How Conventional and Present GOP Insurance policies Undermine America and Democracy

An important cry in the run-up to the American Revolution was, of course, “No taxation without representation!” The American colonies paid taxes to the British crown without being represented in the British Parliament.

Last week’s explosive ProPublica report, which reveals how the wealthiest Americans have consistently avoided paying income taxes, shows how hard the nation has betrayed this fundamental enlivening principle of the American Revolution. Indeed, due in particular to the policies and principles of the Republican Party, the nation has evolved to turn this call for representative democracy on its head and embrace its diametrical opposite: representation, even disproportionate representation, without taxation.

The ProPublica report highlights how, for many years, billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, and George Soros have paid little to no income taxes, and how the richest tend to pay a much lower tax rate than ordinary Americans, struggling to pay their taxes bills.

To illustrate this point, the report analyzed how much taxes the 25 richest people paid compared to their wealth between 2014 and 2018, and relied on data from Forbes to measure those people’s wealth. They found the following:

The results are blatant. According to Forbes, the value of those 25 people grew by a total of $ 401 billion from 2014 to 2018. They paid a total of $ 13.6 billion in federal income taxes over those five years, the IRS data shows. That is a staggering sum, but corresponds to a true tax rate of only 3.4%.

The situation is very different for Americans from the middle class, for example workers in their early 40s who have amassed wealth typical of their age. From 2014 to 2018, their net worth rose an average of about $ 65,000 after tax, largely due to the appreciation of their homes. But because the vast majority of her income was made up of salaries, her tax bills for that five-year period were nearly $ 62,000.

It must be emphasized at this point that this state of affairs, which exacerbates both economic and political equality in the US, is not just a question of corrupt practice or bad policy. For Republicans, it is a matter of principle whether they are anti-Trump or pro-Trump.

In fact, the notorious MP Liz Cheney, now in the spotlight for her alleged stance against the Trumpists’ attack on democracy, in her recent Washington Post comment, clearly endorsed the historically common Republican fiscal policy of tax cuts, claiming the rule of law, in a limited one Government, in a strong national defense and in prosperity and opportunities through low taxes and a financially conservative policy. “

And Lincoln Project Republican Michael Steele referred in a recent MSNBC oped advocating “then-President Donald Trump’s major tax cuts,” while nonetheless denouncing Trump’s “stranglehold” on his Republican party, writing:

From the right to vote, the constitution and the rule of law to the once-lauded choice of principle over partisanship, character over corruption and land over party – we have seen the Republican Party – my party – tacitly endorse or directly participate in systematic deconstruction Legitimacy of our republic.

But we have to ask Steel and Cheney what exactly does it mean for them to support Country over Party?

You proudly support and promote a country where many taxpaying Americans struggle to survive to meet their most basic needs, while the richest Americans and corporations pay ever lower tax rates.

Trump cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and now Republicans are complaining about softening that cut to 25 or 28 percent to fund investments in the country’s infrastructure that enables companies to operate and their massive profits .

Refusing to fund the upkeep of the country’s roads, bridges, energy systems, etc., that create the conditions for wealth creation doesn’t sound like putting the country above the party, or even the country above greed. Republicans like Steele and Cheney support this behavior; it is indeed a sacred principle for them.

Bush’s infamous tax cuts, for example, resulted in the top percent of households receiving an average tax cut of over $ 570,000 between 2004 and 2012, increasing their after-tax income by more than 5 percent each year – quite an increase! And those cuts again betrayed the traditional big Republican lie that tax cuts will boost economic growth, pay for themselves, and trickle down. Bush’s tax cuts shot up deficits after Bill Clinton ran budget surpluses and increased economic inequality.

And so much for land over party in our current situation, where polls show that Americans broadly support President Joe Biden’s political proposal to raise taxes on the rich and corporations in order to fund investments in our infrastructure .

Grover Norquist, founder of the Americans for Tax Reform organization, popularized the expression “hunger the beast”, referring to his efforts to lower taxes enough to effectively ease the burden on the federal government. He was once so influential that any Republican candidate who ran for office had to sign his pledge not to collect taxes. Although Norquist is no longer as visible as it used to be, politics remains a cornerstone of the Republican agenda to undermine American democracy and the lives of Americans. As Harlan Green wrote for the Huffington Post in 2011:

In fact, however, this commitment did not achieve its stated goal of reducing government spending. Indeed, most of all it has succeeded in starving the main engine of economic growth, consumer spending. Whenever Republican governments have cut taxes on behalf of a shrinking government, it has instead shifted wealth from the lower and middle income brackets to the upper income brackets, reducing overall demand for goods and services.

The average American is losing economic and political power while the economy as a whole suffers and the country’s infrastructure crumbles.

Traditional republican politics do not put the country above the party, but turn back the clock of the American Revolution.

Tim Libretti is a professor of American literature and culture at a Chicago state university. A longtime progressive voice, he has published many scholarly and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender, and politics for which he has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association .

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