campaign continues to point out, Romney is a guy who (legally) avoided taxes so we'd stay out of his way and is now tasked with saying we shouldn't make rich people pay so much in taxes.  Romney is already, as the only other American in the history of the nation to sign an individual health insurance mandate into law, a terrible messenger for the GOP's anti-Obamacare furor.  He's a terrible vessel for their economic plan, too.

1 comment:

NWest said...

"The Republican economic platform is based on the idea that we will all benefit if only we could cut taxes and get out of rich people's way"

I think that's some of the *mainstream* republican platform.

The grassroots, tea party platform is not about getting out of "rich people's" way - its about getting out of everyone's way. Labor mobility and ease of entrepreneurship is the focus - and the rich have worked very hard for years to eliminate the mobility of the poor & middle classes, and make it harder to start businesses.

Eliminating wasteful regulation and costly compliance doesn't help most established big businesses - now a smaller competitor can compete more easily.

Home Depot can afford a legal department to navigate the licensure and regulatory local,state,and federal bureaucracies, a payroll department for HR compliance, and a tax department for the myriad of tax schemes it likely *supports*.

It supports those schemes so that it is harder for the local hardware store to compete, since the local store may only be the owner plus one to five employees, and none of these folks are experts in payroll, taxes, etc.

The republican economic platform *used* to be about the American Dream - rags to riches capitalism, not helped along by the government, and not burdened by overblown regulation.

P.J. O'Rourke said, I believe in Parliment of Whores:

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.