Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Krugman: Right-Wing Populism Channeled By Corporate Interests

Paul Krugman, in "The Old Enemies," points out what's at the root of corporate opposition to President Obama–and who is behind right-wing populism. He explains why commercial banks, securities and investment firms, and oil and gas companies are contributing to the Republicans in record numbers:

One answer is taxes — not so much on corporations themselves as on the people who run them. The Obama administration plans to raise tax rates on upper brackets back to Clinton-era levels. Furthermore, health reform will in part be paid for with surtaxes on high-income individuals. All this will amount to a significant financial hit to C.E.O.’s, investment bankers and other masters of the universe.

Corporate interests are raging against regulations even when they're more warranted than ever:

From the outside, this rage against regulation seems bizarre. I mean, what did they expect? The financial industry, in particular, ran wild under deregulation, eventually bringing on a crisis that has left 15 million Americans unemployed, and required large-scale taxpayer-financed bailouts to avoid an even worse outcome. Did Wall Street expect to emerge from all that without facing some new restrictions? Apparently it did.

Right-wing populism is, as always, supported by corporations that ultimately have their own interests in mind:

If this sounds familiar, it should: it’s the same formula the right has been using for a generation. Use identity politics to whip up the base; then, when the election is over, give priority to the concerns of your corporate donors. Run as the candidate of “real Americans,” not those soft-on-terror East coast liberals; then, once you’ve won, declare that you have a mandate to privatize Social Security. It comes as no surprise to learn that American Crossroads, a new organization whose goal is to deploy large amounts of corporate cash on behalf of Republican candidates, is the brainchild of none other than Karl Rove.

1 comment:

Rita said...

We all need to remember that if the current Congress were to do nothing to extend current individual tax rates, there would be increases in the tax rates under bills proposed by and signed by President George W. Bush.