Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Premeditated Murder of the American Middle Class

This headline isn't from a lefty blogger, it's from Investors' Business Daily:

10-Year Real Wage Gains Worse Than During Depression.

Did you wonder how the American economy went bad? Look no further. The vast majority of Americans are nervous, underpaid, and either out of work or working harder than ever. This does not make for a robust consumer economy. When you starve the majority of incomes it has consequences.

The middle class isn't just done, it's been ruled irrelevant. So says Advertising Age. With flat incomes and rising necessary expenses on fuel, housing, education, healthcare and food, their disposable incomes have disappeared. Without money to spend you don't matter anymore.

The engine of the great American prosperity 1945-1975 was a prosperous working and middle class. The two were practically the same thing. Reaganomics ended that by flattening middle class incomes, killing unions and shifting the tax burden off the rich and onto the middle class taxpayer. Reagan accomplished this with the willing help of millions of American workers.

Today's GOP is outdoing Reagan, though, mounting an all-out assault on the American middle class, while protecting the very small, very rich upper class. A lot of Americans still vote Republican out of habit, out of team spirit, out of obedience to the dog whistle.

The middle class Republican has to swallow a lot of outright lies. Self deception is something you learn to do, and if you practice for a long time you get good at it. Being obedient helps. This GOP ability to lie and get away with it is remarkable enough it's written about in places like Forbes.

Who is really paying taxes? We (the working and middle classes) are. They (the rich) are not. Yet the sacredness of upper class tax cuts remains the keystone of Republican politics.

The reason for the current deficit? Reducing taxes on those who've taken all the income increases over the past generation and a half, while increasing taxes on those whose incomes have stalled–––on most Americans. The Republican policy is to protect and help the few who need no help or protection while leaving the less fortunate, most of us, unprotected and unhelped. Sometimes it's worthwhile to listen to a Nobel economist.

The debt, run up by Bush and compounded by the collapse Bush and his Republican policies precipitated, makes the current situation worse. It takes chutzpah to make debt an issue when your own party created it. If you like massive debt––Vote Republican.

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