Why are poor Americans so quick to defend the rich?
This is a phenomenon that is probably unique to the U.S.: very poor people, generally conservative, are very quick to defend the very rich, whenever a new tax is proposed. For example, "Tea Party" Republicans- most of whom are middle class- rejected any possibility of a tax on millionaires and billionaires.
In any other society, it would be the poor and "not so rich" who would be the first to demand that the rich pay their fair share. But in the U.S., somehow, oddly, the poor rush to the defense of the very people who more often than not have affected THEM in a negative way. Here are some "highlights" of the ways the very rich have been treating their greatest "supporters."
-Exporting millions of jobs over a decade or more to China, India and other nations. The "exported" jobs were very often high-pay, skill requiring jobs. Ohio and Michigan: send a thank you to your billionaire corporate overlords.
-In the financial sector, billionaires helped spur the housing bubble and inevitable crash, by taking mortgages and creating "securities" out of them, and then repackaging those, ad infinitum. Standard and Poors called these 'AAA' rated securities. Thank you S&P and banks.
-The insurance companies and healthcare affiliated companies fought tooth and nail to prevent the passage of any healthcare act. It also helped "craft" Bush's "prescription drug plan," which most economists call "corporate welfare" for the drug companies. Thank you healthcare billionaires!
-While the middle class has no benefit of off-shore and Swiss tax havens, corporate millionaires and billionaires pay next to nothing in taxes because of these. Proportionately, a billionaire pays less than the poor African American single mother working at the local Mickey Dees. God bless you corporate patriots! Meanwhile, the bulk of the dead in Afghanistan and Iraq come from middle to lower class families. They lose and arm and a leg, while the corporate overlords charge the rest of us an arm and a leg. Patriots all!
-While the incomes of most lower and middle class Americans have stagnated, not just during the recent crisis, but since the "Reagan Era," corporate salaries have skyrocketed. In a single large company, the salary of a lowly employee can be as little as $20,000, while the salary of the CEO and top Board can range in the tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of dollars. Corporate America, you have done it again!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Yet, inexplicably, Joe and Jane "Podunk" Smith, are devout Tea Partiers, they will not stand for one penny more paid by our corporate "tax welfare queens."
Do Tea Party People smoke something? What the h-ll is wrong with these fools?
Some additional information for the "uninformed."
-Trickle down economics, whicn a few of you answering have alluded to, is perhaps the oldest canard in the box of tricks that the wealthy conervatives use. It failed in the U.S. and Britain during the 1980s. The idea was that if you reduce taxes, the rich will have more, and they will invest and spend more, and everyone wins. The greatest proponent of this idea was Arthur Laffer, who can frequently be seen and heard on Fox News. Mr. Laffer's theory has been widely rejected by the academic community. The opposite is actually true: you reduce taxes on the corporate millionaires, and you, of course, have less revenue. It may be true that a healthy economy results in more revenues, but there is actually a much stronger positive connection between government spending and a healthy economy. The "Laffer Curve" sounded great in practice but has always failed to live up to its promise.
-Most spending by the rich is actually not as useful econo
-mically as spending by the poor. The reason is that the poor will almost inevitably spend it all on necessities- which are pumped back into the economy. Meanwhile, once a billionaire has obtained all of the necessities he requires, he invests the rest. Much of that money is invested overseas, not here at home. Thus, while poor people spend nearly all of their money at home, thus fueling the domestic economy, the rich spend it in a mix of places, but certainly nowhere near as much as here at home. Sure, some invest in business at home, but the vast numbers of corporate millionaires and billionaires invest it in overseas tax shelters. This is probably the second greatest canard conservatives use to justify not taxing these fat cats.
Get your information right people before you drink the corporate welfare Kool Aid.
Some information on debt to GDP:
While it is true that the debt is now a greater proportion of the GDP, and certainly spending is much to blame, lower taxes are also to blame. Since the 1980s, corporate taxes, and taxes on the very rich, have steeply declined. As a result, the U.S. government now BORROWS more to pay off the budget, and this, in turn, fuels higher interest rate payments on the debt. It is actually lower taxes, not higher taxes, that have largely led to a higher debt/GDP ratio.
My take on the Tea Party: I think the good intentions are there, but there is an overwhelming lack of true understanding of economic an dpolitical fundamentals. Economically, the fact is, you do not cut spending during a recession to spur growth. That just does not work. Sure, austerity measures make ratings agencies and bond holders happy, but that does not create jobs or spur the economy. The Tea Party people, by and large, have a very homespun, limited understanding of economics. They feel that the U.S. government is like a family on a budget; all you need do is balance your budget and all is well. That is not how macroeconomic policy works.
Politically, the Tea Party people are largely incalcitrant and unwilling to compromise. They are extremists in this sense. They feel they are so "right" that there is no need to compromise. Little wonder why so many of them tend to be social conservatives, who also exhibit this stubborn lack of willingness to compromise. But politics does not
...work this way. Politics is about compromise.
Asked By: Alan H - 8/9/2011
Eric Cantor and John Boehner have agreed to raise taxes on the rich, if there are equal or greater tax cuts elsewhere. Why in the world do you think that more taxes is going to help matters?
The real threat to American prosperity is TAXES, TAXES, and more TAXES. In 1960, the US government consumed ~17?f GDP. Currently the percentage is 38?f GDP. If present trends continue, the US government will consume just over 50?f GDP by ~2040. I assume you are ok with this continual rise in government, right? You want more government, more taxes, more regulations, don't you? And you want to continue to choke and choke and choke again the private sector, right? Government workers are much better able to decide how to spend our money than you and I are, right?
This is how it happens. Congress passes a ton of neat spending bills, then says, "OOPS, we spent too much! Let's tax the rich to pay for it." Then Congress passes a ton of more neat spending bills, and then says, "OOPS, we spent too much! Let's tax the rich to pay for it." And the cycle keeps repeating over and over until the government runs everything and hires everyone, and we become a Socialist country. But that is what you want, right? Try having any prosperity for the middle class in a totally government run state. I don't think so.
You need to wise up and start fighting for lower taxes, if you really want to help the middle class.
Answered By: thomas f - 8/9/2011