Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s promise last December to not make a GOP majority in Congress a “scary thing” that would prevent voters from electing a Republican President in 2016 has already become a joke. The nation is currently experiencing its worse state of income disparity ever and the GOP is already at odds with leveling the playing field for the majority of Americans.
“What Senator McConnell wants people to think and what they will think when they see the results for themselves are two very different things,” said [Senate Minority leader Harry] Reid’s spokesman, Adam Jentleson. “Senator McConnell heads a caucus that is obsessed with rigging the game against working people in favor of wealthy special interests. That’s a scary fact indeed, and he won’t be able to hide it.” SOURCE
Most “small businesses, savers and investors” are NOT among the wealthy elite. Yet when GOP congress critters like McConnell and Orin Hatch suggests such nonsense in their opposition to President Obama’s latest effort to raise taxes on the wealthy, they continue the masquerade the Party of No trots out for a public that often remains poorly informed about such issues.
The President has proven to be a disappointment to many liberals on occasion by failing to use his election capital following the 2008 elections where, for a brief period at least in 2009, he had a super majority in the Senate and a large majority in the House. But it’s not clear that even then he would have had the support of all Democrats, especially the more conservative ones, to pass measures not unlike those FDR passed during the Great Depression, to turn this economy around at a faster rate than occurred with his limited stimulus bill.
But regretting we didn’t get as much out of Obama as we hoped is a waste of time because in politics the devil is always in the details that most people never see. Senate rules that require a super majority to kill a filibuster and “the hold” where a single member can delay and obstruct efforts to get reasonable legislation passed worked against any Democratic majority. The only real weapon Americans have to effect policies that benefit all of us, not just an elite few, is our vote that comes from being properly informed. But in this day an age of corporate ownership of major media outlets, even this is manipulated to prevent the change we need by deceptive practices that have become second nature for the GOP as a whole.
The creation of a false narrative to influence votes is rearing its ugly head once again in identical character as it has in the past to convince naive voters that higher taxes on the wealthy are equal to tax increases for everyone. Obama will present his tax increase recommendation for the wealthiest in his State of the Union address on Tuesday but Republicans like Orin Hatch, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have already started their assault on it. If pressed however to justify their accusation that the common tax payer will suffer under the president’s proposal, they would have little to fall back on outside of the debunked claim made by supporters of trickle down economics.
Obama’s proposal would only affect the top tax rate on capital gains and increase dividends to 28 percent from 23.8 percent. The top tax rate in 2015 will affect only those who make in excess of $413, 200. That would exclude at least 95% of the working population. And the average American doesn’t invest in stocks that pay them dividends. What stocks many working people hold are through company sponsored IRAs and Mutual Fund programs that do not pay out monthly or annual dividend checks to individuals who hold these investments.
Obama’s proposal would also impose a capital-gains tax on asset transfers at death. Again this would only affect the wealthiest among us since his plan “would exempt the first $200,000 in capital gains per couple plus $500,000 for a home, along with all personal property except for valuable art and collectibles.” How many Americans that you know have capital gains that exceed $200,000?
But true to their colors the GOP is merely doing the bidding of those who forked over the largest piles of cash to get Republicans elected. Not that some Democrats don’t fall into this category but as a Party they have not sold their souls entirely to the needs of the wealthy. What’s really quirky about this charade is that most wealthy people are not opposed to tax increases. So why do House and Senate Republicans insist on misrepresenting this to the American public?
Now its true that Obama’s proposals will likely not see the light of day in a Congress now completely controlled by GOP majorities. But the game plan here is not so much to win some or all of these concessions that benefit the middle class (or what’s left of a middle class in America) but to expose the allegiance of a political Party that talks about creating jobs and removing government from everyday people’s lives. In reality however they enhance the growing power of people who keep your wages low and eliminate the power of labor unions whose efforts in the 1930’s ultimately created the strongest middle-income class the world had ever seen in the post WWII 1950’s, when taxes on the wealthiest were at their historical highs.
If it is successful this effort could regain some seats for Democrats in Congress and hold onto the White House in 2016. The question is will the Democrats run from a class warfare meme exploited by Republicans or tap into that support most Americans have for leveling the playing field in an economy where income disparity is at its historical worst?