Friday, September 13, 2013

The man who’d literally run over kittens with a train (and his far-right-wing billionaire backers) gear up in New York to smash liberal mayoral candidate Bill DeBlasio

Joe Lhota said he'd have no problem
running them over with a train
New York City is about to become a proxy battleground between the progressive wing of the Democrats and far right wing Republicans.

I hope the nation is paying attention, because ultra-conservative, union-smashing, tax-the-poor, enrich-the-billionaires individuals like the Koch brothers certainly are.

The story so far

In case you’re either a New Yorker who just got home from a six months vacation on Mars, or an out-of-towner who understandably pays less than full attention to New York politics, here’s the story – a story notably worthy of your attention.

Bill DeBlasio, a progressive Democrat with an interesting background (he has a black wife and two mixed race kids) appears to have won the Democratic nomination for mayor. (There are complications, but you can mortgage the farm to put money on the likelihood of his candidacy.)

One of DeBlasio’s campaign promises is that he’ll try his darndest (the odds of succeeding are daunting) to raise the marginal tax rate by half a percent on the incomes of city residents who earn over half a million dollars annually. The money would be used to pay for a desperately needed pre-school program.

For your average, run-the-mill New York rich guy (there are 27,000 thousand of them earning between $500,000 and $1,000,000 a year) the average tax increase would come to $973 a year – which is less than a pair of imported tan summer loafers or a new frock for his wife would cost in a neighborhood Madison Avenue boutique on the Upper East Side.

Holy crap! You’d think DeBlasio was proposing mass extermination of anyone with more than two dollars in his pocket.

Joe Lhota's head explodes

Class warfare!” exploded Joe Lhota, the Republican nominee for mayor in his acceptance speech — reviving a favorite whine of the greedy one-percent.

Only in America could the formidably rich declare financial war on the poor and middle class, and  then complain about "class warfare" when the poor and middle class push back.

The one percent crashed the financial system, got a bailout from the 99 percent of American taxpayers who never see much, if any financial security, and now grumble about “class warfare” when asked to chip in an hour’s pay or less for the benefit of the people they milk dry.

Not surprising that Joe (“Mr. Warmth”) Lhota is so kindly, so empathetic, that when — during the primary campaign, yet! — some stray kittens were found wandering the city’s subway tracks, Lhota favored crushing them with a train rather than stopping the subway to save them.

Bloomberg fires up desperate
(but empty) charges of "racism"

Michael Bloomberg took another tack. He accused DeBlasio of “racism” for showing his multi-racial family in television campaign spots. As if no political candidate has ever shown his family in campaign advertising! (I guess it’s okay if they’re all lily-white, like Mitt Romney’s family.) What did Bloomberg want DeBlasio to do — put whiteface on his wife and kids? Did he want them to wear mime suits, too?

Most ominous of all, the multi-billionaire Koch family has contributed more thusfar to Lhota's campaign than they’d pay in a good part of a century if Deblasio’s tax increase should ever come through.

A popular movement?

And that’s what it’s really about. New York could be the beginning of a popular voter movement, at long last — of the average working stiff, the under-employed recent graduate, the squeezed middle class and the strangled poor — against the one percent.

Billionaires like the Koches and Bloombergs are afraid it’ll spread and that, given enough time, voters might restore the financial equilibrium of the 1950s and 1960s, and the rich will have to pay their fair share again. O, the horror of it all!

Expect to see mountains of right wing dollars poured in to make that right wing iceberg Lhota look good, and to cover up what he really stands for.

Here in New York, the election is really a proxy battle of the super-rich against everybody else. What happens here may not stay here. And that’s what’s terrifying the billionaires and the corrupt politicians who live off them.

And now this:

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Yes Crank, I have been keeping track of the NYC mayoral race. Your take was even better than anything on NPR or in any paper I've read. Should have known about the Koch's influence, it' appalling. DeBlasio seems to be a decent sort, I totally love his kid. I only wish I was lucky enough to live in NYC. Guess I'll have to settle for "stronger than the storm, but not stronger than fire" Jersey. Excellent post!