An Historic Con Job

Stealing from the poor

Somewhere I realized that I had absorbed the idea that taxing the rich contributed such a tiny % to the total that it wasn't worth increasing their taxes. I suspect that somebody was putting that story out for me to absorb, somebody very smart, working for somebody very rich.

Plus, there was the story that letting the rich get richer created more jobs, which the last 50 year experiment has proven untrue. The rich got richer, poor lost their jobs, got poorer.

When I was a kid I heard numerous times that the GOP was the party of big business, the Democratic Party was the part of the working people. So I used to wonder, since there are many times more working people than business owners — how did Republicans ever get elected, except in small, rich enclaves?

So how DO Republicans ever get elected? One reason is that some Democrats are idiots, and go windsurfing and duck hunting during the election. But it has more to it than that. There must be some way the rich get their way — in spite of our so-called democracy.

For example, I keep wondering how the Big Con Job Tax Swindle took place, even when there WERE a Democratically controlled House and Senate, and occassional Democratic presidents.

I am referring to the fact that at the end of Eisenhower's term corporations and rich people paid a whole lot more taxes than then do now, and things worked fine. Corporations used to pay the majority of the taxes to support the Federal Government, rather than what people paid, and rich people use to pay a much larger share then they do today. How did this shift take place in a so called democracy, where most people are not rich?

It seems to have taken a long, long time to reduce taxes for the rich, and it started under Reagan, but continued under Clinton, and naturally under George W. Bush. But how was it sold to the voters?

Seems to me the con was fairly simple: they managed to convince voters that cutting taxes for the rich and the corporations was kind of like cutting taxes for normal people, part of getting the government off our backs, scaling down government. 

So the outcome is that government is broke, nationally, in most states, and in many cities and towns. And those governments that are not broke are keeping afloat by cutting services like schools, police, fire, and services to the poor and elderly.

I think that one of the turning points in American history was in the Bush-Gore debate when Gore brought up the tax cut for the rich that Bush was touting, and Bush said it was cutting taxes for everyone and Gore just shut up. End of topic. Didn't bring up how the burden was shifting from the rich to the poor. Why didn't Gore fight back, with the entire nation watching? I'd like to ask him that.

The wealthy and the corporations (corporations are now people, too) have been buying elected officials for years. Election costs keep soaring, so most politicians are to some extent in the pocket of large donors. Some large donors are unions, but unions have been marginalized, so it is mostly the rich and the corporations, and outfits like the NRA buying and extorting politicians.

I think the bottom line is that the Republican Party IS the party of big business, but is run by smart, ruthless people like Rove, who will do anything to get their way. And the Democrats are run by well meaning idiots who fight fair, who bring knives to gunfights, like Gore did versus Bush in that debate.

Finally, the Republicans have figured out how to pander to the far right on social issues while screwing most of those same people by not paying taxes and shipping jobs overseas. Barry Goldwater worried about how the Republican Party would fare if the religious right took it over, but they have figured out a way to combine far-right politics with the giant con job of the rich. 

Brilliant, ruthless Republicans versus well meaning, idiot Democrats. And corporations with nearly infinite budgets to sway public opinion and buy politicians.