The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Pretending to Tax the Rich—But Cutting Social Security

Dec 10, 2012

The Democrats and Republicans pretend to be feuding over taxes on the wealthy. The Democrats say, “tax the wealthy,” the Republicans say, “No!”

It’s nothing but a cheap soap opera—trying to draw attention away from the budget deals being cut right now behind closed doors.

Yes, the wealthy should be taxed more, much more. Since 1963, their taxes have been cut five times. The top tax rate today is less than one third of what it was in 1963.

Taxes on corporate profits have been cut even more. In the early ‘50s, big companies paid more than 30 per cent of all taxes. Today, they pay less than 10 per cent.

We make up the difference. Our income taxes have gone up because the rates ordinary people pay have not been indexed to inflation. Over time, we all get pushed into a higher bracket. And we pay more in Social Security taxes. The Social Security tax rate increased 22 times since 1950—today it is almost six times higher than what it was then.

Yes, taxes should be reformed. But a real reform would lower our taxes back down to where they were decades ago—and increase taxes on the wealthy and the corporations back up to where they once were.

But that’s not what Democrats or Republicans are talking about today. Not nearly.

They may push up the rate on the wealthy a very, very tiny bit. But so what? The wealthy never pay the tax rate they’re supposed to pay anyway.

When all the smoke has cleared, after all the back room deals are cut, we’ll discover that all the talk about taxing the wealthy is only a smokescreen to hide the real aims of this budget deal: wringing much more money out of Social Security, out of Medicare, out of road construction and the Post Office; and reducing money going to social programs, public services, health and safety inspections, and education.

The two parties are searching for still more money in the government budget to hand over to the banks and the rest of the capitalist class.

The election is over. Both parties are showing their fangs. They’re nothing but a pack of werewolves!