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A Nation of Makers, Takers, and Fakers -- The End of the GOP

By       Message Anthony Wade     Permalink
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revolutionary war era graveyard-- almost all the names have eroded. Photo by Rob Kall  

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The Republican Party stands on the precipice of extinction. It is about to go the way of the Whig Party if it does not take a serious look inward and figure out how to claw its way out of the 1950s. The angry white guy party strategy just simply will not win elections anymore in a country that has become more diverse with each passing year. Unfortunately the early returns on taking a sobering introspective look are not promising. Leading the continued charge off the cliffs of relevance is of course Fox News and the band of merry hate radio talk show hosts.

These of course are the same folks who deluded so many republicans into thinking that Mitt Romney had the election sown up. Most had Romney running away with the election. The end result of an Obama tidal wave followed by an equally impressive surge through the Senate races should have awoken them from their Hannity induced slumber but apparently they intend to double down on the ridiculous narratives that cost them this election. Specifically that there are two classes of people in this country. The makers and the takers. The basic premise being that if you ask for anything from the government you are a taker and if you are an entrepreneur of some sort you are the real American. The true evil in this distorted vision is that it is birthed in the bowels of ignorance, bigotry and racism.

First of all the notion that someone who needs help from the government is a taker is patently false and ridiculously stupid. That would mean anyone who needed a college loan is a taker. Anyone who used the GI Bill to lift themselves out of poverty is a taker. Your grandma who worked her whole life but now needs her Social Security and Medicare is a taker. That neighbor with the autistic kid is a taker. That co-worker with the paraplegic daughter is a taker. When Mitt Romney spoke about the 47%, THAT was who he was talking about.

Secondly, the notion that if you do not ask for one of these modalities of assistance that you are a maker is equally false and stupid. In fact, let us look at their poster child for the past year, Mr. Romney. As much as the GOP and Fox minions hold up Romney as a maker, his record shows he is more of a taker than any of the 47% he rails against when he thinks the cameras are off. He just takes differently. The average working person will pay between 25 and 30 percent state, local, and payroll taxes. Mr. Romney however, doesn't pay payroll taxes because his money is earned the old fashioned way, which is to say he makes it off of other people's money. By using loopholes in the tax code he is able to set up accounts in the Cayman Islands or Switzerland, to AVOID paying taxes here. He also takes advantage of a lower capital gains tax rate. He pays a lot for his accountant I am sure but in the end, for the years he was willing to reveal, he paid a 13% tax rate (surely it was much lower for the years he refused to reveal). So the moocher Fox News and the Limbaugh's of the world keep referring to is a man earning 50K per year to support a family of four. He pays no federal income tax but when you look at his state, local and payroll taxes you see that he loses 25% of everything he earns (to take the low end of the spectrum). That means he pays $12,500 in taxes. For this, he is demonized as a "taker." Romney on the other earned 21 million dollars last year and paid only 13% on those dollars. That is a 12% difference, which amounts to over 2.5 million dollars. Who is the "taker" now?

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I can hear the outcries already. Save it. This is the reality. Mitt Romney said in the election run up that Americans shouldn't want a president who paid more in taxes than he was legally obligated to pay. While that is a fine talking point it reveals the truth. Romney legally figured out how to game the system to deny this country millions of dollars in taxes. Then he has the audacity to refer to himself as a "maker", while slandering the hardest working Americans as "takers."

The truth is we are all takers in this society. Some of us need student loans. Some of us need disability because we are seriously ill. Some of us need hurricane relief. Some of us need our federal taxes eliminated because we are struggling to make ends meet in the Bush economy while trying to raise our family. That doesn't make the person weaker, lesser, or a taker. It doesn't mean he doesn't work hard. On the other hand some of us need tax loopholes and tax havens to offset the huge amounts of money we make, which is already taxed at an enormously low capital gains rate. That doesn't make that person a job creator. That doesn't make them an entrepreneur. It doesn't make them a maker. They are both takers -- only one of them is really doing some serious taking. The narrative is plainly false.

It has been a narrative used for decades by the GOP. Ronald Reagan talked about welfare queens milking the system and George Bush Sr. had his Willie Horton moment. Romney tried to pretend that Obama was stripping the work requirement out of welfare and insisted that half this country were nothing but a bunch of freeloaders living off the sweat of real Americans. None of it is true and all of it is bigoted and racist at its core. The sad thing is that it worked for so long. The sadder thing now is that they can't see that it is over. Bill O'Reilly commented after the election that America has changed now because "more than 50% of the people want stuff and Obama is going to give them stuff." I heard the same thing from Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, and the rest of the right wing lunatic fringe echo chamber. They believe it and they are selling it to anyone who will listen to them. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with how people feel they would be considered by a particular party or candidate. The GOP has a word association problem. When they talk about African-Americans they talk about welfare, even though more than 50% of people on public assistance in this country are in fact Caucasians. When they talk about Hispanics they reflexively talk about illegals even though the vast majority of Hispanics are perfectly legitimate citizens of this country. When they talk about women they reflexively talk about rape in ways that re-assault all women. They need a better narrative.

If they had any sense at all, they would jettison the Tea Party nuts that dragged them so far off the right wing cliff that they lost basic credibility. I remember the first big point of the Tea Party was that the government should balance their budget like a family of five. From that point on I knew they were to intellectually vacuous to have a serious conversation -- period. You saw this past week the vast majority of the Tea Baggers get the boot from the American people. The mouthpieces for the GOP however think that Romney was not conservative enough! They want to double down in 2016 with someone more extreme! Good luck with that strategy. The Republicans have two years to figure out that their brand is running out. If they do not come to the table and work with the President they will lose the House in 2014, guaranteed. It starts with giving up the narratives that have failed for too long now. Stop insisting that billionaires are the job creators and get their tax rates back up to the Clinton-era levels. Stop following the lead of people who clearly think that Fox News is actually fair and balanced. You cannot continue to re-create reality and think it will all be ok. This isn't a game. This election was not even close. It was an electoral landslide. Obama won every single swing state. This despite many attempts to disenfranchise democratic voters. If the GOP keeps following the Hannity's of the world, insisting that they need a more extreme voice, and refusing to change the obviously false narrative then they will go the way of the dodo. There are no "takers" in this country. There are only makers and fakers and this past week proves that America has figured out who is who.

Your move Grover.

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Anthony Wade, a contributing writer to, is dedicated to educating the populace to the lies and abuses of the government. He is a 46-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple (more...)

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