If, like me, you’re the kind of person that loves wasting the hours away by watching the degenerative brain candy that is cable news, then you’ve no doubt heard that reliable old political nugget “class warfare” bandied about quite a bit lately in regards to the tax policies of our new President. This is especially true if, like me, you sometimes tune into those cable news channels that focus ostensibly on “business” such as CNBC, or that bastion of fair-and-balanced reporting, FOX News, both of which have been busy mustering their troops to prepare to face this conflict head on. To hear them tell it, we are currently undergoing a criminally unjust redistribution of wealth, from who have to people who need it, by way of higher taxes on the rich, who already, by their estimation, pay more than their fare share of the tax burden. Not only that, but we are concurrently suffering through what CNBC analyst and legendary financial guru Jim Cramer dubbed the “greatest destruction of wealth I’ve seen by a President,” with stocks prices matching home prices at historic lows. And these are, more or less, both true: President Obama is indeed seeking to roll back the tax cuts given to the rich under President Bush, returning their tax rate to their former levels (though nowhere near their historic highs), and this, as part of the Presidents financial legislative agenda, has done little to instill confidence in the stock market, pushing the Dow lower and in the process wiping out much of the value people had accrued in investments over the last decade. Tough times, indeed. And it is thus that I, speaking for many other Americans, would like to express my deepest, most sincere NOT GIVING A SINGLE FUCK. I mean really. Get a life. If this was truly class warfare, rich people would be losing a hell of a lot more than their 401ks and a few grand off their end-of-the-year bottom lines. After all, the massive concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer Americans in the 20 years of post-Reagan deregulated free-market madness has resulted in a disproportionate number of “have-nots” in relation to the relatively few “haves.” And you know what they say about people who don’t have shit: they ain’t got nothing to lose.
Thankfully, for all their other faults, poor people in this country have never taken to armed uprisings, or violent revolutions, the sorts of things one could consider “war.” Instead, they elected a President that seeks to repair not just the appearance, but the foundation of our economic institutions, a President who knows that the real disease afflicting the financial solvency (and, some might say, many other parts) of this great nation has nothing to do with credit default swaps, or adjustable rate mortgages or any of that other shit, but is instead rooted in a single, ancient, vice: greed. And not just the individual, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge-style greed, but an almost universal, intrinsic greed embedded into the fabric of the modern marketplace, and its prime directive, the accumulation of wealth. Of course, unspoken premise of “wealth” at least in the modern sense, is having something more than someone else. So when someone like Jim Cramer comes on TV and tries to rectify his moral and political beliefs (he voted for Obama, and has been a longtime liberal fund-rasier) with his sacred oath to the dogma of capitalism by saying that he wants “everyone to be rich,” the cognitive dissonance is almost painful. Because when everyone is rich, then everyone is poor too; there’s no winner, there’s no loser and MY GOD THAT’S STARTING TO SOUND LIKE SOCIALISM!!11 Someone dig up Ayn Rand!! After all, as the defacto leader of the Republican Party and proponent of the “class warfare” meme Rush Limbaugh made clear in his keynote address at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Committee meeting, Americans “are a competitive people. We strive, enough of us do, to be the best. We strive to win.” Of course, the downside of striving to win, is the real chance that you’ll lose. And that’s exactly what’s happened. America, under the stewardship of those great “competitive people” Rush Limbaugh canonizes, has lost. And lost big. We’ve lost money. We’ve lost wars. We’ve lost the respect of the rest of the world. And now it’s time for change of game plans, and a new coach to boot. If you don’t like it, I guess that’s tough. Like many of us heard over the last 8 years, “America: Love it or Leave It.” Only now the people who want to leave can actually afford to. Not that they will though, after all, then who would they have to compete with?