In the past 100 years, America has progressed in terms of equal rights, but on the economic front, equality is relatively non-existent. At the turn of the century there were approximately 400 families that controlled the lion’s share of the wealth and that figure has hardly budged in 2011. The American middle class that emerged after World War II is responsible for much of the economic prosperity the country experienced for a generation, but their numbers are dwindling as Republicans assail unions and public employees with spending cuts and their ridiculous deficit reduction scams. When Republican governors and legislatures began eliminating public employees’ collective bargaining rights, the middle class finally woke up and protested because they saw their way of life coming to an end. However, where was the middle class for the past 30 years as Republicans assailed the poor and minorities? They were silent because their income, lifestyle, and position in society were safe and secure with little chance it would ever change. How foolish they were.
Republicans are still gutting programs for the poor and minorities because their mission is to punish those least able to escape their economic situation and least able to make informed decisions at the ballot box. Since the GOP has the poor firmly entrenched in poverty, they turned their attention to the middle class and seniors because they had support from cognitively challenged teabaggers hell-bent on collapsing the government, and they emboldened Republicans to impose austerity measures that are devastating the entire country. It does not matter that the austerity measures affect the majority of teabaggers as much as anyone because they have fallen for the lie that cutting the deficit and slashing critical programs is good for the country and puts the socialist threat to rest once and for all. But who will Republicans go after once they have finished off the middle class?
The median income in America is about $49,500 annually and that includes school teachers, police officers, fire fighters and most public employees. The austerity measures Republicans imposed in Republican-controlled states have meant public employees have watched their incomes drop below the median as healthcare costs, food prices, and home mortgages have risen making living from paycheck to paycheck the norm for most middle class workers. Accompanying the middle class’s death are the tax dollars they supplied to Republicans to maintain the wealthy’s tax cuts, and when their tax dollars are gone, the Republicans will assail the next level of income workers.
When Republicans talk about the “job creators,” they do not mean people earning more than $50,000 or even millionaires. The mean the 400 families that control 80% of the wealth in America. The family of 4 that earns $200,000 annually is considered middle class according to Republican presidential hopeful Mitchell Romney and when he presented his grand economic plan that gives $7 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy job creators, he was not including those in the $200,000 income bracket. He was referring to those 400 families that are wealthy, not rich. Most Americans making $49,000 annually consider $200,000 in annual income wealthy, but they are well off. If those in the upper income bracket think for a second that Republicans have a cutoff point that they will spare from attack, they are insane.
The Republicans have demonstrated that their goal is to take taxpayer dollars and hand them to corporations, the super wealthy, Israel, defense spending, and the oil industry. The minute the middle class is no longer supplying a steady stream of tax dollars to hand over to their wealthy benefactors, they will go to the next bracket that pays income tax. It is surprising that Americans are not asking themselves; why do Republicans desperately want to eliminate Social Security? The simple answer is to take those taxpayer contributions to further enrich the wealthy and their corporations. A great deal of the money America has borrowed is from the Social Security Trust and not China. George W. Bush floated the idea of privatizing Social Security to fund the wealthy’s tax cuts as well as the two unnecessary wars he started. He also wanted to infuse Wall Street with Americans’ Social Security contributions, but he knew his tax cuts, Medicare prescription plan, and two wars required funding from someplace and the Social Security Trust was sitting on $2.4 trillion in assets. When Americans protested privatizing the retirement program, Bush did the next best thing and borrowed from American workers. Now, Republicans have convinced Americans that Social Security is killing the economy and are anxious to get a hold of a revenue source to fund more tax cuts for corporations and to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.
If President Obama had proposed increasing taxes on Americans making between $250,000 and $1 million annually, the GOP may have gone along with the plan. However, the “Buffett Rule” means taxpayers making over a million dollars and that includes the 400 wealthiest families that control most of the wealth in America. Republicans will never acquiesce to that proposal because it hurts their donor base. There is little doubt that when the GOP has erased the middle class and their tax contributions, they will immediately assail the next group that earns enough to pay income tax. Romney’s plan, for example, includes eliminating taxes on capital gains, investment income, foreign income, and dividends that only the wealthiest Americans earn. The middle class wage earner may have meager investments, but not the level of investments to generate much more than vacation money; if that.
The middle class is disappearing and as their income declines, so does their tax liability and after Republicans have exhausted that revenue source, they will move on to the next higher income bracket. Politicians from both parties claim there is a class war being waged in America, but the war is over. It was over at the turn of the century and although the middle class emerged because Eisenhower taxed the wealthy at nearly 90% to build America into the great nation it once was. The middle class is nearly extinct and all that will remain are those in abject poverty, the semi-wealthy, and the super-rich. After the Republicans gut the government and the middle class, they will have to find a new source of money to reward the millionaires, billionaires, and their corporations.
If those making between $200,000 and one million dollars annually think they are immune from Republican thieves, they are deluding themselves. The GOP is beholden to those in the Koch brother’s class and no-one else. Remember, Mitchell Romney considers $200,000 annual income middle class and the Republicans have targeted the middle class and the poor up to now. If they win big in 2012, they will finish off the middle class, the poor, and the elderly and target the next income bracket to maintain the super-wealthy’s entitlements.
It is likely that the next bracket will make the same mistake poor and retired teabaggers made in 2010 and vote for Republicans and against their own self-interest. Unlike the ignorant, uneducated teabaggers, the semi-wealthy have no excuse for supporting Republicans and they will deserve the economic devastation that Republicans have in store for them. It is tragically sad, but the only group exempt from the GOP is the same group that has controlled the wealth in this country since the turn of the last century. The group that won the class war in 1900 has never been in jeopardy and they never will be thanks to the libertarians disguised as Republicans.