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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/6/17

Republicans' Vicious and Immoral Health Care Bill Is Just Part of a Sinister Long Game

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While Democrats are jubilant that the GOP passed a terrible healthcare/tax-cut bill through the House, which they think will cause voters to reject the GOP in 2018, it's a very, very premature celebration.

The Republicans are playing a longer game here, one based on a time-tested strategy first explicated by Machiavelli and fully put into place by Goebbels in the early 1930s, then fine-tuned by Reagan through the 1980s.

Sound like hyperbole (or a violation of Godwin's Law)? Check out this short clip of FDR's famous "Fala" speech in September of 1944:

That strategy is not only one the GOP has successfully used many times in the more recent past, from Nixon's "secret plan to end the Vietnam war" to Reagan's "reforms" of tax law, but one that they're clearly betting will continue to work for them (particularly with the help of Fox and right-wing hate radio).

Step one is to use the classic Goebbels "Big Lie" technique. That was on full display in the White House PR stunt after the House vote -- lie about lowering premiums, lie about expanding availability, lie about preexisting conditions, lie about how Obamacare is "failing." (Think Bush with Iraq, or the "Clear Skies Initiative," etc.)

And, to make sure it sticks, Trump had Republican after Republican step up to the microphone and explicitly and clearly repeat the Big Lies.

Step two then becomes clear. The bill goes to the Senate and no matter what happens there, complain that it's being "watered down."

This sets up the perfect next part of the Goebbels/Machiavelli strategy -- claim victimhood, and place blame on those awful (and often racially different from all those white people at the White House ceremony) Democrats.

Because the Senate prevents some of the true horrors of the House GOP's plan from going into law, GOP voters don't realize (and Fox will never tell them) that it was really all just a hustle to satisfy the GOP billionaire donor class.

And, because of the Big Lie, every good thing that's still in Obamacare is thought, by Republican voters, to be the result of GOP efforts, as they now "own" health care. At the same time, they'll claim that Democratic obstruction is why whatever "bad" things happen happened. (And Drudge, et al, will be sure to find some horror stories in the fall of 2018.)

Step three happens in 2018 -- go after every Democrat running for the House or Senate for "obstructing Republican improvements and progress" on healthcare. It's another Big Lie, but, like Reagan's Big Lies about the evils of unions, the benefits of trickle-down economics, the urgency of exploding privatization of the military, not raising the SS retirement age, etc., it'll be believed by enough people to hold onto the House and Senate.

The proof that this strategy could work in this case is that it's already being used -- with success -- to obscure the true reason Republicans are trying so hard to "repeal and replace" Obamacare.

Here's what's really driving the GOP: The subsidies for middle class workers in Obamacare are largely funded by an almost 3 percent tax increase on capital gains income (and a small increase on the ordinary incomes of people in the top 1 percent).

This special 20 percent maximum capital gains tax rate is available only to people who "earn" their money with money/investments (rather than working and drawing a paycheck), and, thus, is almost exclusively paid at the full 20 percent rate only by the very, very, very rich. And that 3.8 percent top-end rate addition was a functional almost-15 percent tax increase on most billionaires.

They are not happy and they fund the GOP and its various corporate media propaganda arms.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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