Elections have consequences. With the fiscal cliff looming, a sobering reality has set in on the rich. The era of excess is over and a new era of Progressivism has begun.
The wealthy plutocrats not only made their gamble but also doubled down that Americans would bet against themselves to support the same free market theories that destroyed the middle class.
The president saw this bluff by the Republicans and raised the stakes by putting all social programs on the table. Both sides had made their bets. If the Republicans had won, they planned to cut or end every progressive policy of the twentieth century. Obama promised to preserve the social contract with the American people and also raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Thinking the president was weak, they made a billion dollar raise. Obama made a quick call and both got all their chips in the pot. Despite the Republicans confidence in their aces, Obama caught a flush on the river.
I understand why some Republicans have been acting so upset since the election. Seeing your aces get cracked by a presumed weak hand is not uncommon. After the shock, you start to feel the sting. Then a wave of emotion follows: contempt, anger, fury, and even thoughts of violence. This is what is called steaming or tilt. Smoke comes out of both sides of your ears until you erupt.
You start criticizing the player for playing such a bad hand. You blame the dealer or insinuate he cheated. Then you search for anything to justify why you lost.
That’s what’s happening with the fiscal cliff. The president won a huge pot from his convincing election victory. Now, he is demanding Republicans pay up.
In normal poker games, you should settle the bet and play the next hand. However the Republicans want to replay the hand they just lost.
Of course, in this high stakes poker match, neither side played with their own money. They were fronted by people who wanted things in return for a victory. Republicans were financed by plutocrats and evangelicals who wanted less regulation, lower taxes and to overturn every civil rights law ever passed.
Obama’s donors wanted lower taxes and the preservation of hallmarks of the New Deal and Great Society. But most importantly, they felt the rich should pay higher taxes.
Now that Obama has won, the people want the Republicans to fork over the cash.
Since I don’t gamble anymore, watching this poker match is exciting. I have a stake in what concessions will be made.
As a someone who is poor and currently on government assistance, I am curious what Obama will extract from the wealthy.
I have nothing against wealth. Many who buy the paper, I presume, have more money than me. I have bought many powerball tickets with the dream of becoming wealthy. I don’t begrudge those who bust their butt to make a fortune. However I do resent what Franklin Roosevelt called “malefactors of great wealth,” people who amassed great fortunes by exploiting, plundering and bribing government officials with cash in order to get cozy tax relationships.
I feel there is something immoral when I see pot-bellied men going to Mccormick & Schmick’s and women with full bags shopping at Bloomingdale’s. Those same people will walk over a guy sleeping on the sidewalk and judge him as a bum. It will be a betrayal to see another dime lowered in taxes to fill their purses.
The role of government is to feed those who starve, heal those who are sick and comfort those with no shelter.
We no longer can allow the rich to live it up and pass us the bill. The rich have survived throughout history with high taxes and still came out better than the masses.
So I hope Obama focuses on how to get taxes from the wealthy and not consider cutting one dime from entitlements.