Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't Feed the Hogs!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

First of all, here is what I believe regarding the dangerous U.S. deficit:  it wasn't caused by welfare moms, government assistance to poor people, illegal immigrants - 90 percent of whom are employed and paying taxes, school lunches, or Medicaid.  The massive U.S. deficit was accrued in large part under the administration of President George W. Bush, a moron, and is basically the result of his financial neglect and mismanagement, and especially the wasteful spending on his oil-and-glory wars.

Republicans predictably want to address the deficit by demonizing the poor and eradicating any program that looks like it might benefit a poor person - school lunches, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance - to name some obvious ones.

Republicans do not want to end any program that is of direct and significant benefit to the rich - such as the oil-and-glory wars and tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.  They are screechingly opposed to inheritance taxes, which they call "death taxes," because it comes out of the pockets of the wealthy and infringes on their ability to slide their wealth from generation to generation.  (When that happens for a protracted period of time, we starting getting morons-of-privilege, or "legacies," who feel that have some divine right to run things - like George W. Bush and Mitt Romney!)

The big fight in Congress right now is over extending what are referred to as the "Bush tax cuts," temporary tax breaks that were put in place ten years ago with an expiration date that is now upon us.  In order to get taxes lowered from a little over 39% to 35% for millionaires, Bush and the Republicans in Congress at that time, grudgingly agreed to let everyone have a tax break.  But now those breaks are expiring, and Republicans, being the greedy bastards that they are, want to make the whole mess permanent, thus depriving the treasury of much needed revenue.  At the same time, they still want to rape the poor by taking away their access to medical care, school lunches, and any other "luxury" that has even a hint of government funding.

Billionaire Warren Buffet noted a few years ago that his secretary was paying more in taxes than he was.  He has recently said that the ultra-rich people in this country, himself included, are not paying enough in taxes - they are, in effect getting a cheap ride on the backs of the working poor.

President Obama wants to extend or make permanent all of the tax cuts on incomes of less that $250,000 - a quarter of a million dollars.  But Republicans don't want America's wealthiest - the millionaires and billionaires, the people George W. Bush once referred to as his "base" -  to be stuck paying the extra four percent.  (Back when the progressive income tax first came into effect, during Teddy Roosevelt's day, the top bracket paid 90 percent!  (How would John Boehner like them apples?  A actual progressive income tax system would really turn him orange!)

But Republicans are fighting mad, threatening to stop everything in Congress - like they always do - unless these "middle class" tax breaks can be saved.  (Suddenly millionaires and billionaires are middle class!)  It is necessary for the economy to recover, they groan and  moan, to let the rich (excuse me, "middle class") keep more of their money so that they can invest it and it will trickle down to the masses. Republicans have preached "trickle down" economics for generations, and there is absolutely no research to show that it works.  The rich just keep getting richer, and the poor have to work more and more jobs in order to survive.

(One minimum wage job produces an annual income of about $16,000.  A continued tax break for a person making one million dollars a year will put an extra $40,000 in that person's pocket - and it isn't going to trickle down - at least not anywhere that will benefit the working poor.)

The money hasn't been trickling down, but we have been getting hosed!

I heard a speaker on the radio tonight say that by just getting the richest Americans to pay an extra four percent in taxes, the deficit could be reduced by a trillion dollars in ten years.  How many school lunches would we have to cut to come up with a trillion dollar savings?

The quickest way to stimulate the economy would be to quit dicking around with unemployment checks and get them into the hands of the poor.  They would spend that money on luxuries like gas, and food, and rent, and the money would immediately be revving up the economy.   Why, even the rich would benefit as that money trickled up to the big oil companies, corporate farms and grocery chains, and slumlords.

It's time to stop feeding the hogs and let them forage for honest grub like the rest of us.  Even if they have to pay forty percent in taxes, they should still be able to make car, boat, and house payments - and pay their country club dues - with the remaining sixty percent of their million ($600,000), or millions, or billions - just fine!

Anyone in Congress who supports continued tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans deserves to get a challenger in their next primary election.  They can ask Blanche Lincoln just how much fun that is!

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Seems like it is Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, these being the best of times and the worst of times. But these days also feel like the fast play of the Great Gatsby.

I just really never thought we'd be stupid enough to shoot craps with the economy the way we did when we dismantled Glass-Steagall and the post-Depression economic regulations.

How many lunches you ask? The reduced price school lunch costs the kid no more than 40¢ per meal. Doing the math 40 + 40 +20 = $1.00. A trillion dollars times 2.5 equals 2.5 trillion school lunches to pay for the fat cat tax boondoggle.

That's a lot of hungry kids.

The House passed the Middle Class Tax Cut Extension yesterday by including it in the airport bill.

Boehner called it chicken crap.