Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Class Warfare, or Class Reconciliation?

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | September 19, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: class warfare, deficit reduction, President Obama, Republicans, socialism, tax

I am astonished to hear the meme that Republicans are putting out about the President's deficit reduction plans. Because the plan calls for millionaires to receive fewer tax breaks, and reconciles the fact that millionaires pay less in taxes than their secretaries, Republicans say that this is creating "class warfare"?

Wait a minute, it should be obvious to anyone who can think that reconciling millionaire tax breaks with everyone else's tax rates is class reconciliation, not class warfare.

But the Republican meme doesn't rely on logic. It relies on a subtle association between "class warfare" and "socialism." The idea that the contradictions of capitalism create a division of interests between the haves and the have-nots -- where does that come from? Ain't that an "un-America" idea?

Not at all. This country has had a "progressive" tax system since its inception. That means low-income earners pay a lower tax rate than higher-income earners. That makes sense, because otherwise, the large tax share of the tiny income brought home by the 1 in 6 families under the poverty line would make life impossible, and it would move many middle-class families into the poverty range.

The President's plan does nothing more than reconcile the many loopholes of which very high income earners can take advantage. It's the current tax system that encourages "class warfare." By defending the current system, not only do Republicans get to demonize President Obama, and to try to hold onto an unjust system that is driving down tax revenues, but they also get to appeal to the very millionaires and corporate interests who donate millions to their political campaigns.

In fact, by raising the cry of "class warfare" over reconciling tax rates for millionaires, the Republicans have revealed whose side of this alleged "class warfare" they are on.

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Angela Brightfeather | September 19, 2011 6:43 PM

You bet your bottom dollar they have shown what side they are on, and it doesn't hold water any more with anyone with half a brain.

It's about time they get called out on the carpet and made to truly show the kind of stripes they prefer to wear.

I'm so sick of the Republican "one liners" to put down necessry plans to grow our economy and put people back to work. It's about time that people wake up if they haven't already. Even the average, every day Republican people, who realize that attacks by their leaders on the middle class via social security, medicare and medicaid, coupled with no income taxation on the millionairs, failure to pull in the banking crowd, not facing the challenges of collapsed housing rates and prices, is no longer the dog that can hunt. But most of all that class warfare against the middle class has been going on since Reagan was President and only now it is being exposed as Un-American.

california panda | September 19, 2011 8:26 PM

As if we didn't already know who's paying the Republican's bills.

I believe it was Ronald Reagan, a Republican who said: "Trust but verify."

We hear over and over that we cannot tax the wealthy because they are the job creators. Where can one find the number of jobs they created since the Budget was passed in December?