Let’s take a look at the competing proposals for dealing with the financial meltdown:
Democrats (and some moderate Republicans, and apparently the administration):
- Buy out failing companies with up to 700 billion dollars of taxpayer money
- Give taxpayers equity in those companies (i.e. partially nationalize them)
- Put caps on executive salaries at those companies and prohibit golden parachutes
- Change bankruptcy laws so judges can extend homeowners’ mortgage terms
Meanwhile, the Republican hard core wants to:
- Cut the capital gains tax (who makes up the resulting revenue shortfall? Guess.*)
- Ensure fat cats who buy failing companies against loss (Guess who pays for that.)
- No help for homeowners, no regulations on executives
So let’s see. Either we spend taxpayer money to acquire financial interest in the companies, and eventually (if things turn around) get money back to help finance our government, or we use taxpayer money to make the rich richer.
Why would the Republicans prefer the latter scheme? If they were honest, it’s just self-interest, but how can they justify it? They can’t pretend this is free-market capitalism, in which the Invisible Hand can do no wrong; it’s government intervention either way, and the difference is who winds up owning the capital. In essence, they’re saying you can’t trust the officials elected by jerks like me with money, you can only trust the same greed-addled plutocrats who got us into this mess in the first place.
Honestly, how can that party pretend to be anything but a shill for the rich? Why would anyone making under about $600,000 a year vote for them?
*Remember, if we cut the capital gains tax, we’re going to fund the government somehow. Either we raise your taxes, or we just run a deficit and transfer the cost to the taxpayer as a decline in the value of the dollar.