We hear it all the time from Republicans, that the poor are waging class warfare against the rich and that any taxes levied against the rich are no more than a redistribution of wealth. I reject this Republican claim and contend that the wealthy are the ones waging class warfare and they are doing it with the complete backing of the GOP. It’s no secret that Republicans are on the side of wealthy people. It keeps their pockets filled. But how has this class warfare, perpetrated by the wealthy and right-wing, harmed the rest of us?
According to the most recent information, the Forbes 400 now have a greater net worth than the bottom 60% of U.S. households combined. In 2010, total net worth of the Forbes 400 reached $1.37 trillion. The net worth of the entire bottom 60% of households? $1.22 trillion. That’s 2.3% of the total wealth in America. The other 40% of households including the Forbes 400 have a combined wealth of about $52 trillion. I don’t care what anybody says, that’s a hell of a lot of cash. Clearly, the top 40% of Americans have the lions share of wealth, while the majority of Americans are wallowing in or near the poverty line.
As soon as George W. Bush crowned himself America’s king in 2001, the wealthy declared war on the middle class and have been using Republican politicians as their generals in the field. All of a sudden, taxing the wealthy equaled wealth redistribution and screwing over the middle class became a game to the wealthy class. The goal of the wealthy and the Republican Party was simple. Run up the national debt, blame the middle class, claim that lowering taxes on the wealthy would solve all of our fiscal problems, and then punish the middle class repeatedly to pay for the tax cuts. Before you wealthy jackasses object, consider these numbers. Let’s add up the many tax breaks for the wealthy and compare them to the costs of the many programs that Republicans want to wipe out.
-The per year cost of recent tax cuts for millionaires’ estates totals $11.5 billion. To pay for that, Republicans are calling for the end of Early Childhood programs which conveniently total $11.2 billion. What a coincidence, wouldn’t you say?
-The cost of allowing mortgage interest deduction for vacation homes comes out to a ten-year price tag of $8.9 billion. The program Republicans want to cut to pay for this is low-income housing which totals the exact same amount, $8.9 billion. Republicans expect the poor to live in cardboard boxes so that their wealthy friends can have their vacation homes. Nice, right?
- $6.7 billion. That is the cost of “estate planning” techniques used by the wealthy to avoid taxes. To pay for this, Republicans are setting their sights on taking away supplemental nutrition for poor families, better known as WIC which equals $7.6 billion. Making sure the wealthy do not pay taxes on their huge mansions is more important to Republican lawmakers than feeding poor children. And they say abortion is cruel. Try starving to death. Meanwhile, the wealthy and their Republican lackeys dine on imported lobster, grossly expensive wines and champagnes, and many of the most expensive foods money can buy, and many even employ their own personal chefs. That’s what our tax dollars are paying for now.
-The cost of removing the limit on itemized deduction for high income taxpayers totals $5.2 billion. But Republicans have a plan to pay for that too, by stripping the $4.6 billion of vital funding to teacher training and after school programs. Again, Republicans are willing to punish kids and destroy our educational future for the sake of removing a limit on itemized deductions. Republicans must really hate kids to be able to pull the trigger on that. The wealthy meanwhile, send their kids to high-priced exclusive private schools while trying to destroy the public school system that serves that rest of us. The wealthy and Republicans apparently think that you should only be allowed an education if you’re rich.
- The total amount of tax breaks for offshore operations of US financial companies is $4.1 billion. That’s precisely the cost of a program that provides job training for the unemployed and new workers. So, on top of outsourcing that kills jobs and union busting which destroys benefits and pay, Republicans are willing to spit on the unemployed even MORE just to give tax breaks to the huge financial companies that have nothing better to do than to gamble with our money and cause economic meltdowns.
Are you infuriated yet? Do you get what Republicans and the wealthy are doing? If not, continue reading, because the wealthy and GOP are far from finished.
-Tax breaks for oil companies, which includes write-offs for oil drilling and oil well costs total $4.9 billion. Apparently, oil companies can’t survive in the free market and must have government assistance through tax breaks and subsidies. How will they possibly pay for this? Well, they will partly pay for it by eliminating $2.5 billion in low-income home energy assistance grants to poor families. So, Republicans care about big oil, but they don’t give a damn if children freeze to death during the winter. And Republicans wonder why some poor women choose abortion. Why watch your child freeze to death and suffer later in life when an abortion would have been a more humane option? Makes sense to me.
-Extending alcohol fuel tax breaks has a price tag of $4.9 billion, but Republicans once again have a solution to pay for this. Cut the $2 billion worth of assistance grants for the homeless. So, since most of the homeless are former military veterans, this means Republicans hate the men and women who fight for this country but absolutely love tax breaks for alcohol fuel companies. Apparently, its ok to punish people for being homeless. Republicans and the wealthy could give jobs to these unfortunate people but why offer a job to a homeless American when you can bring in illegal immigrants as slaves to do things around your house.
-A tax loophole for managers of hedge and private equity funds costs $2.3 billion. To make up for this loophole, Republicans want to cut community health centers, which would bring in $2.5 billion. Gee, who would have guessed that Republicans would support greedy, slimy hedge fund managers that sit on their asses all day doing nothing but gambling with other peoples’ money instead of supporting facilities that provide health care to communities? It just boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
-The cost of allowing companies to write off punitive damages is $312 million. Punitive damages are compensation awarded to those who are injured on the job or abused. Companies can write off their own negligence. Can you believe that?! And they pass off the costs of their negligence to the rest of us, meaning they don’t really pay the damages. We do it for them. That’s outrageous. To pay for this little travesty of a deduction, Republicans are sacrificing legal services for the poor which costs $420 million. That’s right folks, if you are poor and cannot afford an attorney, one will NOT be appointed for you because the funding to pay for it will no longer exist. That wealthy guy who had you arrested has a high-priced attorney, but you get nothing, you’re on your own. So if you are arrested and cannot afford an attorney, you’re screwed. This is absolute crap. People should have the right to an attorney no matter how poor they are. Period.
-And finally, the cost of special tax breaks for the timber industry equals $303 million. To pay for this, Republicans are eliminating Title X Family Planning funding that costs $317 million. Party of family values my ass. Not only do they hate trees, they hate families too. It’s too bad the parents of these Republican monsters didn’t abort them. Think of all the families that would be spared from all of these cuts.
The final totals are very clear. All the tax cuts, tax breaks, tax deductions and loopholes cost $42 billion. The cuts that Republicans intend to make to cover these tax breaks total $44 billion.
How much more proof will it take to show that the wealthy and Republicans have teamed up to wage war on the rest of us? What if I told you Republicans support taxing the Girl Scouts but oppose taxes for corporations? Because that’s also happening. What if I stated that GE and several other corporations got away with paying ZERO taxes last year? Is that enough to piss you off? Is that enough iron clad evidence for you? I’m appalled that any so-called American could sit back and completely support this. Middle class income has done nothing but decline over the last decade, while the wealthy have seen their incomes skyrocket. The wealthy have eaten high on the hog during this recession while we the people are forced to eat mud. Are we mad as hell yet? Are we ready to act on our anger yet? It’s time we all take to the streets. It’s time we stop supporting corporate interests. Shop farmer’s markets, grow gardens, make clothing, work from home if you can. Most importantly, get out there and make your voices known!