Mrs Greenspan interviewed the less-than-illustrious Governor of my home state today. That would be the lying, overzealous, Carpetbagging misogynist named Bob McDonnell, he who speaks with a Philadelphia accent and pretends to know and speak for all Virginians.
I still can’t figure out how he got elected. Well, yes, I can … he got elected because people who should have and could have didn’t vote, and now because he’s in the Statehouse for the next two years, a lot of those people who could have and should have voted might just find it harder to vote.
Anyway, Mrs Greenspan was talking to Sponge Bob Square Pants Bob McDonnell today about – what else? – Mitt Romney’s tax returns. But Bob, who still hopes to be in with a shout as Mitt’s Veep pick (even though his doctoral thesis at that pretend evangelical university in Virginia was a hateful screed aimed at plopping women right back in the Middle Ages), doesn’t think Mitt’s tax returns are important to the American people – or rather, the Amurrcan pipple, as Bob calls them.
According to Bob, the Amurrcan pipple are worried about their own tax increases which have occurred under the administration of Barack Obama. (A lie). In fact, Bob says, Virginians don’t really give a rat’s ass about Mitt not releasing his tax returns; Virginians are worried about jobs – this, in a state which has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
People like Bob think that the Obama campaign is dredging up Mitt’s unreleased tax returns and carping on about his retroactive retirement from Bain Capital as things which happened too far in the past for people to worry about now. I disagree. And Paul Krugman explains it brilliantly in his column.
First of all, this election really is — in substantive, policy terms — about the rich versus the rest.
The story so far: Former President George W. Bush pushed through big tax cuts heavily tilted toward the highest incomes. As a result, taxes on the very rich are currently the lowest they’ve been in 80 years. President Obama proposes letting those high-end Bush tax cuts expire; Mr. Romney, on the other hand, proposes big further tax cuts for the wealthy.
The impact at the top would be large. According to estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the Romney plan would reduce the annual taxes paid by the average member of the top 1 percent by $237,000 compared with the Obama plan; for the top 0.1 percent that number rises to $1.2 million. No wonder Mr. Romney’s fund-raisers in the Hamptons attracted so many eager donors that there were luxury-car traffic jams.
What about everyone else? Again according to the policy center, Mr. Romney’s tax cuts would increase the annual deficit by almost $500 billion. He claims that he would make this up by closing loopholes, in a way that wouldn’t shift the tax burden toward the middle class — but he has refused to give any specifics, and there’s no reason to believe him. Realistically, those big tax cuts for the rich would be offset, sooner or later, with higher taxes and/or lower benefits for the middle class and the poor.
So as I said, this election is, in substantive terms, about the rich versus the rest, and it would be doing voters a disservice to pretend otherwise.
Of course, Bob McDonnell is going to try to sell his man’s candidacy to the Amurrcan pipple in Virginia, and he knows damned well how he’s going to do the selling too. He knows very well that the Republican party has made various tenets of the economy-question into veritable dog whistles for subtle race baiting, and Bob’s going to try to get in on that situation also. It’s what he does. He’s a Republican, after all. And if he doesn’t get the Veep nod, he will have established just enough of a high profile to establish a Senate run against Mark Warner in 2014.
One obvious racial association … Mitt Romney (and as his surrogate, Bob McDonnell) will be forever tied on the Virginia ballot with another Republican running for national office, George “Macaca” Allen. And if that isn’t racist enough for you, I don’t know what is.