Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Bush Tax Cuts vs History

The Trophy Wife is currently reading The Road from Versailles by Munro Price. Subtitled, in case you're a completist, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the Fall of the French Monarchy - you know, the French Revolution. We read stuff like that: her more than me, to be honest, but there you are. It's important to understand history.

Let me just quote a little from the first two pages of Chapter 3 (typed in with my own bleeding fingers, I'll have you know).
The monarchy that Louis XVI embodied at the opening session of the Estates was still a grand if somewhat dilapidated edifice...

Below the king and the royal family, French society, like that of all continental old regimes, was divided into a hierarchy of orders, known as estates. Each one was legally defined, and had its own rights and duties. The clergy ranked as the first estate... they were not taxed directly, but instead voted a
don gratuit, or "free gift," to the crown at their five-yearly assemblies.

The nobility, too, the second estate, were subjects of the king... True, the nobility were exempt from the main direct tax, the
taille, but from 1695 onwards, they had been subjected, along with everyone else, to a succession of income-based contributions...

Below the clergy and nobility stretched the third estate, composed of all lay commoners... the bulk of its members comprised the urban working class and, above all, the peasantry, who made up fully 80% of the French population. Socially, politically and economically, it was the third estate that paid the price of the unspoken bargain between the monarchy and the privileged orders. Its members bore the brunt of taxation...
Can we talk about the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the millionaires now?


Charlene said...

I agree.

K. said...

Well, we know what the third estate wound up doing to the second and first estates.

magpie said...

Rest assured Republicans won't even be so kind as to say "let them eat cake"...

Diogenes said...

I'm sure it will get better...

But this sucks.

Tax cuts for millionaires?

DADT still hanging around?

Gitmo alive and well?

Never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

What happened to the guy I helpd get elected President? Who kidnapped him when we weren't looking?

That's what I get for believing a politician. After RFK was murdered, I swore "Never again."


Nameless Cynic said...

Hey, welcome back, Dio. Long time, no type.

Yeah, I get that way, too. He does not have a great track record on the big things. He ran on every one of the issues you mentioned, and so far hasn't accomplished one of them. That sucks.

Meanwhile, he's actually accomplished a lot, despite what Fox "News" wants us to believe.

One of his biggest problems? Messaging.

Hell, Bush would declare victory before the last troops were in, and the sheeple ate that shit up. Obama can't seem to even claim what he HAS done.

K. said...

Has anyone actually suggested a credible alternative to the compromise? If so, I haven't read it.

if I could have waved a magic wand, we'd repeal the >250K tax cuts, keep the rest, extend unemployment insurance, have the payroll tax holiday, and extend the student loan breaks. Since I don't have a magic wand, how do I get that without giving something up?

The only suggestion I've seen is from Sherrod Brown, who wants to play chicken until the end of the year, whereupon the Republicans will cry uncle because they're "on the wrong side of history." When did that ever keep a conservative from digging in his heels?

It disappoints me that after spending eight years raging against Bush's preening and strutting intransigence, we get a reasonable, thoughtful guy and criticize him for not being preening, strutting, and intransigent.