Cutting taxes (and throats)

The GOP only cares about winning; the rich get even richers; notes from the road
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  August 4, 2010

"If there was such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing . . . It is . . . unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell to insist that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase."

It sure sounds like just another broadside from your standard liberal Democrat, but the preceding quote is from an op-ed piece published this weekend in the New York Times and written by David Stockman. Yes, that David Stockman, former Director of the Office of Management and Budget for President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985, and one of the prime architects of his economic programs. Alan Greenspan, the former Ayn Rand disciple and longtime Federal Reserve Head Ramrod, agrees with Stockman.

The column, "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse: Republicans have abandoned their principles and crippled the economy," does not mince words in explaining the perfidy and hypocrisy of the lockstep GOP robots.

Yes, the vast majority of the House and Senate Republicans are willing to destroy the country in order to win the next election. They are willing to pander to the extremists in their base, lie about economic reality, and distort what the Obama Administration's real plan is. They are as shallow as John Boehner's tan. We are talking about rescinding only the tax cuts for the top two percent of earners, not the middle , not those who make those piddling six-figure salaries. We're talking about the big boys here and that warm, wet stuff you feel trickling down on you from above is not, as the neo-neo supply-siders would have your believe, liquid wealth. See if you think that's a reasonable policy after reading the next item.


INEQUALITY? WHAT INEQUALITY?

The BBC reported in a recent documentary that the top 200 wealthiest people in the world control more wealth than the bottom four billion. Well, that's probably not too surprising considering all those dictatorships, oligarchies, and other tyrannical regimes. But here is another fact that should make you sit up and take notice: there is more economic inequality in the United States than any other western country. The top .01 percent, or 14,000 American families, hold 22.2 percent of wealth, and the bottom 90 percent — more than 133 million families — have just four percent of the nation's wealth.

An article in the current issue of Harvard Magazine spotlights a related issue that P+J have railed about for more than two decades. According to research done by Elizabeth Gudrais, the associate editor of the magazine, "Income inequality has been rising since the late 1970s, and now rests at a level not seen since the Gilded Age (1870 to 1900), a period in US history defined by the contrast between the excesses of the super-rich and the squalor of the poor." According to IRS figures, in the past 20 years, the richest one percent have tripled their share of the pie.

But those results shouldn't really disturb us too much because, as we all know, it's not about the unequal results but the equal opportunity. But then the article reports that, according to the Pew Foundation, "The chance that children of the poor or middle will climb up the income ladder has not changed significantly over the last three decades."

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