Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Republican War on the Middle Class

An astonishing post here that lays out in detail the Republican plan to pour unheard of new riches into the pockets of the wealthiest Americans and make the economic plight of the middle class even more desperate than it already is. Yes, since I am a rabidly Democratic partisan, you might think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. Let me post the most relevant sections of Steve Benen's item about Rep. Paul Ryan's tax proposals, or "roadmap":

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained today, the roadmap "calls for radical policy changes that would result in a massive transfer of resources from the broad majority of Americans to the nation's wealthiest individuals."

The Roadmap would give the most affluent households a new round of very large, costly tax cuts by reducing income tax rates on high-income households; eliminating income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax.

At the same time, the Ryan plan would raise taxes for most middle-income families, privatize a substantial portion of Social Security, eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, end traditional Medicare and most of Medicaid, and terminate the Children's Health Insurance Program. The plan would replace these health programs with a system of vouchers whose value would erode over time and thus would purchase health insurance that would cover fewer health care services as the years went by.

An analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center found that the richest 1% of Americans -- those making more than $633,000 a year -- would find their tax burden cut in half in 2014. The more one makes, the bigger the cut -- millionaires who Republicans have already taken good care of would find their taxes cut even more dramatically, by hundreds of thousands of dollars

The congressional Republicans are simply declaring all-out war on America's vast middle class. The Radical Right is cozying up to the richest and most powerful in an even more shameless and blatant manner. And all of this won't even have an effect on the nation's indebtedness for years and years to come, if ever.

Spread the word. Spread this post. Get some action going on this. If the Democrats can take the offensive on this, maybe 2010 might not be so rough of an election year after all.


The Constitutional Crusader said...

I want to know when it became a bad thing to be rich. There was a time in this country when everyone aspired to be successful in this country. Also, why does everyone on the other side seem to think that just because other people are doing well, it means other people are suffering? That's the way it's been since the beginning of time. Jesus himself said "the poor shall always be with you." Life in a free market system is not a zero-sum game. Our economic system does not oppress some people so that others can do well.

Here's a nifty metaphor for how our system works: Imagine a snow pack. When the snow pack melts, it creates a runoff of water which trickles down the mountain in the form of rivers and streams. Villagers at the bottom of that mountain use that water to bathe, cook, and wash clothes.

One would assume this means that keeping the snow pack thick would be the way to go in that system, no?

By the same token, if you take away money from the rich, as our President wants to do in the form of tax increases, it means they have less money to invest in business ventures, which means less jobs, which means higher unemployment due to lack of jobs and investment.

Tax cuts for the so-called "rich" are not a bad thing. They are, in fact, a NECESSARY thing, and a fundamental part of our country's founding principals.

For my part, low taxes across the board would be far more effective than tax cuts for a certain group, as it seems is happening with this tax plan, but it's a step in the right direction towards self-reliance and less dependency on Washington's welfare checks.

Joseph said...

Trickle-down doesn't work. That is an empirical fact. In the 8 years of conservative rule under Bush and Cheney, median income DECLINED for the first time since the Depression. There is an obscene concentration of wealth in America. I have documented this thoroughly on my blog over the last 5 years, and you are welcome to go through my archives and read why I feel as I feel. Right now, I need to get to bed.

The Constitutional Crusader said...

Empirical facts, huh? Well, you might want to look into a few more of those, because I have some here myself. One: The Reagan tax cuts allowed for EIGHT YEARS STRAIGHT of unparalleled economic growth. EVERYONE benefited, rich, poor, middle ground, whatever.

The Bush tax cuts allowed for months of economic growth and staved off a recession. When the democrats took control of congress in 2006, they passed the so-called Fair Housing Act, which was a direct catalyst for the foreclosure mess. I could go on, but I need sleep.

On a final note, let me leave you with the words of Thomas Jefferson:

"the democracy will cease to exist when you take money from those who are willing to work and give it to those who are not."

Anonymous said...

Hey, CC: Being rich is not a bad thing. No one said it was -- except perhaps you, struggling to create a straw man. The problem here is that the wealthiest of citizens, most of whom inherited their wealth and do not work in the sense most people (maybe even you) understand it, have been getting cut after cut since JFK in the early '60s. Aside from some spikes in the stock market, which, incidentally do NOT always translate into jobs on Main Street, our infrastructure has declined. All that job creation you and you ilk spout off on has been created in slave-labor markets overseas, e.g., China. Business ventures? The only business which I've seen generated seems to depend on the government: "defense" contractors, for instance, overcharging the taxpayers for various goods and services towards wars which will never be won, are not intended to be won, and indeed never needed to be fought in the first place. You really care about defeating the "terrorists?" How about we develop alternative fuels and tell the bomb-throwers in the Middle East to enjoy their oil.

By the way, all that "wealth" in the Reagan 80s? I was there. Most of that had to do with the automation of the workplace, i.e. PCs and Macs. But that was it. How you and your type lie by omission is by failing to mention that the two largest stock market crashes in history happened towards the end of Red-Ink Ronnie's term, and that the nation was left with historical levels of debt.

What I'd like to know is what the pay-grade cutoff is for patriotism. It seems to me that the elites in the USA have take a "We've got ours, the rest of you eat dirt" attitude towards the people who get up every morning, drive in to work, and actually create the wealth that keeps the economy running. Maybe you can tell me how rich we all need to be before we can sail away on our yachts and leave the flags and patriotic songs to the chumps. After you tell me where you, "Constitutional Crusader," were when the Orwellian-named USA PATRIOT Act was passed, that is. Or how you cheered when a partisan SCOTUS awarded the election to their patron's half-witted son. Or when you're done screaming names at me for daring to question your faceless, nameless Masters, whom you seem to think might reward you for trolling on the sites of honest Americans.

Tom said...

There's nothing wrong with earning a fortune. There's a lot wrong with stealing one. Or two. Or three.

You apparently did not live in the same United States as did I during the Reagan years. I and my friends became much poorer. You may recall the pillaging of the S&L industry.

There was a trickle-down effect there, all right, but not the kind you think.

This insistent ignorant flogging of revisionist history, along with the constant accusations of "wanting handouts" tells me you're a resentful untutored ditto-head who rather listen to hate speech than read. Have a good time in Uruguay under Generalissimo Bush.