This week’s winner of the chutzpah award is libertarian con man Paul Ryan, for accusing the Democratic Party of “class warfare.” Ryan is a disciple of Ayn Rand, the Benzedrine-addled academic who wrote two door-stopper novels that celebrated “the morality of rational self-interest,” a concept Republicans use to justify cutting taxes on corporations and the rich, slashing aid to the poor, and privatizing everything from mail service to Medicare.
Republicans on Sunday decried the notion of a new minimum tax rate for millionaires as “class warfare,” saying the proposal by President Obama may be intended to portray congressional Republicans who resist it as being callously indifferent to the hardships facing many Americans… Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said the tax proposal, which Obama is expected to roll out Monday, would also weigh heavily on a stagnating economy… “It adds further instability to our system, more uncertainty, and it punishes job creation,” Ryan told Fox News Sunday. “Class warfare may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.”
Ryan said a few years back that Rand was the main reason he got involved in “public service.” This would be amusing if he wasn’t in a position to potentially impose Rand’s ideology on the rest of us. “Instability” doesn’t exist in Rand’s universe, where there are two primary classes — a small group of gifted, courageous entrepreneurs and a horde of compliant serfs. Creating jobs for others wasn’t a priority for Rand and isn’t for Ryan, not unless the jobs pay badly enough to further enrich the ruling class.
I wonder how many of Ryan’s fans have actually read the artless, humorless trash that made Rand a hero to mean-spirited right-wing academics and politicians.
Regarding class warfare: In the modern American era, it’s been going on at least since August 5, 1981, when, as Michael Moore recently wrote, “Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who’d defied his order to return to work.” Reagan felt safe doing this because the AFL-CIO told its members who worked for airlines to cross the air controllers’ picket line, a death blow to their strike.
That moment of cowardice and disunity helped embolden the Ryans and Reagans of the world to wage a relentless ongoing campaign to crush organized labor and workers’ rights. They’ve almost succeeded. It’s now or never for a serious counteroffensive.