GOP Hopeful Exposes Republican Anti-Jobs, Anti-Middle Class Agenda – Without Meaning To

Cartoon courtesy of M.Wuerker/Politico

One GOP presidential hopeful said something quite shocking during the Aug. 11 Republican Presidential debate, and the media barely seemed to notice. Herman Cain’s surprising candor about the Republicans’ true agenda should be disturbing and enraging more people.

The panel posed the question:

“You say that we can boost job creation by eliminating the tax on profits earned overseas, but when we tried a tax break like this in 2004 companies didn’t create jobs, they just paid bigger dividends to their shareholders. Why would it work this time?”


 “If a company were to decide that they want to take some of that [tax cut] money and pay a bigger dividend [instead of creating jobs], SO WHAT!? It’s their money…I am not concerned – I am NOT concerned about what they will do with that money if it is allowed to come back.”

Fast-forward to 5m42s to hear the remarks. (Article continues after video.)

In essence Cain has exposed the Republicans’ “trickle-down-economics” justification for tax cuts as a sham. Let’s recap:

1. Republicans propose to grow the economy and create jobs by offering more tax breaks to the wealthy – ahem, “job creators.”

2. Some Republicans think, “so what?!” if the “job creators” don’t actually create jobs with the additional tax breaks they are proposing. Even though that is the so-called purpose of the tax breaks.


Republicans Have No Qualms about Sacrificing Jobs to Make the Rich Richer

Herman Cain is not alone; his stances on tax policy and job losses are shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the Republican Party. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the deficit-boosting revenue cuts that Cain and Michele Bachmann have proposed:

Herman Cain (Source) Michele Bachmann (Source)
Lower uppermost corporate and personal tax rate to 25% Decrease corporate tax rate down to 9%
In a Think Progress interview, Cain actually said he’d like to see NO taxes on corporations.” Zero out the alternative minimum tax (a tax on the wealth of individuals, corporations, estates, and trusts)
Charge 0% capital gains tax (profits on the sale of investments or property – in other words, “income”) Charge 0% capital gains tax
Charge 0% tax on repatriated profit (profits earned overseas but brought back to the U.S.) Zero out the death tax (the inheritance tax)
Make the above tax breaks permanent Pay for decreased tax liability for the wealthy by INCREASING tax liability for the poor. Bachmann has indicated she wants to raise taxes on near-poverty-line families who currently don’t have federal income tax liability because they don’t earn enough.


The Truth about Republican “Prosperity:” It’s Limited to the Top 1%

Cain also remarked during the Republican presidential debate that lower tax rates are meant to spur “growth decisions.”

Let’s examine the type of growth Republicans are referring to. Who is made richer while the majority of Americans suffer without jobs or with stagnant wages?

The data shows:

  • The current U.S. economic recovery has been unusually skewed in favor of corporate profits and against wage increases for workers, according to economists at Northeastern University who found that:
    • Since the start of the recovery in June 2009, corporate profits have accounted for 88% of the growth in real national income, while labor wages have accounted for only 1% of income growth during the same two years.

Want more?

  • The bottom 90% of Americans (288 million people) have an average income of $31,000, which is a measly 2.7% of the average earnings of people in the top 1%  and only 0.01% of what individuals in the top 0.01% earn. (Source: Emmanuel Saez, UC Berkeley.)

More, you say?

  • From 1979 to 2005 the bottom 90% of Americans earned $786 billion LESS income compared to their income growth rates prior to 1979. Where did those lower and middle-class earnings go? Right to the top:


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Edited By: Alexis Atherton