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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Despite 'Occupy' Protests, GOP Schemes Tax Cuts for Rich, Tax Hikes on All Others

Despite thousands of Americans in hundreds of American cities protesting economic injustice, Republicans continued to scheme new ways of lavishing themselves and their wealthy cronies with even more and bigger tax breaks while brutalizing everyone else.

Despite Americans Occupying Wall Street, LA, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Des Moines, Denver, Orlando, Richmond, Oakland, San Diego, Austin, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Philly, Seattle, Madison, Atlanta, Phoenix, Tucson, Baltimore, Tulsa, Louisville, New Orleans and points in between, Republicans continued to plan new ways to soak the poor and middle classes to keep the champagne flowing and the private dancers dancing in so many corporate suites.

Flat Tax. 9-9-9 Tax. Fair Tax. Despite poll after poll confirming more than six in ten Americans wanted to raise taxes on the rich, close budget deficits, and shore up Social Security and Medicare, Republicans continued to figure out new schemes to lower taxes on the rich, soak the poor and middle classes, and plunder and dismantle Social Security and Medicare.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee even wanted to eliminate completely taxes U.S. corporations paid on overseas profits.

While poll after poll found Americans were fed up with the tax and fiscal polices that had concentrated 84% of America's wealth into the hands of 20% of America's wealthiest, Republicans schemed to transfer even more wealth to their rich cronies. While protests and marches and rallies across the nation decried economic injustice, Republicans schemed to pilfer the few sheckles the poor and middle classes had left to them.

GOP presidential hopeful and ex-pizza mogul Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan dumped the nation's tax code and replaced it with an across-the-board 9% income tax, 9% business tax, and 9% national sales tax. The independant Tax Policy Center found Cain's scheme would hike taxes on families making $10,000-$20,000 a year a mind-numbling 950%.

"It's very, very regressive compared to the current system, and that's largely because we're exempting capital gains, and we're taxing your spending with the sales tax," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. 'Regressive' meant it bitch-slapped the less well off.

Families making $10,000-$20,000 a year would suffer a $2,700 tax hike. Households making $40,000-$50,000 would suffer a $4,400 tax hike.

84% of Americans would suffer higher taxes under 9-9-9.

There were no bonus points for figuring out who made up the 16% that got a great big tax cut, with their marginal rate slashed from 35% to 9%, and their capital gains taxes eliminated altogether. But some of them were doubtless pizza godfathers.

Marginal GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman's tax plan schemed to coddle his rich buddies with a plan that eliminated all deductions and slashed rates to 8%, 14% and 23%.  Like Cain's plan, Huntsman's scheme would deep-six the mortgage-interest deduction vital to middle-class homeowners, as well as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Then, having thus raised taxes on most everyone, Huntsman wanted to funnel the money to his rich pals and big corporations by slashing corporate taxes and taxes on dividends and capital gains.

Which was, of course, a typical Republican view of reforming the tax code.

Floundering GOP presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry Wednesday resurrected an old Republican favorite, the Flat Tax. He told a Republican gathering he intended to announce his scheme next week. Former minor GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes, who in 1996 ran unsuccessfully on a national flat tax with no deductions, recently joined Perry's brain trust.

"I am going to give the American people a huge big old helping of unbridled truth," Perry drawled to demonstrate his folksiness. "That we can't continue to spend what we are spending, that we can't avoid entitlement reform because we are afraid of the third rail of politics."

In other words, Perry was committed to dismantling Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to fund more tax cuts to his rich cronies. In other words, Perry's flat tax was going to slash taxes for the rich and mega-corporations, and abandon the American people to poverty and destitution without retirement pensions or health care.

In other words, another typical Republican view of reforming the tax code.

Already, Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) disgraced 2012 Budget plan had tried to cut corporate taxes from 35% to 25%, dismantle Medicare, and force future seniors to buy pricey private insurance policies with scant 'premium support' the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office revealed wouldn't cover a third of health care costs. Of course, the rich loved the idea, as they coveted the tax break and the discount off the Cadillac health insurance policies they were buying anyway.

Senate Republicans already demonstrated their utter disdain for 99% of the American people by nixing President Barack Obama's popular jobs legislation, voting down an extension of Obama's middle class payroll tax holiday and rejecting a 5.6% surtax on millionaires and billionaires.

Instead, Republicans advocated replacing income tax with a national sales tax, which they considered a "Fair Tax" because it hit the poor and middle classes hard, while allowing the ultra-wealthy to skate on billions in ill-gotten gains. Instead, Republicans schemed to impose a flat tax or 9-9-9 scam to further coddle billionaires and further oppress the 99%.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) was even leading an effort to eliminate altogether taxes corporations paid on overseas profits.

"We also need to move, I think, to a territorial tax system so we can compete around the world," Camp said in June about his plot to join Japan and Great Britain in not taxing profits their corporations earned overseas.

In the words of Lenny Bruce, "What mean 'we,' Kimosabe?"

General Electric already managed to avoid paying any taxes on $14.2 billion in profits by juggling their books to emphasize overseas profits. As U.S. law currently stood, corporations owed taxes on profits they made anywhere they operated, but were allowed to delay paying taxes on overseas profits until they brought those monies into the U.S.

Camp and Republicans on his committee wanted to change the law so U.S. corporations would never be taxed on overseas profits.

Never mind that it was American taxpayers who'd provided the seed money and the subsidies and the research grants and the infrastructure and the support of the world's biggest economy that enabled those corporations to exist in the first place. Never mind that it was American schools and American innovation and American cops and American firefighters that created and grew and kept secure those corporations to begin with. Never mind it was American military might that made the world safe for capitalism.

Camp and Cain and Huntsman and Perry wanted to throw America under the bus to coddle their plutocrat masters. It was easy to imagine Camp and Cain and Huntsman and Perry and all the Republicans as a human centipede eagerly attaching themselves to corporate excess.

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