The sale of American democratic institutions hasn’t exactly been a market transaction. After all, in order for a market to operate, you need a willing buyer and a willing seller, both of whom are in possession of all relevant information.
Instead, we have the House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans who owe their current majority to gerrymandering and voter suppression, preparing to endorse Paul Ryan’s most recent budget. Not only are the American people not willing buyers, those “selling” this travesty are doing their level best to ensure that we have only the haziest notion of what it would really do.
As a fiscally-savvy friend of mine–a REPUBLICAN–posted to Facebook
The Ryan Plan in the House GOP’s own words: “Promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax. “
In short, the Kochs and the Waltons, two families each at over $100 billion net worth, each worth more than 40% of Americans combined, would likely receive $2-3 billion a year in passive dividend income tax-free, used to buy back more shares from the public and into their own hands to earn more dividends, all compounding and passed on as ever more massive estates to their heirs, who also would received billions a year on income and never pay taxes. Meanwhile, you and I would be paying taxes on our earned income to provide these families with the secure and educated society on which the preservation and growth of their fortunes depend. The end of American capitalism and civil society as we know it. Outrageous. Abominable. Grotesque. Indefensible.
I stole his description because he said it better than I could.
The only thing standing between the 99% and this abomination is a Democratic-controlled Senate–and Nate Silver tells us the GOP has a 60% chance of retaking the Senate in November.
The fact that Federal lawmakers are falling over each other to do the bidding of the wealthy can be explained by lobbying and campaign contributions. What is inexplicable is why the Supreme Court–whose members are insulated from such pressures (and apparently from reality as well)–would further open the floodgates and invite the plutocrats to buy America.
The decision in McCutcheon was about “speech” only in the sense that money talks. More about that tomorrow.