GOP Moves To Defend Welfare for the Wealthy

Posted on Thursday, 14th April 2011 @ 05:40 AM by Text Size A | A | A

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Shortly after President Barack Obama outlined his long term views on the budget, the GOP began to launch its response. Unsurprisingly, the Republicans have ruled out negotiating on taxes, arguing that higher taxes will stunt the economy.

The continued benefits given by the GOP to the wealthy amount to little more than subsidizes for the rich. It is important to remember that every person who has made their fortune in this country owes their wealth, in part, to government investments. It was government investments, many of them spearheaded by Republicans under the Eisenhower administration, that build our roads and infrastructure that allowed for the formation of a modern and world class economy. Investments in education created a vibrant, intelligent, and hard-working population that has supported both the middle-class of consumers essential to the economy, and has been a driving force of technological innovation.

The GOP has long argued that taxes are too high, but when measured by wealth the U.S. has a flat tax rate. The top one percent, which owns approximately 40 percent of the wealth also pays approximately 40 percent of that taxes. The bottom 40 percent pays almost no taxes, but they also own a negligible amount of the wealth.

The wealthy in this country have benefited tremendously from these investments. Every successful entrepreneur, such as Bill Gates, likewise derived their wealth from government investments. Computing technology was supported by the government well before most corporations thought they would be profitable. The Times “Man of the Year,” Mark Zuckerberg, likewise owes his wealth to government investments in the Internet that made the whole tech-boom of the nineties, and later the social media boom of the new millennium, possible.

Does this mean that the wealthy owe every penny to society? No. The wealthy should be allowed to keep as much money as possible, but their welfare should not come at the expense of the welfare of the general population.

If the United States is to continue to succeed in the globalized economy we will need a well-educated, hard-working, and healthy society. Education, infrastructure, and health care will all at risk under the continued “cut-and-give” policies, by which the Republican parties cuts benefits to the Middle and Working classes and gives the corresponding savings to the wealthy. In the long run this will make the American workforce less and less competitive on the global landscape and will lead to decreasing levels of well-being and eventually government receipts.

Further, government investments in technology, which are also at risk given the GOP’s cut and give everything mantra, will lead to fewer opportunities for future entrepreneurs to develop new technologies. The wealthy will also lose out on opportunities to invest in the new technological innovations being created.

The expectation of the GOP is to now let these investments rot away, all while a few wealthy elites are able to pinch a few extra pennies. Having already gained tremendous amounts of wealth over the previous decades, it is no surprise that some politicians and their elite circles of friends now wish to kick away the ladder so that hard-working Americans will struggle ever harder to earn the American dream.

Efficiency and hard work is a must, and any system that relies on these two factors must have a just reward system. Still, after decades of government mismanagement by both Republicans and Democrats, we must pay our debts. The solution is not to cut the very investment engines that created a prosperous America. Instead, we must cut pork barrel politics, reduce the rampant corruption created by private interests, and raise tax revenues. Is this ideal? No, but our country does not find itself in an ideal situation and must now make hard choices.


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