When it comes to sacrifice, why insist the rich sacrifice even less?

Here’s a great dissection from Robert Reich about the lies the American public is being told about public workers.

But isn’t it curious that when it comes to sacrifice, Republicans don’t include the richest people in America? To the contrary, they insist the rich should sacrifice even less, enjoying even larger tax cuts that expand public-sector deficits. That means fewer public services, and even more pressure on the wages and benefits of public employees. It’s only average workers — both in the public and the private sectors — who are being called upon to sacrifice. This is what the current Republican attack on public-sector workers is really all about. Their version of class warfare is to pit private-sector workers against public servants. They’d rather set average working people against one another — comparing one group’s modest incomes and benefits with another group’s modest incomes and benefits — than have Americans see that the top 1 percent is now raking in a bigger share of national income than at any time since 1928, and paying at a lower tax rate. And Republicans would rather you didn’t know they want to cut taxes on the rich even more.

Reich is not alone in pointing out that our economic problems stem from the fact that we currently have the BIGGEST concentration of income and wealth among the top since 1928.

You may recall this post from me Nov. 2.

So while I know families on the brink of disaster, investors and executives at the nation’s 38 largest companies are enjoying their best returns yet. Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer— and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class reveals the record $140 billion earned at those 38 largest companies and — get this — that the investment firm Goldman Sachs paid bonuses to its employees that averaged nearly $600,000 per person! Yes, the company that many believe brought us the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis, had its best year since it was founded in 1869. The authors, political scientists Jacob Hacker of Yale and Paul Pierson of the University of California, Berkeley, outline that the economic struggles of the middle and working classes in the U.S. since the late-1970s are because of a long series of policy changes in government that overwhelmingly favored the very rich. “Over the last generation, more and more of the rewards of growth have gone to the rich and superrich. The rest of America, from the poor through the upper middle class, has fallen further and further behind,” they write.

Oh by the way, I got about $75 extra in my paycheck this week. Thanks to the social security tax cut.

If that chart makes your head hurt, check out how the folks at the Houston Press say you should spend your social security tax cut.

Bad news is I’m not putting as much into Social Security. I’m thinking I should increase my political action contribution to VOTE-COPE.

It’s oh-so-lightly snowing here in Latham. We’re supposed to end up with anywhere from 5 to 9 inches by Saturday afternoon. I’m psyched to be able to cross-country ski again locally instead of driving for hours.

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4 Comments

  1. bernie mulligan January 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Betsy There have been strong defenses of labor in the past
    few days on the “Ed Show” by Steelworkers President Leo Gerard and
    on the “Rachel Maddow Show” by a Columbia University professor. You
    should check them out. The right propagates propaganda – we have to
    rebut them with facts. Bmn

  2. Betsy Sandberg January 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks Bernie!
    You are correct! We have to get the facts out.
    For the rest of you. Here are the links.
    http://www.afscmeblog.org/ for Gerard’s comments and http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#40901763
    for the Maddow Show. You have to click down to find the section called “New GOP scapegoat: public workers.

  3. Betsy Marshall January 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    I posted this comment in a different blog discussion a few
    moments ago. I hope that it is not considered impolite to copy and
    paste the same comment here. I have just started checking out this
    resource at NYSUT and am not sure of the set up. Here is a link to
    a research paper that came out of the Economic Policy Institute in
    September of 2010. The research investigates the myth behind the
    idea that state and local public employees are overpaid at the
    expense of tax payers. The paper is titled DEBUNKING THE MYTH OF
    THE OVERCOMPENSATED PUBLIC EMPLOYEE. The problem isn’t that the
    information is not available. We need to look for better, more
    effective ways to get the message out.
    http://epi.3cdn.net/8808ae41b085032c0b_8um6bh5ty.pdf

    • Betsy Sandberg January 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

      Not impolite at all and thanks so much for sharing. I am
      honored that we share the same first name because you are so right.
      We need to find better, more effective ways to get these messages
      out.

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