The privileged v. the poor

At last, Republicans in Washington have recognized that class war is ravaging poor and middle-class families all across our land.

At last, Republicans in Washington have recognized that class war is ravaging poor and middle-class families all across our land.

Oh, wait – my mistake. GOP Congress critters are not expressing outrage at the plight of those folks, but at the plight of corporate chieftains and Wall Street barons. Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and other top Repubs have gotten up on their hind legs to screech “class war” at Barack Obama. That dastardly Democrat offended the fragile sensibilities of privileged plutocrats at the uppermost tip of our economy by suggesting they should pay a bit more in taxes. So Republican leaders grabbed pitchforks and torches to save the billionaires from Obama’s reckless tax talk.

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Does being a top Republican official require you to be both stupid and ridiculous?

In the same week that McConnell, Boehner & Company rallied ’round the rich elite, sobering reality about America’s true class war was published by the Census Bureau. The 2007 economic crash, caused by Wall Street greed and exacerbated ever since by corporate-induced joblessness, has knocked down the typical household’s income, tossed nine million more of our people into poverty, and rapidly made the poor much poorer. More than 46 million Americans now live in poverty – 20 million of them in deep poverty – with some of the sharpest increases coming in suburbs. Young families with children have been especially hard hit – 37 percent of them dwell in poverty, the highest rate on record.

Meanwhile, to protect the super-wealthy from any tax hike at all or any cut in the subsidies they get for things like vacation homes and yachts, Republican leaders are demanding cuts in food stamps, head start, job training, and other essential tools for getting out of poverty. This is not merely stupid and ridiculous – it’s shameful.

“Poor Are Still Getting Poorer, but Downturn’s Punch Varies, Census Data Show,” The New York Times, September 15, 2011.

“Poor Young Families Soared in ’10, Data Show,” The New York Times, September 20, 2011.

“The Impoverished States of America,” The New York Times, September 18, 2011.

“Income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2007,” www.census.gov, August 2008.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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