Warren Buffet is right. There is class warfare, and his side, the wealthiest one percent of Americans, is winning. He pays a lower percent in taxes than his secretary.
Why is this so? It goes back to the Reagan years when the foxes took control of the henhouse. Anti-tax wealthy elites gained influence in public policy making. Business insiders began to write their own regulations, which means de-regulation in the real world.
This de-regulation continued on throughout the Bush/Clinton/Bush years and ultimately led to the financial collapse in September of 2008. The debacle drained our economy of trillions of dollars and wiped out many of our pensions.
And more recently thanks to the Big Money-friendly Supreme Court, corporate cash is allowed more influence than ever in our elections and on our elected politicians.
The entire Republican Party and many corporate-owned Democrats are not representing most Americans. The radical Right is opposed to an informed public and to democracy itself.
The Right’s war on democracy begins with propaganda, falsehoods, demonization of liberals and moderates, and advances with their campaign to suppress the right of qualified Americans to vote. This is how they politically leverage the tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, and coddling of the elite.
There are many lies being spread by the Far Right through the corporate media. In fact their first Big Lie is “Liberal Media”. GE, Disney, Viacom, FOX(R), etc. are not “liberals”. They are corporations.
Most Americans still want real health care reform, accountability for Wall Street, fair taxes on the rich, and even Obama's jobs bill.
Thus the Right's war on democracy must continue. They must pursue their class warfare against most Americans on behalf of Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans.
You see, it’s not enough for the top one percent to take in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income and control about forty percent of our nation's wealth. Never mind the fact that 25 years ago the corresponding numbers were 12% and 33%. Greed has no limit.
Robert Reich gives us the best breakdown I’ve seen on seven of the primary lies told by Republicans to dupe the public into supporting their exclusive agenda for the wealthy top one percent.
Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton.
Published on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 by Robert Reich's Blog
The Seven Biggest Economic Lies
by Robert Reich
The President’s Jobs Bill doesn’t have a chance in Congress — and the Occupiers on Wall Street and elsewhere can’t become a national movement for a more equitable society – unless more Americans know the truth about the economy.
Here’s a short (2 minute 30 second) effort to rebut the seven biggest whoppers now being told by those who want to take America backwards. The major points:
1. Tax cuts for the rich trickle down to everyone else. Baloney. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both sliced taxes on the rich and what happened? Most Americans’ wages (measured by the real median wage) began flattening under Reagan and have dropped since George W. Bush. Trickle-down economics is a cruel joke.
2. Higher taxes on the rich would hurt the economy and slow job growth. False. From the end of World War II until 1981, the richest Americans faced a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent or above. Under Dwight Eisenhower it was 91 percent. Even after all deductions and credits, the top taxes on the very rich were far higher than they’ve been since. Yet the economy grew faster during those years than it has since. (Don’t believe small businesses would be hurt by a higher marginal tax; fewer than 2 percent of small business owners are in the highest tax bracket.)
3. Shrinking government generates more jobs. Wrong again. It means fewer government workers – everyone from teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and social workers at the state and local levels to safety inspectors and military personnel at the federal. And fewer government contractors, who would employ fewer private-sector workers. According to Moody’s economist Mark Zandi (a campaign advisor to John McCain), the $61 billion in spending cuts proposed by the House GOP will cost the economy 700,000 jobs this year and next.
4. Cutting the budget deficit now is more important than boosting the economy. Untrue. With so many Americans out of work, budget cuts now will shrink the economy. They’ll increase unemployment and reduce tax revenues. That will worsen the ratio of the debt to the total economy. The first priority must be getting jobs and growth back by boosting the economy. Only then, when jobs and growth are returning vigorously, should we turn to cutting the deficit.
5. Medicare and Medicaid are the major drivers of budget deficits. Wrong. Medicare and Medicaid spending is rising quickly, to be sure. But that’s because the nation’s health-care costs are rising so fast. One of the best ways of slowing these costs is to use Medicare and Medicaid’s bargaining power over drug companies and hospitals to reduce costs, and to move from a fee-for-service system to a fee-for-healthy outcomes system. And since Medicare has far lower administrative costs than private health insurers, we should make Medicare available to everyone.
6. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Don’t believe it. Social Security is solvent for the next 26 years. It could be solvent for the next century if we raised the ceiling on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax. That ceiling is now $106,800.
7. It’s unfair that lower-income Americans don’t pay income tax. Wrong. There’s nothing unfair about it. Lower-income Americans pay out a larger share of their paychecks in payroll taxes, sales taxes, user fees, and tolls than everyone else.
Demagogues through history have known that big lies, repeated often enough, start being believed — unless they’re rebutted. These seven economic whoppers are just plain wrong. Make sure you know the truth – and spread it on.
You heard the man. Spread it.