Monday, September 19, 2011

Class Warfare

Anyone who pays even the slightest attention to the media knows that the GOP loves to accuse liberals of something they call "class warfare."  By the Republican definition, it seems that anything that doesn't benefit the rich is a form of class warfare.  Raising taxes on the wealthy, lowering taxes on the middle class, increasing social benefits for the poor, it's all somehow class warfare.  A liberal can't order coffee in the morning without a gaggle of Repubicans shouting, "Class warfare!  Class warfare!" 

It's ridiculous.  It's also dishonest.

President Barack Obama
Today, President Obama called for a series of tax increases worth 1.5 trillion dollars.  Coupled with other program reform and policy changes, this would reduce the deficit by more than 4.4 trillion dollars.  He's also made a proposal that he calls "the Buffett rule," patterned after Warren E. Buffett's call for the government to "stop coddling the super-rich."  The rule would call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than one million dollars a year, forcing them to pay at least as high a percentage of their earnings as their employees do.

That seems fair, doesn't it?  No one's trying to stop the rich from being rich.  I think that's a pretty important point to make: the hyper-rich get to continue being hyper-rich.  The rich keep to keep on being rich.  America's seen some tough times, recently, and our economy isn't as good as it should be.  As it could be, if we pulled together.  So isn't it fair to have the rich shoulder their share of the burden?

Not according to Republicans.  Paul Ryan, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin and Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget, has come out with the standard GOP reply for anything that even remotely touches taxation: "Class warfare!" 
It looks like the President wants to move down the class warfare path. Class warfare will simply divide this country more, will attack job creators,  divide people, and it doesn’t grow the economy.

Representative Paul Ryan
So what's Ryan's plan to fix the economy?  Well, he wants to raise taxes.  His plan would raise taxes by more than 50% on individuals making less than $106,000 a year.  Ryan doesn't care about the middle class at all, which fits standard Republican behavior.  From the GOP's point of view, if a person makes less than a million dollars a year, then they don't matter. 

It's only class warfare when it's hurting the rich, apparently.

Think about it.  In 2001 and 2003, President Bush cut taxes on the rich.  These tax cuts were, supposedly, for the purpose of "creating jobs."  (It's fairly easy to take a look around and see how well that worked.)  Did Republicans let loose their accusations of "class warfare" then?  Well no.  Of course not.

But fast forward a few years to 2010, when those tax cuts were about to expire.  Suddenly, Republicans were pouring out of the woodwork, their shouts of "class warfare!" ringing through the air.  It was almost impossible to have a conversation about the subject over their cries.

As GOP Senator Orrin Hatch said, "“The place where you’ve got to get revenues has to come from the middle class."

It's obvious how the Regressives think: taxing the rich is wrong, it's class warfare.  On the other hand, taxing the middle class and the poor is great!  It's simply sharing the burden!  We all must do our civic duty, after all!  Funny how "civic duty" only comes up when they're talking about people with less money than them.

The Republican agenda is clear: they are trying to create an American noble class.  So far, they are succeeding.  The rich are immune to laws that would destroy an average citizen's life.  At a time when the government is intruding more and more on our personal lives, the rich are almost free from government interference.  It would be almost admirable, if we were grading them on a scale of villainy, but we're not.  It's repugnant on almost every level.

A noble class can't exist without a peasant class.  Guess which one we're in.

Class warfare is being waged.  It's being waged by the Republican elite against a middle-class they see as weakened and struggling.  They will do everything they can to grind us away, up to and including increased taxation, the removal of social benefits, and taking away our right to vote

Obama's tax reform and Buffett's millionaire tax will not stop them, by themselves.  But they are important first steps that we need to take, if we're going to defend ourselves against the agenda of the Republican elite.

Call or write your Congressmen and let them know that you support Obama's taxation reform.  Even if they're a Republican, make sure they know which side you're on. 

They can only win if we let them win.

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