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Posted by on Feb 14, 2011 in At TMV | 0 comments

Class War In America Ends: Rich Declared The Winners

Here’s the American economy today in a nutshell: Austerity for the poor and middle class; fat city for the rich.

Much of this woeful tale is encapsulated in budget numbers coming from both Washington and state capitals. With regard to the former: Late last year two “compromises” between Mr. Change and Hope and Republican bullies in Congress are projected to cost the Treasury $800 billion over the next decade — about $80 billion a year. One “compromise” extended lower Bush-era income tax rates for the rich that will drain $700 billion from Treasury revenues over the course of a decade. The other less known “compromise” involved federal estate taxes, which these days are only assessed on a relatively few very large estates. This will cost an estimate $100 billion over the course of a decade, or $10 billion a year.

These two make-the-rich-happy measures together blew a huge hole in this year’s and the 10-year federal budgets. And to fill this hole? Stick it to the non-rich.

The cuts in 200 programs announced by Mr. Change and Hope today will have very painful lifestyle consequences for virtually every poor and middle class American. The far larger cuts proposed by Republicans in Congress will put most of us into an even more painful grinder. And this, it should always be remembered, largely comes about so the rich, and especially the very rich, can become still richer.

On to a related drama being played out at the level of state governments, which must balance their budgets every year. Here, taxing rich local citizens more to raise needed revenue has been taken off the table because…well, just because. And without this added revenue, to balance their budgets, states naturally have to squeeze the poor big time by cutting programs that make their lives more tolerable. And, since even that won’t make up completely for not imposing higher taxes on the rich, states are also squeezing public service unions big time, slashing their benefits, their pay, or through outright firings.

Is there any good news here? Any at all? Yes there is. At least the long running class war in this country is over. We can stop arguing. It’s a done deal. The rich have won. Our two-party system, which once balanced the interests of rich, poor and middle class, giving all a decent taste, has been replaced by a one party system that protects and enhances the wealth of the rich at the expense of everyone else.

Cry the beloved country! Cry this Frankenstein version of a once vibrant and equitable American capitalism.

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