Skip to comments.The Class-Warfare Gambit
Posted on 08/16/2010 6:30:27 PM PDT by Son House
Imagine you are one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosis top political strategists. The polls show your party needs a game-changer, something that will transform what looks like a losing political hand into a winner. I know, you shout, lets push for a large tax increase on the fortunate few the 2 or 3 percent of the population with so much money they wont even miss a few thousand bucks. The other 97 or 98 percent will feel no pain, and well be able to call ourselves deficit hawks when all those billions start rolling in.
On paper, this strategy may look promising. But a close look at who will pay the tab, where they live, and who represents them on Capitol Hill suggests that this approach has some major political flaws.
First, a few facts. When the Times Square ball falls on New Years Eve, the top tax rate on wages will jump by more than 13 percent, to 39.6 percent; the capital-gains tax will leap by a third, to 20 percent; and the tax on dividends will more than double, leaping to 39.6 percent from 15 percent.
Other taxes are slated to rise, too. Tens of millions of middle-income families will not only see their own marginal tax rates increase, but will also see the tax credits they claim for their children cut in half, their marriage-penalty relief vanish, and the current 10 percent tax bracket on the first $12,000 of their income increase to 15 percent.
In sum, tax-hike Armageddon looms, and the political lines are clearly drawn. Every single Republican lawmaker in Congress has called for stopping these hikes. But many leading Democrats such as Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate majority leader Harry Reid see things differently. While they insist they wont let taxes rise on the middle class, they believe it is only appropriate to boost taxes significantly for the wealthiest 2 to 3 percent of Americans. It is, they insist, the best way to reduce the burgeoning federal budget deficit.
Their plan is straightforward: Soak only the top-earning households in America those earning more than $200,000 as single filers or $250,000 as married couples. Economically, they argue, its a free lunch. Pelosi summed up the progressive macroeconomic view this way: The Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America did nothing to grow the economy during the Bush administration, did not create jobs, [and] did not reduce the deficit. And House majority leader Steny Hoyer articulated the microeconomic rationale: Those who are doing well will not have their lives adversely affected [by these tax increases]. Not only do they see no economic harm in squeezing an extra $75 billion or so each year from our most productive citizens, but Democratic political strategists also see this soak-the-rich strategy as a political winner.
Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post explains:
Raising taxes is usually a perilous move. But Democrats, facing the potential loss of their majorities on Capitol Hill, believe that the [tax increase] strategy will both force Republicans to defend tax breaks for a tiny, wealthy minority and expose GOP hypocrisy on budget deficits.
So there you have it. Divide that tiny, wealthy minority from the rest of us. Pit those idle rich against the hoi polloi. Let the little people keep their tax credits and their pathetic 10 percent tax bracket, and they will reward you at the polls for sticking it to those haughty country-club types. Whats not to like about that road to political victory in November?
Well, a couple of things. According to the most recent IRS income-tax data, that tiny, wealthy minority encompasses more than 4.3 million households. Counting spouses, children, and other dependents, youre talking about putting 12.5 million living, breathing Americans in the tax-hike crosshairs.
Thats an average of nearly 29,000 rich constituents per district no small potatoes in an era when lawmakers break out in night sweats whenever district offices report that disgruntled voters are asking when they will hold town-hall meetings.
Of course, no district is average. The number of rich households varies dramatically from one district to the next. No fewer than 100 House districts boast at least 40,000 rich constituents (for the full list, go here); 68 districts are home to 50,000 or more; and 25 districts have 75,000 or more. One of those 25 is VA-11, located in the D.C. suburbs. Its current representative, Democrat Gerry Connolly, acknowledges that constituents have been lighting up his phone lines. As a result, he has been making the rounds on cable news and saying that now is not the time to raise taxes on anyone, including the rich.
Connolly is no supply-sider; his concern is a prudential one. While tax increases on the wealthy may one day be appropriate and necessary, he argues, the fragile nature of our economic recovery precludes such a move forthe time being. Hes on stronger ground when he points out that the top 5 percent of income earners generate 30 percent of all economic activity; hitting them with a draconian tax hike would surely throttle the recovery.
According to the latest IRS income-tax data, Connollys district ranks among the 20 wealthiest in the nation. Counting spouses and kids, fully 84,804 of his constituents live in rich households. Thats over 11 percent of his constituency.
Several of Connollys Democratic colleagues find themselves in a similar bind. Topping the list is freshman Rep. Jim Himes in CT-4. More than 146,000 of his constituents who comprise over a fifth of his districts entire population live in high-income households that will be asked to fork over an astonishing $1.7 billion in additional taxes next year. Thats more than $39,000 per household.
When we consider how many other competitive House districts have significant numbers of rich constituents, it becomes clear that the politics of taxing the rich may turn out to be more complex than Democratic strategists first envisioned. Indeed, the progressives class-warfare gambit may backfire disastrously this November.
They’re going to continue to try the class warfare strategy.
Jesse Jackson is holding a “rebuild America” march in detroit on the 28th (The same day Beck is holding his event in DC)
The listed co conspirators and usual class warriors
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Detroit Urban League
Metro Detroit AFL-CIO
USW District 2
Progressive Democrats of America
AFSCME Council 25
City Clerk Janice Winfrey
Jobs with Justice
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-Detroit
Huntington Woods Peace, Citizenship and Education Project
Michigan Emergency Committee Against the War
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Rep. John Conyers
US Labor Against the War
Earth Day Network
United for Peace and Justice
Michigan State AFL-CIO
Teamsters Local 299
The United Communities of America
Michigan Welfare Rights Organization
11th Hour for Peace
Rep. John Dingell
How about demanding that the tax freeloaders contribute? 50 percent of tax filers pay no federal income taxes with a large number in this group receiving tax welfare (refundable tax credits) and many other forms of transfer payments. The tax code encourages non work and under reporting of income in this group on a massive scale. The tax freeloaders are the problem, not the productive individuals currently taxed at 37.9 percent (35 percent income tax plus 2.9 percent Medical tax). The effective rate is actually higher because of deduction phase out and other confiscatory policies.
As a group, conservatives should demand an end to the free lunch given to tax freeloaders. Let them pay at a 10 percent rate. They will understand the costs of government services and perform a patriotic service.
It'll be an electoral disaster not seen since the 19th Century.
Good list of communist front groups for attorney general Arapaio to investigate.
Just looking at that list, the GOP could say, “OK, extend the tax cuts for everyone except those people if you must. We’ll go along with it for the sake of everyone else, but we’d really prefer to extend the tax cuts for everyone!”
This ignorant communist bi!ch is too stupid to breathe.
She should be locked up in a home somewhere to mumble to herself.
TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE IN AMERICA?
|Taxpayer by Marital Status,
|Pre-2001 Code||Bush Plan by 2006 or '03|
|Married, JF $0-12,000||15%||10%|
|Married, JF $12,000-45,200||15%||15%|
|Married, JF $45,200-109,250||28%||25%|
|Married, JF $166,500-297,350||36%||33%|
|Married, JF $297,350+||39.6%||33%|
DID NOTHING TO GROW THE ECONOMY?
June 9, 2008 marking 52 months of uninterrupted job growth!
DID NOT REDUCE THE DEFICIT?
(and don't even start about growing the deficit before reducing it!)
2001 ___ 2002 ___ 2003 ___ 2004 ___ 2005 ___ 2006 ___ 2007 ___ 2008
127 ____ -158 ____ -375 ____ -413 ____ -363 ____ -248 ____ -162 ____ -438
1. Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high
2. Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon
3. The unemployment rate was 4.5%
4) The DOW JONES hit a record high 14,000+
5) Americans were buying new cars, taking cruises, vacations overseas, living large
In 2007 a demonrat CONgre$$ took control and look how things changed.
1. Consumer confidence plummeted
2. Gasoline went to $4 a gallon & climbed
3. Unemployment moved up to 5.5% (a 10% increase)
4. Americans began seeing their home equity drop by $12 trillion dollars and prices started dropping
5. 1% of American homes were in foreclosure
6. $2.5 trillion dollars evaporated from Consumers stocks, bonds, mutual fund investment portfolios.
I remember when the tax cuts went into effect and I saved thousands. Am I "rich"? Rich is a relative word and I don't consider my self as such but those with less than I have may think I'm rich. It's a game that democrats have successfully played for years.
One notes that the democrats/liberals never bring up the
aborted 55 million taxpayers who would no doubt have
contributed quite a bit in income and taxes by now.
Apparently I am rich. After years of hard work, DH and I have broken into the top tax bracket (barely). Of course with 2 kids in college and one in private HS, confiscatory tax rates and a mortgage, we are hardly rolling in it. We make too much money to receive any financial aid for college, and I am helping my son’s best friend with college as well.
It would be nice to feel as rich as the government thinks I am.(and working 14 hour days certainly does not qualify me as “idle rich”). Last year we broke 6 figures for our federal and state tax bill. The accountant told us to expect 15% more this year. We would almost be better off if I quit and we reduced our income dramatically, something that I plan to do as soon as kids are out of college. I understand John Galt perfectly.