Sunday, October 23, 2005

How do we know Republicans are for the rich? Ask them.

The base of the Republican Party -- their raison d'etre -- is to make rich people richer.

That's what they are about.

It doesn't matter what the consequences are.

It doesn't matter if as a consequence of making rich people richer, everyone else is poorer.

That doesn't matter.

Check the numbers. According to this article in the Christian Science Monitor,

Income disparities in the United States grew substantially from 2002 to 2003, new Internal Revenue Service statistics indicate. After adjusting for inflation, the after-tax income of the richest 1 percent of households rose by 8.5 percent, or nearly $49,000 apiece - helped by the Bush tax cuts. The bottom 75 percent of filers saw real after-tax incomes fall. The middle fifth of taxpayers, for instance, lost $300.


So just to be clear, Republican policies make the top 1 percent richer by fifty grand each while those of us making less than fifty grand all year had less income.

If you make less than 50 grand, you are poorer now because of Republican policies.

If you are the richest one percent, you are 50 grand richer.

That's what politics is all about. And when you are trying to convince someone to vote for a Democratic candidate, talk about money.

Republicans *hate* it when you do that! They want to talk about abortion or guns or what a horrible person John Kerry's wife is or oral sex.

But when you talk about money, people start nodding their heads.

Here's the latest proof that Republicans are about making the rich richer.

The President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform (pretty good website here). It's set up to give some recommendations to President Bush on how to reform the tax code.

And of course one they will conclude that we need to make rich people richer.

The way to do that is easy: cut taxes on high incomes and on wealth.

So the panel suggested that we should lower the rates that rich people pay on the income earned above $200,000 (because you know those guys are hurting) and that taxes on investments be lowered even more.

The panel wants to cut the highest marginal income tax from 35% to 33%.

That rate was 39.6% during the Clinton years. Remember, peace and prosperity?

Bush and the Republicans made sure to cut that down to 35%.

And now they want to cut it even more.

When we are broke. And college tuition is skyrocketing and financial aid is flatlining. And our infrastructure is not up to snuff (remember New Orleans?). And mass transit fares are going up because the feds don't pay for any operating costs. And they want to cut money for health insurance.

Here's a pretty good article on the panel from the New York Sun. It's all press leaks now as the panel hasn't made an official decision.

This what the Republican Party is all about.

And it is so incredibly frustrating that anyone making less than fifty grand would vote for them for any reason.


Lazerlou said...

It's a good thing the poor and meek shall inherit the earth, or else all those red state cultural republicans could be seen as having been completely duped. But so long as those in the bottom 66% of wealth are, for the most part, materially satisfied, so long as their churches are getting federal money, and the government keeps advancing abortion restrictions and a foreign policy that is apolcapyptic, they don't seem to mind being screwed financially.

respectful said...

Dan may be happy seeing the world in black and white partisan colors. The fact is the rich got richer during the Clinton administration as well. Those high tech stocks made lots of new millionaires and billionaires. CEO compensation zoomed upward far faster than rank--and-file salaries during the Clinton era. Does that make Clinton a Republican? BTW, it's fine with me if George Soros and other Democrat gazzillionaires pay more taxes.

Lazerlou said...

Yea, pretty much. Clintons, Feinstein, Slow Joe Liebs, Loser John Kerry, all the moderate Dems are functional republicans. Politicians crowd the middle for good reason, and the middle has gone, much to my dismay, to the right in my short 30 year lifetime.

But at least under Clinton, while the rich were getting richer faster than everyone else, everyone else was at least getting richer too. You see how that incremental difference makes all the difference when it comes to basic human decency and ethical policy?

Anonymous said...

i think the tax rate should be reduced on interest income (bank accounts, certificate of deposits) from "ordinary income" rates (eg, 35% for the top bracket) to the same rate as dividends and capital gains (either 15 or 20%).

i also think the amount of social security benefits subject to taxation should be increased for well-to-do seniors. seniors (old people) should also have social security incentives to choose fuel-efficient transportation.

the amt needs to be reformed. this is a little beyond my expertise and experience at this time.

Anonymous said...

But you're talking about "earned income" from a job. That's entirely the wrong approach and why people who want to become wealthy earn their income from investments which is only taxed as a capital gain at 15% if it is sold.

Also don't the top 1% pay something like 1/3 of all federal taxes received?

Under that assumption I think whatever small tax break they are given doesn't change the fact that their proportion of taxes paid is still very high (on earned income).

Anonymous said...

I watched Julian Epstein on Kudlow's daily CNBC tv show. Epstein is a Democrat national strategist. Epstein says Democrats have to move beyond class warfare to win nationally. They have to become the party of aspiration.

I think this is true. I do not think you can turn it into us vs them, low paid vs. high paid, poor and oppressed vs. crappy authority. I think dems need a positive vision and future. They should not disparage corporate or business people.

To epstein's strategy, I would add morality: dems need to win or cut losses on "morality" on a natl level. (eg, $ for halliburton).

This will win national - Congress and presidency.

Anonymous said...

I want to comment only on the last sentence of your post: "It is so incredibly frustrating that anyone making less than fifty grand would vote for them." Presumably, then, it would make no sense for anyone making over $200K to vote Democrat. But many do. Why? Because they care about other things, like abortion rights or the environment or pacifism. It's pretty condescending to say that people who make less than $50K should care about money, and nothing else. The poor, including many blacks and hispanics, tend to be more religious and actually do care about gay marriage and abortion and all those other Rove-created "wedge" issues. Bill Clinton understood this and didn't dismiss those people. He actually took away most of their welfare and nobody complained. But the current generation of liberals seems to think straight-up Marxism is a better strategy. "You're part of a designated class! Here is what you must think and agitate for!" - CF