|Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan seek more tax cuts for the wealthy and more Corporate Welfare. The problem with their trickle-down ideas is that they have been tried the last thirty years and have failed miserably. Furthermore, they reward and punish the wrong folks respectively. You see, the folks Romney and Ryan choose to fight for are already doing quite well. It is the rest of us who are suffering:
The bureau's annual reports on income, poverty and health insurance are like group photos taken from an extremely high altitude. The year-to-year comparisons offered don't reveal anything about income mobility or the ability of people to move up (or down) the economic ladder. But they do show that the vast majority of Americans continue to see their fortunes slide. In 2011 the median income fell for the fifth year in a row, to $51,000 - a drop of 1.5%. It fell for all four ethnic groups tracked by the census (although only slightly for Latinos), and for women and men alike. The exception was in the top 20% of U.S. incomes, which held steady.
The result: The share of U.S. earnings collected by the highest-income Americans grew, while the share collected by the middle 60% fell. The bottom 20% saw no change, but the gap between the rich and poor was the largest on record. As long as the fruits of the recovery are modest and reaped mainly by the highest incomes, the median income will continue to drop and the poverty rate won't go down.
In other words it is like we have been saying here for a long time. The problem with our economy is that too few people have money to spend to stimulate economic growth and create jobs and the few that have seen gains are too selfish to contribute to the economy. Instead they seek to horde the wealth to themselves.
And even as poverty levels remained mostly unchanged one other disturbing trend has continued. Our "job creators" are doing quite well but still they insist on "creating" the wrong kinds of jobs for working Americans:
The glimmer of encouragement in the report was that the poverty rate stayed at 15%, the same as in 2010, after rising for four years. (The rate is the percentage of households with incomes below the federal poverty line, which in 2011 was $23,200 for a family of four). That's roughly where the rate was in the early 1980s and early 1990s; it falls during boom times and rises when unemployment surges. Part of the explanation for the leveling off was the growth in year-round, full-time employment among lower-income Americans. That's a good-news, bad-news statistic; it reflects the fact that most of the jobs being created in the recovery are lower-wage jobs.
Indeed these "job creators" insist on creating poverty-level jobs with low wages and no benefits. They simply cannot stand the fact that Americans who do actual work may need enough money to support their families.
And the Romney/Ryan "road map" for America is even worse for working Americans. As they pursue huge tax cuts for the very few they are also promising draconian cuts to social programs in lieu of asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. The problem with this approach is that the very programs they seek to slash are the only things keeping millions of more Americans who are unemployed or working the low-wage jobs that have been created out of poverty:
More Americans would have been impoverished last year if not for federal and state governments' spending on safety net programs. According to the Census Bureau, unemployment benefits kept 2.3 million Americans from falling into poverty. If the earned income tax credit had been factored in, 5.7 million people would have been lifted above the poverty line. If food stamps were considered, 3.9 million Americans would no longer be counted among the impoverished.
This is why it seems as if the Romney/Ryan ticket may have spelled it's own doom. America is wising up to them and the fact that they seek to represent the very few. They care nothing of our country and anyone else within as long as the good times roll on for them.
And while I am sure many ignorant people will vote against their own interests and the interests of their families and try to allow the Romneys of the world to rape our economy again I am hoping it will not be enough.
I think enough Americans have seen the truth of our economy that hopefully we will not have to worry about the plans of Romney/Ryan coming to fruition.
If President Obama indeed wins a second term I hope he will do what has needed to be done all along. Fight the greediest and least patriotic among us in the Republican Party tooth and nail for the real Progressive changes this country desperately needs.