Monday, September 19, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Class Warfare Whiners

Today President Obama put forward a plan to cut our national deficit by over $3 trillion, which is supposed to be exactly what the Republicans want... except for the part where President Obama is proposing it. Deficit reduction is theoretically what Republicans want. But they don’t like what deficit reduction entails in the real world. Hey, Republicans don’t like the real world, period. The President’s plan has everything the Republicans want, along with a couple of the last things they want—fair taxes and real progress. $1.5 trillion of the $3 trillion in savings comes from an overhaul of the tax code. President Obama wants to make the tax code fair. Republicans just want to make the tax code disappear.

Part of the plan is a new rule to make sure that millionaires pay their fair share. Actually, it doesn’t even ask them to do that. It just doesn’t let them pay less than our fair share. Millionaires would have to pay as much as the middle class pays under the new rule. It’s called the Buffett rule, after billionaire Warren Buffett. Buffett says he has no problem with the proposed rule being named after him, because it’s what he believes. Other billionaires just want to avoid paying taxes. Are they willing to propose a rule letting billionaires pay no taxes at all, and call it the “Koch Brothers Rule”? Of course, they would never propose a rule that allows billionaires to pay no taxes at all. Billionaires have figured ways to do that with the rules we already have.

Predictably, Republicans immediately cried that Obama’s proposal to make the rich pay the taxes we all pay is “class warfare.” Anytime someone accuses you of waging class warfare, you can be reasonably sure that they have already been waging class warfare on your class for a long time. Republicans don’t want class warfare—they want unilateral class surrender. Paul Ryan says that this plan will “attack job creators.” It doesn’t attack anyone, Paul. It just treats everyone the same, although, I can see why the people you represent would consider that an attack. I love it when Republicans refer to the mega-rich as “job creators!” I guess it sounds better than “parasites.” They can’t tell the truth. Republicans can’t very well go on the Sunday talk shows and say “The President’s tax overhaul attacks financial vampires.” And they especially can’t do that when they look like Paul Ryan.

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