I just read an interesting interview with Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause.
For the sake of remaining bipartisan, he does not take positions on presidents. But he does make some good points about issues. Internationally, he wants the next U.S. president to focus on ending secret prisons, torture and pre-emptive war. Domestically, he stressed the importance of healthcare and poverty.
Referring to the current presidency of George Bush, Edgar pointed out that over the last eight years we have seen a focus on giving tax cuts to the rich, while little attention has gone the way of the poor. I find that point especially important considering the aforementioned international policies. The Bush administration has given tax cuts to the rich while increasing spending and turning a surplus into a deficit.
By increasing spending, the administration has increased the amount that taxpayers will have to pay in taxes. By giving tax cuts to the rich, the administration has made it so the working class and the poor will have to pay a higher proportion of the spending than before, which especially hurts since the Bush administration has increased spending.
I guess people think of tax cuts and think that means they will pay less. But obviously that is not correct. The tax rate simply determines the rate at which the taxpayers pay the money that the government spends. How much the government spends determines how much the taxpayers pay in total. And giving tax cuts to the rich changes the proportions of who pays, making it so that the non-rich have to pay a higher proportion than they did prior to the tax cuts.
Simply put, the government shifts the tax burden to the less privileged by giving tax cuts to the rich. Then the government increases the overall tax burden by increasing spending. That combination has a terrible effect on the working class, which has a horrible effect on the poor.
Working class people cycle in and out of poverty. In a ten-year-period, the poverty rate reaches about 40%. The working class needs tax cuts, not the rich. The working class cannot afford needless wars costing trillions of dollars.
The unfair economic burden put on the working class causes poverty in the United States.
Unfortunately, I doubt any new president will change much. The rich have enough money to influence government and who can get elected. For example, the oil companies and the military industry have both donated billions of dollars to both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The major corporations literally own the media and fund the campaigns of the “front-running” politicians from both parties.
I do not think we can rely on politicians to use their political power to save the working class or to alleviate poverty. Positive change and the alleviation of poverty depends on the general public not the politicians. I fully believe that only non-governmental solutions will work to end poverty and help the working class.
What do you think about the relationship between tax cuts, poverty, and the working class? Post your thoughts about it in this thread at the World Hunger and Poverty Forums. It’s completely free, and all viewpoints are welcome.