Epiphanyblog

All about ideas…

With the election so close, the Republicans are pulling out all their tired old scare tactics

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But what choice do they really have. Their policies are old. They have nothing new to offer to offer the American people but scare tactics. And even those are old and tired.

First is the tired old socialism mantra: redistribution of wealth. This socialist mantra says the government will take from everybody to even out incomes amongst all. While I’m sure Jesus would have applauded that idea in the name of caring for the least among us, capitalism has won the battle of “isms”. It is here to stay and no one, in this day and age, plans on going back to a failed economic policy. Obama is a great deal smarter than that.

What he does propose, though, is giving tax breaks to the Middle Class. In order to afford those tax breaks without breaking the national budget, the most wealthy in the country, like Richard Fuld, CEO of Lehman’s who earned $500,000,000 (that’s right, half a billion dollars) even as Lehman’s sank into bankruptcy, will have to kick in a bit more. Surely, people who own a couple of multi-million dollar luxury mansions , a multi-million dollar New York apartment overlooking Central Park, an airplane, a yacht, and spend lavishly on art can afford to see their incomes taxes raised by a few percentage points. Raising their taxes a few points is not going to bankrupt them…or even affect their lavish lifestyles. But those additional taxes can offset the budgetary affects of tax relief for the Middle Class.

Second is another tired old mantra: class warfare. Well, guess what? Class warfare does exist, and the Middle Class has been the victim of it for a very long time. Unfortunately, the wealthy have conned the Middle Class into thinking that they’re being anti-social or un-American or anti-capitalist if they acknowledge that the rich have had it pretty darned easy, tax-wise. I guess we in the Middle Class are supposed to be good little sheep and never think about the fact that while we’re struggling to survive, the rich are living it up and enjoying all the fruits of wealth. Well, I work just as hard for my income as any fat cat, and while I earn a great deal less than those guys, they pay the same tax rate as I do…and they can get special tax breaks (known as tax credits and tax deductions) that I cannot afford to get. When all is said and done, the wealthy probably pay a lower percentage of earnings in taxes than most of the Middle Class do!

Third is the very old line: an all one party government. I didn’t hear the Republicans screaming about this when they owned both houses of Congress and the Presidency. What they did say was: Hurray, now we own the government so we can do what we want, set our own policies into action. Now, that it looks like their losing, they’re warning America of how horrible it would be to have the Democrats in power. Well, it seems to have worked okay when FDR, Truman and Kennedy were Presidents and Congress was Democratic. What’s to say that Obama won’t do as well with a Democratic Congress? Who is to say he won’t measure up, as much as possible given the current economic problems, to Kennedy who reduced the deficit, the national debt and lowered the Eisenhower Administration’s tax rate?

The fourth is a new scare: that only 40% of the people pay taxes. I don’t know about anyone else, but no one I know pays no taxes whatsoever. What that scare tactic implies is that 40% of the people either do not earn enough (are underemployed) to pay any taxes. That is, they earn under $12,000 a year. Or that they get back every single dime they paid in taxes throughout the year when they file their returns. I don’t know anyone who gets back everything in income taxes. I do know there are many millionaires who pay zero taxes, but no one in the Middle Class gets away without paying some amount in income taxes.

What Pat Buchanan, John McCain, and a host of other Republicans are doing with their tired old arguments is attempting to scare the American people. They can’t stand losing; they don’t have anything new and better from the last eight years to offer. So they use fear and scare tactics. They trade on old ideas that are no longer relevant or make any sense in the 21st Century.

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Written by Valerie Curl

October 19, 2008 at 2:35 AM

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