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CONSERVATIVES: Name is new, but ideas aren’t

Letter by Annie Russell, Gig Harbor on May 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm | 144 Comments »
May 1, 2012 1:14 pm

Re: While Obama offers a health care ploy, Ryan offers a plan” (Michael Gerson column, 5-1).

So it’s “reform conservatism” now, is it? I guess “compassionate” and “neo” and “paleo” didn’t work out so well, so now it’s time to rebrand – again.

Looks like the same old junk to me. Behind the shiny new name is good old “trickle-down.” Gerson tries to paint as pragmatic Paul Ryan’s radically divisive, punitive and austere budget plan that takes from the poor and middle class and lavishly pampers the ultra-rich and corporations.

It’s exactly what “supply-side” economics has always been: the reverse of Robin Hood, though quite in the tradition of the feudalism of Robin’s day. Skew everything toward the rich and powerful, and you “little people” will do just fine. Conservatives have never lost hope of returning to that wonderful age of strict hierarchy and classism.

The problem is that it has never actually worked in human history, at least not for those “little people”; it works like a charm for the economic elite. Since America returned to “trickle-down” ideology with the Reagan Revolution, the gap between the haves and the have-nots has dramatically widened. The top 1 percent has gobbled up wealth and assets, while the middle and lower classes have stagnated.

And now the Republicans want to sell the old, discredited ideology to us yet again, with a new name. Look! We have a new idea! It’s “reformist.” It’s supported by “experts.” How about low (or no) taxes on the rich and corporations, deregulation and privatization?

Yes, they think we are that stupid.

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