Wednesday, January 9, 2019

We should tax Sean Hannity more, so that millions of other Americans can have greater purchasing power

Above: Part of an artwork by Elizabeth Olds (1896-1991), created in 1939. Olds was a prolific lithographer in the WPA, ca. 1935-1943. If living in America teaches you anything, it teaches you that many rich people are ultra-greedy - selfishly hoarding money while others suffer. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Sean Hannity is very upset about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's idea to tax the wealthy more, to fund a Green New Deal and other initiatives. Hannity says that if we tax people like him, they'll be less likely to buy yachts, buy new cars, go out to restaurants, or remodel their homes, etc. Hannity says, "The contractor, the electrician, the plumber, the carpenters - they're the ones that benefit when rich people spend money on their homes ("Sean Hannity Warns Tax Hikes Would Stop Rich People From Remodeling Homes," Huffington Post, January 9, 2019).

But wouldn't the contractors, and the tradesmen & women, benefit more if greater numbers of people could afford to remodel their homes? Wouldn't there be more car sales and more restaurant purchases if the middle-class & poor had more disposable income, instead of just barely makes ends meet, or paying so much money towards their student loans and usurious credit card balances? Right now, millions of people are not "in the game," so to speak, because "Most Americans Can’t Afford A Minor Emergency" (Huffington Post, January 29, 2018), let alone the luxuries of boats, new cars, and nights out on the town.

Hannity also warns that if he and his greedy peers are taxed more, well, "Rich people won't invest in companies, that means they're not going to hire people." But we've been lavishing tax breaks on the rich for decades now--Reagan tax cuts for the rich, Bush tax cuts for the rich, Trump tax cuts for the rich--and what do we have to show for it? These things: A gutted manufacturing sector (the rich sent most of those good-paying jobs overseas, or gave the jobs to robots); fixed pension plans replaced with roulette wheel 401Ks; and stagnant wages (see, e.g., "For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades," Pew Research Center, August 7, 2018).

Ocasio-Cortez and others are right. We should tax the rich more, and use that revenue to help create a Green New Deal, so that millions of Americans can have better-paying jobs and better purchasing power. Money needs to be recycled - not vacuumed up to the top and thrown in a safe.

You know what's really sad though? Millions of Americans have no knowledge of history, no knowledge of economics, and no critical thinking skills. So, they'll goosestep behind Sean Hannity and cry out in anguish, "NO!! You can't tax the rich!!"

There are so many people spreading horsesh&t, and so many people eating that horsesh&t, that Hannity will probably win the argument. And so, the rich will continue to gobble up all the money, while our children continue to drink lead from old pipes & plumbing; while we sink further and further into unmanageable personal & national debt; while more people kill themselves out of despair; while our planet continues to heat up; while our wages continue to stagnate; and while our healthcare continues to get kicked & thrown around like a rugby ball. And the rich will be laughing the whole time, oinking with each other, "Holy smokes! What a bunch of ignorant suckers!!"

Isn't that pathetic? Isn't it pathetic that the American people have been reduced and humiliated to such a degree... and still haven't learned their lesson? The truth is, we've become sources of amusement for the rich - rubes and suckers, completely unaware of how embarrassed and ashamed we should be.

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