As usual, John McCain and Sarah Palin are attempting to take a good thing and turn it inside out to make it into something bad. This time it's Barack Obama's tax plan, which would increase income taxes for anyone making a quarter of a million a year and cut income taxes for the other 95 percent of America.
In explaining his proposal, Obama had the audacity to say that he wanted to "spread the wealth."
McCain labeled that generous notion welfare and socialistic. The Republican wants to make sure that the ubber-rich get ubber richer. Rather than having Big Government take some of the fat cat money to help the homeless, McCain would rather see swells like him have enough money to assure that their seven, or eight or nine homes are all well maintained and lavishly furnished. Many conservatives are quick to make the pitch that the top one percent of America's richest pay almost 35 percent of the nation's taxes, but they fail to mention that the same richest of the rich own nearly 35 percent of the nation's net worth or that the top 10 percent own 71 percent of the nation's wealth.
That doesn't count to the GOP. For the last few days, McCain and his trusty Pit bull, Palin, have been on the stump, scolding Obama for being some kind of Robin Hood.
I suggest that anyone tempted to buy into McPalin's Ayn Rand economics--The Virture of Selfishness--read an article about a United Nations report that's just been posted by the Guardian, a publication out of England. The headline and the first few paragraphs explain exactly why the filthy rich ought to be willing to share the wealth more.
Check it out.
Wealth gap creating a social time bomb
* By John Vidal, environment editor
* The Guardian,
* Thursday October 23 2008
Growing inequality in US cities could lead to widespread social unrest and increased mortality, says a new United Nations report on the urban environment.
In a survey of 120 major cities, New York was found to be the ninth most unequal in the world and Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, and Miami had similar inequality levels to those of Nairobi, Kenya Abidjan and Ivory Coast. Many were above an internationally recognised acceptable "alert" line used to warn governments.
"High levels of inequality can lead to negative social, economic and political consequences that have a destabilising effect on societies," said the report. "[They] create social and political fractures that can develop into social unrest and insecurity."
According to the annual State of the World's cities report from UN-Habitat, race is one of the most important factors determining levels of inequality in the US and Canada.
"In western New York state nearly 40% of the black, Hispanic and mixed-race households earned less than $15,000 compared with 15% of white households. The life expectancy of African-Americans in the US is about the same as that of people living in China and some states of India, despite the fact that the US is far richer than the other two countries," it said.
Disparities of wealth were measured on the "Gini co-efficient", an internationally recognised measure usually only applied to the wealth of countries. The higher the level, the more wealth is concentrated in the hands of fewer people.
"It is clear that social tension comes from inequality. The trickle down theory [that wealth starts with the rich] has not delivered. Inequality is not good for anybody," said Anna Tibaijuka, head of UN-Habitat, in London yesterday.
To read the rest of the Guardian article, click here.
Of course, the McPalins, the Bushites and other wingnuts may not be the least bit concerned because, according to some of my more paranoid friends, they already have contingincy plans to control the teeming, angry masses. The solution, brought to you by FEMA, the Federal government organization that failed New Orleans when Hurrican Katrina hit, is--Concentration camps.
Cyber Columnist Monroe Anderson is an award-winning journalist who penned op-ed columns for both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. He is a contributor to EbonyJet.com and The Huffingtonpost.com. You can read his blog at monroeanderson.typepad.com