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Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:36 PM

Thinkin' of Lincoln.........and GOP claims about taxation

Thinkin' Lincoln, and the history of the GOP

Republicans are too often ignorant; it challenges me to pick which they fail at the most frequently -- Republican math, Republican factually inaccurate revisionist history, Republican economics, any form of Republican science, or....... well the list is just too long of what they get wrong.

I take issue with one point in the very satisfying Republican correcting screed below. Republican John Fleming mentions raising the tax rates -- he doesn't specify INCOME tax rates -- on people. Except when it is an organization like a non-profit or a corporation, most taxes are paid by people, and not only income taxes. The reason the income tax has historically been progressive is that it has always been true that other kinds of taxes provided - and still provide - the majority of our revenue. Income tax, an idea we inherited from England, was often ONLY applied to the wealthiest citizens, not to all citizens. It was also applied at the state level from our earliest years, in the U.S. dating back to 1643 when we were colonies, and to the founding fathers at the federal level of government to pay for the War of 1812, passed in 1814 (although not implemented due to the end of the war with the Treaty of Ghent in 1815). And of course that 1814 income tax was passed, under James Madison who belonged to...yes, you guessed it, the Democratic-Republican party, WHICH was commonly known as just the Republican party back in the day. From there it split into a faction called the National Republican party with the other faction going by the name Democratic party. Now before you insist this was not the same thing as our modern Republican party........yes it was. From the National Republican Party we derived the Whigs, and from the Whigs, we derived the modern Republican party. Except that when Lincoln was a Republican, the party was the party of liberals, not conservatives.

So any politician who presumes to school his constituents or anyone else about the Republican party, or American history should be given a text book of factual history, and a good swift kick in the pants. The modern Republican party has nothing other than a name in common with Lincoln, and the party using that name has raised tax rates, INCLUDING income tax rates on Americans going back to Jefferson and Madison.

The Republicans - the ones walking and talking now - cannot be trusted to honestly identify themselves, or to propose valid taxation or economic policies. They are the Know-Nothing party, and not in name only; and yes, that was another incarnation of our modern Republican party in the 1840s and 50s (from wikipedia):

The Know Nothing was a political movement by the nativist American political faction of the 1850s, characterized by political xenophobia, anti-Catholic sentiment, and occasional bouts of violence against the groups the nativists targeted. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to republican values and controlled by the Pope (Pius IX) in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success. Membership was limited to Protestant males of British American lineage. There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and entirely Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery.

Violent, religiously intolerant xenophobes afraid of immigrants, seeking to promote the dominance of white anglo saxon protestant men; they even had their own kind of tea. The more things change, the more some things stay the same, which is what makes history interesting. On that note, I offer the following schooling from the erudite Lawrence O'Donnell.

View the video here

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