Bill Chatigny www.newburyportnews.com/opinio…
We constantly hear Republicans talk about religion, patriotism, family values, socialism, class warfare and redistribution of wealth. They'll say that 47 percent of Americans pay zero taxes, but they won't say the middle class pays 61 percent of the federal budget, the poor pay 18 percent, and the wealthiest only pay 20 percent. They also won't mention the sales, property, state, gas and excise taxes we pay. Those get raised when the wealthy and mega-corps aren't paying on the federal level. When the feds aren't helping the states, taxes get raised locally, which places an unfair burden on the middle class and poor.
Republicans talk about cutting more taxes for corporations but never talk about those making billions in profit while paying zero taxes. Why? Because 83 of those top 100 corporations have paid zero taxes almost every year since 2004. In 2009 alone, the top 100 made $443 billion in profit, yet 83 paid zero taxes.
As for the wealthy, 400 American billionaires hold more wealth than 155 million Americans combined. That's almost half of the U.S. population. Their wealth totals $1.37 trillion, and that's not counting the 30,000 multi-millionaires. When Mass, Democratic Chairman John Walsh spoke at the Democratic breakfast in Newburyport on April 28, he commented that the Democrats are only asking those who earn $90,000 per DAY to pay an additional $50 taxes daily. Yet, all we hear from Republicans is socialist Obama redistributing wealth to the middle class and poor. Since Reagan, the wealthy have made 275 percent of the gains, while the middle class has only gained 18 percent. I'd say the class warfare and redistribution of wealth has already happened.
Republicans blame President Obama for a stagnant economy and high unemployment, although 4.2 million jobs have been created since he took office. They claim that federal spending is too high and we need to cut government. Where were they when Bush waged two unpaid-for wars and a drug deal that cost $3 trillion? Under Obama, 600,000 federal employees got pink slips and government spending has risen only 1.4 percent, which is the lowest since before FDR and 80 percent less than Bush, Bush or Reagan. They claim that tax cuts create jobs, so where are the jobs? Their only plan is to cut corporate taxes more and pay for those cuts by slashing all programs that benefit the poor and middle class. The wealthy and corporations don't need those programs. They only need a strong military to provide the billions in profit that war materials provide (never a word about that socialist/corporate welfare) or the military protection it provides their wealth. Meanwhile, corporations are sitting on $3 trillion cash. They could be creating jobs, but they'd rather stay lean, make billions in profit, pay zero taxes and pay themselves mega bonuses. "Trickle down" is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the middle class. Bill Clinton proved that when he raised taxes on the wealthy, uplifting all Americans with 22 million jobs created.
Republicans always tout living wages for hardworking Americans, yet it didn't stop them from voting down equal pay for women. Where is the patriotism and family value in a $7.75 minimum wage or their plan to cut food stamps to families that receive a $31 per week benefit? Where is the patriotism and family value in tax law that allows corporations to hide their profits overseas to avoid taxes or for shipping jobs overseas?
True patriotism and family values should be fairness for all Americans, not just a few. If the 400 billionaires all died tomorrow, the cash wouldn't fit in the coffins, nor is it accepted at the pearly gates, so what good is it, if not to benefit everyone? Would God's plan not be fairness and equity for all? It may sound silly, but it really is that simple. What kind of country do we want to be? How much wealth does one truly need? Simple questions, yes, and if we're, for example, Christians, we should be asking, how much is enough, or, what would Jesus do? Republicans talk a good game, but they're totally anti-poor, anti-middle class, anti-women, anti-union, anti-everything, except for the billionaires who fatten their wallets, and that really is that simple.