Sunday, March 3, 2013

GOP on Track to Wreck American Economy

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist 

Republicans are slobbering about not raising taxes on anyone, but we all know they don't give a rat's patootie about the tax rates of the little guys.  The little guys, as George W. Bush once famously admitted, are not their base.  The GOP is rabidly guarding the fortunes of the rich.

When Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, was President more than a century ago, the extremely rich paid ninety-percent of their income into the progressive income tax system.  Today those rates have flattened out to just over what poor people pay - and the rich, after taking advantage of the loopholes that their lackeys in Congress have written into the tax code, often pay a rate that is around half of what ordinary Americans pay.  Remember Mitt Romney?  His campaign reported that he paid a rate of just 14.1% in 2011.  Wouldn't we all love to play by his rules!

Those tax-writing lackeys in Congress are, of course, many of the same GOP hogs who complain so bitterly about anyone even hinting that the rich should pay their fair share in taxes.  They like to employ the old Reagan fairy tale that if the rich keep more of their money they will use to to create jobs and raise wages - and prosperity will "trickle down."  And sometimes they do create new jobs - overseas.

Republicans also like to see that wealth gets passed on from generation to generation.   That problem, the unfair extension of financial privilege across generations, has been addressed in the past with estate taxes - a concept that polls show most Americans favor.  But then Republicans, always endeavoring to maintain their advantage, cleverly began referring to estate taxes as "death taxes" and turned public opinion in their favor by demonizing the government as literal grave robbers.

It's their money, a white Jesus gave it to them, and by God they are going to keep it.

So they talk in terms of no new taxes and making up the continuing shortfall in the budget through "spending cuts."  By spending cuts they mean things that will hurt the poor.  The Republicans in Congress support every weapons' system and military misadventure with gusto.  The programs they want to cut are Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security - the social safety net of America.   Their America is a land of armaments and unregulated business.  Helping ordinary Americans is not a Republican goal.

Now we have the much ballyhooed sequester.  Nothing fell apart today, and tomorrow is already looking to be fairly stable - but the hardship is out there on the horizon, and when it comes it will slam across the economy with a vengeance.   My job will be reduced by 20% per week at the end of the month - as will my pay  - and I will suck it up and survive.  I have some savings and live alone.  Many, many others will not be so lucky.    I will be reducing my spending in the local community by 20%, and so will my friends and co-workers - or they will be increasing their debt load.  Either option is bad - for America.

And John Boehner will continue to play golf and lounge in a tanning bed several times a week.  And Mitch McConnell will continue to prostitute himself to the big tobacco companies for campaign cash.  And John McCain will continue to race from Sunday talk show to Sunday talk show babbling nonstop inanities.   And life will go on.  But at some point the bills will come due and this do-nothing Congress will be brought to account for its total disregard and disdain of working Americans, the poor, the disabled, and the elderly.

The Republican agenda needs to move beyond the political destruction of Barack Obama.  He has won two national elections - both by substantial majorities - and his popularity is at an all-time high.  These bozos won't destroy the President, but they may ultimately succeed in gutting the American dream and wrecking the economy.   When that happens, their rich friends are not going to be pleased.

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