Jared Polis, Democrat but no democrat
Well, it’s an election year so I can’t help but post yet again on our local “race” here in Colorado. I live in the 2nd congressional district which encompasses liberal Boulder County, other northwest suburban areas, a few mountain towns, and the elite ski oasis of Vail. The total population is over 600,000, a critically important point when thinking of the possibility of true democracy. Only those with access to, or ownership of, great wealth can effectively compete in such a huge district. Large districts were purposely and disgracefully designed into the Constitution for this very purpose but it’s gotten far worse since the 18th century. The average person simply cannot be represented.
Our congressman is one Jared Polis who happens to be one of the richest men in the state with disclosed assets of between $67.9 and $230.4 million. With such wealth he has a lock grip on our seat and he’ll face no primary challenge within the Democratic Party.
As one would expect from his social class, Polis is a deeply compromised representative. His positions on bread and butter issues are uniformly against the majority and in favor of the moneyed few. On taxes he seeks to reduce income tax rates despite their being the lowest since the Great Depression. On Social Security, he’s fully on board with the Bowles-Simpson agenda which slashes benefits for all workers above the bottom 20% and reduces the top tier workers’ future benefits from $34,092 to $24,624. Similarly on Medicare, he supports Bowles-Simpson which seeks to drastically cut back or eliminate long term care insurance, increase deductibles and co-pays, and eliminate the ability to even self insure under Medigap policies.
During the health care debates he expressed alarm at a proposed millionaire tax surcharge and actually wrote a letter to Obama in support of maintaining the 15% tax rate on the “carried interest” of Wall Street barons. And as mentioned above, he supports reducing income tax rates despite their current rock bottom levels.
How does he justify these outrageous positions? He uses stale and bankrupt theories that have long served the interests of consolidated wealth, the investor class, and the almighty entrepreneur. Now I’m not at all against small business and innovation, but to suggest that the vast problems of 21st century capitalism can be solved by lowering taxes on small business, singing songs of glorious entrepreneurs, and cutting living standards for everyone else is ludicrous. The fundamental problems in our world are inequality and the mal-distribution of resources and his agenda is exactly what we don’t need. In fact, they’re the same neoliberal policies that helped get us where we are today.
This isn’t my first post against this politician and it surely won’t be my last. I know it’s a repeat of some prior posts but I think it’s important to continuously document the failures of democracy in this country. And most especially the failures of the Democratic Party given they’ve fooled so many into thinking they “have their backs” as our Democratic president so often likes to say.