IF YOUR PREMISE IS WRONG, THEN YOU’RE WRONG…

July 7th, 2013

Normally I’m in agreement with Robert Reich. I’m not starry-eyed over the Clintons the way he continues to be, but generally I think he has his head screwed on right. When he takes House Republicans to task, however, and begins with the premise:

A basic economic principle is government ought to tax what we want to discourage, and not tax what we want to encourage.

For example, if we want less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we should tax carbon polluters. On the other hand, if we want more students from lower-income families to be able to afford college, we shouldn’t put a tax on student loans.

he misses the target.

Republicans are taxing what they want to discourage and not taxing what they want to encourage. Republicans don’t want less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — it smells like… victory — and they do want less lower-income families to be able to afford college.

The sooner that Reich, and the rest of us intelligent progressives wrap our heads around the reality that Republicans are behaving rationally in their reality, the sooner we can either get back to making progress toward an egalitarian and humane society (possible), or enlighten Republicans as to their personal delusions (possible, but not bloody likely).

In the end, Reich does detail why Republicans act as they do (their masters, the banks and polluters — in this case, the Koch brothers in particular — rake in higher short-term profits) but that ought to be the lede, not the conclusion.

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