The Hightower Report

Help Warren Fight the Madness

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world. That was the title of a kooky 1960s movie, but an even kookier sequel could be made today starring the mad, mad, mad, mad Republican leaders of the U.S. House.

They are mad in both senses of the word – insane and angry. Start with insane: They rant ceaselessly against the bugaboo of Big Government, mindlessly breezing past the fact that it was meek and weak government that only months ago allowed Wall Street to crash our economy, BP to make an environmental and economic mess of the Gulf, and Massey Energy to kill 29 miners in Upper Big Branch.

How insane are they? They're openly hugging up Wall Street banksters – the one group in America with a public approval rating lower than Congress! The GOP majority is wailing that these poor millionaires are victims of government abuse, while snapping at Democrats like mad dogs and howling their intent to remove even the feeble restraints that Democrats put on Wall Street greed a year ago.

Their insane defense of these deservedly despised financial manipulators is now being magnified by their uncontrolled anger at Elizabeth Warren. She's the bankruptcy expert who correctly warned during the Bush regime that Wall Street's unbridled greed was leading our economy over a cliff. She also successfully pushed to include, for the first time, a consumer voice in financial regulation, and she's now doing the heavy lifting of getting the new consumer financial protection agency up and running.

Wall Street despises Warren because she's smart, savvy, and effective. So the bankers unleashed their GOP attack dogs to go after her with a vengeance, and they've responded with a furious pettiness – including zeroing out her salary.

To help Warren fend off the madness, contact Bankster USA: www.banksterusa.org.

Blame It on Teachers and Firefighters

America owes a debt of gratitude to such insightful Republican governors as Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Rick Snyder of Michigan, and Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Were it not for them, many Americans – myself included – would still be thinking that today's state budget messes are mainly the product of a national economic crash caused by the reckless greed of Wall Street banksters and rich speculators, as well as the abject failure by political leaders to tax their superwealthy campaign contributors in order to meet the growing needs in education and other essentials. Luckily, the GOP guvs have set the record straight by explaining that the budget woes are the fault of teachers who have health coverage and firefighters who get pensions.

You see, it's these greedy public employees, pulling down $30,000 to $50,000 a year, who are sapping the economy and draining government treasuries – not billionaire casino dealers in Wall Street hedge funds who pay far lower tax rates than a firefighter and contribute far less to our nation than a teacher. It has been incredible to hear these learned governors lecture us that fixing state budgets is simple: Deregulate corporate power, cut taxes on the superrich (again), fire tens of thousands of middle-class public employees, eliminate state programs even as the need for them rises, and – just to boost the morale of teachers, firefighters, and others – take away their democratic right to bargain collectively for workplace fairness.

Unfortunately for the governors, the public still doesn't get it. By overwhelming margins, the people oppose these gubernatorial assaults on workers, workers' rights, and America's middle-class dream. The governors can flim and flam, deceive and deflect, but they should remember that two things not long for this world are dogs that chase cars and politicians who lie to the people.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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