Tuesday, August 30, 2011

House GOP: On the road to national failure

We are awash in depressing news this morning about the ill intentions of the troglodyte Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who resembles nothing so much as a baby with a nail gun, has announced the extremist Republicans this fall will try to kill environmental and labor regulations while pushing tax cuts for businesses.

Let's just get this out of the way: If Cantor doesn't like regulations, he should go to Somalia. We'd see how well he fares on his own in a country with no central government. We think the warlords would make quick work of the Virginia Republican once he's shed of his hangers-on, coatholders, hacks, Tea Party acolytes, bag men and talking-point dispensers.

And about those tax cuts for business: If they're so wonderful, then why does GE report so much of its income in countries with higher tax rates than the U.S.? As David Cay Johnson points out,
Washington politicians say high corporate tax rates are driving U.S. companies to invest offshore where tax rates are lower. But that is not General Electric’s experience.
GE’s disclosures show that over the last decade it paid much lower tax rates in America than offshore, just the opposite of the Washington political mantra. Even more puzzling, the U.S. corporate giant chooses to take more of its profits in other lands despite the higher tax rates there.
Given that GE has a roughly 1,000-person tax department dedicated to paying as little as possible in taxes, what the disclosures show is that something other than tax policy is driving GE’s business decisions. 
You would think Cantor understands that regulations are important to prevent things like, oh, nuclear meltdowns -- especially after last week's earthquake may have damaged the North Anna nuclear power plant in his district.

But Cantor can only recite from memos written by corporations that pay for his political campaigns because they want to loot the government. Solving America's real problems just isn't on the agenda.

Well, here's something we think extremist House Republicans like Cantor should memorize. It's from James K. Galbraith's book, The Predator State, and it describes what increasingly appears to be our road to national failure:
Where the reactionary branches of business, the worst polluters, the flagrant monopolists, the technological footdraggers, are given control over the system and capital markets reward them, their more progressive counterparts will eventually give up, disappear or move away. Bad business practices will drive out good. Ultimately the country will become a repository of the worst business practices and correspondingly unable to assert leadership in the world economy at large.