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When is a Rainy Day Not

Stevieslaw: When is a Rainy Day Not

Our local Newspaper, The Centre Daily Times, published a partial headline today.  They often do.  Smokey Diamond, our intrepid reporter, picked it up right away.  The headline was: GOP plan restores school funds.  The missing part was: On the Backs of the Poor

The headline was misleading in any event.  Only part of the public school funding will be restored and only those parts of public welfare are that wasteful or fraudulent will be cut.  You might well ask why we have been funding wasteful and fraudulent public welfare up to now.  Well, you might ask.  The cynical among you will imagine that the change of plans for the GOP was based on the realization that supporters of public education were more likely to vote and to contribute to reelection campaigns than were the neediest.

Smokey ran down Jim Smiley, spokesman for the PA Republican Caucus, and asked him what was responsible for the change in strategy.  Jim said, “Simple, we came to the realization that supporters of public education were more likely to vote and to contribute to reelection campaigns than were the neediest.”

Smokey also wanted to hear about the GOP reluctance to use a windfall, half billion dollar budget surplus to help balance next year’s deficit.  “We need to replenish the rainy day fund,” said Smiley.  “But isn’t it raining as hard as it can now,” countered Smokey.  “If it’s winter, snowing and you come upon the money to fix a broken window so your family can be warm, don’t you fix it?” “No, no,” said Jimmy, “It’s not my family. My windows are fine and by the time the GOP policies are in place, windows will be the least of the worries for some.”” A hard rains a’gonna fall.”


You have to admit the republicans are brilliant tacticians

 That's about as pretty a divide and conquer move as one is likely to see in political tactics.

First, you feint a threat to the voting sectors of the middle class by saying you are going to cut education, which threatens them in one of their weakest spots, their growing and sensible dread that their kids aren't being prepared to compete in the televised death match which is what the 21st century economy has become.

Then pow, you pull on the feint, and CRUSH your real target, the poor, who are part of the nonvoting class and unable to mount any kind of defense.

The middle class is so releived not to take the hit they celebrate, not realizing that the whole manuveur has just inched them all collectively towards the state of being the new working poor. The one thing the middles will never do is vote to protect the poor when their consumer lifestyle is being threatened thru the proxy of their children's future.

And eventually the republicans get to play the law and order card and increase the funding for prisons, paying off their supporters with juicy penal contracts to incarcerate the desperate poor forced to turn to the gray and black markets and crime to survive. Because of course their are no jobs - the one things the republicans aren't even talking about any more is creating jobs.

It's brilliant.

Brilliant, small and heartless

I agree. Brilliant tacticians but not one with a thousandth the heart of the tin man.  What a waste.

Yes, well, that's why it works

I assume you understand that in their own minds they aren't modeling it that way?

Everybody is the hero of their own story, and in their minds, they see themselves as heroes, fighting the villianous hordes of lazy (and only coincidentally ethnically distinct, one is sure) poor who are kept from creating their own productive jobs only by the cushy lifestyle of the welfare check and the food stamp.

I'm talking about the constituency of course, the voting class that voted Corbett into power. The politicians themselves are fully aware of how they are manipulating their base, and as long as they get the benefits of being part of the political elite they feel fully justified in playing one group of poor against another group of the even poorer.

In my business I end up talking to a lot of people, and I was talking the other day to someone concerning a complex land deal for one of pennsylvania's few new growth industries.

I could only be talking about one of two things, of course - prisons, or casinos. Pa government loves them both. I'll leave it to your imagination to which I am referring.

So we are talking about this complex land deal - and he confides in me various tales of current and past Pa politicians involved with the deal, and how they were enriching themselves by having bought or optioned critical pieces of land, using money from politically favored banks, allowing them to end up with millions in pocket. Were the tales all true? I assume at least some of it was only rumor. But those in the know, know that rumor is often the truest truth, when it comes to power and the secret workings of the powerful and the monied.

This is our political class. Cynical, self-serving, contemptous of the people, and making money hand over fist by playing the games of power with human lives and taxpayer money and interests.

The political class takes the petty hatreds and fears of the voting class and manipulates them for personal gain. And presumably we deserve it, because we allow it.

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Dr. Radut | blog