Friday, April 28, 2017

Racism: Why Many Whites Give Trump/the GOP a Pass on Giveaways to the Rich

As noted in prior posts, Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenführer's "tax plan" is based on fairy tale assumptions and will result in huge new deficits if passed and throw the vast majority of the tax cuts to the very wealthy and large corporations.  But one example is the elimination of the estate tax that currently only impacts married couples with a net estate of over $11 million.  Average Americans simply get no benefit from a repeal of the estate tax, yet many foolishly support its elimination.  Similarly, many working class whites voted for Trump and Republican candidates even though for the last 37 years most of the GOP's policies have worked against the working class. So why the support for those who are behind the economic destruction of these people?  In a word, racism.  The GOP for decades now has played off of white racial animosities.   For an added bonus, the GOP and now Trump have also played to Christian extremists, LGBT rights being but one of the favored whipping boys to get out the GOP base on election day.  A piece in Slate looks at this disturbing phenomenon which has no sign of abating.  Here are excerpts:
Donald Trump wants to give himself a tax cut.
His new tax plan, a one-page summary unveiled on Wednesday in the last-minute scramble for an accomplishment before the end of his first 100 days, would cut the business rate down to 15 percent. Now, Trump isn’t a business, but he owns one, and it’s not structured like a typical one. Instead, it’s a “pass-through” corporation, meaning its earnings are passed through to the owners’ individual returns and then taxed at the appropriate marginal rate. Trump’s tax cut is structured to slash rates on pass-throughs as well other corporate forms. In other words, if passed, the president will save himself a nice chunk of change, on the order of tens of millions of dollars.
Trump’s plan would slash individual and business rates, repeal the estate tax, and end the alternative minimum tax (which hits a number of affluent households, in addition to the highest income earners). What’s more, Trump would eliminate the 3.8 percent investment surtax found in the Affordable Care Act, another break for the wealthiest households and estates.
Together, these tax cuts would cost an estimated $5.5 trillion over the next 10 years, according to a preliminary analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  . . . with $20 trillion added to the national debt by 2036.
This is just gravy for the rich: The large bulk of these cuts will go to the highest earners and wealthiest Americans. More than 30 percent of income gains accrue to those with annual incomes more than $200,000, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, with 14.3 percent accruing to those with incomes above $1 million.
His budget would slash tens of billions of dollars from anti-poverty programs; his health care plan would leave tens of millions of Americans without health insurance; and his tax proposals would blow a hole in the federal budget, starving the government of revenue and leaving future Americans the burden of attempting to re-knit the social safety net.
At first glance, it’s an odd populism that takes from the many to give to the few, that abandons the anxious and suffering in favor of the wealthy and comfortable. But remember, Trump’s populism wasn’t just an appeal to jobs and economic interest—it was a racial appeal.  Trump cast blame on Muslims, Hispanic immigrants, and foreign others; he pledged to reopen the mines, recover the factories, and restore the white male industrial wage-earner to his perceived place at the top of the material and social hierarchy.
If nothing else, the racial interests of white Americans have always been at the forefront of white politics, a powerful force across class and social lines. The collapse of support for all kinds of public goods, from robust schools to neighborhood pools, is tied to the perceived beneficiaries. When the majority of white Americans believed those beneficiaries looked like themselves, they backed those investments. When they didn’t, they rejected them, either explicitly or eventually under the guise of “color blind” ideologies.
[N]ow would not be the first time that millions of white Americans backed racial demagogues in the destruction of public goods as a means to restore white hegemony over a smaller, more limited public. We would, in a way, be reverting to form, extending to the country what has defined those regions where race hierarchy was most rigid.
 Yes, many Americans are just plain stupid - and bigots to boot.

No comments: