There’s been no small rush of political news popping up today. The biggest item on all the news tickers, of course, is Rick Santorum dropping out of the GOP presidential candidacy race. Sure, Newt Gingrich says he’ll stay in until the convention, and no doubt Ron Paul will as well, but the likelihood of either of them getting the nomination or preventing Mitt Romney from reaching the requisite number of delegates is insanely low. Not impossible, mind, but this is pretty much guaranteed to be a race between Romney and Barack Obama now.
I had personally hoped Santorum would stick with it and hopefully snag a couple of big wins in Pennsylvania and Texas, because I wanted to see this thing become a long, dragged out fight with almost zero focus on their Democratic rival for the presidency, but it looks like Romney will have a lot of time to prepare and face off against Obama. Sure, Santorum made writing blog posts easier, but Romney’s guaranteed to say something idiotic about how rich he is again, so I guess there’s no worries there.
But speaking of Romney’s wealth, there’s been another bit of news being tossed about. This one deals with the impending Congressional vote on the proposed “Buffett Rule,” something Obama has been stumping for lately.
For those of you unaware of the “Buffett Rule,” it takes its name from Warren Buffett, who I do believe is still the wealthiest man in America. The idea behind it caught a fervor when Buffett wrote a column in The New York Times entitled “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich.” As a member of the super-rich, Buffett says that the idea that his secretary pays around 15% more in taxes than he does is ridiculous. The super-rich need not be coddled. They can afford heavier taxes. Not only can they afford it, but it’s only fair and right for them to pay more than those on lesser incomes. Those that have made money on investments, like Buffett and Romney, should not be granted so much leeway on their taxes, especially while America suffers financially, both as a whole and in the middle class.
This idea, of course, was met with severe partisan reactions. Those on the left applauded the idea, particularly as it came from someone who would be hit with the raised taxes. Those on the right… called it class warfare. …something that makes no sense whatsoever.
Beyond those attempts, members of the upper 5 to 1% of the economy have tried painting themselves in different lights, like as people that aren’t actually all that rich. After all, they’re just regular Joes that spend $200,000 on food every year. For those curious, that’s $22.83 spent per person per meal for a family of six eating four meals a day.
Another, slightly less ridiculous and massively insulting way they’ve attempted to repaint their image is by claiming to be job creators. After all, if you heavily tax job creators, you’d hinder their abilities to make jobs for people, and America and the economy desperately need more jobs to be made!
This argument is generally the one they’ve tried to stick with (though Ann Romney did recently make the unfortunate claim that she doesn’t “consider herself to be wealthy” by trying to hide the definition of wealth behind a bunch of flowery sentimental junk while her husband gets elevators for his cars). Recently, it’s been brought back in full force, as seen when former President George W. Bush made a speech against raising taxes on the “so-called rich.”
According to Bush, “If you raise taxes on the so-called rich, you’re really raising taxes on the job creators. If the goal is private sector growth, you’ve got to recognize that the best way to achieve that growth is to leave capital in the treasuries of the job creators.”
Ignoring the fact that Bush was president during the economic crisis and a large amount of the blame could be laid at his economic policies’ feet, and ignoring the idea that the best economic policy is to let capital be hoarded, I have to ask: Are the super-rich really job creators?
I’ve met several job creators. Small business owners and the like. I guarantee you, they aren’t super rich. And I’m willing to bet that a large majority of huge companies, like Wal-Mart and McDonalds and the like, weren’t created by the super wealthy. Likely, they were created by people that worked, that had an idea, gathered capital and managed to start a successful business. It likely took years and years, and had its successes and pitfalls.
The middle class are job creators. I’ve seen it happen. Now, I’m sure there are many in the upper, wealthier class that are also job creators.
But how many, really? How many of the super wealthy make jobs with their wealth? How many are constantly creating jobs with their own personal gains?
Look to the actors and athletes who earn millions of dollars. Are they actively creating jobs? Or is it through the support of the middle class giving money to them that any jobs that happen to be created because of what they do actually occur?
How many of the super-rich became that way through inheritence? Or through simple good investments? How many of them sit on their wealth, or send it to the Cayman Islands?
And exactly how would job creation be hindered by them paying more money in taxes? The people, the businesses… they earn millions, billions of dollars. To create a job only takes thousands. If they can tell me exactly how many jobs they are making every month with the profits they have right now, and if they can show me exactly how paying a few extra thousand dollars every year will prevent them from being able to continue making those jobs, maybe I’ll believe them.
But right now? It’s a load of bollocks. It’s all hot air and meaningless words. The only jobs most of them create are jobs for their accountant.
Oh, and to throw in a little Biblical verse, since the right like to claim Christian morality is on their side…
“But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48, NIV