by James J. Devine
President Obama and Democrats in Congress have seen dramatic deterioration of their public standing, driven by unyielding partisan Republican attacks and subterfuge aimed at creating disaffection among independent voters.
Those voters are falling for a bunch of con-artists who want to destroy the American way of life.
Republicans say that half the population pays all the federal income taxes and the other half pays none. The Republican position is that it would be good for the country if the poorest half of Americans paid some share of the income taxes. Republicans say every American citizen should contribute at least something to support the federal government and while that may sound fair, you have to think about it.
While it is true that half the population pays all the federal income taxes and half does not, every worker contributes to Social Security & Medicare from the first dollar earned; there are a variety of tariffs, ‘hidden’ taxes or user fees; plus even the poor pay taxes at the state and local level, such as the sales tax and property taxes.
More importantly, the Republicans ignore non-monetary contributions made by American citizens who have little wealth or income. Heroic deeds in combat have cost the lives of many poor boys who never spent a dime in federal income taxes. They paid in blood.
The half the population paying no federal income tax includes a large number of middle-class children, in whom we are investing our future, and seniors citizens, who were not poor until they retired from a lifetime of labor that benefited America.
What does it say about American that half the population does not earn enough money to pay some federal income tax? The Republicans want everyone to pay because they want to cut taxes for the rich and for some multinational corporations that already pay no taxes. GE made billions in profits but instead of paying taxes, the federal government gave the company $3.5 billion.
We need tax reform in this country, but not to make the poorest half of the population ante up a share. Tax changes should be aimed at compelling billionaires and millionaires to contribute a fair share to the nation that enabled them to get rich and inheritances over $2 million should be taxed to pay off some of the debt accumulated at the time that wealth was built.
It’s perfectly fair to make dead millionaires and billionaires pay off some of the debt accumulated during their lives to provide them with national security, a just legal system, technological innovation and an unparalleled degree of freedom. Unfair would be to stick a $46,000 IOU in the hands of newborn children so the scions of aristocracy can enjoy an inheritance they did not work for.
Republicans wiped out the estate tax so your children can pay the bill racked up by our generation. Republicans also want to cut the corporate income tax rate from 40 to 25 percent, even though history shows that this approach does not stimulate private sector job growth. Supply side economics is a failure but there is a history of proven stimulus programs — government spending that puts money in the hands of middle class workers.
Job-killing, tax-robbing, unAmerican Republicans do not care about you. In fact, Republicans are willing to risk the global economic disaster that could result from a US default by playing politics with the national debt ceiling.
President Obama and Democrats in Congress have been disappointing because they have failed to properly rebuke the criminally negligent, lying Republicans who ran up the debt and do not want to pay those bills. Hopefully, America will see the difference between our disappointing friends and our deadly GOP enemies.
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