While the Republicans were debating away, President Obama proposed lowering the corporate tax rate. Robert Reich does a wonderful job of trying to figure it out, and I agree with him. When I first heard Obama’s proposal, I thought maybe he is making a savvy political move. I thought that, cause though I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t figure out any other reason. As Reich points out, it’s more the opposite. Corporate taxes are at a 40 year low, nothing in the proposal will appeal to his base, and it will win no favor from the right (because by definition, if Obama does it they are against it), and nothing will actually pass this year anyway, so why not make a proposal that will help him with his base. While I support Obama and know that he would be nearly infinitely better than any of the Republican candidates, it is things like this that remind me he is at heart a corporatist, because you don’t get to power in Washington without being one. So in the end I take his proposal simply as a reminder that we have to reelect Obama and that he will continue to disappoint because our system of government is no longer designed to or able to really represent the American people. It is a government of, by and for the corporations. The only question, and it is still an important and significant one, is how many crumbs they will let trickle down to ordinary Americans. Robert Borosage takes on the same issue and uses it to show how the entire debate has become framed by very conservative (corporate) ideas. There are no candidates truly fighting for Americans. There are only varying degrees of corporatists. Borosage sums it up, “This message piece sends us a clear message. We have a debate between an extreme right – Republicans like Mitt Romney who would reduce corporate taxes even more – and a business friendly centrist president who won’t call on corporations to pay more. “Fair share?” – not so much.”I’m sure you’ll see this very differently, Jim, even though I know you like Bob Reich. In any case, it’s how I feel and I’ve stated why.
If you’re not sick of reading about the debates, Roger Simon has an entertaining take on the latest. It does remind that as inadequate to the country’s needs as Obama is (and yes, that is more due to the system than to Obama himself. I like the guy, and there isn’t a lot more that anyone could do as president, and therein lies the problem), these guys would be infinitely worse. I like Simon’s last line, seeing as telling that when given one word to describe themselves, none of the four said “presidential.”