Sunday, July 18, 2010

Who Wants to Help the Rich Get Richer?

The plain fact is that the disparity of wealth in America is higher than it has ever been in history, per Robert Reich:
Consider: in 1928 the richest 1 percent of Americans received 23.9 percent of the nation's total income. After that, the share going to the richest 1 percent steadily declined. New Deal reforms, followed by World War II, the GI Bill and the Great Society expanded the circle of prosperity. By the late 1970s the top 1 percent raked in only 8 to 9 percent of America's total annual income. But after that, inequality began to widen again, and income reconcentrated at the top. By 2007 the richest 1 percent were back to where they were in 1928—with 23.5 percent of the total.

Each of America's two biggest economic crashes occurred in the year immediately following these twin peaks—in 1929 and 2008. This is no mere coincidence. When most of the gains from economic growth go to a small sliver of Americans at the top, the rest don't have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing. America's median wage, adjusted for inflation, has barely budged for decades. Between 2000 and 2007 it actually dropped. Under these circumstances the only way the middle class can boost its purchasing power is to borrow, as it did with gusto. As housing prices rose, Americans turned their homes into ATMs. But such borrowing has its limits. When the debt bubble finally burst, vast numbers of people couldn't pay their bills, and banks couldn't collect.

So who's on the side of the middle class? Not Sen. Mike Pence (R-IN):
"Republicans, me included, have supported numerous extensions of unemployment benefits and we're anxious to do so again," the Indiana Republican told interviewer Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." "The deficit this year is a trillion dollars for the second year in a row ... The American people have had it with runaway federal spending, deficits and debt, and they want to see men and women in Washington, D.C. make the hard choices."

After all, Pence is making his Party's hard choices like this:
"The reality is that as you study -- when President Kennedy cut marginal tax rates, when Ronald Reagan cut marginal tax rates, when President Bush imposed those tax cuts, they actually generated economic growth, they expand the economy, they expand tax revenue," Pence said. "The point is we've got to get this economy moving again and we can't go back to the tax-and-spend policies of the Democrats or the tax-cut-and-spend policies of the prior administration."

Study? As in studying the catastrophic failure of Bush's tax cuts on the rich?
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) explained on Wallace's show last week that "you do need to offset the cost of increased spending, and that's what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans."

And the GOP didn't, hence our current deficit.

Maybe "maver-ick" Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has feelings for those other than, say, rich military contractors?
On the issue of unemployment benefits, of course we Republicans in the Senate under the leadership of Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyl who’s doing a fantastic job, we want to extend unemployment benefits, but we want them paid for, because there are so many things that the Democrats lard onto it, whether it be for hiring new teachers or other programs, so they keep adding onto it to force us to vote yes.

Those darn teachers! That's pork to McCain, money better spent elsewhere:
I would tell the corporations which are very important, like Intel and Raytheon and others in our state, we’ll cut the corporate tax rates so that you won’t have to send jobs overseas. We’ll continue… I’ll continue to support the military and our bases and the men and women who are there and the thousands of employees, including our people over in Mesa that make the Apache helicopter and down at Raytheon that make these wonderful missiles and Intel that’s doing such a great job in employing so many people that I’ve supported for so many years.

No wonder McCain wants open-ended military commitments across the board. Otherwise, too much of that military funding would go not for "wonderful missiles" (oxymoron?) but for keeping schools like those here in SoCal from slashing teachers and loading up classrooms.

I guess you need that military money to keep those corporate leaders' kids in private school.

You know, with the lower class sizes.

No comments: