George W. Bush still doesn’t get it. Even after 8 years in office during which he lowered taxes on the wealthiest Americans, deregulated the banking industry, took the nation into two wars without a clue about how to pay for them; all of which resulted in the Great Recession and the largest recorded deficits in American history, the 43rd President of the United States yesterday denounced President Obama’s call for raising taxes on the richest Americans.
In a departure from his practice until now of not publicly criticizing his successor, while speaking on Tuesday to the New York Historical Society Bush invoked the Republican mantra: “If you raise taxes on the so-called rich, you’re really raising taxes on the job creators.” Bush went on to affirm the correctness of all of his failed economic policies as if history did not exist to serve as a valid witness to their failures:
“We believe that one of the clearest expressions of freedom is that the aggregate demand of the citizens determine that which is produced. We trust people when it comes to spending their money, and so should our government. If the goal was public sector growth, it’d be a short conference. We believe that the best policy is that which creates a robust private sector.”
In fact, Bush remains so cocky-sure that the tax cuts he implemented which dramatically increased the national debt and did not as promised, stimulate the economy, told his New York audience that:
“I wish they weren’t called the Bush tax cuts, if they were called some other body’s tax cuts, there probably less likely to be raised.”
“..some other body’s tax cuts…” Isn’t GW just as eloquent and in command of the English language as always?
Just in case the audience at the New York Historical Society was not yet convinced that Republicans dislike most Americans who are not wealthy, Tony
Soprano impersonator Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey followed the erudite 43rd President to the rostrum to explain what is wrong with America and the American people. Speaking to the rich who already subscribe to this bull and the simple and meek who need to believe that rich people are smarter, Christie informed the room that by raising taxes on the rich, America is becoming a:
“paternalistic entitlement society, of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check.”
Huh? How does raising taxes on the rich make for more people sitting on their sofas waiting for a government check?
When Obama says increase taxes on the rich, Christie observed, he’s actually discouraging all those poor people from following their dreams and striving to be more than who they are. So according to Christie, a person who doesn’t have enough money for rent and food is not going to try and find a better job or pursue more education and training because if they get rich, the socialist in the White House who will just take their money away through taxes.
What’s more shameful and frightening than Christie’s logic is the fact that so many of his own supporters take full advantage of government programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance and Veteran benefits.
But facts aren’t the point. Because Christie is not talking about working-class Republicans. Phrases like “couch sitters waiting for government checks” are of course conservative code words for new immigrants and people of color none of whom as we all know, have any interest in doing an honest days work.
But rest assured that Koch brothers and other one percenters who couldn’t care less about the environment, education and health care and are indebted to politicians like Bush and Christie for helping them to continue to treat the United States of America as nothing more or less than their personal ATM machines.