In the wake of President Obama’s call to arms regarding the need to impose a bit more income tax on the wealthiest individuals and corporations in order to move toward a balanced budget, Republicans are whining and grousing again about CLASS WARFARE on that embattled segment of our population. Oh how unfair!
Yes indeed, sad violins (in stereo) are in order. Never mind that the absurd tax codes in our country have favored the wealthiest people, business owners, and corporate powerhouses over the slobs who work for salaries for years. So much so, that the wealthy and the big corporations are now in almost unopposed control of our federal government via hugely-expanded corporate voting power via lobbyists and the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
I have a retired friend who owned a gas station and attached mini-mart, and who, in a discussion regarding taxes, proudly mentioned that he had paid no personal federal income taxes in the years he owned the station, due to tax loopholes for those who sold fuels as part of their businesses. His well-paid accountant had set up the business to exempt him from such pesky taxes. The wage earners who worked for him, and also enabled the business to grow enormously in value in just a few years, enjoyed no such tax benefits. I believe what he told me, because he’s a businessman, staunch Republican, conservative, and therefore must be telling the truth. That’s CLASS WARFARE!
The current 15% tax rate on capital gains is another case in point, since most of middle class wage earners pay more like 20% or 25%, depending on how middle their class is. Surely there is no reason capital gains exceeding, say $20,000, (except one-time home sales) should be taxed at such a low rate. Thanks, G.W. Bush. That’s CLASS WARFARE!
News reports of the Obama tax deal suggest that if Republicans agree to raise taxes on the wealthy (HA!), that he’d go along with cuts to Medicare, which, I suspect, would eventually lead to poorer healthcare, or lower benefits. This is at the same time when Seniors haven’t had a cost of living adjustment in two years (and yes, our cost of living has risen sharply!), and interest rates (CDs, savings accounts, etc.), on which many Seniors depend substantially, are for practical purposes reduced to zero. This is to help out business recovery caused by Corporate America’s major contributions to the Recession. That’s CLASS WARFARE!
Tax write-offs for corporate jets keep our so important business tycoons from having to endure the inconveniences of airport crowds, lines, commercial flight schedules, or the lousy road surfaces which may shake their limos. So, don’t do much about the crumbling infrastructure. Just increase the tolls… that’s not really a tax increase, right? That’s CLASS WARFARE!
Sam the CEO takes his friends and business associates to two-martini or wine lunches at fancy restaurants, but because it’s a business deduction, nothing comes out of his pocket. Joe Sixpack does not enjoy these deductions from his taxes when he buys some beers for his associates after a hard day working at the construction site. That’s CLASS WARFARE!
So, would the Republican intelligentsia please stop making this absurd claim? It is, and has always been the middle-class wage earner (working, retired, or fired) against whom Class Warfare has been waged, not the wealthy business tycoon, the corporate takeover artist, or the hedge fund manager. These are the royalty whose taxes have been reduced to the point where they should all be as ashamed as Warren Buffett to keep accepting this unwarranted benefit. And the same may be said for the equally ridiculous point which we hear again and again, that raising taxes will sharply curtail jobs, because the corporations and the wealthy are the “job creators.” The past 10 years of low taxes and deregulation have only led to the loss of many millions of jobs, thousands of closed factories, and too many rich, spoiled Americans.