Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alexi Giannoulias: The Would-Be King

Listening to the debate for Illinois Senator last night, it was difficult to pick out who was worse to listen to speak.  Mark Kirk played the professional politician and tap-danced around simple, direct questions, and Alexi Giannoulias came off as an economic illiterate, and a flat out buffoon on every other issue.  I don't particularly like either of these guys, but have enjoyed the fact that Kirk has turned into something of a fiscal hawk over the past couple years, so have been leaning his way in any case, and one statement by Alexi last night finally sealed the deal.  It seems Alexi Giannoulias considers the role of Senator to be something more akin to being a king.

Gentlemen, in the desert of polarized politics, there's one oasis of bipartisan. Both parties have overspent in the federal budget for years and years. And I'm wondering, if you go to D.C., facing these multitrillion shortfalls, where do you look to cut? What one or two places do you look first, and what is sacrosanct, what wouldn't you touch?

Four things. The first is we need to immediately do everything we can to promote economic growth. When people aren't working they're not paying taxes, that's less revenue long term. Again, when people aren't working, when they don't have jobs.

But that's not a budget cut.

But it's important. It's an important-- investment to make. The second thing we need to do-- is enact pay gold legislation, something that the Congressman voted against, to end these deficit-busting budgets that have been-- all too familiar in Washington D.C.

The third thing we need to is let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire. We don't have $700 billion to give to millionaires and billionaires. And the fourth thing is, when the deficit commission comes out with their report in December, we're going to need a bipartisan spirit. We're going to have to take a long hard look at some very difficult decisions we're going to have to make, and because--
Gentlemen-- sorry.

--this country has lived-- within its means for a very long time-- Andy, we're going to have to take our medicine. We need people who are willing to make-- tough decisions.

The bold line above is my emphasis, and is the most important thing Alexi Giannoulias has said in his entire campaign.  We don't have $700 billion to give to millionaires and billionaires.

The man is talking about tax rates here, so he's discussing the topic of how much the government takes from its citizens in order to operate.  But his words reveal him as the statist that he is.  He doesn't conceptualize tax rates as a percentage of what the government is taking, rather as a percentage of what the government is generous enough to allow its citizens to keep.  In his mind, the government owns that $700 billion, and can't possibly afford to give it to those people.

This is not the mindset of a leader in a democratic republic.

This is the mindset of an authoritarian to whom all property belongs.  This is the mindset of a person who believes it is his right to control how much people are allowed to have.

This is the mindset of a king.

And this is not the mindset of someone worthy to represent the State of Illinois in the United States Senate.

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