Originally Published: August 3, 2000 7:15 p.m.
Wake up America. It is time to face the facts of life. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer! The super rich are richer and more of the so-called middle class have entered the poorer class!
Robert Kennedy was correct when he said: "Some people see things as they are and say Why? I dream things that never were and say, Why not?"
Too many GOP politicians supported by too many Democrats bring us a greedy twist on Kennedy's remarks. The division between the income of the rich and the rest of us has doubled since 1977 to reach an all-time high. A major portion of the increase has gone to the top 1 percent whose after-tax income averages $515,000 this year. The top 20 percent of households have had an income gain of 43 percent while the income of the rest of us remained flat or declined. The top 1 percent owns 40 percent of the nation's wealth, the bottom 80 percent owns 16 percent.
The politicians and the super rich want an America where the top 2.7 million money manipulators earn as much as the bottom 100 million and want to boost the spendable income of the rich at the expense of the rest of us. The GOP election year tax package is loaded with more compensation for the rich.
Tax policy since 1977 has given the top 1 percent cuts worth $440,000 per year, more than what median U.S. families earn. The excuse is that the rich pay the most taxes. They should; they can afford it.
Conservative readers should not deny these facts. This issue is not about envy, resentment, class warfare, socialism or punishing the rich. It is about fair play in our republic.
Recently, I related to millionaire Tom Brokaw's best selling book, "The Greatest Generation." As stated on the Internet at FreeRepublic.com, "the greatest generation gave birth to the me generation."
As an anti-taxer, unlike most of our elected political masters, I rarely agree with anything that relates to con man, huckster, William Jefferson Clinton. However, I support Clinton's veto of the estate tax bill promoted by special interest Republican insiders along with key Democrats in Congress. The 55 percent tax which produces $25 billion in revenue applies only to the super rich. A majority of Americans are exempt from federal estate taxes and most are not able to build any sizable estate.
The tax code should contain allowances to protect small businessmen and family farmers who are getting caught with federal inheritance taxes because of investments in land, buildings and equipment that bring their operations under the inheritance tax code. Too many small businessmen and family farmers have had to sell out a lifetime or generations of ownership to pay unfair inheritance taxes.
We pay far too much in income, use and hidden taxes averaging 55 percent. Very few have tax accountants and lawyers to squeeze out every possible deduction as the super rich do under protection from the politicians.
The direction of government is to benefit the rich at the expense of the rest of America. Most politicians are now members of the wealthy class of Americans or in the pockets of the rich through special interest campaign finance support to build their power and wealth.
Many organizations and Internet Web sites give us the straight, honest facts such as the American Crisis Web site at amercris.org and Spirit of 76 Web site: spiritof76.com. God save our Republic!
(Thom Strawn was a political activist for 30 years, and is now a prime-time TV and radio talk show host in Prescott.)