The Thoughts of a Republicrat

February 25, 2009

It’s time to put on my simpleton’s hat again and think out loud. Let me see: I make more money than most people, but I’m not about to use any extra cash to invest. I’ve lost half of my wealth already- I appreciate my “tax cuts,” but for every dollar that I “save,” the treasury has to print an extra “dollar” to make up for it. For every dollar “saved” by Mr. Obama’s “middle class tax cuts” another bogus dollar needs to be printed. The only tax cuts that make sense in a stimulus package are those aimed at corporations and capital gains!

Am I becoming what my accountant would call a “Republicrat” or something? No, its just that they’re the only ones who are going to invest money in the economy. If corporations can show that they are investing “would-be” taxes in their corporations, expanding and creating jobs, then they deserve the tax incentives. Long term capital gains deserve tax breaks. They need to “earn” the tax breaks after they show their evidence, not before (as in the time honored Republican “gifts” to their buddies). Every corporation needs to be treated equally, even the oil companies.

Meanwhile, the most important aspect of a stimulus package is the infrastructure. Hmm, one hundred billion out of 800 billion dollars to be spent on infrastructure. Something seems to be amiss. I think it can be explained by the soon to be famous “retarded grandfather theory.” Democrats, when asked why they object to tax breaks for Americans and foreign companies that create more American jobs, claim that they were taught to think this way by their retarded grandparents. “It’s the Democratic way!” Republicans, when asked why they want arbitrary tax cuts that will not stimulate the economy, why they want to increase military spending to fight Martians (with Star Wars technology) and to create obsolete weapons, why they do not want to rebuild the infrastructure, answer that their retarded grandparents taught them this, “It is the Republican way!”

So now we have a stimulus package… it’s better than nothing, I guess, but it won’t work by itself. What we need is a little confidence in the banking system. Personally, as a Republicrat, I don’t care if the banks are nationalized or not. It’s all about the “deep pocket,” anyway, isn’t it? The government is going to have to be the deep pocket from now on, anyway. The treasury sells cheap money to a few major banks and they sell it a little less cheap to other banks- the banks always were nationalized and backed by the FDIC. They just weren’t regulated, folks. Mr. Geitner, incompetent as you may be, make a decision, any decision. It doesn’t matter to the morons on Wall Street- they don’t know the difference, a few nervous breakdowns and then there will be some sort of stability in banking again. It’s your uncertainty that is killing us!!!

So, now that we’ve gotten that out of our system, what about this thing they call: “The Economy.” How does that work? And, what the hell happened to it? How does it collapse like a house of cards? Actually, it collapsed like a house of cards, because that’s exactly what it was, a house of paper cards! Forty-five years ago, I asked my professor “How can our entire economy revolve around the automobile?” It became our only product. Everything else was manufactured elsewhere and in the 1970’s and ‘80’s we had to start producing obsolete cars so that people could buy them every 3-4 years.

I always think of my uncle’s Chevy Impala, bought in the early ‘60s, it lasted through my cousin’s college education in the late ‘70’s. Then, one Sunday night on “Bonanza” I watched the demise of the American economy the night Chevy introduced its collapsible cars- planned obsolescence- soon to change even the Impala into a piece of tin junk. Eventually, these American toys would be replaced by the Toyota Camry. Even today one can see 15-20 year old Toyotas looking half their age- still not obsolete. Our steel mills are closed, we no longer produce televisions, computers, refrigerators, or clothing. We produce paper. We produce cards. Ronald Reagan deregulated every freaking thing he could get his hands on. Corporations producing absolutely nothing took over other corporations producing nothing but paper, with Justices like Scalia and Kennedy applauding their efforts. George Bush Senior and James Baker tried to bring reason to the White House and the economy and Bill Clinton managed with fiscal restraint as best he could, but all he really restrained was the goddamn paper. The reason we have cycles of recession is because every few years the economy temporarily moves toward reality, then it expands again toward oblivion, again with borrowed money. Sooner or later, reality sets in for a prolonged period of time- they call this a “depression.” Depressions are avoided by needless wars, needless tax cuts and deregulation. Oh! And, did I forget to add endless graft, world class in quality never seen on this grand a scale- that of the Dick Cheney, George Bush Administration? Oh! And, did I forget to add total loss of morality- raised to a level that even Lee Atwater could not imagine- the accomplishment of Atwater’s best student, Karl Rove?

As a Republicrat, I realize the “awful truth” of the matter. Despite his best efforts, President Obama will not be able to bring back the economy that we all dream of- the Clinton Years. This because it did not exist. We cannot continue to expect “something for nothing,” borrowing from our children. That is not to say that we cannot recapture huge amounts of wealth, but it will have to be real wealth. It will have to be in the areas of real automobiles, not in tin toy cars, but in mass transit “vehicles,” in sound infrastructure, in new energy products and renewed manufacturing. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney proved that we can no longer profit as a nation in “undying” support of the Military Industrial Complex. We can no longer profit as a nation from needless wars like Afghanistan, Iraq or Vietnam.

As a simpleton, I have yet to understand what we are doing in Afghanistan. It’s time to get the hell out. Negotiate something with the Taliban. Concentrate on the Pakistan border. Stop promising that we will leave Iraq. Plan to keep 40,000 soldiers there and make the most of it. It’s time to turn to our own country and clean our own streets and our own government before we destroy ourselves.

As a true Republicrat, I believe that before a president is inaugurated, he should be tested on his knowledge of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Half of the Roman army, lost in 2½ years of fighting a few thousand foolish but brave Jewish patriots in Jerusalem (mostly dead from plague) and the other half destroyed by fighting on too many fronts at the same time. George, Dick, Don, Karl, Tommy, you guys forgot to do your homework. Hopefully, “Barak” has done his.

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.