“We’re going broke… We can’t afford it.” That’s the line from deficit hawks determined to destroy Social Security and Medicare and slash every federal, state, and local program that benefits working people.
Republicans held hostage an extension of jobless benefits for two million workers in order to extort an extension of $750 billion in Bush-era tax cuts for millionaires.
Now, in the name of “deficit reduction,” they are ramrodding a federal budget that slashes education, privatizes Medicare and cuts Social Security. Tax cuts for wealthy individuals, banks and corporations are preserved adding trillions to the deficits. Also virtually untouched is the trillion dollars per year for Pentagon spending and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, governors like Republican Scott Walker of Wisconsin, unleashed a vicious, nationwide union-busting offensive falsely blaming public employees for the budget shortfall even though these workers gave up wage and benefit increases. Standing in the shadows are the billionaire Koch brothers, bankrollers of Walker and other “Tea Party” Republicans.
The rightwing prophets of doom, must think we have forgotten that we live in the richest capitalist country with Wall Street banks sitting on $13 trillion in reserves, most of it untaxed.
Little wonder that an angry outcry is rising against corporate tax evasion while the rest of us endure cutbacks. The people say: “Save our nation! Tax the corporations! Tax the rich!”
The corporate tax rate is 35 percent but thanks to loopholes they pay less than 18 percent, lower than the vast majority of low and middle-income taxpayers. It is legalized grand larceny!
Profits: $45 billion in 2009
Federal taxes paid: ZERO
FACT: General Electric
Profits: $10.3 billion in 2009
Federal taxes paid: ZERO
Tax Rebates Received $1.1 billion
FACT: Bank of America (BOA)
Profits: $4.4 billion in 2010
Federal taxes paid: ZERO
TARP Bailout $45 billion in 2008-09
FACT: Wells Fargo
Profits: $12 billion
Tax Credits: $19 billion after purchase of Wachovia Bank
Billionaire Warren Buffet said the tax burden for low and middle income taxpayers should be reduced “I think people at the high end, people like myself, should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.”
The principal of progressive taxation has come under vicious attack from the Republican right. They echo billionaire real estate mogul, Leona Helmsley who famously sneered, “Only little people pay taxes.”
They believe working class people should pay the taxes while they line up like hogs at the public trough, enjoying services paid for by the “little people.”
We Say Enough is Enough!
- End the Bush-era tax giveaways to banks, corporations and wealthy individuals.
- Close corporate tax loopholes, especially billions in tax subsidies for the oil companies.
- Raise new revenues by restoring 70% tax rate on incomes over $1 million.
- Raise $150 billion a year by imposing a financial transaction tax on Wall Street speculation.
- Cut the military budget by half. Bring troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Create jobs in a major public works program to repair our nation’s infrastructure and to make our nation number one in “green industry.” Target the jobs to hard-hit inner city communities and the rural poor.
- Fully fund a national health care program and drastically increase federal aid to education, Pell Grants, and other vital human needs programs.
Remove the cap on the Social Security payroll tax, so that CEOs and hedge fund managers pay the same rate as the rest of us.
Of course, that wasn’t from the Democrats. That was from the Communist Party USA Political Action Commission.
When the rhetoric is strikingly this similar, there is a problem. This is from the “What we stand for” section on democrats.org:
-Ending tax loopholes that let corporations hide profits overseas, and investing those dollars in small businesses that create jobs in America;
-Providing tax cuts to small businesses and expanding lending so that businesses can create new jobs;
-Investing in a clean-energy economy, and providing tax credits to spark manufacturing of windmills, solar panels, and electric cars here at home; and
-Putting Americans to work rebuilding roads, bridges, rails, and ports, strengthening our economy and our infrastructure across all 50 states.
What about the piece regarding Warren Buffett? Remember the line Barack Obama used in his jobs speech in front of Congress?
“I am also — I’m also well aware that there are many Republicans who don’t believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it. But here is what every American knows: While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and most profitable corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary — an outrage he has asked us to fix. (Laughter.) We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake and where everybody pays their fair share. (Applause.) And by the way, I believe the vast majority of wealthy Americans and CEOs are willing to do just that if it helps the economy grow and gets our fiscal house in order.”
Look at the bullet points from the Communist Party USA again. Are they not all things Barack Obama and the Democrats stand for or have already done already? The similarities cannot be ignored. We really need to examine whether the liberal agenda is in line with mainstream American thought. I for one, do not think it is or should be.
Read the rest of this series here.