Trump Keeps The Rich In Charge

By Donald A. Collins | 28 August 2020
Church and State

(Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

What was the real message from the just concluded Republican National Convention? Was it to spread fear and keep most of America living paycheck to paycheck?

That should have been to many the main message from this week of the Republican National Convention which closed with Trump’s final hate speech at the White House on August 27th.

Sadly widespread comprehension of what has happened to Americans since 1980 has not been understood, certainly not by the paycheck to paycheck Americans who are a key part of Trump’s 40 percent base.

Meanwhile the US stock market continues its upward surge which creates the erroneously false picture that we all are better off rather than the true picture that most of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

The Trump Administration has no plan except to keep those eager slaves in place for the rich since the rich now control our Congress and American politics in general. And most pundits on the left or right agree that Trump controls the Republican Party.

Fiscal restraint that used to be a Republican virtue has now become lost. But why not since now the wealthy control it all as we uncomfortably witness Trump’s unprecedented and unethical use of “the people’s house” for his acceptance speech to a tightly packed partisan audience who were largely unmasked in obedience to the examples set from on high! Wonder if any of those partisans will contract Covid-19.

This present situation of the huge gap between net worth and income of the rich and the rest of us was powerfully articulated in to a new book by Kurt Andersen entitled “Evil Geniuses” which was the page one review in the August 23rd in the NY Times Sunday Book Review section. Andersen was also interviewed by Walter Isaacson on Amanpour.

You can see both here.

The great monopolistic Trusts which TR Roosevelt attacked in his time as President—you know, the Standard Oils and the railroad monopolies—are now replaced by the tech stock monopolies of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, who keep buying back stock with profits from the huge tax cut for the rich which Trump engineered.

Andersen tells us it started in the 1970’s with Milton Friedman’s claim that supply side economics would benefit us all. Sorry that my longtime neighbor in SF was so wrong.

By the way, Democrats were guilty of concurrence. In Andersen’s book in Chapter 23 entitled “Winners and Losers in the Class War” we learn that Freidman’s “supply-side premise—that tax rates at some very high level tend to persuade people to work less—is true.”

“Yet as Krugman says, ‘the optimal tax rate on people with very high incomes is the rate that raises the maximum possible revenue.’” However, “Economic research shows convincingly that the self-defeating level of taxation is much higher than of highest federal income tax rate has been for the last forty years—apparently the disincentive effect doesn’t kick in until you get up to a top marginal rate of at least 48 percent and maybe not until 76 percent or higher.”

So now let’s look at the tax rate situation now. The highest personal tax rate for individuals is 37% if they have an income of $518,400 and file separately.

When Trump took office in 2016 the corporate tax rate was 35% which is far below the heavier burdens of 48 or 78 percent which research shows were not going to reduce work incentives to top earners.

Not good enough Trump got approval to cut the corporate rate in 2017 to 21% which meant that the corporate tax rate raised $230.2 billion in 2019, accounting for 6.6% of federal revenue down from 9 percent in 2017.

No wonder companies have the money to buy back their stock or the rich keep getting richer and the gap is going to get bigger and bigger.

This outrageous trend is at the heart of America’s problems and only a sharp change in attitude will change it.

Meanwhile, in real life since 1980, the supply side low-tax-pay-itself magic has repeatedly failed to do the trick: the federal government is negligibly smaller, but the federal debt has more than tripled in real terms” (page 287).

Profit as Milton Freidman claimed is all good and in 1980 Ronald Regan started with Democrat concurrence on the decades long march to the present big gap between the rich and the paycheck to paycheck Americans many of whom were seen at this latest Republican National Convention cheering for more slavery!

New stocks in technology happily surface all the time. We can all be pleased with this wealth of new useful technology. However, although Salesforce, a new tech giant, which had record sales and ironically replaced Exxon (whose origins were are John D. Rockefeller the First’s giant oil monopoly) as one of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s top 30 stocks is letting workers go. Read it here.

So MAGA means longer term wage slavery courtesy of the incumbent and his ilk who with 4 more years can tighten the noose so we will have more not less paycheck to paycheck workers!

Will the knowledge of this economic tyranny seep into the consciousness of enough of the cheering but unseeing 40 percenter base to save us all from 4 more years of the lying of this duplicitous Administration?

Or will Trump get to further pack the Supreme Court?

Or have the time to restrict more women’s reproductive rights, including safe abortions?

Or time to ignore the urgent message from Mother Nature about the ongoing collapse of Earth’s ability to serve the nearly 8 billion of us humans, 6 billion more than the 2 billion here when I was born in 1931?

Your call, Americans, but we can only pray you don’t take the fear monger’s lies as the way to the best future for our paycheck to paycheck fellow citizens and all the rest of us!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
ASIN: B00MA40TVE
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Kurt Anderson: “Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America” | Amanpour and Company

‘Evil Geniuses’ Looks At ‘How Greed Was Unleashed’ | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Paul Krugman Explains Why Cutting Taxes for the Wealthy Doesn’t Work

Proof Trump’s Tax Cut Is a Failure | Opinions | NowThis

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