Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The FairTax and other right-wing populist scams

I came home late last night to the New Hampshire returns because I was on the program (along with David Mincberg, Michael Skelly, and Steven Kirkland) at the meeting of Galleria Democrats to debate the Fair Tax.

Well, 'debate' isn't the right word. It was more like a beatdown of the poor guy advocating in its favor.

Anyway, on the news that Kuffner posts regarding the alliance of former Houston mayor Bob Lanier and FairTax founder Leo Linbeck Jr. and others to camouflage their latest elitist-welfare scheme as grassroots populism, it's worth pausing to note the various "citizen activist" efforts Linbeck is involved in, such as Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

(Recall that one of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist's fundamental strategies for starving the Democratic Party has been to starve plaintiff's attorneys by reforming tort laws; in Texas, with Republicans controlling every statewide office including all nine seats on the Texas Supreme Court as well as most of the Texas Legislature, they managed to push through damages caps on lawsuits like medical malpractice, for example. This article details the effects of that on the local legal community -- and the injured patients wounded a second time by tort reform.)

Linbeck is simply another stinking-rich conservative Republican who doesn't have enough yachts to water-ski behind. His activism consists of his actively looking for ways to hoodwink uninformed suburbanites who have mindlessly cast their straight GOP tickets for self-devastating causes like these before. And he's almost as successful at that as he is at making millions in his core businesses.

FairTax, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and now Houstonians for Responsible Growth. Orwellian truthspeak in name, nefarious welfare-for-the-wealthy in intent.

Let's not get fooled again, shall we?

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