Krugmania

13 comments March 8th, 2005at 05:49pm Posted by Eli

Today’s excellent-as-always Krugman column focuses on the godawful bankruptcy bill poised to pass in the Senate, and its conspicuous and unsurprising favoritism of the rich over, well, everyone else.

One increasingly popular loophole is the creation of an “asset protection trust,” which is worth doing only for the wealthy. Senator Charles Schumer introduced an amendment that would have limited the exemption on such trusts, but apparently it’s O.K. to game the system if you’re rich: 54 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against the Schumer amendment.

Other amendments were aimed at protecting families and individuals who have clearly been forced into bankruptcy by events, or who would face extreme hardship in repaying debts. Ted Kennedy introduced an exemption for cases of medical bankruptcy. Russ Feingold introduced an amendment protecting the homes of the elderly. Dick Durbin asked for protection for armed services members and veterans. All were rejected.

Krugman then goes on to frame this as part of the larger pattern of “ownership society” being used as code for “You’re on your own, kiddo.” This is, of course, appalling, but it is also an opportunity, if the Democrats have the sense and spine to seize it. Now that they have a stranglehold on power, the Republicans are going for the gusto because they can, without any thought to consequences. Basically, their mindset is “Let’s repeal as much New Deal/environmental foolishness as we can before the grownups come back.” What the Democrats must do is aggressively remind voters in 2006 and 2008 just how the Republicans voted, where their priorities were, and how their rhetoric was applied differentially to the rich and the everyone-else.

Essentially, what I would like to see are commercials where we see Bush or Republican Candidate A pontificating about personal responsibility, and then we hear about how Republican Candidate A voted to shield the rich from the full brunt of bankruptcy laws while making sure veterans and Grandma Millie get no loopholes at all. Or Bush/Republican Candidate B talking about the ownership society,followed by a reminder about how Republican Candidate B tried to undermine Social Security. Or any number of examples of government social programs being depicted as havens for freeloaders that must be purged of “waste, fraud, and abuse”, contrasted with generous subsidies, tax breaks, and preferential treatment for the rich and corporate. And if the Democrats can drive home the statement that Republican values are corporate values, then so much the better.

Oh, and if someone wants to use the same strategy in a primary run against Tim Johnson and Ben Nelson, who voted with the Republicans to shoot down some of the Democratic amendments to the bankruptcy bill, well, I won’t stop ’em. Fine, they’re red state senators who have to vote like Republicans to stay alive. But if they vote like Republicans, what earthly use are they to the Democratic party? Democrats can make inroads in the red states if they go populist and paint the Republicans as the party of the corporate fatcats against the little guy. This will be even more effective if the Republicans’ corporate-friendly policies continue to run the economy into the ditch. Especially since those policies are always rationalized as “economic stimulus”, so if they fail on that level, then they are revealed as get-while-the-getting-is-good corporate giveaways.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Politics,Republicans,Social Security,Taxes,Wankers

13 Comments

  • 1. Jeffraham Prestonian  |  March 8th, 2005 at 10:18 pm

    Krugman is the fo-schnizzle. Saw him on a repeat of Press the Meat from Sunday; he’s doing better with the TV talking heads, but he usually seems scatterbrained and abrupt. On MTP this week, he really didn’t say anything terribly controversial, though.

    Dangle Fond by her flabby, tiny thug.

  • 2. watertiger  |  March 8th, 2005 at 10:31 pm

    Democrats and spines.

    AH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Eli, you funny.

  • 3. Eli  |  March 8th, 2005 at 10:40 pm

    I think Krugman would make a most excellent Hunk Of The Week.

    We have at least 3 Dems with spines in Dean, Reid, and Boxer, and I think Feingold, Dingell, and Waxman are not far behind.

    Hey, it’s a start.

    Anyway, it’s a real opportunity, but not only do Democratic candidates need to grow some stones, but they also need to stop hiring lameass “consultants” like Shrum. I can’t imagine any other profession where a 30+-year losing streak without a single win would make you a hot commodity.

    The Republicans have taken all the rope they’ve been given, and fashioned themselves a right pretty noose with it. All the Dems have to do is loop it around their necks and tighten it.

    Yes, I know, they never have before. Wouldn’t be gentlemanly. But I think a larger & larger portion of the population is starting to squirm uneasily and wonder just whose side the Republicans are really on. And if we can tar them all with Bush’s cockamamie schemes, hopefully we can keep them in the wilderness for a long time to come. Preferably starting 1 week after they invoke the “nuclear option”, mwahahahaha.

  • 4. Eli  |  March 8th, 2005 at 10:43 pm

    (Am I the only one who keeps hearing “Come to Krugmania, down to Krugmania, come to Krugmania, this means YOU!”? I know, I have only myself to blame…)

  • 5. Eli  |  March 8th, 2005 at 10:44 pm

    Going completely OT, which I can do, ‘cuz it’s my damn blog, my mom just sent me a pic of a t-shirt showing the red-blue map of the US, with an arrow pointing to the red middle, saying “I’m With Stupid.”

  • 6. watertiger  |  March 8th, 2005 at 11:12 pm

    Going completely OT, which I can do, ‘cuz it’s my damn blog, my mom just sent me a pic of a t-shirt showing the red-blue map of the US, with an arrow pointing to the red middle, saying “I’m With Stupid.”Mom’s been sparked the 411, yo.

  • 7. Eli  |  March 8th, 2005 at 11:14 pm

    Okay, I’m blaming JP for that.

    You kids and your wacky Urban Contemporary…

  • 8. Thersites  |  March 9th, 2005 at 3:08 am

    I am going to take the official credit for being the first person to ever blogwhore his own blog in the comments to his own blog, you realize, right?

  • 9. charley  |  March 9th, 2005 at 7:52 am

    you silly liberals, think’n there is going to be another election.

    wal-mart is going to own your ass.

    actually i agree, the repukes are bound to overeach, are overeaching, but we don’t know where osama is and if we are hit again, the danger is…

  • 10. charley  |  March 9th, 2005 at 7:52 am

    you silly liberals, think’n there is going to be another election.

    wal-mart is going to own your ass.

    actually i agree, the repukes are bound to overeach, are overeaching, but we don’t know where osama is and if we are hit again, the danger is…

  • 11. charley  |  March 9th, 2005 at 7:57 am

    cool, first time i ever double posted (he’s lying). well, first time here.

    it was a good post eli, young, smart, handsome, and your photography is already improving, you bastard.

    love the crosses in the snow.

  • 12. Jeffraham Prestonian  |  March 9th, 2005 at 3:27 pm

    Oh, sure, Eli — blame me. I wasn’t the one hollering “Mansquito!” or “Anhedonia!” at the top of my lungs.

    Well, okay… maybe I was.
    .

  • 13. Eli  |  March 9th, 2005 at 6:40 pm

    you silly liberals, think’n there is going to be another election.

    KC was asking about the nuclear option in one of the Eschaton threads, and whether it would be used for more than just judicial nominees.

    If so, I think watering down or killing election form is going to be one of their top priorities, because they have to know that at some point their class warfare is going to become obvious enough that they can’t get elected honestly. Not sure what happens if the gaps between votes and exit polls get even wider than they were in 2004. Juicy investigations and jail time would be swell, but I won’t hold my breath.


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