Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson’s latest article tackles a question you’ve probably been asking yourself for quite some time now.
“How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich” is an epic piece of writing, and it’s more than worth a good read.
Dickinson takes us back to the early days of the Reagan Administration, when the concept of “Starving The Beast” first came to be. And we learn why, for today’s GOPers, going back on a pledge to Grover Norquist is like reneging on a deal with the devil.
According to Dickinson, the current mindset of the GOP is what happens when politicians sell their souls and votes to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.
“Today’s Republican Party may revere Reagan as the patron saint of low taxation. But the party of Reagan – which understood that higher taxes on the rich are sometimes required to cure ruinous deficits – is dead and gone. Instead, the modern GOP has undergone a radical transformation, reorganizing itself around a grotesque proposition: that the wealthy should grow wealthier still, whatever the consequences for the rest of us.
Modern-day Republicans have become, quite simply, the Party of the One Percent – the Party of the Rich.
“The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility,” says David Stockman, who served as budget director under Reagan. “They’re on an anti-tax jihad – one that benefits the prosperous classes.”
The staggering economic inequality that has led Americans across the country to take to the streets in protest is no accident. It has been fueled to a large extent by the GOP’s all-out war on behalf of the rich. Since Republicans rededicated themselves to slashing taxes for the wealthy in 1997, the average annual income of the 400 richest Americans has more than tripled, to $345 million – while their share of the tax burden has plunged by 40 percent. Today, a billionaire in the top 400 pays less than 17 percent of his income in taxes – five percentage points less than a bus driver earning $26,000 a year. “Most Americans got none of the growth of the preceding dozen years,” says Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist. “All the gains went to the top percentage points.”
Do yourself a favor and check out the rest of this article. It’s a fascinating, horrifying, infuriating read.
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