SF Bay Area

Big Lie: taxes cuts benefit the middle class.

The idea that the tax cut is going to bring high paying jobs and put big money in in middle class people’s pay checks is a big lie, look at any graph since Ron Reagan and trickle down economics; income distribution for  the middle class has remained flat while the growth for the 1% is off the chart.  This is more of same, it is only going to speed up the transfer of wealth. It was not the tax rate that moved jobs offshore, it was wages. Tax cut will not increase wages, save or bring jobs as evident by Carrier Corp. The tax break Carrier got  will help pay for the transfer of those jobs to Mexico.   $1.5 trillion is going to be borrowed and added to the debt, that our children and grandchildren will have to pay. The payments will be made by cuts to healthcare, education, infrastructure.  This tax cut does help the middle class, it is only going to put us deeper in debt with little or no income gain as it transfer $trillions more to the 1% to move offshore or to speculate in the stock market and hope they don’t speculate us into another recession. It will be easy to test this premise next year if it is the big tax break for the middle class as well rising wages or is it the big lie, like health care, cheaper and better.

The truth is the tax benefits  will be shared by shareholders not workers. The stock market is not benefiting the middle class: 1% owns 38%, 20% owns 90%, that means 80% share 10% of the value.  Reagan economics has turned the country into a minimum wage economy. Look at the new and most jobs in America, Tesla, Trump or Amazon, whose CEO is one of the richest men in the world, yet these men only pays their employees on average $12.00-25/hr, the median being $15/hr, who is going to retire on that? It is minimum wage. What the middle class need is a big pay raise $25-50/hr, not a small temporary tax cut $15-75/wk so Trump can keep his big tax cut. Compare his taxes cut to his employees tax cuts and who is the big winner? And his minimum wage paid employees won’t get a big raise. The economy is driven by people spending, not adding to the trillions the 1% has in the stock market, banks and off shore already.

Another way to examine how much money they have, even with all their tax breaks and havens, the top-earning 1 percent of Americans will pay nearly half of the federal income taxes. The bottom 80 percent of Americans are expected to pay 15 percent of all federal income taxes. The tax foundation notes putting this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.  They don’t need help. Trump has enough. They have plenty to invest already or raise wages, but they are just not doing it , capitalism, Reaganomics does not share wealth, it accumulates it in the hands of the few.

With this tax cut there will be no money for infrastructure or anything, except Trump wants more borrowing for military spending. This increased military is not making us safer, it is only spreading terrorism and it is not going to end America’s longest war anytime soon. The tax cut and increase military spending is going to bankrupt the middle class, put us deeper in debt with little or no income gain and the whole Muslim world angry with the US.

In order for the middle class to increase their income and be safer in the world, America needs to switch from the war economy to a peace economy. A war economy  is a conservative male lead state’s rights economic system where the 1% control the wealth and enrich themselves at the cost of their citizens, are intolerant of dissent, the press and used militaristic polices in their national and international politics, the use of force, threats in place of dialogue. Trump and Putin are classic examples of this economic system, that is why they get along so well. The Peace Economy starts with dialogue and military restraint, for example talking with Iran, a freeze for freeze military maneuvers in Korea, which both China and Russia have called for, but Trump refuses to even think about. The Peace Economy is about a more beneficial democratic distribution of wealth. For example a tax cut that benefits the middle class, not the 1% and pays a living wage, not the minimum wage of the working poor that the US and the world is now.

The War Economy makes 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day. 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. While just 62 people, 53 of them men, own as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world population – or 3.6 billion people – according to a report released by anti-poverty charity Oxfam. And the richest 1 percent own more than the other 99 percent put together.

Under the War economy less than half the countries on the earth are considered free.  According to the latest findings of Freedom in the World: A total of 67 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2016, compared with 36 that registered gains. This marked the 11th consecutive year in which declines outnumbered improvements. The decline is due to a couple of factors. First the US’s war on terror that is destroying lives and livelihoods  in seven countries, spreading into eight. Killing hundred of thousands, creating millions of refugees, causing ill will towards the US and its partners, and is unwilling to negotiate. Second the  unplanned and speculative  fluctuations, the boom and bust of the capitalistic system in last 10 years; the recession and the plunge in commodity prices, drove incomes down and lead to civil unrest. Both of these stresses have led to political repression and populist, often bigoted reactions as well as new militaristic security measures which threaten and reduce global freedom.

The Peace economy can lead the US and people around the earth to a more peaceful economic beneficial freer life, by making a choice how the world does business. Do we want continue doing business where people are lied to as their pocket is being picked to give more to the ruling elite as they use endless militarism and repression to maintain power of the few? Or do we want to do business where people work and talk together  democratically, cooperatively to stabilize the economy, raise wages, fund healthcare, education, end war and spread global freedom? Now that Trump and the Republican leadership lies of helping working people are being expose and their reckless militarism, it is time to choose a peace economy over a war economy and vote Reaganomics and militarism to the dust bin of history. With your help we can do it.

Please join us as we work to get America to divest from the war economy and invest in the peace economy.

Donate to CODEPINK: Invest in peace and support our plans in 2018. 

References:

 NPR: While Trump Touts Stock Market, Many Americans Are Left Out Of The Conversation: DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN March 1, 20176:06 PM ET

OxFam Briefing paper Jan 2017: AN ECONOMY FOR THE 99% It‟s time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few.

Various articles Washington Post  Jared Bernstein

Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy: By Arch Puddington and Tyler Roylance:  Freedom in the World 2016

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CodePink is a women's grassroots-initiated, worldwide organization of women and men working for peace, social justice and a green economy. CodePink SF serves the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.


 

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The national CodePink organization organizes for justice for Iraqis and to hold war criminals accountable. CodePink actively opposes the U.S. war in Afghanistan, torture, the detention center at Guantanamo, weaponized and spy drones, the prosecution of whistleblowers, U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and repressive regimes.

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