Because I don’t pay for cable TV, I didn’t have access to last night’s Republican debate, which was carried on CNN. From the news reports I’ve read this morning, the debate seems to have been a low point in an already vacuous campaign. I understand that it was highlighted by Donald Trump and Marco Rubio competing to see which of them could do the best job at insulting the other. Do we really want either one of these childish candidates to end up as president of the United States?
Mitt Romney made a speech yesterday attacking Trump’s infantile campaign. The excerpts from the speech that I saw on various TV news casts hit the nail right on the head, but it seems to be a matter of too little too late. The minority of Americans that support Donald Trump seem to delight in the fact that he is an out-of-control candidate who would probably be a disaster as president. They want someone in the nation’s highest political office who would muck up the system, impoverish the country, and put power into the hands of the very wealthy.
On March 3, the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center did an analysis of Hillary Clinton’s tax plan. The Center found that if Clinton’s tax plan were implemented, the federal government would take in $1.1 trillion over the next decade, mainly by raising taxes on the very rich. The Center further found that the tax plan would have little effect on the economy but would reduce the national debt by $1.2 trillion.
The Center also did an analysis of Donald Trump’s tax plan and found that it would reduce federal revenues by $9.5 trillion over ten years and give the largest tax breaks to the very wealthy. It would increase the national debt by nearly 80% of gross domestic product, not counting increased interest charges, by 2036 and probably have a negative effect on economic growth. Marco Rubio’s and Ted Cruz’s tax plans are no better.
I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the Center’s estimates, but it is clear that the economic plans of all of the Republican candidates is to take money out of the pockets of the middle class and give it to the very wealthy. This is reminiscent of the robber barons in the late 19th Century who managed to accumulate an obscene share of the nation’s wealth at the expense of everyone else. It got to the extreme that this country could have had a communist revolution if World War I hadn’t come along. Then during World War II, Franklin Roosevelt put into place economic policies that resulted in a more just more just distribution of income, and the nation prospered for decades thereafter.
We are again in an epoch where more and more of the nation’s wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. How much longer can the modern robber barons such as the Koch Brothers and their Republican lackeys impoverish the rest of us before there is a push-back? How many veterans do we have to see sleeping in the streets, and how many of our youth have to flip burgers, if they can get a job at all, because many middle class families can no longer afford to give their children a university education before American voters wake up?