You wanted a fighter for a President? You were upset when President Obama negotiated with Republicans? You want an end to the Bush tax sale for the rich?
Well, buckle up patriots because you’re getting your wish now. I hope you’re ready to do your part. This is the fight we’ve been waiting for. This is a step in a government for the people – polices that are for the people, not just for the 2%.
The screaming freak out of the right wing was evident within minutes after President Obama’s speech calling for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% while giving an extension to the middle class. This is what you need to be prepared for. It’s not enough to have a President fighting for you, which he did again today by saying he will veto a continuation of the Bush tax sale for the top 2%. Without an informed and vocal contingency, support for the President’s ideas dims and so goes the real chance for change.
Yes, we can. This is the part where the “we” comes in for those who are willing to do the heavy lifting for change.
Because the old trickle down job creator argument is failing to win hearts and minds – -coming as it does on the heels of its implementation and failure — things are getting even uglier. It’s called desperation. Republicans want to protect the 2%, who direct policy so as to be advantageous for them. They’re afraid you’re going to wake up. Really wake up.
If you’re already awake, then you’re mad, and you might find yourself arguing with friends or colleagues. You’ll be fighting the Koch brothers funded Luntz talking points. They’ll frame the argument as a “tax hike” when in reality it is the end of a very long tax sale for the very wealthy, who are making 93% of the income growth while the middle class and poor are barely holding on.
If you’re online, things will be even uglier. The typical move of a Republican tool of the elite/troll (someone whose sole purpose is to disrupt genuine dialogue about the issues or, as they like to brag on Twitter, to “annoy a liberal”) is to start off with insults and presumptions about you. This is meant to intimidate you into shutting up. It’s their idea of winning an argument via thuggery.
They will call you an “Obama bot” or “cheerleader” who is not only stupid but supports murder of both zygotes and alleged terrorists. They’ll say you don’t have any money and you’ve never run a company. You want handouts. You’re a poor person and therefore a loser. You’re an idiot who should commit suicide. You should watch your back because soon you will be facing God’s wrath for advocating for the poor. You hate the rich. You’re a commie. You’re a Marxist statist, etc. You get the idea (these are real examples from the last few days of my online interactions).
Any time someone starts off with an insult or presumptions about you personally, you have already won. Because that shows you that they can’t debate the facts and so they have to make it personal. It also shows that they have based their conclusions upon presumptions about you that they have no reason to have other than their own bias – thus, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Let me repeat this; if someone has based their conclusion upon a personal attribute they ascribe to you, you have already won the argument.
However, if you allow them to bait you into responding emotionally, you have conceded to have the fight on their terms, and while you might be a big bully and win, the issue loses. Instead, you can channel your emotional responses into the fight. Stay focused on the issue, don’t allow the shell game of moving the goal posts, and don’t ever allow them to win with insults.
Taunting them on their usage of insults while remaining above the fray is not only acceptable, but clearly points to the weakness of their position and rightly shows them up as a clown in action. It’s fair to ask someone who is being rude to you, “Why are you speaking to me this way?” or “What gives you the right to make assumptions about me and my beliefs?” Let them answer the question. It will surprise both of you.
The issue of allowing the Bush tax cut sale to end for the top 2% has nothing to do with whether you are rich or poor, dumb or smart, have owned a business or not, support Obama or don’t, or are engaged in class warfare or not.
The real question is where to get the revenue. It is going to come from taxes, and someone is going to pay them. Will it be the rich or the middle class? This is not a personal question, and doesn’t require personal information. A weak mind with no argument will make it personal about YOU. Don’t let them get off that easily.
The House Republicans’ current tax plan shows them raising taxes on the middle class by $2,700 . So the question you need to ask folks is why are Republicans holding tax cuts for middle class hostage to tax cuts for the top 2%, if they really care about the middle class? If their arguments are so great, why can’t they make them without resorting to holding the middle class hostage and why is the middle class always their hostage instead of their main concern (see 2010 unemployment benefits debate)?
Demand that Republicans show us they care by voting yes on a tax cut for the middle class without attaching any hostages. They say they’re the party of tax cuts? Prove it.
No matter how many Republicans you meet online who claim to be rich business owners (and it seems almost all of them who are defending the skewed tax policy do make this claim – it’s called pretending to be something you’re not; aka, self-loathing), only 2.5-3% of the small business owners makes over 250k a year in profit. The Joint Committee on Taxation determined that only 3% of those with net positive business income would be impacted by Obama’s plan to let the upper crust tax cuts expire. The odds that you are actually speaking to one of them who hangs out on Twitter trolling liberals are slim. Rather it seems the top 2% own a lot of noise makers.
Under Obama’s plan, the first 250k will get a tax cut – even for those poor 2%ers who have gotten 93% of the income growth. Even former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, architect of the Bush tax cuts, supports letting the Bush tax cuts for top 2% expire.
When I asked why these people were spending so much time defending a 3% tax increase (also known as the end of a very long Christmas sale, so not an increase in taxes but an ending of the sale – no free ride lasts forever) on the top 2%, I got no answers except that there’s a “difference between being rich and being a high earner.”
Move that shell!
We have to ask why Republicans won’t pass tax cuts for the middle class without holding the middle class hostage for their elite friends. Keep it simple, don’t fight in the gutter when you can win on high ground, and never let an insult go by unobserved for all to see, so that the speaker can own their own poor behavior and weak argument. It’s called personal responsibility and accountability for our behavior, also known as not being a thug creep because you have an actual point to make and you happen to value treating others with a modicum of respect until they prove they are unworthy of it.
Image: The Blog for Progress