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You can tell President Obama really has Republicans backed into a corner this time. Whenever news anchors ask Republicans to comment on paying for job creation by taxing millionaires at rates equal to the rest of us, they fumble through their response before finally eking out the vague accusation of “class warfare.”

(Click for original post with hyper-links.)

Class warfare simply means “conflict between social or economic classes” but Republicans are trying to spin class warfare into connotations of trouble-makers inventing imaginary problems with unfair solutions.

Obama offered a strong defense for tax justice in his Sept. 19 speech to introduce the “Buffett Rule,” which would tax millionaires and billionaires at the same rate as Joe the Plummer as part of a plan to raise money to fund the American Jobs Act:

I reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or teacher is class warfare. I think it’s just the right thing to do. I believe the American middle class, who’ve been pressured relentlessly for decades, believe it’s time that they were fought for as hard as lobbyists and some lawmakers have fought to protect special treatment for billionaires and big corporations.

Here are 8 reasons why the Buffett rule – or “shared sacrifice” from the wealthy – is NOT “class warfare.”

1. The health of our economy – our long-term stability as a nation – depends on job creation. We need people back to work and we need to make sure people can physically get to those jobs to have any chance of competing in a global economy. The Jobs Act will put 1.9 million people back to work, including teachers, police officers and construction workers, the latter of whom will be charged with fixing functionally obsolete bridges and refurbishing schools.

2. Obama’s calling to tax millionaires and billionaires at the SAME tax rate as the middle class. Class WARfare would be enacting punitive, HIGHER rates on the wealthy over the middle class.

3. The middle swath of Americans (earning incomes around $50,000) receive only a $647 savings from the Bush Tax Cuts (about 1.4% of income), while people with incomes over $1 million have an average savings of $123,592 (more than 10% of income). This type of disproportionate taxation is an example of class warfare waged by the right wing.

4. Calling this “class warfare” is the Tea Party’s attempt to negate our beliefs that tax justice and shared burdens are principles worth fighting for. This IS a people’s movement and it has Republicans scared. Just as the people in Libya and Egypt were right to rise up against unfair, elitist-style governments, Americans are right to fight for their survival rights in our crumbling economy. Republicans would have called abolitionists makers of “class (or race) warfare” – but that doesn’t mean anti-slave crusaders were wrong.

5. Republicans are trying to paint Obama’s call for tax justice as just hollow political theatre. They’re trying to overrule any policy that’s popular with the base by calling him the “Campaigner in Chief.” But that doesn’t mean popular policy is unjustified. On the contrary, people support politicians who represent the change they want to see. Obama standing up for tax justice, yet again, is what he should be doing.

6. The deficit reduction Obama’s proposing is coming from spending cuts plus minor tax increases on those who can most afford it. Refusal to compromise on this principle of a balanced approach IS consistent with war-making. Obama on the Republican stance:

“It would mean asking sacrifice of seniors and the middle class and poor while asking nothing of the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations…It is wrong that a teacher or construction workers who earns $50,000 should pay a higher tax rate than someone pulling in $50 million…Anyone who’s signed some pledge to protect every single tax loophole so long as they live, they should be called out. They should have to explain that unfairness."

7. A better example of class warfare would be the Citizens United decision which allows corporations to make anonymous donations to political campaigns, circumventing election transparency and the voice of the popular vote. In addition, Republicans are further waging actual class warfare by attempting to cut taxes for the rich while RAISING taxes on middle class (by opposing Obama’s proposal to extend the payroll tax cut that’s aimed at middle-income earners).

8. The proposal to eliminate tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans that middle class families don’t get is NOT punishing or attacking the wealthy. Taking back freebies that only benefit the upper-class is NOT unfair and it’s not class warfare.

Obama made promises today I'm sure he intends to keep.

I will not support, I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans. And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but that does not raise serious revenue by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.

Please rally behind the Buffett rule and the American Jobs Act with all you got. This is our chance to turn America into a more just nation. Act now!

Step 1: Add your name to the Democratic Party petition to Speaker Boehnerz in support of the American Jobs Act:

Step 2: Write/Call your members of Congress to express your support for the American Jobs Act. Enter your zip code at the link below to find their phone numbers and contact forms:

Step 3: Pledge to vote on Nov. 6, 2012:

Thank you for reading. Now please share this information with others.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-) -- a meeting place for progressive thinkers to pause, reflect and take action

    by Liberal Gal Blog on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:41:16 PM PDT

  •  Martin Bashir has been going on in the background. (2+ / 0-)

    All I'm hearing is "class warfare" non stop.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:01:58 PM PDT

  •  Why not embrace (2+ / 0-)

    the metaphor of class warfare as sometimes a good thing that needs to be done?  Perhaps this is not the time for class pacifism.

  •  So if a millionaire is (0+ / 0-)

    paying a higher rate than a plumber or a teacher, they get a tax cut right?

  •  Even if you repeat a Republinan meme (0+ / 0-)

    to knock it down, you're giving it credence.  Don't give them the satisfaction.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry. It takes a helleuva lot more.

    by Paleo on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:47:36 PM PDT

  •  Remember that FDR was called (3+ / 0-)

    "a traitor to his class" when he was actually rescuing that class.  In this sense the New Deal was basically a series of conservative measures.  

    Buffet evidently knows, as FDR did, that those at the very top must be forced to give up a small portion of their wealth in order to protect the rest of it.

    "Here is the node, you who hate change and fear revolution. Keep these two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear, suspect each other." - John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.

    by brae70 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:52:51 PM PDT

  •  Escellent summary (0+ / 0-)


    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 02:03:13 PM PDT

  •  We need top stop being cowed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Gal Blog, Calamity Jean

    by accusations of "Class Warfare".  It's been a totally one-sided Class War being run over us like a blitzkrieg for 35 years.   It's been Class Slaughter, Class Massacre.  Progressives and the left need to stand up and say, "It sure is hell Class Warfare, you ruling class people started it, we tried no fighting back, now you've pushed us to the wall and we have no choice but to fight back.  You chose Class Warfare, now we're going to give you a taste of what you've been dishing out for two generations."  

    Not only might that set righties back on their heels, it might just catch the attention of working class people who have felt totally abandoned (because we've BEEN totally abandoned).

    "The existence of a good thing is no evidence of its being enjoyed by the working class." ~ Daniel DeLeon

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 04:01:15 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, you nailed it. (0+ / 0-)

      I think what you say is true. I didn't say it quite so bluntly and maybe I should have. I am aiming to change those people's minds who are listening to both sides of this debate and to discount the Republican rhetoric. I think admitting to the class warfare helps give them credit, since they are claiming it. -- a meeting place for progressive thinkers to pause, reflect and take action

      by Liberal Gal Blog on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 06:30:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I only need one reason (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Someone posted this a while back, I saved it because it was so good.

    Of course, I really like what Al Franken wrote on the subject in Lies (and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them):
    Anytime a liberal points out that the wealthy are disproportionately benefitting from Bush's tax policies, Republicans shout "class warfare!"
    In her book A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, Barbara Tuchman writes about a peasant revolt in 1358 that began in the village of St. Leu and spread throughout the Oise Valley. At one estate, the serfs sacked the manor house, killed the knight, and roasted him on a spit in front of his wife and kids. Then, after ten or twelve peasants violated the lady, with the children still watching, they forced her to eat the roasted flesh of her husband and then killed her.
    That is class warfare.
    Arguing about the optimum marginal tax rate for the top one percent is not.

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