Thrown To The Wolves

I surmise that most of you reading this do not number among the top 1% income bracket. Furthermore, I gather that most of you reading this–at least in Kings and Tulare Counties here in California–identify yourselves as Republican.

I’m writing to you.

You can thank your party for the tax hike most poor and working class families–most of you–can expect to face after the Senate haphazardly passed a new tax overhaul. For their efforts in the House, you can thank Kevin McCarthy, you can thank David Valadao and you can thank Devin Nunes.

But you can’t thank either of your senators–both Democrats–because our bicameral legislature passed this tax plan along strictly partisan lines.

There will have to be a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions, but the Republicans of both bodies are confident that there will be a return–finally!–to “trickle-down” economics.

Correct me if I’m wrong: Haven’t we tried this before?

This might conceivably begin to make a smattering of sense for wealthy Republicans who live in upscale enclaves. Or even for rich Republicans who live in rural areas. Like farmers. But it makes absolutely no sense for rank and file Republicans in poverty stricken Kings and Tulare Counties.

You’ve been thrown to the wolves. By your beloved Party.

Google “Stockholm syndrome” if you have access to a computer. It may be a leading reason why Kings and Tulare Counties are so deeply red.

And it makes no sense for the rest of the United States: According to the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the new bill will increase the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years.

How do you suppose your elected Republicans will attempt to bridge this gap should they judge it accurate? Remember–your party is the “financially responsible” one.

I’ll tell you what I think.

First, they’ll make sure you don’t have healthcare by killing the Affordable Care Act. That’ll save a bundle–and they have, after all, been promising this for years.

They’ll raise the age at which you qualify to receive Social Security benefits while simultaneously reducing the payment you get.

Adios, welfare. Nice knowing you, WIC. Sayonara, infrastructure.

You see where this is headed, you poor–and I mean that literally–benighted Republicans?

The people you vote into office are rapaciously plundering you. They are looting the country while leaving you to hold the bag. And the bag is empty.

I recently read a biography of Jann Wenner, the founder, editor and publisher of Rolling Stone. It was as much a history of the magazine as his biography, and therefore an atlas, culturally speaking, of our last 50 years.

Here’s an excerpt from page 155: Ralph Gleason…would remark that the proof that Rolling Stone was a great idea was that it survived Wenner’s management.

I have often thought along these lines regarding our government, its checks and balances, and our chiefly two-party system.

But is the comparison an apt one?

And can we, indeed, survive the Republicans’ management?

Joseph Oldenbourg

4 thoughts on “Thrown To The Wolves

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  1. Oh ok Joseph because the Democratic management in California has been so productive and great for the state as they run the state into the ground! Quit trying to blame everything on the Republican party and look at the corruption within your own party since its blatently obvious you are democrat. Quite funny and one sided! Typical media!

  2. Joey…baby…let’s chat…

    We live in a state that has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation.

    Who controls all portions of the California State Government? Your lovely party, the Democrats.

    Being a primarily agricultural community, it goes without saying that water is our lifeblood?

    What has happened to the water rights and total allotted water usage for the farmers in this area? It’s been reduced significantly. But how much do the farmers continue to pay? The full amount.

    What party instituted these changes? The Dems.

    What group of people work the jobs in the fields that require water? Immigrants, supposedly a group of people about whom your party cares greatly…or so they say!

    Whose policies are taking jobs away from people they supposedly care about? The Dems.

    Who tells farmers you are going to continue to have to pay full price for water that we are not going to release to you? The Dems.

    Who recently added an additional burden to anyone in the state who drives a car, via a significant increase in the gas tax? The Dems.

    Democrats passed Obamacare along party lines.That bill had huge tax implications for everyone. But I’m guessing that even though that put an unfair tax burden the poor in Tulare County it was okay because…hey it was done by the Democrats and they care about you!

    Here’s the point, your party has jacked up taxes left and right. It’s what they run on every year. The taxes passed by the Democrats don’t hurt any less than then tax increases passed by Republicans. Your people have done a lot of damage to the working men and women of this area too.

    Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, sir.

  3. I do enjoy the comments to this opinion piece.

    “Being a primarily agricultural community, it goes without saying that water is our lifeblood.” Just a small point but water is important to everyone, and people in small towns and big cities get first dibs. Some will need to get comfortable with that notion. Remember the saying from Star Trek, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

    In the past, Tulare county was a “primarily agricultural community,” but is it today? A very significant portion of the money coming into this county comes from government taxes (from each of us) – both federal and state. Think about social security, Medicare and other forms of health care, city and county government (police, sheriff, etc), schools (teachers, administrators), the legal system, government funded construction, and much more. And a lot of that money circulates in this community and funds lots of small businesses. What source of money do you think has the greatest impact on this county? There are still many family farms here, but more and more the banks and financial conglomerates from outside the San Joaquin valley own those farms and the farm loans (do you think that income stays in the area?).

    Some people shout about “policies” created by Democrats that cause all the problems but provide no details. Tell us about those problem policies! Are they the problems of a few, or state wide problems (or imaginary problems)? Are these the problems of a few wealthy people complaining about having to pay for other people’s problems (maybe those people are in other parts of this state)? Sounds like a NIMBY problem.

    In reality, gas taxes going up are not much of a problem either (but a major Republican concern – who are they kidding?). The recent California fuel tax increase is the first in 23 years. Think about that for a minute; road repair costs have gone up for 23 years (do Republicans want to be paid salaries from 23 years ago?) and cars are more fuel efficient than they were 23 years ago – each using less gas per mile, the result being less money for road repair. The fuel tax increase was needed – but some think it’s an attack on Republican freedoms (or just an attack on the free lunch).

    It’s nice to hear about all the good things that Republicans have done for Tulare county. It would be more wonderful to have a detailed list of all those accomplishments. Lately, all that Republicans are talking about are illegal emigrants taking our good farm worker jobs, random conspiracies designed to take away our “freedoms”, the need to reduce taxes on corporations (the money will trickle down to each of us), and why investigations into Mr. Trump are very unfair (Devin Nunes will explain).

    Have you noticed that when the President is a Democrat the national debt is a major problem for Republicans – but when a Republican is President the national debt can be reduced by tax cuts? Must be a math problem.

    Merry Christmas.

    • Just wanted to get my two cents in before too many Republicans start slamming your post…….thanks for a wonderfully thoughtful well presented factual comment. Rarely seen these days but such a pleasure to read. And a very Merry Christmas to you too!

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