Representing the Conservative counter-point on CBS Sunday Morning, Ben Stein touted a curious hodge-podge of values, few of which aligned with either the reality or the misrepresentation of the GOP platform.
Stein’s belief in tax increases for the wealthy would have gotten him bounced out of Tampa by the Grover Norquist “No-New-Revenue” mob (which includes Mitt Romney). While obviously an essential component of balancing any budget and chipping away at the debt, a certain group of individuals refuse to acknowledge it. Even “Read-my-lips-no-new-taxes” Bush quickly found out that was not a realistic way to solve budget issues.
In a previous commentary on CBS, Stein, who owns 11 homes questioned the economic gloom mongers, saying that things seemed fine in his neighborhood (Beverly Hills). For those of us who don’t live in Beverly Hills – or any of Stein’s other exclusive neighborhoods, we would have to question his sense of reality or understanding of macro-economics. It’s definitely not what we would expect from the son of famed economist, Herbert Stein.
Stein circles the wagons around his core Conservative beliefs and his fear of big government. To illustrate the dangers of big governments, he talks about the atrocities perpetrated by Germany and Russia during World War II and even drags up the Roman Empire. The problem with these examples is that they highlight just the opposite, extremism perpetrated by very small governments with very large armies. At the height of his power and destructive capability, Hitler was a government of one. As for Russia, Stalin was a bad guy when he agreed to split Poland with Germany, but he was surprised when Germany attacked in 1941. Russia lost 20 million people during that conflict and probably contributed more to the defeat of Germany than us. The name Roman Empire speaks for itself. The greatest danger puts the greatest power in the hands of the few. The theocracy of the Taliban would be one example, the plutocracy of a Romney government would be another.
Stressing the CONSERVE in Conservatism, Stein thumps his chest as a champion of freedom and human rights. Based on the party of Abraham Lincoln, I would have to concur. Except that party died somewhere between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Since 2010 Republican legislatures have introduced and passed bills across the country to limit freedom of all types, especially when it comes to women’s reproductive rights. 1200 abortion-related bills (so much for their jobs,jobs,jobs agenda). They’ve defunded Planned Parenthood and would do the same to Pell Grants. They are anti-education, anti-science and only believe in the rights of the unborn. After that, you’re on your own. They believe in war as long as it’s YOUR children fighting, not theirs.
Like an actor rushing to the victim of an accident saying that he played a doctor on TV, Ben Stein comes to us having played an Economics teacher in the movies. But you know, Ben, like Ferris says at the end of the movie, sometimes you just have to say, “What the f…?”