In the scientific world there are certain constants that are as dependable as gravity or the sun rising in the East and setting in the West. In American politics there are constants that are nearly as predictable as gravity, and a good example is the Republican Party’s conviction that corporations deserve preferential treatment over working-class Americans. There is another constant in Republican ideology that is as dependable as gravity and it is their ideology that there is never a good time to raise taxes regardless of the need to fund the government to pay for wars or provide entitlements for wealthy Americans. Republicans are so stuck in their “no tax increase” mantra that they have consistently preached that ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy amounts to a tax increase. Most political observers would probably keel over dead if they ever heard that Republicans opposed tax cuts or promoted raising taxes , but there is news that Republicans are going to give their blessings to raising taxes by way of opposing tax cuts.
As remarkable as Republicans raising taxes seems, it appears that the GOP is finally getting the message that to reduce the deficit, it will take more than just spending cuts. However, the Republicans have no intention of raising taxes on the wealthy when they can raise taxes on working Americans by fighting to prevent the temporary payroll tax reduction from being extended. That’s right, Republicans want to raise taxes on the struggling middle class to help preserve the wealthy’s Bush-era tax cuts.
Last December, as part of the “bipartisan” spending cuts brokered by President Obama to get a 13-month unemployment benefit extension for millions of Americans who are out of work, payroll taxes were reduced by 2% for Americans making less than $106,800 per year. The median annual income for a family in America is approximately $49,500. President Obama is proposing extending the payroll tax cut to help working Americans have a bit more money to sustain them until the economy improves. In his weekend radio address, the president said, “There are things we can do right now that will mean more customers for businesses and more jobs across the country. We can cut payroll taxes again, so families have an extra $1,000 to spend.” A thousand dollars may not seem like much, but in this economy, struggling families can use every little bit of help they can get; Republicans do not see it that way.
The chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and member of the House and Senate super-committee, Representative David Camp (R-Mich), said that tax reductions, “no matter how well-intended“, will increase the deficit making the panel’s work that much harder. Republicans say to stimulate the economy and job growth, it is better to reduce income tax for the wealthy and businesses than extend the payroll tax break for working Americans. The Republicans still maintain their mantra of tax reduction for the wealthy and corporations, and to increase revenue to fund those cuts, they are going after workers who need help the most.
Republicans have not worried about tax cuts increasing the deficit before, so why that is an issue for them now is curious. The Bush tax cuts have been in place for ten years and anytime they were questioned, Republicans went berserk claiming that they were necessary to stimulate the economy and create jobs. For Bush’s eight years in office, only a million jobs were created, but President Obama presided over 1.1 million new jobs in 2010 alone because of the stimulus bill Democrats passed. Republicans still preach that any tax increases on the wealthiest 2% of Americans will kill jobs, but after ten years their argument is as hollow as it was when they enacted the Bush tax cuts in 2001. During the debt ceiling negotiations, John Boehner said the president was pushing a tax increase on the job creators; Republicans have been successful with the message since Reagan was president and the trickle down scam came into vogue.
Americans are getting wise to the gimmick Republicans have been pushing for 30 years and are tired of shouldering the country’s tax burden. Republicans though, have such contempt for Americans who work for a living that they are willing to eliminate a miniscule tax cut to preserve the wealthy’s entitlements. The American people must wonder why Republicans hate them so much that they continue whittling away at their ability to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. If Republicans are willing to raise taxes on the working-class, they can also raise taxes on the people who will never miss a 2-3% increase. Republicans say that they are not engaged in class warfare, but they have consistently attacked the vanishing middle class and protected the ultra-rich from paying their share to support the country that allowed them to prosper.
Republicans are transforming America into a country of peasants who exist to enrich the wealthy and their corporations, and history teaches intelligent people that there is a tipping point where the peasants rise up and slay the wealthy for stealing everything from the poor. America is quickly approaching the point that a great majority of the population is barely subsisting from day to day while the wealthy continue prospering, and the American people are getting desperate. If Republicans raise taxes on the working class, it will be one more nail in the working-class’s coffin, but Americans will not go down quietly. History is replete with stories of starving populations taking the law into their own hands and taking back their assets; with tens-of-millions of Americans living in dire poverty, history will repeat itself sooner or later.
Desperation is a powerful motivator and even good, law-abiding Americans will not continue watching the wealthy prosper at their expense. Now that Republicans have made it clear they intend to break their code and raise taxes on working people so the wealthy can continue getting their tax breaks, they should not be surprised when the people say enough and take drastic action. Hopefully, the only drastic action will be at the ballot box but it will not be shocking to learn that starving peasants are taking to the streets and resorting to violence against the wealthy and Republican legislators who steal, punish, and starve the working people who built America. It is sad to have reached this point in time, but the starving peasants cannot say they were not forewarned during every election that electing Republicans would eventually lead to their demise. Perhaps next time they will heed our warning.