Saturday, November 17, 2012

Visiting the American Prospect

I try to read liberal news sites once in a while, just to get an idea of how those on the political left think. Today, I went to the American Prospect to see what they had to offer. Frankly, it is depressing, because it is obvious that there really is very little common ground between conservatives and liberals.

One article was entitled "What Benghazi Is about [sic]: Scandal Envy." Its thesis was that the only reason for interest in Benghazi is that Republicans haven't been able to pin any scandals on Obama. There is a passing reference to that fact that the ambassador and three other people died, but no mention of the requests made for extra security, the failure to authorize any sort of rescue or military intervention, the Administration attempting to falsely blaming some obscure YouTube video (even going so far as to run a television ad in Pakistan), etc. In other words, that there are plenty of facts that suggest a serious SNAFU is irrelevant--it is all about scoring political points.

Another article was entitled "Note to Obama: Shoot First, Compromise Later," by Robert Reich, who encourages Obama to not negotiate with Republicans on taxes because Obama won the election. Obama didn't win the popular vote by much, and Democrats made no serious inroads into control of the House, so he can't honestly argue he has a "mandate." And, crowing that "I won" did so well his first term. Reich then goes on to suggest increased taxes on the rich by raising the marginal tax rate on anyone earning over $250,000. I have a better idea. Let's raise taxes on the rich, but we need to do one or both of two things. (1) If we are going to stick with an income tax, we need to eliminate deductions for Hollywood and the recording industry, and we need to start taxing non-profits (which is actually a misnomer) and municipal bond dividends. (2) We should reconsider taxing based on income, and instead tax people on their wealth--similar to a property tax. If you have a huge ranch, a half-dozen houses, and millions invested in currently tax-free investments, you should be taxed on those assets.

The third article I read was "Putting Faith in the Conservative Creed," which basically just argues that conservatives are crazy and delusional, on the defensive, and refusing to live the "real world." Uh, okay. Except, while conservatives may have lost the presidential election, they did very well at the state level--and Democrats didn't make any real gains in Congress--so I don't see that conservatives are necessarily losing ground and on the defensive. Because the election split very clearly on rural versus urban, what the author is really saying, though, is that people in rural areas are crazy, which merely comes across as condescension. All those "bitter clingers" and so on.

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