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The Republicans’ Winning Rallying Cry: Bring back the G.W. Bush policies! Yeah, THAT’s the ticket to prosperity for all!

The ticket to the middle class is not higher taxes on the very businesses that must create the jobs… Economic growth will come when we lower taxes for everyone, especially people who own businesses and create jobs.

— Rand Paul, last night

Absolutely.  The G.W. Bush presidency was terrific for economic growth!  It wasn’t a lack of financial-industry regulation; mortgage-backed-securities derivatives and a consequent real estate bubble; almost no wage increases for anyone other than Fortune 500 CEOs, Silicon Valley tech people, and hedge-fund folks; and a mass collapse of manufacturing, that caused the 2008 financial collapse and Great Recession.  Uh-uh.  It was the Dodd-Frank Act. And the return of higher taxes on some of the very wealthy.  And the constant threat of an end to the carried-interest tax machination for hedge fund managers and private equity types.  And of course Obamacare.  Those were what caused wage/salary stagnation for almost everyone other than Fortune 500 CEOs, Silicon Valley tech people, and hedge-fund folks.  And what caused the mass collapse of manufacturing during the Bush presidency.  And caused the 2008 financial collapse and Great Recession.  All of it retroactively.

Emphasizing the importance of a small government approach, he said wryly, “It’s not that the government is inherently stupid — although that’s debatable — it’s that the government” is on a different page than individual citizens when it comes to money.

— Katie Glueck, Politico, summarizing another Paul point from the same interview

Definitely.  Most individual citizens who don’t offshore their income would prefer that those such as Mitt and Ann Romney, who do, be required to pay U.S. income taxes on the income they make in the U.S.  The House and Senate Republicans–who I believe are part of the government–on the other hand, have other priorities when it comes to that money.  Like allowing them to remain in offshore accounts as income from shell corporations, untaxed.

[Sen. Mike] Lee highlighted educational and economic inequality, but argued that government is a root cause of growing disparities.

–Glueck, in that Politico article

Yep.  Right, again.  See the above paragraphs.  These folks are on a roll.*

[Lee] also included issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and National Security Agency surveillance as examples of big-government policies that lead to “real inequality.”

— Glueck

Well, if the National Security Agency is collecting my cellphone and email info but not Mitt Romney’s, the Koch brothers’, Jamie Dimon’s, or Tom Perkins’s, then Lee sure has a point.  And since I’m assuming that he’s right about that, because Tea Partiers are notably meticulous about accuracy in the facts they cite, I’m now even angrier than I was about the NSA stuff.  Is there absolutely nothing that can’t be bought in this country if you’re a zillionaire?  Even exemption from NSA surveillance?

I’m just not quite sure, though, why Lee chose as another example of flagrant, concerted, government-precipitated inequality same-sex marriage rather than, say, access to Supreme Court review of an issue that glaringly needs Supreme Court attention but doesn’t receive it despite desperate requests, year after year after year after year, for decades, until it is, say, Sprint or ExxonMobil rather than ordinary-person-who-cannot-afford-to-retain-John-Roberts’-old-law-firm that is requesting the review.  I guess it’s that same-sex couples are notoriously privileged in our society.  Unlike the Koch brothers.  And really, it’s not fair.

Well, maybe not, after all, unlike the Koch brothers and others like them, who Lee, to his credit, does seem to recognize have insidious political influence.  Glueck writes:

“This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms,” Lee (R-Utah) said. “Immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get ahead, and they can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.”

And cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.  One of the three branches of the federal government is the judicial branch.  Which indeed has immense power and which at its highest level uses its immense power, aggressively and regularly these days, to favor political and economic insiders, in ways mostly not known to most of the public.  And in ways that are.

*Sentence originally said “Lee’s on a roll.”  Corrected 1/30

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John Boehner says “we do not have an immediate debt crisis.”

Via Salon, David Sirota points to statements by John Boehner and Rand Paul:

America owes this debt of gratitude to Boehner after he finally came clean on yesterday’s edition of ABC’s “This Week” and admitted that “we do not have an immediate debt crisis.” (His admission was followed up by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who quickly echoed much the same sentiment on CBS’ Face the Nation).

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