This is the second in a series of Daily Republic columns designed to help the struggling Republican Party return to mainstream American values. Last week, we discussed the importance of embracing reality; today’s topic: rejecting plutocracy.
I wrote last week: “As we have seen in recent Daily Republic articles and editorial cartoons, right-wing pundits like Bill O’Reilly have claimed that the Republicans lost because America, sadly, has gone from a nation of makers to a nation of takers.” Thomas Sowell’s latest article echoed that theme, “If nonwhite voters can only be gotten by pandering to them with goodies earmarked for them, then Republicans are doomed . . . .” A Daily Republic blogger offered a similar election analysis: “The tax consumers outvoted the tax payers.”
Unfortunately for all those still clinging to shreds of their tattered right-wing bubble, Republican states overwhelmingly take in more federal dollars than they pay in federal income tax, while Democratic states are net givers. Democratic states are the ones giving gifts, in the form of our tax dollars, to the poor Republican states. Fox rhetoric doesn’t fit the facts.
None of these Republican pundits are willing to admit that they lost the election because their candidate and his message rubbed most voters the wrong way. Most Americans could not stomach rich Mitt and his plutocratic, rule-by-wealth economic policies. We witnessed an epic, good-versus-evil battle for our electoral souls in this past election with the Democratic thesis, “We are all in this together,” clashing mightily with the Republican antithesis, “Every man for himself.”
Statewide, Californians responded compassionately, selflessly shouldering the burden of higher taxes, while locally, we Fairfielders showed overwhelming humanity, passing Measure P with a two-thirds majority. Right on cue, Hurricane Sandy demonstrated to voters across this country how we are all interconnected and why politicians from both sides must work together for our common good. It was instantly obvious to all observers that the plutocratic, survival-of-the-fittest approach would not have worked there.
What would the wealthy do if they ruled America?
First, they would reduce taxes that affect them most: income taxes, inheritance taxes, capital gains taxes and corporate taxes. With reduced revenues, government at all levels would be diminished along with their ability to enforce regulations protecting our land, water and air from toxic pollution. Workers’ rights would instantly evaporate, and safety nets like Social Security and unemployment insurance would be cut. Medicare would become “voucher care.” Product liability and consumer financial protections would also disappear.
The one growth area would be national defense, because, if you are wealthy, wars are extremely profitable.
If you step back and look at the Romney/Paul Ryan economic plans in this plutocratic light, with their tax cuts, government cuts and increased military spending, you will see this vision of an American plutocracy clearly reflected.
I wrote Aug. 20 in my Daily Republic column: “Listen to the rhetoric coming from the rich, their media spokesmen and Republican politicians. They only talk about cutting income tax, corporate tax, dividend tax and tax on interest payments, affecting the wealthy; never about the regressive taxes we normal people pay every day. Consider this: If Ryan’s tax proposals are passed, Mitt Romney’s income tax rate would drop to almost zero. Who picks up the tab? The 99.9 percent of us living in Fairfields all across this nation.”
In the board game Monopoly, we all know that only one person wins and ends up with everybody else’s money and homes. It’s not fun when this game is played for real. Republicans, reject your plutocratic platform; return to the mainstream.
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at [email protected]