and They’re Old Enough to Vote
Shortly before election day, Mitt Romney promised he’d get out of politics for good if he lost, but two days after his “gracious” defeat speech, in a typical switcheroo, whined that he’d lost only because Obama promised “gifts” to the lower classes, parroted by Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and lunatic Glenn Beck, who hinted at armed insurrection. Actually, it’s the wealthy who’ve been getting gifts they now believe to be their birthright.
In Wyoming, our least populous, and one of our whitest (85.9% ) states, ranchers, businessmen, and professionals are baffled by the election. [NY Times, November 19, 2012, A10.] “I thought Romney was a shoo-in,” said Laramie County commissioner. Lee Hausenauer, who owns a tree-trimming business. He believes that the election was stolen by “voter fraud,” although most others attribute it to: 1) non-white, non- Europeans taking over the country, and 2) Obama promising “gifts.”
The first has some truth, a demographic shift like the one that happened when white Europeans stole the country from Native Americans, although the present newcomers neither steal land nor displace those already here.
The second, however, is a flat lie. Since the early 1970s, when the last remnants of WW-II, including Baby Boomers and the “Me” generation faded, laws were passed shifting tax burdens to the middle classes. If you want specifics, David Cay Johnston’s Perfectly Legal, has plenty in its 327 pages.
One is the legal right to transfer patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property to companies in overseas tax havens, then “renting” them back. Income from the property flows tax-free into the tax-haven and at the same time lets the owner deduct rental costs from the U.S. tax bill.
Another is a law reversing earlier laws that made every partner or board member responsible for laws broken by any other. A mighty barrier to corporate malfeasance swept away in an anti-regulation frenzy, it led to Enron, Worldcom, and other frauds, where even if one or two go to jail, most are free to cheat again.
Third is reversing the original aim of the income tax, when only income deemed “surplus” was taxed, capital gains more heavily than wages because it was considered “morally offensive” to tax money earned by the sweat of one’s brow. The falsehood that “job creators” would not create jobs if taxed, stood that noble idea on its head. And now the howl to keep low tax rates for the rich is part of a desperate struggle to let the plunder continue. Sufferance by the non-rich, including the Romney crowd in Wyoming, easy prey for those who pander to their resentment of an imagined lost ownership of the U.S.A., is a testament to the power of lying PR hammering away over many years.