Saying “Middle Class” Doesn’t Mean You’re for the Middle Class


I recently watched the new episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” and one of his guests was David Frum.  He is actually one of the few conservatives I respect (he believes in science and facts: read here).  However, when he was on Bill Maher he made a curious argument. He said if liberals and progressives truly looked at the candidates then we should not be so anti-Santorum.  He said beyond all his social views Santorum is the only candidate who is talking about the middle class.  He made the analogy progressives will look past some of Ron Paul’s quirks because of his stance on foreign policy and therefore we should look past some of Santorum’s stances due to his pro-middle class rhetoric. 

On the show Bill and another guest, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, pointed out that just because he talks about the middle class does not mean he actually is for the middle class. Saying the words “middle class” does not help the middle class.  And as I have said before Santorum’s talk about helping the middle class is misguided. 

If we look at the actual numbers he is doing nothing to help the middle class.  His tax plan like the rest of the Republican tax plans cuts taxes for the wealthy.  It drops the top income bracket from 35 to 28 percent while it keeps the bottom tax bracket at 10 percent.  So in a time of unprecedented income inequality Santorum’s plan is to give wealthy people more money and do nothing for the middle class.

He also wants to drop the capital gains tax from 15 to 12 percent.  This once again is to help the wealthiest Americans.  We recently found out Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate is around 15 percent due to most of his income coming from investments.  So it is good to see Santorum is looking out for people like Mitt Romney because what he needs is more money. 

Finally he wants to drop the corporate tax rate from 35 to 17.5 percent.  Whether that will actually lead to more growth or not misses the point. Everything Santorum does is not to help the middle class.  It is to help wealthy people and corporations.  Santorum is no different than any of the other candidates; he wants to help people who do not need help. 

Also, it should be noted even though Republicans claim lower taxes will lead to more growth and therefore make up the for lost tax revenue the facts say otherwise.  Although, Santorum says his plan will cut the deficit by 2 trillion an independent study done says his plan will actually increase the deficit by 900 billion dollars a year.  Of the candidates, his increases the deficit the most but plans by Gingrich and Romney, who also want to lower taxes, increase the deficit each year by 850 billion and 150 billion dollars respectively.  Some studies actually put those numbers higher – Romney’s plan, being the best, would increase the deficit by 1.2 trillion dollars in 2 years.

I thought Republicans wanted to lower the deficit. 

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