It’s remarkable to me that any Republican could say with a straight face that Obama is a divider when you look at the track record of the Republican Party. After all, it was the GOP candidate for president who divided the country into makers and takers – the infamous Romney “47%” video.
President Obama won re-election by “dividing the nation,” said former Florida governor, and possible 2016 presidential candidate, Jeb Bush on Face the Nation. “I think the basic part of his campaign was that those that were successful weren’t paying their fair share, even though we have incredibly high taxes for high income Americans,” said Bush. “I think he ran a campaign of them and us, and it was quite effective — that somehow the Republicans don’t care about the large number of people.”
It’s not that Republicans across the board have no concern for people, it’s that they support policies that bring harm to many, sometimes knowingly, in a perverse act of tough love.
And no, high income Americans do not face “incredibly high taxes.” This is another statement that I find remarkable. Republicans hate taxes. In fact, some Republicans, like Speaker John Boehner, say taxes are equivalent to stealing. So I guess I should not be shocked when Republicans try to whitewash history by saying high income Americans in 2013 face high taxes.
I would argue that high income Americans, particularly those who make most of their money through capital gains, are taxed at such a low rate historically, it is the single biggest reason there is not enough money to accomplish really big things. Want a better education system? Too bad, we don’t have the money. Want better roads and bridges that don’t collapse? Too bad, we don’t have the money. Want to extend broadband Internet access to all Americans? Too bad, we don’t have the money. Want to invest in anything that would make for a more prosperous future for America? Too bad, we don’t have the money.
Well actually, there is plenty of money in this country. The problem is that the top 1% own 40% of the wealth and something like 8 or 9 out of 10 own only 7% combined. You want to know why we can’t get anything done — it’s wealth and income inequality stupid. Do you know what the fix is? Yes, it’s higher taxes on the rich.
Call it socialism. Call it redistributing wealth. Call it whatever you want. It will not change the simple fact that a fairer, more equitable society with a strong middle class does not happen by accident. You can rewrite history all you want, it won’t change how we got here. You want a more prosperous future for America and a growing (not shrinking) middle class? Then tax the people who are doing really well in an economy that is leaving more and more people behind every day.
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