So, I'm out in the car this morning, flipping stations, when I hear Howard Dean's voice on 'Morning Joe'. Normally, I wouldn't stop and listen, as I am no Scarborough fan, but besides Dean, they were talking about income inequality and the inordinate amount of the recovery from the recession being gobbled up by Wall Street and the Corporate overlords, so they grabbed my attention.
What ended up happening, though, is me losing whatever respect I had left for Howard Dean.
Until now, I have always had respect for Dean's positions and felt that he got a raw deal. Not only from the media during the whole ginned-up controversy over the "Dean Scream", which, when stacked against anything uttered by the GOP candidates during the 2012 race was on the level of Michelle Bachmann or Herman Cain drawing their first breath in the morning, but also from his own party during his campaign and also during his successful "50 state strategy" campaign. I always felt that he had more of an understanding of the problems facing average Americans and a willingness to go to bat for them.
What he seems to be going to bat for now, on the other hand, is to keep those average Americans struggling.
The discussion Dean was taking part in laid out many of the problems keeping our economy struggling - stagnant wages, record corporate profits, tax avoidance, all good points. And then they asked Howard how he felt about it. His response was so off-base, I actually thought that I had mis-identified his voice and was actually listening to yet another corporate lobbyist. What did he say?
Howard, the lobbyist who is not a lobbyist said that, "The answer is not in "confiscatory" tax policies, but in increasing the safety net, not (just?) for the disadvantaged, but for the middle class. Health care, college tuition, there needs to be more help for these people." (Note: All of this is solely from my recollection, so I'm paraphrasing)
One of the other people in the room had some charts and graphs and laid out how people are making less than they were even four years ago, and minorities were hit particularly hard, yet corporate profits were at an all-time high. Howard's solution?
"We need to lower the corporate tax rates." Huh?!?
"We need to let them bring home their overseas profits without (penalty/taxes?)" What?!?
So Mr. Dean, the one standing with Occupy Wall Street, doesn't think that corporations are doing well enough, that record corporate profits aren't high enough, and the real answer is to have hard-working Americans stand there, with their hands out, and beg the government for services that they are currently taking a giant axe to? Great plan!
Better wages? Better working conditions? Reigning in the runaway increase in the cost of higher education? More power for people working very, very hard for very, very little? More and better jobs? Not as far as he's concerned. Why give people power when you can make them behave in return for charity, right?
Who does he think will pay for this expanded safety net? It won't be the wealthy or corporations, thank you very much. Not only did he say increased taxes on the wealthy were "confiscatory", but he said that cutting the corporate tax rate should be "revenue neutral".
But I guess this should be no surprise, given that Howard, the lobbyist who is not a lobbyist, is now pallin' around with Zell Miller (warning - link is to NewsMax) at his new-ish position at the lobbying firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, which also means he, with his position which focuses on " health care and energy issues", is lobbying for Keystone XL.
It also makes his position on repealing Obamacare all that more understandable.
All I can say is, "F*ck you, Howard Dean!"