Tax Cuts For The Wealthy
The massive tax cuts that wealthy people get do not eliminate the naturally occurring expenses of our nation. The money has to be made up from somewhere, and whenever the elite class gets a tax cut, it ends up being the middle class that is forced to shoulder the burden.
If you look at the tax code from back in the decades when the United States was fiscally solvent, there were always massive taxes on extreme wealth. These taxes existed to provide incentive to major corporations to invest in their people and maintain a high standard of living for the middle class. This allowed those businesses to show a higher payroll expense and provided them with an obvious means of staying out of the high tax brackets.
Now that there are no longer any high tax brackets, those corporations just keep that money for themselves. Thats why the minimum wage has stagnated for decades and its no longer possible for families to support themselves on a single income.
Views On Cost Of Living Across Social Classes
Overall, 49% of the public says their familys income is falling behind the cost of living, while 42% say it is staying about even and just 7% say it is going up faster.
Across class lines, fully 66% of those who identify as lower class say they are falling behind the cost of living, compared with 29% who say they are staying about even and 4% who say their income is going up faster than the cost of living. Views are mixed among the middle class: 48% say their income is staying about even with the cost of living, but almost as many say it is falling behind; 6% say it is going up faster. Even among the upper class, about as many say their income is falling behind the cost of living as going up faster ; a 58% majority of upper-class adults say their income in staying about even with the cost of living.
Over the past two years, the overall share of the public saying they are falling behind the cost of living has declined as the share saying they are staying about even has increased.
Across the social classes, there has been a comparable uptick in the share saying they are keeping up with the cost of living among those who say they are upper class , middle class and lower class .
Life Satisfaction And Views Of Personal Finances Across Social Classes
Assessments of life satisfaction differ across self-identified social classes, with some of the widest differences seen between the views of the lower class and those of the upper and middle classes.
Majorities across groups say they are very satisfied with their family life. However, somewhat greater shares of those in the upper class and middle class say this than of those in the lower class .
About three-quarters of upper-class adults say they are very satisfied with their present housing situation; 68% of those in the middle class also say this. Among lower-class adults, far fewer say they are very satisfied with their current housing.
Similarly, most upper- and middle-class adults say they are very satisfied with their education, compared with 43% of lower-class adults.
Among those currently employed, 62% of upper-class adults say they are very satisfied with their current job, while about half of those in the middle class say they are very satisfied with their job. Among employed adults who describe themselves as lower class, 40% say they are very satisfied with their current job.
As the country has recovered from the Great Recession, assessments of personal finances have improved across most groups, particularly among those who describe themselves as middle class.
Among those who say they are middle class, positive personal financial ratings are up 12 points, from 43% who described their finances as excellent or good in 2011 to 55% in the current survey.
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The Middle Class Rises
The middle class, which Pew defines as two-thirds to two times the national median income for a given household size, began to grow after World War II due to a surge in economic growth and because President Franklin Delano Roosevelts New Deal gave workers more power. Before that, most Americans were poor or nearly so.
For example, legislation such as the Wagner Act established rights for workers, most critically for collective bargaining. The government also began new programs, such as Social Security and unemployment insurance, that helped older Americans avoid dying in poverty and supported families with children through tough times. The Home Owners Loan Corporation, set up in 1933, helped middle-class homeowners pay their mortgages and remain in their homes.
Together, these new policies helped fuel a strong postwar economic boom and ensured the gains were shared by a broad cross-section of society. This greatly expanded the U.S. middle class, which reached a peak of nearly 60 percent of the population in the late 70s. Americans increased optimism about their economic future prompted businesses to invest more, creating a virtuous cycle of growth.
Government spending programs were paid for largely with individual income tax rates of 70 percent on wealthy individuals and high taxes on corporate profits. Companies paid more than one-quarter of all federal government tax revenues in the 1950s . Today they contribute just 5 percent of government tax revenues.
Fouling Our Air And Drinking Water
EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulation : House Vote 249. Adopted 255172: Republicans 2360; Democrats 19172 on April 7, 2011
This bill would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, from regulating greenhouse gases in any effort to address climate change. It would amend the Clean Air Act to strike specific elements from the definition of an air pollutant unless regulation of those chemicals is not used in an attempt to address climate change. It also would clarify that the bill does not limit the authority of a state to regulate the emission of a greenhouse gas unless the regulation attempts to address climate change. This bill would harm all Americans. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are emitted from power plants, industrial facilities, and other sources, and released into the atmosphere. As these gases linger in the atmosphere, they trap heat radiating back from Earth, and the surface temperature of our planet rises. The rise in temperature causes rising sea levels, increased rainfall, floods, drought, wildfires, and severe storms, which not only harm our environment but also hurt our economy.
Commercial Boiler Emissions : House Vote 791. Adopted 275142: Republicans 2340; Democrats 41142 on October 13, 2011
Water Pollution Regulatory AuthorityPassage : House Vote 573. Adopted 239184: Republicans 22313; Democrats 16171 on July 13, 2011
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Republicans Are Protecting The Middle Class
H.R. 622, The State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act, which makes the state and local sales tax deduction permanent, will bring much-needed tax fairness and certainty for hardworking taxpayers in states without a state income tax.
It will put more of the hard-earned money back into the pockets of people in states like Texas, Washington, Florida and Nevada that currently dont have the option.
It will allow families to keep more of their paycheck each year instead of feeding the corrupt IRS.
Middle class economics should be about helping families keep more of what they earn in sales tax states, and supporting family-owned farms and businesses rather than lining D.C.s pockets.
and the American Dream
For the first time in ten years the House will vote to repeal the estate tax through, H.R. 1105, The Death Tax Repeal Act, in an effort to bury the Estate Tax once and for all.
The Death Tax is an immoral tax and a calculated attack on the American Dream. It hurts our economy, punishes success and prevents family-owned businesses and farms from being passed down to the next generation. Over time it will steal the nest egg of minority and women-owned businesses, the fastest growing group of new start-ups in America who are building wealth for the very first time.
President Obama has been advised that if these bills hit his desk he should veto both of them. Why is the President turning his back on hardworking taxpayers? Why are we punishing success
How Democrats Became The Party Of The Upper Middle Class
Democrats may find it impossible to reclaim their historical identity.
When House Democrats introduced;what they call;the Heroes Act;this month, they described it as a bold and comprehensive coronavirus response bill that will meet the challenge this pandemic poses to our nation. Among;its provisions: restoring the full deductibility of state and local taxes, which the Republican tax legislation of 2017 had limited.
The issue doesnt have much to do with the coronavirus.;Theres only a loose relationship between the states hardest hit by it and the states whose residents have faced the most tax increases because of the deductibility limit. Liberal think tanks have criticized the idea of raising the cap,;noting;that 56% of its benefits would flow to the top 1% of households, and 80% would go to the top 5%.
Repealing the cap is nonetheless a party priority. After House Democrats impeached President Donald Trump on Dec.;18, it was the first order of business they took up. They passed full deductibility on Dec. 19.
As Democrats have kept raising the issue, Republicans have taken pleasure in pointing out that the politicians who usually decry budget-busting tax cuts for the rich were in this case demanding some.
Most nonwhite Americans vote for Democrats regardless of diploma . What underlies the new educational divide is a marked change in the preferences of white voters.
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Scrapping Consumer Product Safety
Fiscal 2011 Continuing Appropriations, Consumer Product Safety Database : House Vote 137. Adopted in Committee of the Whole: 234187, Republicans 22710; Democrats 7177 on February 19, 2011
This amendment would have barred the use of funds made available to implement the consumer product safety information database established under the Consumer Product Safety Act. In March 2011 the Consumer Product Safety Commission estab- lished the SaferProducts.gov database to provide all Americans with safety information on products they have bought or will consider buying. Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety for the Consumer Federation of America, argued Republicans were trying to pull the plug on a vital consumer resource.
Views On Government Help For Middle Class Wealthy And Poor
A clear majority of Americans say the federal government does not do enough to help the middle class, but the middle class is hardly alone on this list. Majorities also say the government doesnt do enough for older people, poor people or children.
Overall, 62% say the government doesnt do enough to help the middle class, while 29% say it does about the right amount and 6% say it does too much. Roughly the same share says the government does not do enough for poor people or for children , and 66% say the government doesnt do enough to help older people.
Wealthy people are the one group included in the survey for which the public thinks the government does too much: 61% say this, while 24% say the government does about the right amount and 9% say it does not do enough.
Republicans and Democrats differ significantly in views of how much help the government gives the wealthy and poor. But there is greater consensus across party lines when it comes to the middle class, with most in both parties saying the government does not do enough for this group.
Fully 77% of Democrats say the government does too much for wealthy people, while 12% say it does about the right amount and 9% say it doesnt do enough. Among Republicans, views are more mixed: 44% say the government does too much to help the wealthy, 39% say it does about the right amount and 9% say it does not do enough.
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Perceptions Of The Parties
Judgments about Romney and Obama mirror the views of middle-class Americans toward the Republican and Democratic parties.
According to the survey, only about a quarter to a third of the middle class says that the Republicans or Democrats primarily favor middle-class interests over those of the rich or poor. Republicans are perceived as the party of the rich, while the middle class is divided over whether the Democratic Party is more concerned about their needs or those of the poor.
To examine the intersection of social class and politics, the Pew Research survey asked respondents if each of the two major political parties favors the rich, favors the middle class or favors the poor.
Overall, the middle class was somewhat more likely to say that the Democratic Party rather than the GOP favored its interests . 13 But about as many say the Democrats favor the poor , and 16% believe the party favors the rich.
At the same time about six-in-ten middle-class adults say the GOP favors the rich
roughly double the 26% who say the Republican Party primarily favors middle-class Americans.
The survey also found that the middle class is politically diverse: Roughly equal shares of middle-class adults identify with the Democratic Party or say they are independents , while somewhat fewer align with the Republican Party . As a group, middle-class adults are more likely to identify themselves as political conservatives than liberals . About a third say they are moderates.
The Philosophy Behind Republican Economic Policy
Republicans advocate supply-side economics that primarily benefits businesses and investors. This theory states that tax cuts on businesses allow them to hire more workers, in turn increasing demand and growth. In theory, the increased revenue from a stronger economy offsets the initial revenue loss over time.
Republicans advocate the right to pursue prosperity without government interference. They argue this is achieved by self-discipline, enterprise, saving, and investing.
Republicans business-friendly approach leads most people to believe that they are better for the economy. A closer look reveals that Democrats are, in many respects, actually better.
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President Obama And Mitt Romney Both Say They Are Focused On Improving The Lives Of Middle
Just more than half — 52% — of middle-class adults said the president’s policies would benefit them should he win a second term. A lower number — 42% — of respondents said that Romney’s policies would help the middle class.
The new findings were published Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. The poll was conducted before Rep. Paul Ryan was added to the Republican ticket.
Part of a larger report on the middle class, the survey also indicates that Americans have some strong opinions about which groups would benefit from the candidates’ proposed policies.
A full 71% of respondents said that Romney’s policies would benefit the rich, while only 38% said the same of Obama’s plans.
The numbers flip when middle-class adults were asked about the poor. More than three-in-five — or 62% — said Obama’s policies would help the poor, while only one-in-three said Romney’s plans would help the group.
When asked to rate the parties rather than the candidates, respondents were even less likely to say politicians were looking out for their interests. Just 26% said that Republicans favor middle-class interests over those of the rich and poor. Only slightly more — 37% — said the same of Democrats.
Do Leaders In Congress Agree With The Rich Or The Middle Class
Three other papers similarly found that Democrats and Republicans differ strongly in how they represent different economic classes. But they complicate the story by showing that each partys behavior is influenced by interest groups, by what constituents of their own party say, and whether economic or social issues are at stake.
Matt Grossmann and William Isaac at Michigan State have put together a paper reaching similar conclusions. The authors looked specifically at the views of Democratic and Republican presidents and leaders in Congress and in the presidency, based on a data set covering 1,863 policy proposals the federal government considered from 1981 to 2002 and polling data on how the rich and middle class viewed these ideas.
That lets them see how much each party’s leaders agree with the middle class versus the rich as well as whose views are represented by interest groups like the ACLU, Sierra Club, American Conservative Union, or Americans for Tax Reform.
These interest groups, they find, tend to lean left overall even as some individual ones are conservative. They tend to support economic and social policies backed by the middle class, and oppose foreign policies backed by the wealthy. And Grossmann and Isaac found those groups representing certain subsets of the population were more influential than individual voters.
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Repealing The Affordable Care Act
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act : House Vote 14. Adopted 245189: Republicans 2420; Democrats 3189 on January 19, 2011
This bill called for repealing the Affordable Care Act, which ensures that 32 million people will gain insurance coverage, addresses rising health care costs, and includes important consumer protections against discriminatory insurance practices such as denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions or charging higher rates based on a patients sex, race, or age. The proposed House bill would restore the provisions of the law amended or repealed by the Affordable Care Act and repeals certain provisions of the health care reconciliation law without offering an alternative to help the middle class cope with ever-rising health care costs. The Democratic Senate has vowed to protect the Affordable Care Act.
Repeal of Essential Health Care Benefits Section of the Affordable Care Act : House Vote 141. Adopted 239183: Republicans 2352; Democrats 4181 on February 19, 2011
The categories are: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services, and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.