"What they [the Poor] lack is the richness of spirit." - Stuart Varney, Faux News.The greatest coup by the Republican Party of the last 30 years has been getting poor people to vote against their economic self-interest. And Republicans are at it again, proclaiming that while Taxes on Millionaires and Billionaires need to be reduced, taxes on Poor People need to be raised. Or as the Right-Wing parlance would have it, broaden the tax base.
First of all, the Republican Party has always campaigned that taxes need to be lowered and that it's your money so the more you get back the better. Ah, but that changed after the George W(orst President Ever) Bush/Republican Recession and the convoluted byzantine tax code started including deductions that aided working class people and the poorest Americans instead of just for the Rich and Powerful. Then once Poor people started catching a break Republicans weren't going to stand for that!
All of a sudden the profligate spending Republicans couldn't squeeze the Poorest Americans to pay for their mooching Corporate Welfare ways because the Poor were not paying their fair share of taxes! Talk about your Class Warfare. Republicans began a blitz of propaganda that, depending upon which Republican you were listening to, 45% or 47% or 49% or 51% or whatever number they found convenient to demagogue about, weren't paying any taxes!
Republicans were quickly called out for their lies and so they tweaked their talking points to mean Federal Income taxes.
"Part of the problem is today, only 53 percent pay any federal income tax at all; 47 percent pay nothing. We need to broaden the base so that everybody pays something, even if it's a dollar. Everyone should pay something, because we all benefit." -Michele Bachmann.Of course, this is standard Republican nonsense. But, wow it really highlights the Republican Class Warfare. After 30 years of Piss Down Your Back and Tell You It's Raining Reaganomics and the Effects of the Bush Republican Recession hard-working people are too poor to pay Federal Income Taxes but, as Len Burman pointed out, 82 percent of them pay more payroll tax than income tax. They also pay federal excise taxes on gasoline, beer, wine, liquor, tires, and cigarettes. As well as, state and local taxes. But the Poor are, as the Wall Street Journal once branded them, the "Lucky Duckies". According to Timothy Noah,
"We're dismayed nearly half of all Americans don't even pay any income tax." - Rick Perry
"I think it's abysmal that 51% pay no income taxes..." - Orrin Hatch.
Republican Eric Cantor recently reiterated the tired Republicon talking point, "We also know that over 45 percent of the people in this country don’t pay income taxes at all, and we have to question whether that’s fair", "should we broaden the base" and "you’ve got to discuss that issue."
A new report by Citizens For Tax Justice, a labor-funded nonprofit with a reputation for dispassionate economic analysis, lays this out. When you factor in all state and local taxes, the bottom fifth (i.e. people earning, on average, about $13,000) pays on average an effective tax rate of about 17 percent. When you do the same for the top one percent (i.e. people earning, on average, about $1.4 million) the average effective tax rate is 29 percent.Well, President Mitt "I'm not concerned about the very poor" Romney will fix all that! Under GOP Nominee Mitt Romney's Tax Plan raises taxes on those "Luck Duckies"!
Under the Romney Plan Americans making under $20,000 a year would see their taxes go up an average of $149 dollars. American making under $40,000 would reap an average savings of... $97 dollars! Ah, but the Top 0.1%? Those around $3,000,000 in income, under Romney's Plan, would stuff an average of $725,000 right back in their pockets.
Just like when you hear a Republican talk about Shared Sacrifice, [See my post: The Republican Party's notions of Shared Sacrifice] when Republicans and conservative think tanks start talking about broadening the tax base they mean to bend and break the backs of the poor to support the massive tax cuts of the Wealthy elites upon their now broadened backs.
Alexandra Franceschi the Specialty Media Press Secretary of the Republican National Committee, admitted Mitt Romney’s economic policies are the George W(orst President in History) Bush economic plan just updated.
Here's some of Bush's economic legacy:
- Median Income declined outright from 1999 to 2009.Koch Industries and the Exxon-Mobile funded Heritage Foundation rabidly cheered and promoted the Bush Tax Cuts. The Heritage Foundation's 2001 report proclaimed if the Bush tax cut legislation were to pass, it would:
- From 1960 to 2000, manufacturing accounted for 20 million jobs in the U.S. since 2000 we've lost a 1/3rd of those jobs.
- Two-thirds of the nation’s total income gains from 2002 to 2007 flowed to the top 1 percent of U.S. households, and that top 1 percent held a larger share of income in 2007 than at any time since 1928.
- And even in during Bush's Biggest Recession Year of 2008, excluding capital gains, the top 1% saw their share of national income rise.
1) Effectively pay off the federal debt;Everyone of those claims was a deliberate lie to sell the tax cuts to the middle class as a job creator and deficit reducer. None of these claims occurred. But, what did occur was a massive transfer of wealth to the Ultra-Wealthy, which were the true goals of the Bush Tax Cuts and part of the Republican plan all along.
2) Reduce the federal surplus by $1.4 trillion;
3) Substantially increase family income;
4) Save the entire Social Security surplus;
5) Increase personal savings;
6) Create more job opportunities.
And President Bush himself, lamented his greatest failure in office was he wasn't able to Privatize Social Security.