Twenty years ago the Wall Street Journal proclaimed that the American poor were lucky duckies who didn’t pay any federal income tax. As noted at the link, they pay lots of other taxes, such as sales tax and Social Security taxes, which are regressive: if you earn, say, $155,000, there’s no Social Security tax on everything above $147,000. The tax burden the poor pay is therefore roughly comparable to their share of the national income.
Republicans, however, have been beating the drum ever since that WSJ article, declaring that the poor are somehow living in luxury, unlike the hardworking millionaires. Florida Senator Rick Scott, for instance, just announced that everyone should pay income tax to have “skin in the game.” Spoiler, he’s not worried about tax schemes that protect millionaires’ assets.
LGM does a good job mocking Scott’s er, ideas but Fred Clark nails the insanity of it (even though the post is several years old): “American society is marked by the otherwise inexplicable phenomenon of the haves resenting the have-nots. This is such a common feature of American life that we almost get inured to how dazzlingly weird it is. The wealthy deride the poor as “takers” — never quite able to explain why those “takers” don’t seem to have anything to show for it. Where is all this stuff they’ve “taken”? Well, it’s still in the hands of the wealthy. White folks indignantly explain how black folks have always had it so much easier, somehow managing to sound as though they’ve convinced themselves of this enough to actually feel near-constant anger about it. Men resent women. The rich resent the poor. Majorities resent minorities. The powerful resent the powerless.”
For another example of the right-wing worldview, conservatives are siding with Putin in the current crisis, though they’re also denouncing Biden for not dealing with it effectively. As I mentioned a few months back, conservatives love Putin’s anti-gay policies and machismo posturing. Thus we have Tucker Carlson arguing we have no reason to hate Putin — he never called Tucker Carlson racist! And Trump gushing that Putin is brilliant — the Russian leader is the kind of bullying thug Trump wants to be but hasn’t quite managed (yet). Empty Wheel suggests Putin has been working for several years to set this up.
It reminds me of when the news about Russia tampering with our 2016 election came out. One of my FB friends argued he had no problem with it — the U.S. has interfered in other country’s elections, it’s only fair, right? I pointed out that increasing the number of rigged elections is not the right solution but he just repeated his point like a parrot. I no longer view his page.