Those Most Hurt

The Republicans are absolutely right that the United States can’t keep up deficit spending running over seven percent per year, not without creating long-term inflation and a national debt whose interest could soon reach forty percent of annual federal government spending. But they’re wrong in how they want to deal with the problem. At a time when we have multi-millionaires and multi-billion-dollar corporations who pay little or no taxes and whose businesses are essentially partly subsidized by federal government income and healthcare supports, the Republicans want to cut funds for the poorest of Americans while cutting taxes on the richest and passing tax credits for them as well.

The Democrats, on the other hand, want to keep increasing spending on existing social programs without being able to come up with a politically viable way to support those programs without increasing the deficit.

The so-called compromise bought us some time, but not much else. The plain fact remains that, under the current political stalemate, only corporations and the well-off really benefit. They keep their lower taxes and tax credits, and one way or another, everyone else pays.

One of my neighbors recently retired, not because he wanted to, but because, after forty years or more of working with heavy machinery his knees and shoulders gave out. Even with two replacement knees he couldn’t do the job he once did, and he couldn’t wait to get the maximum social security benefits. While he was more prudent than many, the fact remains that too many workers can’t physically work long enough to get even reduced social security benefits. Yet these are people who get hurt most by Republican policies, and one of the great ironies is that a disproportionate number are Republicans who don’t even seem to see that.

But until those who are hurt the most and don’t realize it finally understand, nothing will change.

4 thoughts on “Those Most Hurt”

  1. Wren Jackson says:

    For what it’s worth the left is playing the waiting game. By the 2024 election Gen Z hits full adulthood and I’d predominantly progressive. The recent criminal behavior by the TX AH shows TX already went purple/blue.

    So the lefy’s job right now is to fight against the rights attempts to hurt people or disenfranchise voters.

    If it flips all the way next year we can start forcing the rich to pay their fair share.

    I am obviously being very broad in my statement but that is the gist of it.

    1. The Tax Foundation’s statistics are misleading, and then some. A recent analysis from the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) concluded that “the 400 wealthiest families paid an average Federal individual income tax rate of 8.2 percent on $1.8 trillion of income over the period 2010–2018, the years from the last decade for which the necessary data are available.”

      1. R. Hamilton says:

        Even if that’s true (and it may be, although I’d trust CBO over OMB, I think; OMB may be more subject to political pressure), rich people create income or profit for others and revenue for the government just by existing and engaging in their activities, at least their domestic activities. And even if out of envy or class warfare or politics or sympathy for the needy one imagines them to be underpaying, even most of the income of the top 1% and higher rates on corporations would not make a sustainable big dent in federal spending. The desire for all basic needs met at public expense, once created (which we have already done), has NO upper limit on how much it would cost to satisfy. That desire must therefore be reduced considerably – even if that means increased hardship for the genuinely needy.

        One thing that WOULD make sense is to raise the ceiling on what is subject to Social Security tax; but only if other steps are taken to make it actuarily sound, and once that was achieved, a custom of not adding features to it that would break that was adopted.

        Not to say I wouldn’t prefer a gradual (for those below a cutoff age) transition to (regulated and insured) private alternatives, which would for most have much better returns, and would make the soundness less subject to being politicized into unsoundness.

        Whatever problem there may be on taxes on some being too low, the problem of undisciplined growth in spending is FAR worse, because those who control the purse strings will always be tempted to buy votes and bring home the bacon and listen to corporate lobbyists and all the rest, in their own pursuit of power or re-election or ideology (both parties, to a degree). I think that’s true regardless of what one considers worthwhile priorities (and the problem of satisfying everyone being that nearly all priorities end up being imagined worthwhile); there are too many lists of absurd spending that clearly aren’t a responsible use of taxpayer funds, even if those aren’t mostly that big ticket, to doubt that most spending is at best inefficient, and often corrupt.

        Those who do pay taxes, get MUCH LESS than they pay for.

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