IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY

Riddle me this. Big money has been pouring cash into the campaigns of various right wing candidates who are hooting about issues like abortion, school choice, prayer in school, gay and lesbian marriage. Why? Are the Koch brothers really dropping a few hundred million dollars because they are upset about gay marriage? Is Carl Icahn really in a rage about school choice? I don’t think so.
But, if not that, what? Why are the super wealthy spending these many hundreds of millions of dollars? Well, what else is out there for them? Tax breaks of course. Specifically, the tax breaks they got during the Bush years. For lo these many years, the super rich have, by virtue of drastically reduced taxes, been able to gain vastly more of a chunk of the national wealth than they have had for generations (as, for instance, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the times of Vanderbilt and Carnegie and JP Morgan and the other robber barons). They want to keep those tax breaks as long as they can. What they can’t do is campaign on the theme of preserving their wealth.
So what to do? Well, in football, they call it a misdirection play. To preserve their tax breaks, they spend a few hundred million to support clients who meet two qualifications. First, they must be firmly committed to maintaining and even adding to the said tax breaks. Second, they must agree to do everything in their power to raise any and all issues except those tax breaks. They are to press all the buttons of all the right wing causes that excite all the prejudices of as many people as possible without once mentioning the one single cause that matters to those who are funding them: those lovely tax breaks.
The super wealthy will, of course, tell you that it’s not about the money. And, as usual, if they tell you it’s not about the money, there is one thing of which you can be absolutely certain: it’s about the money.

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