David Cay Johnston, author of the best-seller Free Lunch, has a great piece out this week called "9 Things the Rich Don't Want You to Know About Taxes," providing powerful evidence that middle and working class Americans are being played for suckers and dupes by the plutocrats in this country. It's something I have written about here before, my argument being that we can't even begin to comprehend the government funding crisis or the general erosion of public life in Dallas and Texas until we understand the bigger picture Johnston so ably paints in his piece.
None of this terrific squeezing of the middle and lower economic echelons is an accident. None of it is a response to "natural" economic factors or conditions. And none of it is good for the country.
In his story, which I urge you to read, Johnston starts out by presenting stark hard-number evidence that the Republican supply-side voodoo has been bad for America. Reagan put us in debt and ran down the economy. It was Bill Clinton who pulled us out and put us on a better road by restoring simple equity to the tax structure.
Johnston does a great job knocking down the Fox TV just-for-morons argument that poor people don't pay taxes. He shows that poor and middle class people pay more in taxes than the super-rich, who are getting the only free ride most of the time.
It's a very important window on the most important reality around us today -- a squeeze play that's taking mid-century America, a prosperous global democratic giant, and turning it into a crappy run-down 21st century banana republic ruled by rich people grown stupid on their own arrogance.
Take a look. I'm going canoeing, and if I see any rich people out there I'm going to thwock them with my paddle. Unless I'm canoeing with them. That would be untoward of me. In that case, I may just try to borrow money.
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