Keep in mind on this, the day of the million bags being swallowed, that the massive populist taxpayer revolt signified by the bagadeers is in reaction to the fact that Obama passed one of the largest middle class tax cuts in US history, but has returned the upper bracket marginal rates to Clinton era levels (which were themselves lower than the rates that prevailed during much of that notorious Commie, Ronald Reagan’s tenure).
Even then, Obama isn’t actually passing a law to raise those rates as much as letting the Bush tax cuts expire as they were supposed to do – which enabled Bush and the GOP to downplay the hit the deficit would take with their redistribution of trillions of dollars to the wealthiest that rarely deign to even rub elbows with the unwashed hoi polloi among us.
So Obama plans to cut taxes for the working stiff, leave them in place for the upper middle and let the Bush cuts expire for the wealthiest. And implement a stimulus to breathe life into a moribund economy raped and left lifeless by a merry band of greedy bankers who now congregate with hands out and teary eyes a sense of indignant entitlement to the taxpayer largesse needed to ease their fall.
And for this, we get the rage of the lumpen proletariat aimed at Obama and his tax policies. Basically, what Taibbi said:
After all, the reason the winger crowd can’t find a way to be coherently angry right now is because this country has no healthy avenues for genuine populist outrage. It never has. The setup always goes the other way: when the excesses of business interests and their political proteges in Washington leave the regular guy broke and screwed, the response is always for the lower and middle classes to split down the middle and find reasons to get pissed off not at their greedy bosses but at each other. That’s why even people like Beck’s audience, who I’d wager are mostly lower-income people, can’t imagine themselves protesting against the Wall Street barons who in actuality are the ones who fucked them over. Beck pointedly compared the AIG protesters to Bolsheviks: “[The Communists] basically said ‘Eat the rich, they did this to you, get ‘em, kill ‘em!’” He then said the AIG and G20 protesters were identical: “It’s a different style, but the sentiments are exactly the same: Find ‘em, get ‘em, kill ‘em!’” Beck has an audience that’s been trained that the rich are not appropriate targets for anger, unless of course they’re Hollywood liberals, or George Soros, or in some other way linked to some acceptable class of villain, to liberals, immigrants, atheists, etc. — Ted Turner, say, married to Jane Fonda.
But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit. Whatever the master does, you’re on board. When you get frisky, he sticks a big cross in the middle of your village, and you spend the rest of your life praying to it with big googly eyes. Or he puts out newspapers full of innuendo about this or that faraway group and you immediately salute and rush off to join the hate squad. A good peasant is loyal, simpleminded, and full of misdirected anger. And that’s what we’ve got now, a lot of misdirected anger searching around for a non-target to mis-punish… can’t be mad at AIG, can’t be mad at Citi or Goldman Sachs. The real villains have to be the anti-AIG protesters! After all, those people earned those bonuses! If ever there was a textbook case of peasant thinking, it’s struggling middle-class Americans burned up in defense of taxpayer-funded bonuses to millionaires. It’s really weird stuff. And bound to get weirder, I imagine, as this crisis gets worse and more complicated.
So go shake your fist-clutching-tea-bag at whoever it is you’ve been told to hate, you useful peasant you. Just don’t bother to look up at who it is that’s pissing on your head while you cast about for someone to blame for the rain.