By Keith D. Foote 2/8/2015
“More Americans are stuck at their income levels than ever before,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said. Ted Cruz announced, “It’s true that the top 1 percent are doing great under Barack Obama. Today, the top 1 percent earn a higher share of the national income than any year since 1928. The sad reality is that with big government, under the Obama administration, the rich and powerful in the Obama administration have gotten fat and happy. But working men and women across the country, we have the lowest labor force participation since 1978.” And Mitt Romney stated, “The rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before under this president.
These are all true statements. It is, however, odd, and dare I say it, extremely hypocritical of the Republican Party and these specific politicians. The Republican Party supports a philosophy of making the rich richer. Consider Mitt Romney’s position, which he spoke of during a closed door meeting with other members of the upper class, suggesting 47% of the U.S. population are a bunch of deadbeats who don’t pay taxes. (Actually, there is some truth in Romney’s assertion. That 47% represents America’s retired senior citizens, who no longer work for an income, and the extreme poor. You all remember the guy in Detroit who walked 21 miles everyday to work and back because he couldn’t afford a car. Lets squeeze him, and other low income people for some tax money. As long as the money doesn’t come from the rich.)
The philosophy of not taxing the rich is based the notion that the rich keep the economy moving, by creating jobs and products. This is actually not true in any sense. The majority of Americans work for small businesses, not the mega corporations controlled by the wealthiest 1 percent. Small businesses and the workers (in the role of consumers) keep America’s economy moving. This philosophy was also the foundation of (Republican) President Reagan’s trickle down economic theory, which is now regarded as total nonsense. I suspect many of the wealthy like to believe they alone are responsible for driving the American economy, but those same people also have a tendency to see themselves as superior human beings, and why can’t the rest of us understand how superior they really are? They deserve to be rich, most, by way of inherited wealth.
Assuming the Republican Party is serious about a commitment to resolving the problem of income inequality, how would they do it? Not by raising the minimum wage. Instead, they would eliminate Obamacare, claiming health care reform has stopped the creation of jobs. (Obamacare has actually created jobs because this is a new industry in need of workers.) If anything, Obamacare helps with income inequality by offering insurance to people who would never have been able to afford it otherwise. (Sounds like socialism, but then, I believe in moderation in all things, as opposed to “extreme capitalism.”) The idea that eliminating Obamacare will somehow create jobs is more than a little delusional. Republican hypocrisy is truly astonishing.