THE NEW DEAL PHILOSOPHY:
A little over a year ago, it was reported that current Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul "has single-handedly blocked an obscure U.S.-Swiss tax treaty that lawmakers, prosecutors, diplomats and banks say makes the difference between U.S. law enforcement rooting out the names of a few hundred fat-cat tax evaders — and many thousands more." An executive at the financial institution Credit Suisse--after "admitting his institution helped Americans evade taxes"--said "Credit Suisse is ready, at this moment, to provide the additional information about Swiss accounts requested by U.S. authorities but has been unable to do so because the U.S. Senate has not yet ratified the protocol” ("Rand Paul in crosshairs of tax evasion war," Politico, March 2, 2014).
Republicans want to repeal law that catches tax evaders:
The Republican National Committee (RNC) has "called for the repeal of a U.S. anti-tax-evasion law, siding with big banks...", leading one financial expert to say, "It is mind-boggling that a major political party would even consider endorsing a resolution to facilitate tax evasion. Repealing the law would cripple the U.S. and global efforts to fight offshore tax evasion." Why do Republicans want to facilitate tax evasion? One RNC official said, "It will attract American overseas donors" (see Reuters articles here and here).
Republicans want to cut funding that goes towards catching tax evaders:
For many years now, Republicans have tried (or succeeded) in cutting IRS funding. For example, just a few days ago it was reported that a "Republican-backed bill would also make deep cuts to tax evasion enforcement at the Internal Revenue Service" ("Obama Administration Rails Against GOP Bill To Deregulate Wall Street," Huffington Post, August 5, 2015).
Republicans want to punch teachers in the face - not wealthy tax evaders, but teachers:
Responding to the question, "At a national level, who deserves a punch in the face?," Republican governor of New Jersey and presidential candidate Chris Christie didn't say "wealthy Americans who engage in illegal tax evasion"... instead, he answered "the national teachers union" ("Teachers to Christie: Apologize to us over ‘punch in the face’ quip," MSNBC, August 6, 2015). This "punch in the face" comment pretty much sums up the philosophy that Republicans have towards our nation's hard-working and tax-abiding teachers.
Republicans all across the country have been bashing, blaming, and scapegoating teachers for our economic problems, attacking their salaries, their benefits, their pensions, and their ability to negotiate for better pay and working conditions. In the state of Kansas, where right-wing extremists govern, teachers have been fleeing to other states for a better life - leaving Kansas with a teacher shortage that they're filling with unlicensed teachers (see, e.g., "Why teachers can’t hotfoot it out of Kansas fast enough," Washington Post, August 2, 2015).
So, instead of targeting millionaires & billionaires who break the law--depriving our government of trillions of dollars in tax revenue, and forcing the middle-class and poor to make up the difference (see below)--Republicans are angrily going after teachers - teachers who make average salaries ranging from about $40,000 in low cost-of-living states like South Dakota to about $75,000 in high cost-of-living states like New York. To me, that doesn't seem like an exorbitant amount of money for people tasked with educating our nation's youth and dealing with the disciplinary issues of other people's children.