Republican spokes-curmudgeon John Sununu does it again. What a feisty old crock. His M.O. seems to be to bait the reporters by questioning their allegiances and implying they’re in the tank for Obama when they ask him other than fawning questions. This doesn’t completely work. That is, the rules of Fox News don’t universally apply and no one tells him to shut up or stomps off. However, it does help him run out the clock on the interview. On August 15th, he demonstrated this technique in a chat with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien in which O’Brien vigorously questioned him on his charge that Obama is cutting Medicare benefits. When confronted with facts that he can’t wiggle out of, he tells her “Put an Obama bumper sticker on your head when you do this.”
Last night at the Republican Convention Sununu did it again. In an interview with Brian Lehrer of WNYC (New York’s NPR station), Sununu talked about how Obama’s regulations have “choked” businesses with over-regulation. He repeated his infamous charge that Obama doesn’t understand how business works in America. Despite, Sununu’s increasing tone of annoyance, Lehrer soldiered on.
When questioned about the increase in income inequity since Reagan’s days, leading the US to more and more resemble Latin American oligarchies, and the fairness of allowing a lower tax rate for those who live on capital gains, Sununu replied:
“Inherent in the question you ask is the snide disdain that the President displays towards those who want to create a successful business and profit on the capital gains side and enjoy the fact that there is an incentive for them to do so with a low capital gains tax.”
In case, Lehrer didn’t get the “snide disdain” part the first time, Sununu repeated it, this time in a manner that would have made Ayn Rand proud:
“It is unbelievable to me how inherently snide those comments are from people who want to suggest there is something wrong when people have that kind of success. There isn’t something wrong. That is, in fact, the most important single ingredient to get America back on the right track and there shouldn’t be this level of envy to those who have been successful in that direction.”
Lehrer, followed up. He asked whether their paying the same rate as people making the same money from going to work would provide such a strong disincentive.
Sununu answered briskly, “Investment carries a risk and you have to encourage people to take that risk otherwise they’ll take the easy way out and just start earning a salary …. When you have to compensate for a risk, you have to provide an extra incentive.”
In other words, we all owe those great ones, presumably even if they started by risking other people’s money, as Bain did. Earning a salary, whether it’s in business, or as a teacher, firefighter, police officer, doctor, nurse or Wal-Mart greeter is always second rate. No matter what you do, you aren’t taking “risks” and don’t deserve to reap the rewards.
Thanks, Mr. Sununu for clarifying the Republican Party’s stand on this and announcing that objectivism is now the official philosophy of the Republican Party. Now everything makes sense, including of course Romney’s embrace of Paul Ryan’s tax reform plan that would lower Romney’s rate to below 1% while putting home mortgage deductions and state income tax deductions for working people on the table. Because after all, the Romneys of the world don’t even benefit from most of our cushy entitlements, and we must keep these true leaders incentivized. We owe them that much!