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Krugman Right; Krugman Wrong

In another of his insightful columns in the NY Times, Paul Krugman noted that “… events in Texas and other states — notably Kansas and California — are providing yet another object demonstration that the tax-cut obsession that dominates the modern Republican Party is all wrong.”

Yes, it is all wrong — for the country. It is all wrong for the average citizen, for the working class and for what remains of the middle class. It is all wrong if you care about having a reasonably funded, effective government.

But what Krugman (and almost everybody else) misses is that the people who run the modern Republican Party don’t want governments to succeed. The disasters in places like Kansas and the downturn in others like Texas are making the puppet masters behind the GOP smile. They don’t laugh out loud though, fearing that someone might hear and wonder and start asking the kinds of questions that few in the media are asking.

As Thom Hartmann put it, there are three kinds of Republicans (I do love it when folks find “three” kinds of people instead of the cliché’ish two):

•The wealthy

•Those with sufficient power and influence to have been bought by the wealthy

•The duped

Those governing in Red States like Kansas and Texas are among the bought and were elected by the duped. Together they do the bidding of their oligarch masters. There’s a damn good reason that the Koch brothers have promised to funnel nearly a billion dollars into the 2016 campaigns — all of it to support Republicans.

As Krugman points out, the states where the one percenters haven’t been able to buy their very own politicians, like California, are doing fine. In fact, more than fine. California raised taxes and, mirabile dictu, is now running a surplus, boosting salaries, funneling more money into the economy and, as any good Keynesian could tell you, businesses are thriving — to the annoyance of folks like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers.

These guys are not stupid. They know that if government succeeds they lose their edge. It is when government fails, when the infrastructure crumbles, when education lags and the economy sours that they gain. Their ultimate goal is simple: force government to privatize services. Squeeze it to the point where both state and federal agencies will have to seek buyers. And they are the only ones with enough cash to buy.

Yes, I know that some think this line is evidence of an aged paranoid mind. I wish it were. I can’t recall ever wanting to be wrong as much because, if I’m right, and the GOP takes the White House in 2016 you can kiss this country good-bye.

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