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?