For the Weekend...

Across the Wide Missouri: Duncan Black: Eschaton: Why Didn't I Get Rich?: "I do think more journalists/columnists of a certain age (meaning ones not much older than me and younger)...

...are coming around to the realization that the economy is screwing them, too. There was a moment when a lot of them (we're talking ones at elite outlets, not your random small town paper) thought they'd done everything right, would become celebrities, and get Tom Friedman's speaking fees. The economy sure was working for them, and screw everybody else. But then, well, that didn't quite happen.

Digby: Dana Milbank and the Aristocrats: "Over the winter... Ted Cruz might as well have put on a blond wig and called himself ‘Elizabeth’ when he railed against [inequality]...

...after the State of the Union.... Mitt ‘47 Percent’ Romney clutched his very expensive opera-length pearls, wailing that ‘under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before.’ Rand Paul channeled his heretofore unknown inner Bernie Sanders.... This shallow attempt at appearing to give a damn was short-lived. This week the GOP is voting, as they always do, to ensure that the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune won’t be faced with the terrible responsibility of having to pay taxes on their inheritances. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post pointed out just how successful these protectors of the progeny of the one percenters have been in recent years:

It had long been a conservative ideal, and the essence of the American Dream, to believe that everybody should have an equal shot at success. But in their current bid to end the estate tax, Republicans could create a permanent elite of trust-fund babies. The estate tax was a meaningful check on a permanent aristocracy as recently as 2001, when there were taxes on the portion of estates above $675,000; even then there were plenty of ways for the rich to shelter money for their heirs.

As the son of a schoolteacher and a cabinetmaker, I’d like to see the estate tax exemptions lowered — so that taxes encourage enterprise and entre pre neur ship while keeping to a minimum the number of Americans born who will never have to work a day in their lives. The current exemption of $5.4 million (the current estate tax has an effective rate averaging under 17 percent, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center) does little to prevent a permanent aristocracy from growing--and abolishing it entirely turns democracy into kleptocracy.

No, that wasn’t a mistaken cut and paste from the World Socialist Website. That really was Dana Milbank writing in the Washington Post, which is a testament to just how outlandish these Republicans have become. When mainstream columnists start using words like aristocracy and kleptocracy you know that something’s in the air.

There's lots more at the link. Protecting wealth for subsequent generations of rich people is the big kahuna for the right wing. And yes, that's called aristocracy. It's who they are.