Friday, October 29, 2010

Christ, I Hate Elections

I saw Bill Brady on the local news this morning. He's running for Governor here in Illinois. And he's an idiot. Everyone running for anything in Illinois this year is an idiot. But Bill Brady is someone I really don't trust.

What really struck me about this dim bulb this morning was just how obviously he was lying. He's giving us the usual rhetoric about the economy and creating jobs and what Illinois needs to do. Now, I'm not a Brady fan to begin with (Jesus, who could be?), but he's just so clearly a con artist that it made me sick. To their credit, the usually lightweight anchors on WGN News started things off by rattling him over not paying for his campaign ads, which WGN was refusing to air until payment came through. (He must've handed over a check right then, because the ads started airing less than an hour later.) But his attempts to spin a response to that fuck-up ("It's a campaign strategy we thought would be more successful") just pegged him as a liar right off the bat.

What really set me off this morning, though, was when Brady proclaimed that the people of Illinois had to "live within their means." It really offended me, because most of us Illinoisans are doing just that. We can't do anything else, because of what robber barons have done to this state. And this guy, who payed no taxes for two years, is telling me to live within my means? Dude, you have no idea what it's like to be poor. I do, but it's because I'm not a tax cheat. Don't you dare lecture me on frugality when you don't pay your taxes. Don't you dare.

And then he goes into his usual evasion dance, ducking every issue except for what he thinks sounds good on the economy. Governor Pat Quinn--who is facing a hard battle, mainly because he inherited a giant mess and an amazing amount of debt from Rod Blagojevich--tried to engage Brady on the abortion issue in a debate, and Brady has decided he doesn't have to talk about that or any other social issue, because "this election is about the economy."

Well, no. The economy is the issue that's getting the most media play, and it's certainly the most immediate problem we have, but as voters we also have a right to know where you stand on every other issue. If you want to govern us, we deserve to know what we're getting. So answer each and every damn question that is put to you.

And then, finally, he gets to his economy spiel. And it's what most candidates--especially Republicans--like to give us in every election: cut taxes, cut spending, create jobs, pay off debt. And unless you're just willfully stupid, you've already figured out what this means: tax breaks for corporations.

They like to stick it to Quinn on the fact that Quinn will raise income taxes, but so will Brady. Anyone will. They have to. They can't afford not to, because of the deep financial hole Illinois is in. Brady cannot cut government spending and create jobs. He can't cut programs (and he wants to take a billion dollars out of education, which is already stretched far too thin) and create jobs. A government can't take in less money and spend less money without cutting programs, which means laying more people off and hurting the state's economy even worse. Less people with jobs means less wages paid and less money spent by consumers. It's that simple.

So how do you make up for the loss of spending cash? Well, you have to raise income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, etc. It's the only way it evens out.

So if Brady is cutting taxes (starting at the top with the people who have the most already) and cutting programs (which many of the economically disadvantaged can't afford to lose), how the hell does he plan to create any jobs?

The same way politicians always "create" jobs: by giving tax incentives to corporations who do business with the state, and putting the onus on them to create jobs, which they may or may not do, because none of the politicians actually care about anything other than making empty promises they can't or won't keep in order to get elected.

And it works, is the sad part. People who are already poor vote to keep themselves poor and protect the rights of the rich to treat them like serfs and peasants and indentured servants because they hear buzz phrases like "lower taxes" and "create jobs" and figure it'll actually happen. And it never does.

Look, all these wannabe governors are doing is looking for the newest way to legislate you out of any of the money you have left. That's all they care about. You're paying and paying and paying into a system you will never get very much out of, because they're more interested in staying rich and powerful than they are in any problems you're going through.

I am sick of this rigged game.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

Be happy you don't have Carl Paladino running for Governor. Yeesh!