10.26.2011

'The rich get richer'

My mother had a treasure trove of truisms which expressed her wisdom – none more so, in light of current trends, than “The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.”

In a display of classic doublespeak Republican Party leaders have accused Democrats of “class warfare” when they themselves are in all-out war against America’s working poor and middle class.

Why anyone of sound mind and a clear conscience would vote for these greedy charlatans is beyond me.

On October 21, after blocking a Senate vote on that portion of President Obama’s jobs plan which would have put more teachers and first responders to work and more paychecks in the pockets of these respected and vital people, Senate Minority Leader Mtch McConnell (R-KY) delivered this doublespeak after Democrats that same day blocked a GOP-backed proposal to repeal a 3 percent withholding requirement for all government contractors:

"It's hard to understand why Democrats would block this bipartisan effort to protect jobs - a provision of the president's bill. I've said a number of times in recent days that the president doesn't want Congress to pass his jobs bill; he wants to blame Republicans and use it on the campaign trail."

The hypocrisy overwhelms. What McConnell didn’t say was that, as reported, “The measure was part of Obama's broad jobs package and has Democratic supporters. However, Democrats and Republicans disagreed over how to offset the costs of eliminating the withholding.”

In their continuing warfare against the working poor and middle class, the field of GOP presidential hopefuls is proposing tax plans which are sheer lunacy.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s proposed 20 percent flat tax rate certainly would make “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.” While it would lower taxes on America’s wealthiest, it will increase taxes on 99 percent of Americans. Yeah, that’s a plan.

Equally egregious in this reverse-Robin Hood ripoff to rob from the poor to give to the rich are the dreams and schemes of other Republican wannabes. As reported by the Center for American Progress:

• Mitt Romney: Romney’s tax plan includes a $6.6 TRILLION giveaway to corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Meanwhile, Romney’s Medicaid cuts are even more draconian than the ones in Paul Ryan's plan. Both of their plans also end Medicare, naturally.

• Herman Cain: Cain’s now infamous 9-9-9 Plan would raise taxes on most Americans, while slashing taxes for millionaires by an average of $487,300 each.

• Jon Huntsman: Huntsman’s plan would introduce new taxes on veterans, seniors, the working poor, middle class Americans, students and many others in order to give the top 0.1 percent an annual tax of nearly $500,000 each.

• Michele Bachmann: Bachmann’s plan includes a massive tax cut for corporations and the wealthy paid for in part by increasing taxes on the working poor.

Are the rich getting richer? The New York Times reported yesterday:

“The top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last three decades, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, in a new report likely to figure prominently in the escalating political fight over how to revive the economy, create jobs and lower the federal debt.

“In addition, the report said, government policy has become less redistributive since the late 1970s, doing less to reduce the concentration of income.”

Are the poor getting poorer? According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report released 13 September 2011:

“The ranks of the nation's poor swelled to nearly 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment woes left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.”

The report further shows that “Measured by total numbers, the 46 million now living in poverty is the largest on record dating back to when the census began tracking poverty in 1959.”

And, what about the middle class? It’s no secret it’s dwindling. On 15 September 2011, Forbes.com issued a report titled “America’s Vanishing Middle Class,” which should be a wake-up call.

Why then do so many of America’s working poor and middle class continue to vote for Republican candidates hellbent to continue this trend?

I once was involved in defeating a crook who each time he ran for county superintendent of education pulled out his walking cane and developed a limp as he walked around the courthouse.

The answer is simple: every election cycle the Republicans pull out those old trusty walking canes of “God, gays, guns and abortion.”

Isn’t it time those of us who aren’t millionaires and billionaires drop these one-issue, myopic stances, show our true patriotism and look at the big picture of what is most harmful to most Americans?

6 comments:

Leslie Parsley said...

A lot of work went into this BJ. I hope people, regardless of their political persuasion, read it and take heed. There are so many respectable non-partisan organizations that are blistering the Republicans, not only for saying NO all the time but for not offering anything up that is new as well as viable, and for willingly taking this country to the brink of disaster for the sake of ideology.

I have a hard time accepting that people who take an oath to uphold the Constitution are willing to destroy the entire country just to keep one man from being re-elected. Even if he were the worst president in our history, which he clearly is not, to hold the country hostage and to totally push the poor and middle class under the rails, is nothing short of treason.

I have trouble believing that a large segment of the people who support the Republicans in general and the candidates in particular, can't see that the GOP doesn't give two hoots in hell about them. As soon as they vote, their usefulness will be over. What affects liberals will affect them as well.

Every single plan these candidates have touted has been torn to shreds by respected economists, tax organizations, including the long-time highly respected Congressional Budget Office, upon which they are now casting suspicions of a devious nature.

Boehner can look right at the camera and lie like a dog but he's not too bright and will soon trip all over himself, or be stabbed in the back by an even colder and slicker liar - Eric Cantor. McConnell, however, is smart and very crafty - which makes his evilness even more dangerous. He's an astute wizard at that double-speak you so adequately describe. If he weren't a senator, he'd make an excellent Mafia boss. Maybe he already is!

Ahab said...

It's high time people started speaking out against these injustices, lest the U.S. turn into a second-world country. (One could argue that we might already be there.)

The key is convincing people who identify with the robber-barons that voting for them is not in their economic best interest.

Murr Brewster said...

It's an amazingly effective technique of McConnell's--accuse your opponents of exactly what you're guilty of yourself. Fair-minded people are so spun around by this tactic that they spit and sputter. Many a time I've listened to these people and can't get anything out but "oh, yeah?" or "I am paper, you are glue..." Cheers to you for keeping a clear head.

Tiny said...

Any reasonalbe minded person should have no problem seeing through the transparent swiss cheese mumbo-jumbo that rolls off the end ot the GOPers tongues. They know they are telling lies to the people and don't care one whit for the people who are stripped of their savings, homes, pensions, jobs, medical care, food and other necessities for daily survival.
Hopefully there are enough intelligent Kentuckians to get shet of McConnell and his creepy, snearing grim.

He has offereeed not one constructive thing for the people who are in such dire straites at a time when livve should be more predictable for their futurres. But Tiny is no genie in a bottle who reads what the people are thinking, if they are allowed to think. But she has faith in the human spirit of caring people.

Excellent post, BJ. As always chock full of useful information
to be learned. Thank you for all you do.

B.J. said...

All:

I have always said the comments are the best part of DemWit. It’s a joy when thinking people come here and leave their imprint.

Not one person challenged to explain why they would vote Republican responded to the facts of the post. I doubt they even read them. Of course, they don’t have to explain their votes to anyone, but if this bunch gains power, thay might be asking themselves “Why?” for the rest of their lives.

I cannot explain why people ignore facts that are in their own self-interest. To quote Winston Churchill from a 1939 radio address: “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” I AM getting tired of trying to help.

BJ

Octopus said...

I think Election 2012 will be pivotal – whether the USA remains a democracy or whether it slides into a proto-fascism of the plutocracy. What concerns me: Election-rigging schemes such as photo IDs and district gerrymandering to disenfranchise voters and tilt the outcome.

If the GOP prevails next year, what I see going forward are changes in the tax code that favor their billionaire benefactors, dismantling of the social safety net, privatization of education and essential services, and more changes in voter registration laws to ensure a future GOP supremacy. In essence, the end of democracy as we know it. Next year will be the watershed that either preserves what we have or changes the future course of the country.

I share Leslie’s anxiety. I find myself more short-tempered and testy these days and can no longer disguise my contempt for GOP Orcs and Tea Goblins.