“Promoting class warfare,” is the cry whenever it’s suggested that paying for the cost of American government should be more proportional to the distribution of wealth in America. It could only be warfare if the middle class fought back. Middle America has abandoned organizing. The generation that stopped a war watches bemused as the “Occupy” forces try to emulate the success of the ’70s anti-war demonstrations. But the demonstrators of the ’70s don’t join, don’t show and don’t guide today’s demonstrators. Eventually it gets too cold for camping in parks. People leave, driven away by the police, needing only that excuse to abandon occupation.
Corporate America sends union jobs to day-wage countries, and Congress encourages them to do so with tax breaks and incentives. Wealthy wage earners do nothing that justifies their outrageous level of pay… except threaten to leave. Before a Congressional committee the CEO of Freddie Mac is asked, “Do you believe it was reasonable for you to make $93 million last year, while the President of the USA made eight hundred thousand?”
Answer… “We all hope to rise in our workplace, and for our salaries to increase as we do.” Um-m-m-m… yes, perhaps so, but that wasn’t the question. His answer stood, undefended, bare, ugly and arrogant, defining class warfare, in the camera lights. A better question might have been, “Do you think it was reasonable for you to make $93 million last year while tens of thousands of people to whom your agency lent money lost their homes because they no longer made enough to support their mortgages? While the mortgages you funded now exceeded the value of the homes?” But the answer would have been the same. Indeed, class warfare exists in America.
President Obama’s predecessor and his party reduced taxes for the rich (with a sop of very small reductions for Middle Americans). He then started two wars that he fought for seven years “off budget.” The USA simply borrowed the cost of those wars year after year, and borrowed the money to make the payments as well. Now, it’s time to ante up, and a Svengali-like character named Grover Norquist holds Republicans hostage to a no-tax pledge, in essence demanding that, instead, the poor, middle class and elderly pay for those wars by losing programs that help them. Yes, there is class warfare in America.
In 1970, 65 percent of Americans lived in “Middle Class” surroundings. In 2007 (the last year for which data is available) that number was 44%, and the other 19% had not moved up! Increasing taxes on Middle America while reducing them on the wealthy has expanded the gap and pushed a quarter of the middle class back toward poverty. America is rapidly moving toward a Latin American model where there are only two classes… very rich and very poor… with a small and shrinking lower middle class between them.
There is class warfare in America, and Middle America is losing… badly!