Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Todd Akin and Mitt Romney: The poor are legitimately raping the rich

(My latest Daily Kos post)

The evidence is growing that the class warfare claim that has been paraded around the media for months is becoming an increasingly important part of our political campaigns this year.

The class warfare that is dominating this election, however, is not being practiced by President Obama and the Democrats against the one percent but by those who cannot be satisfied as long as anyone is taking a tax dollar from their massive earnings to help someone who was not fortunate enough to be born into the lap of luxury or to have hit it rich in one fashion or another.

The video of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who already has shown time after time during this campaign that he has no connection with anyone who has never set foot in a country club, decrying the 47 percent of the people who he says has their hands out for any form of government assistance they can receive went viral Monday and I am sure there will be a backlash today on right wing radio about how Romney is being targeted by those people who don’t want to end the government gravy train.

A few moments ago, I posted a video of Missouri’s U. S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, he of “legitimate rape” fame claiming that the rich are being taxed too much and the poor are being “paid too much.”

In other words, to Todd Akin and Mitt Romney’s way of thinking, it is the rich who are being legitimately raped by legions of poor people with their hands forever outstretched who want to take away their hard-earned hedge fund millions.

It is class warfare when people believe that those job creators, many of whom have been hoarding their money and not creating any jobs, have no responsibility to contribute to those who are doing their best to cope with today’s economic problems, but do not have a financial safety net locked away in an overseas account.

When one of our two leading political parties is fighting on a platform that includes increasingly lower taxes for those in the upper stratosphere and drastic cuts in Medicare and Social Security, we are involved in class warfare.

When we see a party pushing for educational vouchers (under the pseudonym tax credits) while demeaning public school teachers and trying to turn public schools into a breeding ground for service workers, we are involved in class warfare.

When we have people who are willing to spend millions of dollars to keep the minimum wage from increasing because it will supposedly destroy businesses (when all of the evidence is to the contrary), we are involved in class warfare.

The elections of 2012 are a referendum of whether this country believes that we have an obligation to help those who are unable to help themselves. Do we continue to build on the American dream of giving people a helping hand (Medicare, Social Security, G. I. Bill, college loans) so they can achieve their goals, or do we continue our march toward concentrating wealth in the hands of a few people who do not seem interested in sharing with anyone?

The class warfare has never been about those of us who have less money resenting the rich; it has always been about those who have the most money feeling entitled to keep every dime of it and not have to share with people who should stay in their place.

The only generosity they extend is when they invite us into their country clubs. After all, somebody has to serve the martinis.


Anonymous said...

Let's Put Tax Cuts in Terms Everyone Can Understand

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1
The sixth would pay $3
The seventh would pay $7
The eighth would pay $12
The ninth would pay $18
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ”Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. “Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eight now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings)
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings)

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, ”but he got $10.”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”

That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalist and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the least percentage benefit, but the most $ benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier,…and then,…whose tax bill will be assessed for the difference??......Ah yes,…mine certainly,…and perhaps yours??

Anonymous said...

I doubt that the nine poor men would ever be drinking with the one rich man. They just don't run in the same social circles. At any rate, as it now stands, the one rich man is already able to leave a good share of his earnings overseas, where it can't be taxed by Uncle Sam. So he might as well go over there to have a beer anyway.