Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Political Lie Machine: Class Warfare

  • Not class warfare - insulting people who get the earned income tax credit.
  • Not class warfare - saying 47% or 50% or 51% of people pay no income tax.
  • Not class warfare - not saying anything about the millionaires  and corporations who didn't pay any income taxes.
The conservative lie machine is geared up and smoking.

Here's something they don't tell you: the income per household of the lowest 40% in the US is $34,000.** Maybe that's why approximately half pay no income tax--because they are low on the income scale, with little to spare after they've paid Social Security tax, Medicare tax, sales tax, rent, utilities, etc. One of the few good things about our tax code is the exemption for subsistence living. I've written about this before.

So I call bullshit on class warfare, and bullshit on our entire income tax mess.

**Correction made on 10/21/11.


Anonymous said...

I wonder what the reaction of those claiming "class warfare" would do if faced with actual class warfare. The current metaphor had a real allegory at other times and in other places. Revolts among the underclass routinely resulted in the slaughter of nobels, barons, and other upperclass twits.

Usually, of course, those in power in the new regime became the new upper class twits, or certainly started to behave like them. It's a naturally human tendency to try to make the rest of the humans do our bidding for our benefit, no matter what the implications for those human beings. Slavery existed as a matter of law for far longer than it hasn't, and many still employ it through illegal means. But there is always the incentive for the powerful to create the equivalent under the law, or to use the law to enforce roles that are not really distinguishable from slavery, or at least indentured servitude.

So now our class warfare isn't done with arrows and pitchforks, but lawyers, lobbyists, union bosses, and credit cards. As the bank bailouts showed, the wealthy are winning this battle in a never-ending war. The peasants may not be ready to revolting just yet, but it's getting close.

It's no surprise, however, that the upperclass twits' lawyers think the peasants are revolting anyway. (Thank you Wizard of Id.)

ModeratePoli said...

I doubt that the rich are too worried about popular armed uprisings against them. Republicans have been successful at channeling much of the resentment towards government workers. There are some strong reasons why this strategy works. Government workers haven't been hit as hard by layoffs and benefit cuts, and their salaries are paid in most cases by taxes. Government also has a tradition of corruption, graft, nepotism, etc. Businesses are hardly immune from that, but price competition can keep it in check.

So, the "class warfare" vibe works for the Republicans in a number of ways, rather than against them and their wealthy sponsors.