Monday, October 19, 2015

Does the GOP engage in class warfare?

  The GOP engages in class warfare. misogyny and racism. 

Both the tax plans of Jeb Bush and Donald Trump make this clear. Both tax plans give huge tax breaks to the affluent by cutting the income tax rates for top earning Americans to below 30 per cent. Trump's tax rate is 15 per cent, but he says he will eliminate all deductions. Trump goes further by eliminating the estate tax which only effects the top 0.1 per cent of Americans. 

Republicans like to call the estate tax the death tax and suggest it is double taxation. A progressive estate tax was instituted by Theodore Roosevelt to level the playing field. Unfortunately, the estate tax today is barely functional. The US now has a stratified social system. There is very little social mobility between classes. If you are born working class, you will likely die working class.

Trump suggests families making $50k or less pay no income tax while Bush suggests $40k or less. In both cases, more than half of the taxpayers in the US would be exempt from federal income tax. This proposal would greatly favor the Red states which have lower median incomes than the Blue.

When the dust clears from either of these plans a greater tax burden would end up on the backs of the middle class. Working class Americans would pay little or no tax and the top earning Americans would get huge tax cuts.

Both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush tried similar supply side tax plans and both presidents greatly increased the annual deficits which added trillions to the national debt. Not only did the Republicans lower taxes irresponsibly, they also overspent on the armed services. Bush never vetoed a single bill while in office his first term and increased defense spending by 47 per cent.

The tax cuts plus the runaway spending had bad outcomes. The Bush “ownership society” was predicated on deregulation. This led to a worldwide economic meltdown.

Many observers have suggested the GOP favors defense spending over infrastructure because most defense facilities are in the Red states while the US infrastructure is in the Blue

President Obama was elected overwhelmingly by women voters, black Americans, and Hispanic Americans. It is not a coincidence that all three have attacked by Republicans ever since the elections.

In the case of women, an important institution, Planned Parenthood is being attacked. Certainly Republicans are “Pro-Life,” but it goes far beyond that. Republicans are trying to deny birth control pills and other forms of contraception to women. The real GOP goal appears to be to stop women from having “sex for mere pleasure. “

The attacks on gay or LGBT people is similar but also has an Old testament religious basis. Many evangelical and fundamentalist churches subscribe to the belief the Christian religion is underpinned by repressing gays. Many have predicted Christianity will collapse now that gay marriage is legal.

Much of the GOP racism was stimulated by the election of Barack Obama. America's first black president. Republicans were even more agitated when record number of blacks showed up at the polls and 95 per cent voted for the president. Since the election , many other Red states have instituted laws to “reduce voter fraud”vby requiring multiple forms of identification to vote. Many older and poorer people don't have birth certificates, so they will be unable to vote.

The worst example is in Alabama in which voters must register to vote at the Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices. The state then closed all but 5 DMV offices and the open ones mainly service white drivers and voters.

Lat but not least, is the GOP attack on Latino/Hispanic immigrants. The GOP did poorly in the 2012 election with Romney picking up only 27 per cent of the Hispanic and Latino vote. Marco Rubio thinks the GOP candidate must pick up at lease 40 per cent of this vote to win. Another pollster indicated 42-47 per cent is needed.

Because Obama took 71 per cent of the Latino and Hispanic vote in 2012, Republicans have become anti-immigrant. The GOP will say that immigrants take jobs but most compete for jobs with high school dropouts. They take jobs in construction such as roofing, food service, agriculture, lawn service and gardening. Posit the real GOP concern is that immigrants from south of the border overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

The GOP prefers the Hi-B program that lets in educated workers such as information technology (IT ) people. Recently Walt Disney World told 250 workers, most of which were technical, that they were being laid off and replaced by foreign workers from India. The US workers even had to train their replacements.

Fortunately, Disney got plenty of bad press and dropped plans to replace the workers.

The GOP engages in class warfare in many ways. It uses tax policy to play the middle calls against the affluent and the working class. Its tax policy and appropriations also favors the Red states over the Blue.

The GOP attacks women, black, Latinos/Hispanics and other minorities based on voting patterns. If any group votes for Democrats, the GOP then tries to marginalize that group in the US congress and in statehouses controlled by he GOP.

Thee is one exception, veterans. Although veterans overwhelmingly vote Republican, Republicans the US House and senate have voted down several vet bills since 2008. Apparently the GOP thinks it can take vets for granted.

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