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September 01, 2007

There is No Democratic Party Any More.

At least, I think that's what is meant here:

However, if you're interested in government policies that actively favor the working and middle classes, you need to have some kind of substantial political interest group fighting on their side. That's Politics 101, and right now unions are pretty much all we've got.

The Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress apparently are not a substantial political interest group. Hey Ho.

September 1, 2007 in Politics | Permalink

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The Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress apparently are not a substantial political interest group. Hey Ho.

That's one possible conclusion. Another is that the Democrats don't "actively favor the working and middle classes".

Tim adds: Entirely true, although that's would be an odd argument for a Democrat to make. Also true that unions don't (they favour their own member's interests) but that's an entirely different argument.

Posted by: StuartA | Sep 1, 2007 12:20:31 PM

although that's would be an odd argument for a Democrat to make

What do you mean by "a democrat"? Kevin Drum is, as far as I know, a journalist. Why would he necessarily hold the view you assume?

Tim adds: in American usage, Democrat means a member of the Democratic Party. democrat means one who supports democracy.

Posted by: StuartA | Sep 1, 2007 12:45:44 PM

"However, if you're interested in government policies that actively favor the working and middle classes, you need to have some kind of substantial political interest group fighting on their side."

Surely Americans are to be warmly congratulated for having abandoned the antediluvian Marxist and leftist notions that social classes have monolithic class interests.

In 2003 - before the mid-term elections of November 2006 cost the Republicans their majorities in both Houses of Congress - Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, was condemning Bush's tax cuts:

"NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Renewing his criticism of the dividend tax cut laid out by the Senate last week, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett called the proposal 'voodoo economics' that uses 'Enron-style accounting.'"
http://money.cnn.com/2003/05/20/news/buffett_tax/

Posted by: Bob B | Sep 1, 2007 12:53:34 PM

Tim, it is a commonplace on the US left that the GOP and the Democrats are just two sides of the "business party".

Michael Moore once wrote something to the effect that "they will both kick you in the balls, it's just that the Republicans will tell you that they're going to".

Posted by: Jock | Sep 1, 2007 1:23:32 PM

If both mainstream political parties in America represent business interests then that's an extra impelling reason why the Conservatives in Britain should dump all alliances with "intellectually bankrupt" Republicans.

Hill for the Hill.

As for Britain, why with New Labour are the poorest quintile of the population paying a higher percentage of their incomes in taxes than the richest quintile?
http://www.liberalreview.com/content/2007/05/why-do-the-poor-pay-so-much-tax
http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2007/05/the_end_of_the_.html

Posted by: Bob B | Sep 1, 2007 2:57:53 PM

I've been reading Kevin Drum since before he started blogging at the Washington Monthly. Drum is an excellent partisan commentator, a good composer of opinion pieces, but he is not an impartial journalist, nor does he claim to be one. He makes no secret of the fact that he is a partisan Democrat.

Posted by: Internet Ronin | Sep 1, 2007 7:09:58 PM

Fine - but the views of the estimable Kevin Drum are not at issue here now. Warren Buffett's outlook on the US tax system, as amended by the Bush administration, is unexpected and far more relevant to the present context:

"Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, has criticised the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaner.

"Speaking at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser in New York for Senator Hillary Clinton, Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion (£26 billion), said: 'The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.'"
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/money/tax/article1996735.ece

Posted by: Bob B | Sep 1, 2007 8:55:32 PM

Warren Buffett is a lifelong Democrat. Why are his views unexpected? I think you may find that Buffett's personal income is largely derived from tax-free municipal bonds, not taxable investments, so it is no surprise that his tax rate vs. income appears smaller than his receptionist. (Berkshire Hathaway does not pay dividends.) Buffett's earned income is taxed at a much higher rate then his receptionist or cleaning lady, unless he is paying each more than $349,000 per annum for their services.

Posted by: Internet Ronin | Sep 2, 2007 12:45:21 AM

"Warren Buffett is a lifelong Democrat."

Quite - that's where we came in here. Rich folks in America feel comfortable belonging to the Democrats and with progressive tax systems.

FDR was and is still reviled by many Republicans for the New Deal and the federal interventions in the American economy that the New Deal introduced but FDR is on record as saying he passionately believed in American capitalism and he wanted to save it in the Depression of the 1930s.

I simply don't believe any claim that Warren Buffett made his billions by investing in municipal bonds. His earlier reported attacks on Bush's tax cuts were about the tax cuts on dividends.

Posted by: Bob B | Sep 2, 2007 3:10:56 AM