Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Party of the Rich has Triumphed in its Spead of Disinformation

The party of the rich has triumphed in its spread of disinformation. Check out this poll by Bob Livingston,  “Poll Results: Higher Taxes for the Rich or More Drastic Spending Cuts,” at

Of course, Bob is somewhat to the Right of Center, as are his readers and the responders to his poll. See Q5.  But, among his responders: 60% think that higher taxes on the rich will hurt the economy, and only 23% voted to increase taxes on the  richest Americans.  76% voted the government should make significant spending cuts to try to reduce the deficit. 

As for where those budget cuts should come from, 0% voted for cuts in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, (except for the 18% who voted ‘All of the above.’)  22% voted for cuts to Foreign aid, which is an insignificant portion of the budget.  A bit of disinformation there.  27%, (the largest,) voted  for the elimination of Federal Agencies (the EPA, Dept of Education, etc.  You know, things to do with our future, and Justice, the Treasury, including the IRS, etc., things to do with running the day to day stuff.)  Only 7% voted for cuts in the Dept of  Defense, despite its legendary wastefulness. 

For a more realistic perspective on what can and cannot be done, check out the NY Times ‘Budget Puzzle’, from Nov 13, 2010:

But the real bottom line, of course, is the coddling of the rich. Getting 60% thinking that increasing taxes on the rich will hurt the economy, against all historical evidence, including the evidence of their own experience.   Taxes on the rich haven’t been lower in most of these readers’ lifetimes, and when during those lifetimes has the economy ever been in such sorry shape? This is surely one of history’s great triumphs of propaganda.  Getting a sizeable percentage of the population to think against their own interests, to identify with those who exploit them, and to imagine their interests align with those who, over the past 30 years or so, have taken over 15% of their income, ( ) and a greater percent of their wealth, is astounding.

It is also a triumph over logic:  What the rich do not pay in taxes, the rest of the people will have to. What the rich do not pay for defense, or for the common wealth of the people that is the government, the rest of the people will have to. Further, who does the government borrow from?   The rich.  So the rich are giving their money to the government anyhow, but when it is borrowed, they expect it paid back, eventually.  With interest.  And where does that money come from?  The people. 

And who’s services will get cut?  Not the rich’s.  The people’s.  When Education, Health and Human Services, Energy, all get cut, who will be the poorer?  Not the rich.  You can bet the rich will have the money to grease the palms of Congressmen to keep their places at the public trough warm and well stocked. 

And who will be at the front lines when the payrolls of government are slashed?  The Wall Street banker?  Or the Main Street small businessman, who depends on government wage earners, and other government expenditures, directly or indirectly, for a part of his business. 

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