Hating on our poor

Aug 312011
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

In an economic landscape populated by greedy banks, evil corporations and a debt crisis, the GOP has found an even mightier adversary: Poor people.

After all, they say, these low-lifers are using our parks, driving on our roads and putting unnecessary stress on America’s hardworking corporations, all while not contributing a dime of tax money to the federal government.

For too long the rich have shouldered the burden of America’s poor, and now it’s time for the lower and middle classes to pay and earn their keep in this great country, geniuses like Tea Party presidential candidates Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry have said.

Policies like this show how absurdly moronic and shortsighted the GOP is, even if their counterparts to the left aren’t necessarily offering better solutions.

For one thing, while it’s true that almost half of Americans don’t pay federal income tax (something that Michelle Bachmann has repeatedly hammered home on the campaign trail), it doesn’t mean that these Americans are simply freeloaders.

They still pay payroll taxes and state and local taxes, and contribute to Medicare and Social Security. According to an Aug. 30 “New York Times,” editorial, the poorest fifth paid an average of 16.3 percent of income in taxes in 2010.

More disturbing than the factual errors that permeate GOP tax policy arguments are the moral ones.

What does it say about our country if we think there’s something wrong with multi-million dollar corporations and the wealthy taking some burden off of people who struggle to put food on the table?

As election season nears and candidates on both parties spew economically minded rhetoric, ask yourself one thing: Does the American dream really include coddling the rich?

 Posted by at 3:07 pm

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