|The Republican debate was kind of like
this. Only there were more people
brawling at once.
I know, I know — by the time you read this, the Thursday, February 25th Republican “debate” over who gets to be that party’s presidential nominee will be as old as George Washington’s false teeth.
All the same, now that I’ve had time to digest the debate, I gotta say something.
The Republican Party is a national embarrassment. The so-called debate was like watching a bunch of street brawlers, stripped to the waist, locked in a cage, and trying to rip each others’ heads off.
All that was missing were strings of obscenities to go with the cross talking — no, come to think of it, that was cross-shouting — as the rude louts on stage tried their best to drown one-another out.
There was only one moment of levity amidst all the brutish brawling. That was when Ben Carson, noting that the only people getting questions, and therefore attention, were the ones who had been attacked, begged rather plaintively for someone to attack him.
But the most egregious actor was Wolf Blitzer, the CNN moderator, who could control neither the shouting, nor the cross-yelling, nor the spewing of falsehoods that flowed like projectile vomit from the dubious assortment of thugs and boors who would be president.
The most outrageous uncorrected statement came, of course, from Donald Trump, who claimed that taxes in this country were the highest in the world. Compared to what nation in what other world, Donald? If you were counting on Wolf Blitzer to ask a followup question to that statement, you were counting on the wrong so-called journalist. Nor was Trump challenged by his opponents, who also want you to believe that particular lie.
Some facts: When it comes to personal income tax, the maximum personal income tax rate on super rich individuals like Donald Trump (who won’t release his income tax forms to show whether he’s paying up) is 39.6 percent. That’s in the United States. In Great Britain, it’s 45 percent. In Spain it’s 41 percent. In Holland it’s 56 percent. In Luxembourg, it’s 52 percent. In Israel, it’s 50 percent. In France it’s 45 percent. In Canada it’s 50 percent. In Denmark it’s just under 52 percent. And in Sweden it’s a whopping 59.78 percent.
Yet people in those nations live better than Americans, get healthcare with better outcomes at lower prices, have more ready access to affordable university educations, retire more comfortably, and can afford better vacations.
Interestingly, a good many of the low-tax or no-tax nations are scary places where you probably wouldn’t want to live. In Egypt, if you’re not imprisoned and sentenced to death for your political opinions, it’s only 20 percent. In Brunei the Sultan allows it to be zero percent. In Russia it’s 13 percent. In Kazakhstan it’s 10 percent. In Saudi Arabia, where you can get whipped or your head cut off in the street by the authorities for heresy and other crimes against Sharia law, it’s zero percent.
Deep down in their hearts, the so-called conservative Republicans would like to de-conserve the values that made American great and turn this nation into another Kazakhstan. Or into Russia, where the 13 percent income tax is a flat tax.
But of course, the outrageous statements simply floated out of the candidates mouths and out into America as if they were the truth. And the CNN team of interviewers just sat there like the duds that I now must sadly assume they are.
I wish CNN had a Donald who would tell Wolf Blitzer he’s fired.