A must see video, wherein Thom Hartmann completely destroys the Fox Business meme on entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security), and the Republican war against working people.
Watch (full text transcript after the jump):
Via Chez Pazienza
Thom Hartmann on the Republican War Against Working People FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT [transcribed by moi]
Any good war effort needs an effective PR strategy. A campaign to specify just who the enemy is, and why they should be defeated. How else do you rally support?
So when it comes to the Republican War on the working class, who do you think they turn to for help with messaging? Fox News..well, Fox Business Channel, actually, but close enough.
All this week, Fox is running segments named "Entitlement Nation: Makers vs Takers" . Take a look [Fox clips play].
Right. They say there's a war going on in America, a war that pits the rich, or the "makers", against the poor. Mmm...what the Republicans or Fox is calling the "takers". And the Republicans accuse Democrats of playing class warfare?
First off, the premise of this war is completely absurd. As if rich people are having anything taken away from them today in America. The tax rates are at historic lows, the richest Americans, billionaire Walton, heiress Paris Hilton, hedge fund managers, sitting by the pool collecting their dividend checks in the mail, paying only 15% in taxes, far less than you and I pay. Can you name one thing that any of those folks are actually making, other than a boatload of money?
Today, the rich are richer than they've ever been since before the Great Depression. The wealth inequality is greater than it's ever been since before the Great Depression. The "makers", as Fox calls them, have never had it so good in America. So why does Fox make it look like they're under assault by so-called "takers"?
It's simple. Republicans need to re-brand Paul Ryan's radical budget plan that privatizes Medicare and destroys our social safety net in America. It's all about politics and singling out an enemy. Ronald Reagan was the first to single out poor people as the enemy, with his "welfare queen " campaign. And today Republicans have picked up the same message with their "takers" meme. As though the millions of people who have lost their jobs and homes thanks to the banksters on Wall Street crashing our economy, really want to be on welfare. As though they enjoy the stigmas attached to welfare or unemployment. They enjoy scraping pennies together to feed their family. They're so happy about not being able to buy their kids Christmas presents.
What kind of warped view of America do these right wingers have when they argue that tens of millions of Americans are nothing but moochers?
I don't know about you, but I don't see that when I look at my country. These people don't enjoy poverty or welfare. People who have fallen on hard times want to get back on their feet again. They just need some help. And as Franklin Roosevelt said, the best welfare program is a job. But guess what? The "makers" aren't making any jobs . At least in..in America they're not. They're making millions of jobs overseas, but barely any here. And the policies that do create jobs, like closing tax breaks that ship jobs overseas, Republicans filibustered, and Fox News bashed in the last session of Congress.
The problem in America is not that the “takers” have taken too much from the “makers”, it's that the “makers” have taken too much from everybody else, screwing all of us, without anybody really making anything.
But this "makers vs takers" war is not anything new at all. Ayn Rand referred to the conflict as "producers vs looters". Rich industrialists vs workers and the poor. Despite her disturbing ideas, Ayn Rand is a hit among the Republicans right now. In particular, Paul Ryan. Take a look. (RYAN clip: “Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job, of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism… so if Ayn Rand were here today, I think she would do a great job in showing us just how wrong what government is doing is. Uh, because it's that kind of thinking, that kind of writing, that is sorely needed right now.”)
Paul Ryan also makes his staff read Ayn Rand's books, so please don't burst his bubble by pointing out that Ayn Rand herself went on Medicare when she became eligible. And now, Fox is taking the same radical philosophy and devoting an entire week to promoting it?
So let's tell it how it is.
The real “makers” in our society are the people creating demand by buying things. Remember what George W. Bush said after 9/11? "Go shopping." Even Bush understood that the real “makers” in our society are the consumers and the wage workers. Not the guys out playing golf on a Wednesday. Even people on social security or unemployment are “makers”, because they're spending every penny they get, and their consumer spending is what drives the economy. This is not a nation of “makers” and “takers”. It's a nation of “makers”, with a couple thousand millionaires and billionaires looting what's left.
As the richest man in America, Warren Buffet , pointed out, there is a class warfare going on in America, and his class is winning it. They're the real “takers”. But at least Buffet is honest enough to admit it, and even try to work to change it. If Fox is gonna focus group for the Republican Party and the nation's billionaires, the least they could do is take the word "news" out of their name.