Thursday, May 26, 2005

Smashing the middle class

It amazes me how so many of my middle class friends and family identify as Republicans, and think scalawags like George Bush are on their side. They fall for the idea that the party run by big business and the corporate elite are looking out for their interests. Hah! Two glaring examples prove them wrong, though they refuse to see. They're like sheep being led to slaughter:

First, there's the recent "bankruptcy reform." It was practically written by the lobbyists for big financial institutions like Chase. You know, those dear people who issue your credit cards. This new legislation makes it nearly impossible to escape the bondage that results when companies like MBNA suddenly hike your interest rates from 4% to 24.99%. I've heard of cases where they do this even though people have met their obligations faithfully. You'll be working your asses off for the rest of your lives just to pay them back if this happens to you. Notice the law sets no limit on how much they can charge you. Any legislators looking out for the middle class would have been sure to put a cap on their usury.

The other example is the Alternative Minimum Tax. Because it isn't indexed to inflation, many middle class people are increasingly being caught up in this net of bondage. While Bushco's wealthy contributors are celebrating their tax cuts by buying yachts and third and fourth homes, those in the middle class struggle to pay more. An article in today's Inquirer points out how the AMT can wipe out deductions for medical costs, mortgage interest and more. It also suggests the government has no interest in reforming this back-door tax. How can it? Bushco's deficits are now approaching 400 billion dollars, and he needs to make Ken Lay's tax cuts permanent.

My Republican friends rationalize that those tax cuts stimulate the economy and create jobs for us all. Yeah, right: jobs in fast-food franchises while the corporations offshore everything else.

Still, all of this can't be laid at the feet of Bushco. They couldn't get by with it unless they had the complicity of "Republicrats" on the other side of the aisle like Evan Bayh.


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