I was watching a part of Bernie Sanders’ 8 hour filibuster the other day when this quote struck me for a number of reasons, the most obvious being “why does a billionaire need a tax break?” — an issue that I feel baffles anyone. While this is an interesting topic, my gripe has to do with what Republicans are doing to specifically hurt the middle class, and there is plenty, but for the purpose of this article, I will only focus on a few things.
The first and most obvious is that Republicans do not want to lower taxes on the middle class, but only on the rich. (The middle class just gets thrown in occasionally.) A perfect example of this is that Republicans originally opposed the Payroll tax cuts. Democrats had to compromise on this tax CUT, which would have helped the middle class. We all know that Republicans love to lower taxes, but now they are showing who really matters to them, the wealthy. Then to pay for these tax cuts for the rich, the Republicans want to cut money for Federal agencies and necessary spending.  This necessary spending includes programs like medicare, social security, and other services that people use and need every day. Imagine a life where the elderly died of starvation and hypothermia just because the rich wanted more money. Of course, defense spending was virtually untouched.  The biggest example of this “Republicans want to protect the rich” mindset is the estate tax. Republicans fought tooth and nail to lower this tax on the richest of the rich, because we all know that they need more money. They make it sound like this “death tax” will affect everyone in America, but the reality is that the benefits from changing the Estate tax will only affect 3/10 of the top 1% of Americans . In addition to that, the estate tax in general will only affect people making over $5 million. What really upsets me is that Republicans claim that they are angered by the deficit and current living conditions of Americans, but then turn around and propose HUGE tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. So much for the middle class.
The Republicans are completely opposed to extending unemployment benefits to the people who need them most during this recession. They only way that Democrats were able to keep these necessary benefits was by allowing Republicans to cut taxes for the rich, especially with the Estate tax.  In short, Republicans are telling the helpless, unemployed Americans that if their few rich friends do not get what they want, then millions of people will go hungry. Paul Krugman says it best by calling this Republican strategy “blackmail” . This hardly seems like a fair deal for the majority of Americans, aka the middle class, who are the ones suffering at the hands of Republicans.
So all of the tax cuts that Republicans propose for the rich, which will not do anything for the economy (I will write an article about this as soon as I can), will drive up the deficit. This means that I, and everyone else here at NewPolity, will have to pay for the deficit that our government is creating. The national debt is projected to be $17.1 trillion ten years from now, a debt that we, the next generation will have to pay.  If we agreed with the manner in which this deficit was to be increased, then we might not have as much of a problem with it, but we do not. Tax cuts on the wealthy do not help the economy during recession. Cutting social services is akin to throwing a senior out on the streets to survive by himself.
Finally I leave you with this thought of Bernie Sanders’. “Last year Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits and the company paid $0 in taxes but still got $156 million refund from the IRS.” Right now, Republicans want to allow Exxon to make even more money and continue to be exempt from the laws that govern the middle class. How is this fair?
To read Co-editor in Chief Thomas Cayden’s rebuttal to this article, click here.
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