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A Plea to the Billionaires


Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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David Brooks wrote an op-ed piece in a recent edition of the New York Times titled “The Party of Work,” telling the Republican Party how to win future elections. He wants the Republicans to be “the party that celebrates work and inflames enterprise. Use any tool, public or private, to help people transform their lives.” Brooks set forth goals which resonate with Democrats as much as with Republicans. The Party of Lincoln could rise again.

Brooks would like to be given a few minutes with the Republican billionaires. He would tell them to tell them to put their money into research to discover “the best ways to rouse ambition and open fields of opportunity.”

I would give a pretty penny to be a fly on the wall at that meeting. I believe the billionaires would explain to Mr. Brooks, in a kindly manner, that they had not lost the election, and that they were not concerned about losing the next one, either.

The Republican Party controls the House of Representatives and can block Democratic action in the Senate. The billionaires are content with the status quo. They are assured that there will be no redistribution of wealth. One percent of the population will continue to own 99% of the wealth in this country. 600 families will continue to receive as much income as the least affluent 150 million citizens. The billionaires do not want their lives transformed.

David Brooks is an intelligent and thoughtful observer. His proposals to reform the Republican Party have genuine merit. But it is futile for him to expect the billionaires to join in a revival of the party of Lincoln. He might consider devoting his considerable talents to overcoming the disastrous Citizens United ruling, which has unleashed the flood of money now corrupting the political system.

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Those interested in Sadlers closing comment about Citizens United, and want to do something about it, can join this group. They are better than average about not spamming you. If you dont want to join, at no cost , at least sign their petition,
https://movetoamend.org/

geeber (anonymous profile)
November 22, 2012 at 2:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's good to know that the 48% of Americans that voted for Romney are billionaires. (or tools thereof)

Botany (anonymous profile)
November 22, 2012 at 6:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Even before the institution of the federal income tax in 1913 (exactly 100 years ago; 16th Amendment), the US government was in the business of redistributing income, albeit very conservatively. After the beginning of progressive taxation of personal income this redistributive aspect was always there and has grown: how about federal transportation system, enormous standing army, federal insurance programs and home loan programs... now with Obama term 2 we will see if there is more redistribution. However, stimulating private enterprises which create good jobs is something judicious government intervention can do (witness rescue of GM). Government has got to pay down some of the federal debt; we all acknowledge this.
http://www.loc.gov/rr/business/hottop...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 22, 2012 at 11:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Speaking of Citizens United, let's put some pressure on the FEC and IRS to come down hard on those who are abusing the 501(c)4 tax code to dump millions of "Dark Money" from anonymous sources into campaigns:

http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/20...

We've may have a good start with the recent case here in CA:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/171055/...

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 23, 2012 at 5:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I second the reading on David Brooks ... he's a thoughtful voice for conservatives. About as close as you can get to an old school Republican these days.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 23, 2012 at 5:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Doubt we'll even be talking much about the GOP in four years. The Dems have become the conservatives, time for a new liberal/progressive party.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 23, 2012 at 6:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, it will be interesting to see if the GOP can sustain its unprecedented shift to the right.

You can see the GOP's shift over time since the end of the Civil War, plus party polarization, here:

http://voteview.com/political_polariz...

It's amazing how harmonious Congress was during the period after WW2 to the early 1990's. The graphs show polarization has been dramatically increasing ever since the Gingrich Republicans entered the House after the 1994 elections.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 24, 2012 at 4:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This isn't to say that heated rhetoric hasn't been a part of American politics until recently.

According to Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Ron Chernow, our Founding Fathers were also "Feuding Fathers":

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 24, 2012 at 4:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I just read a recent study that shows throughout history, whenever a new advance in mass communications has been made a period of polarization ensues.
The examples of the Guttenberg Press, radio, and the internet provide ample evidence to support the theorem.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 24, 2012 at 6:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I've often appreciated Brooks, and yeah he's like the Republicans we all used to hear about, moderate and principled conservatives...Dirksen, Ike, Richard Lugar, even Bob Dole sometimes.
Sadler is wrong, however, when he writes these putative billionaires are satisfied with the status quo; they are not. Robert J. Skidelsky's HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH shows that most of these wealth-obsessed folk, like Romney, don't know how to discuss or even understand the concept of "the good life" -- so they just keep working harder. The 1% or 2% are especially amazing in that they just keep making money like machines until they're demented or dead.
The Romney-ites particularly wanted more deregulation and more robber baron type capitalism, they were and are extremely aggressive. They do not know what the term economic patriotism means.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 24, 2012 at 7:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe you're right Dan. Once these productive hard working people have made enough money, we should force them into retirement. I'm sure that those that currently aren't working very hard or smart will pick up the slack.

Botany (anonymous profile)
November 25, 2012 at 5:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Billy Collins & Aimee Mann

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