For decades Republicans have built their entire economic philosophy around “tax cuts,” ignoring the fact that for the last nearly 40 years, the only ones who’ve benefited from trickle-down economics have been the richest among us. Over the last four decades the wealth for the top 1-2 percent has reached levels not seen since prior to the Great Depression, while the majority of Americans have fallen further and further behind.
I’m often asked, “How does this keep happening? Don’t people see what Republicans are doing?”
The answer to that question is that many people seem to lack the critical thinking skills needed to see the “bigger picture.” That doesn’t make them ignorant, it’s just a trait that I’ve realized a lot of people don’t possess. In my experience, often times unless a person can directly link a cause to an effect, then what sounds best — or at least what they want to be true — is usually what they believe is, in fact, true… even if it’s not.
The truth is, the Republican blueprint for screwing over poor and middle class Americans really isn’t all that complicated.
Here’s how they do it:
They go full-on promoting income tax cuts because it’s easy to understand. Almost every working American understands what income tax is. You pay one rate, it gets cut to a lower one, more money in our pockets, right?
At least that’s what Republicans want people to think — which is why it’s usually very easy to pass tax cuts.
But that’s where the scam comes in.
After passing those tax cuts that end up mostly benefiting the rich, Republicans then begin the push to slash funding to programs the majority of Americans benefit from, placing more of the burden on local and state governments to come up with the money themselves due to the reduction in federal revenue flowing into the states.
And how do they do that? By raising property and sales taxes while cutting budgets.
So, in reality, that federal income tax “cut” turns out to be a tax hike on most Americans at the local and state level. This goes along with cuts to things such as education due to the fact that even raising local and state taxes isn’t usually enough to offset the amount of money lost thanks to the federal government’s cutbacks.
The way I’ve always looked at the GOP’s tax cuts is a lot like fishing.
They put this shiny bait out in the water that looks so amazing (tax cuts). It’s mesmerizing. Millions of people are drawn to it. It’s just floating and flickering in the water, waiting for them to grab it.
Then — WAM! Out of nowhere you’ve got a hook jetting through your mouth.
The next thing you know you’re flopping around on the deck of a boat, desperately trying to survive, slowly suffocating while you begin to be filleted alive.
In my mind, that’s pretty much what these Republican tax scams are. They dangle shiny objects (a small tax cut for most Americans) in front of people hoping to distract them from the fact that, in the end, they’re going to get screwed because those big tax breaks mostly go to the rich. Meanwhile, the rest of us get taken along for the ride, flopping around on the deck of that same boat because 62 million people once again took the bait.
But hey, at least there seems to be no shortage of offshore tax havens they can keep diverting billions into, right? I’m sure it’s bound to trickle down one of these days…