By Mike Thayer
Dave Bradley is a progressive blogger for Blog for Iowa, in my opinion the state's most intellectually bankrupt political site.
One of his latest rants is a claim that Republicans just don't make sense.
Why do I highlight Dave's *work*? (cough). Well because the guy is just absurd, he puts this stuff out in the public and he needs to be taken to task for it. To give you an idea what kind of character this guy has, I frequently post comments to his blog posts, challenging his claims, data and lines of thought, he never allows my comments to go public. Neither does Trish Nelson, another Blog For Iowa author. To his credit, author Paul Deaton does.
I've put Bradley's words in pink, followed by my responses as appropriate.
Unless you have been living in a hole for the past 3 years, one thing should be pretty apparent – the Republican Party has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the wealthiest one tenth of one percent in this country. Stated in raw numbers that means that the Republican Party is beholden to the richest 300,000.
"Wholly owned subsidiary?" Note the unqualified number, note the complete lack of a correlation, a tie. Why didn't Dave give you any substance here? Because he can't. The data is available, but it doesn't support his agenda, so the following is what Dave did instead:
If you look at the US congress, that means that with 242 Republicans in the House and 47 in the Senate the richest 300,000 have close to 300 congress critters ready, willing and able to do their bidding. Throw in a few blue-dog Democrats and the ratio is easily one representative for every 1,000 rich folks. The rest of us have to contend with about one representative for every 3 million of so of us.
He's just throwing numbers out there, Dave wants you to assume that every single one of the richest 300,000 people in the country is into politics. Every single one of them! Dave wants you to believe that everyone of those 300,000 rich people likes Republicans. Dave wants you to believe that all the richest people, love politics, love Republicans and just "a few blue-dog Democrats" and they're all puppeteers, manipulating the movements of their politician marionettes. Dave doesn't care to acknowledge that liberal Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) is heavily influenced by big money, Steny Hoyer (D-MD.), James Clyburn (D-SC.), Harry Reid (D-NV.), Dick Durbin (D-IL.), Chuck E. Schumer (D-NY.), and the Democrat list goes on, naaaahhhhhh, none of those people are influenced by big money Democrats... But Dave doesn't want to mention that, why? Because that reality betrays his bogus claim.
Are there Republicans influenced by big bucks? Absolutely, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn quickly come to mind but by no means do Republicans have a corner on the I'm a puppet market and by no means does trying to buy influence belong exclusively to rich Republicans. In fact, the argument can be made that influence peddling happens to a larger extent and on a more frequent basis with Democrats than it does for Republicans. How else do you explain ObamaCare and the Stimulus Package? Solyndra anyone? The Obama takeover of General Motors anyone? If GM would have been allowed to fail, and they were failing, bankruptcy court would have terminated the union contracts. Obama rewarded his union buddies, their money and their votes by blocking the bankruptcy road.
And gee, I guess Bill Gates, the creator of thousands and thousands of jobs and a lot of millionaires to boot, got sued by the government during the Clinton era because he was controlling some puppet strings huh? Is it Warren Buffet that is forcing communities to bus children to schools out of their neighborhoods in the name of diversity?
Review Dave's words again, see how he throws in a token "blue-dog Democrats?" He doesn't like them either because they tend to side with Republicans on fiscal conservative issues. Dave tries to drive a wedge, he plays the class warfare and victim cards (rich vs. poor). Dave is trying to manipulate your emotions, trying to distract you from your sense of logic. What Dave has written is anything but something based in intellectual honesty.
Actually it is even more lopsided than that. Some 400 families have more wealth than the lowest 50% (@100,000,000 families) and the Walton family alone has more wealth than the lowest 30% of American families.
More class warfare garbage, and Dave forgets to mention that the Walton family (Walmart, Sam's Club) has given millions in political donations to get rid of the death tax, but we still have it. Gosh, the Walton's puppeteer magic isn't very powerful I guess huh?
Since our political system is based on money raising and the cost of even a simple state legislative seat can be astronomical, let alone a congressional seat, where does that leave the politicians but to go where the money is? But of course, one does not become rich by giving money away. Investing makes one rich. Therefore money given to candidates is “invested” and as such is expected to reap a return. As the history of the US since Ronald Reagan’s presidency we note that the rich have been doing quite well. At the same time those who have invested little – wage workers – have done poorly.
Look at the Congressional Budget Office data derived chart Bradley used in his article. Note the title of that chart, know that that's NOT how the CBO titled their chart for after-tax income data. That's how the Center on Budget Policies and Priorities (CBPP), a liberal outfit, decided to rename the CBO data in the CBPP version of the chart. Look at the fine print, "Source: CBPP calculations from Congressional Budget Office data." Here's a link to the actual CBO data and CBO charts, Bradley doesn't have the character to use original source data, he uses a renamed chart and doesn't bother to explain who the CBPP is, apparently he is fine to let you assume that's an original chart and title from the CBO. He knows most people don't know what the CBPP is and in all likelyhood will wrongfully assume it's part of the CBO.
But that doesn't sound NEARLY as liberal dramatic as, Figure 1 Income gains at the top dwarf those of low and middle-income households as used by the CBPP, who again, is NOT affiliated with the CBO. The CBPP is a liberal outfit.
Pretty interesting, that title thing, don't you think?
Here's the original CBO data chart pictured left. Note that Bradley uses Republican icon Ronald Reagan as a reference point for his rich get richer line of argument, not a very intellectually honest thing to do (Bradley's M.O.). There was significant growth during that time no doubt, but also sharp decline once Reagan's tax policy was fully implemented. Note continued decline in the top 1 percent line when Reagan tax policy was in full effect leading into the beginning of the George H.W. Bush era. A light recession (July 1990 to March 1991) also impacted the decline. Now look at the top 1 percent line during the Clinton years - a more proper reference point - funny, Bradley didn't write about that...... And Bradley completely ignores the 65 percent growth rate in the 81st through 99th percentiles, the 37 percent growth rate for the 21st through 80th percentiles and the 18 percent growth for 1st through 20th percentiles. That's significant growth, at ALL levels, that's not doing poorly! That's people climbing the ladder of success. This chart demonstrates that, not what Bradley implies. Look at how all the rates in the chart are now ABOVE the zero line, that's a GOOD thing! But what does the liberal CBPP and Bradley do? Go negative and look at gaps. Hey Bradley, the reality of life is that rates of growth are different for everyone, we're human. It's just like growing taller, nobody does it at the same rate. The liberal CBPP chart even manipulates the percentage of growth, look at their percentages in the right margin of their chart and compare it to the numbers pulled from the actual CBO report. Bradley perpetuates that manipulation and misinformation by using their chart for his article and that needs to be highlighted here for the public to see. There's also an absurdity in that the CBPP and Bradley put a negative spin on growth for ALL income groups!
Bradley is right with one thing, that our political system is based on money raising. But that's about the only truth in his article. Have you noticed yet what Dave has left out of his rant? I know, I know it IS an anti-Republican piece..... But he leaves Obama and rich Democrats in office completely out, not even a slant mention. But if you're going to complain about too much money in politics as Dave did above, if you really care about the truth, you would slam BOTH parties, not just the GOP. If you care to be intellectually honest, then you slam the rich for trying to influence BOTH parties, not just the GOP.
Hey Dave, how many rich Republicans are attending Obama fund raisers do you suppose? Dave, how many Republicans do you suppose were invited to the home of Don and Katrina Peebles for a $7,500 per plate Obama Victory Fund event, hmmmmm? Oh, Don Peebles is a real estate entrepreneur and sits on the Obama campaign's national finance committee. Sure Dave, only Republican rich people put money into politics, and only Republicans and a few blue-dog Democrats are puppets....... Your article is complete horse manure! The next section of Bradley nonsense will make you want to hurl.......
This makes me wonder over and over why anyone outside that little bubble of wealth – let’s go all the way down to the top 1% or 3,000,000 people -would vote for a Republican. Certainly they can easily see that policies have been loaded to favor one segment and one segment of society only and that is the rich and their corporations. Even if the next 4% joined them that is still 15,000,000 tops. Even if we went to the top 10% that is 30,000,000 total. Some of them would be below the age to vote so let’s just estimate that there would be 25,000,000 votes in there.
The "bubble of wealth"...... And it's a Republican bubble...... More Bradley class warfare, unfounded wedge driving rhetoric. More substance free, liberal talking point garbage. A play on your emotions, not an appeal to your sense of logic. Note the lack of mentioning specific Republican policies that cater only to the rich. Note the complete omission of Democrats crafting policy under the influence of big Democrat donors and corporate dollars. General Electric and compact fluorescent bulbs anyone? General Electric has gotten *filthy rich* by convincing liberal Democrats to pass legislation banning incandescent light bulbs thereby forcing the public to buy overpriced CFLs. Green energy initiatives pushed by liberal Democrats benefit very few people and by design end up lining only the pockets of the CEO's at the top of liberal-minded organizations getting federal money. Talk about loaded policies that favor corporations!
Why would anyone else vote for Republicans when their policies are clearly not only for one segment, but often seek to punish lower strata simply for their lack of wealth? This is a question that simply bugs me no end.
What Republican policies "punish lower strata simply for their lack of wealth?"
- Why would a teacher, any teacher ever vote for a Republican? Their policies have been overtly anti-teacher, especially public school teacher since I can remember.
Republicans are anti-teacher? No. Anti-Teacher Union? Yes. Note that again, Bradley didn't mention anything specific to support his claims, we're supposed to take his "since I can remember" at face value. Don't. Republican proposals for things like school vouchers, merit pay, getting rid of the tenure system and testing teachers for competency are pro-student measures, not anti-teacher. Never mind that quality in education would improve and quality teachers would climb the ladder of success. I can do a whole story on this, showing how the growth of teacher unions has a direct correlation to the decline in an American education, but that's a story for another day.
- I often wonder why a farmer would ever vote for a Republican. Sure taxes may be lower up front, but the cost of that one plus in so many other farm expenses and other costs of doing business that the whole economic outlook for farmers is usually much, much better under democrats.
What a load of crap...... Farmers' outlook is better under Democrats.... More horse manure! This one is a problem involving both parties and revolves around farm subsidies. The truth is farmers as a group tend to vote for whoever promises the better subsidy deal. Bradley can't be honest with that either. I will say, that Republicans are starting to come around on the need for farm subsidy reform. It's long overdue. Government should not be propping up any kind of business, that's not the proper role of government. Ethanol subsidies were allowed to expire with the close of Congressional business on December 23, but we'll see if that expiration holds. The subsidies have existed for 33 years and the ethanol trade group has a powerful lobby. Shame to both parties on this one.
- Why ever would a small business person vote for a Republican. Republican policies are built for the major, multi-national corporation and also built for them to swallow up or drive out competition. that competition is usually that very same small businessman. If you doubt that, look back about 50 years and tell me how many local retailers are still in business?
A lot Dave, you should get out more. Long time retail small businesses that come to mind off the top of my head are Paul's Discount in Iowa City, A-1 Brandy's Vacuum in Coralville, John's Grocery in Iowa City, Cook's Jewelry in Iowa City. Pick up the phone book and turn to the Yellow Pages Dave, I dare 'ya! Quit throwing completely baseless statements on your blog posts.
And why did Dave choose retail and use 50 years as a gauge? Hmmmm.... Harder for you to reflect on perhaps? A business owner can die in that period of time, can sell the business, retire - son or daughter doesn't want to continue the legacy, there could be a name change, a business that is still profiting might morph into a different specialty or a new niche'.... And while big box stores are a heavy influence in today's retail world, Dave conveniently ignores the plethora of service and information related small busineses that have come into existence in the last few decades, many complimenting the retail sector.
- Why would the very religious vote for Republicans? They would thrive best in an atmosphere of religious freedom. What the Republican Party offers them is only a narrow window of acceptable beliefs. And for most there are now forced to accept certain tenets of the Republican Party which appear to be the antithesis of Christianity.
Yep, he went there. Somehow, Dave wants you to believe that Republicans are religious bigots. Once again, Dave doesn't offer any substance whatsoever to support his claim. He just throws something out there and you're supposed to take it at face value. Let's see, front-runner Mitt Romney is a Mormon, Rick Santorum is a Catholic, Ron Paul is a Lutheran turned Baptist, Newt Gingrich is a Baptist turned Catholic, Rick Perry is an Evangelical Christian as is Michele Bachmann. Jon Huntsman is a Mormon. That's a narrow window of beliefs? We're to believe all these faiths are forced to accept certain tenents of the Republican party? Really? It would seem the only narrow window here is Dave's.
- and why oh why would any person working for a wage ever vote for a Republican? Republican policy has always been anti-worker. Republicans seek not only to shackle the worker, but to punish them for not being one of them. Why a worker would vote for someone who will do everything he can to lower his wage, take away benefits and make life much harder is beyond me. Perhaps they believe that voting Republican will somehow get them to heaven. I simply can’t think of another reason why a worker would vote for a party whose mission is to destroy them.
Dave isn't much of a thinker. All he seems to know how to do is regurgitate liberal Democrat talking points. Look at the emotional trigger words of "anti-worker," "shackle" and "...whose mission is to destroy them." Note AGAIN, the lack of example to support the claim. Note the wedge he tries to drive, wage workers vs. salary workers. What Republican policy is anti-worker, who is being shackled exactly? Where is the Republican mission statement that destroys people earning hourly wages? Where is the Republican legislation that discriminates against wage workers on the one hand but rewards only salary workers on the other? That's what Bradley is implying.... Where's the beef?
- Finally, why ever would anyone over 60 vote for a Republican unless they are part of the very rich. I am old enough to remember the very tail end of a time when Social Security provided little and Medicare did not exist. Believe me when I say that life for the elderly was really bad. Why would anyone vote for a party whose mission is to destroy the very programs that have given the elderly dignity in later life?
So Republicans are anti-Senior too according to Dave. Only if you're rich does the Republican party care about you Dave implies. Why should we believe ANYTHING Dave writes? I've pointed to his lack of substance, his misinformation, his willingness to post manipulated data if it serves his agenda..... Dave is either inept or a liar, either scenario is bad. Dave says life for the elderly was really bad, we're supposed to take his word for it. Was life tough for SOME elderly? Without a doubt. But it wasn't "really bad" for all elderly, not even a slight majority. Dave is guilty of posting self-serving rhetoric that cast everyone over 65 back in the day as being on the edge of insolvency and are saved today only by Social Security and Medicare. While that may be true for a small minority, the truth is according to a government report called “Older Americans 2010, Key Indicators of Well-Being,” from 1959 to 2007, the proportion of the 65-plus population with incomes under the government’s poverty line ($12,968 for a couple in 2009) dropped from 35.2 percent to 9.7 percent. Incomes went up, there are fewer seniors at or near the poverty line these days. Let me repeat, incomes went up. The proportion of elderly living in the “high income” group — defined as four times the poverty line, or almost $52,000 for a couple in 2009 — rose from 18.4 percent in 1980 to 30.6 percent in 2007.
Further, the talk by Republicans to reform Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid is legitimate because those programs are going bankrupt. The talk by Democrats objecting to reform is irresponsible and a lot of it nothing short of fear mongering. Republicans wanting to have a dialog about the concept of PARTIALLY privatizing social security as an option to keeping social security solvent is not evil, it's addressing reality. Debating the concept of using vouchers in the Medicare program is trying to address a problem of program insolvency. Democrats airing a TV commercial showing Republican Paul Ryan pushing a grandma in her wheelchair over a cliff is just wrong. It's not being honest, it's most definitely not dialog, it's flat out fear mongering and it's without a basis in fact.
I do know one other thing. That among those richest of the rich, they also control most of the media in this country. And making sure that the American voter is poorly informed at best and totally confused at worst is their current goal. They are doing a great job of hitting that goal, by the way. Well informed voters would not be so indecisive were they to truly see what policies their votes were turning into.
The richest control most of the media? Liberal oufits ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post...... Are "controlled" by Republicans? Hmmm, Republicans aren't doing a very good job then.... Foaming at the mouth liberals Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow still work at MSNBC. George Stephanopoulos still openly exercises liberal bias on air at ABC, David Gregory is no Tim Russert at NBC and CBS, well, they aren't in the basement of news ratings because they're conservative.
Liberal-minded folks like Bradley are very good at accusing others of doing the very thing they're are practicing and are guilty of. Bradley writes to poorly inform you at best and totally confuse you at worst. He doesn't WANT you to be well-informed, he wants you to remain ignorant and vote Democrat. He helps the liberal media perpetuate bad information and confusion, he helps hide the real deal.
It's a shame that Blog For Iowa blogger Dave Bradley can't seem to be honest with voters, it's too bad that's he's not interested in real debate of the issues. Sadly, he represents the liberal/progressive mentality, say whatever, write whatever as a means to an end. It's the agenda that matters, not the truth.