Oligarchy is a power structure in which ruling authority rests with a small number of people with wealth and corporate control, and throughout history oligarchs have been tyrannical rulers relying on public servitude and perpetual poverty to maintain their control. Contrast that with the Declaration of Independence’s premise that “all men are created equal” and one might think that oligarchs could never rule over an underclass in America, but Republicans set up a system where a wealthy ruling class waged, and won, a class war with unmitigated assistance from the peasant class. If Americans think any of the Republican cries of balancing the budget and deficit reduction have anything to do with the federal government’s economic stability and not creating a permanent underclass mired in poverty, then they deserve what they helped Republicans create.
Ryan’s budget represents the apex of Republican economic policy over the past thirty years that validated economic war waged by the upper class against the rest of the population, and the assaults on American workers’ retirement and healthcare accounts is the final offensive to end, once and for all, any concept of all Americans are created equal. Over the past two years, Republicans had the temerity to claim asking the rich to pay their fair share to help rebuild the economy they decimated was President Obama’s declaration of class war on the so-called “makers,” and as usual, Republicans were projecting their war on the poor, middle and working class to garner support to finish off the rest of the population’s hope of ever realizing the storied American Dream. The GOP virtually guaranteed success because maintaining control of the House means over the next two years government will remain stagnate and there is little hope the poor, seniors, middle and working class will survive with much more than subsistence living if they are lucky.
The Republican Party, Paul Ryan, and conservative belief tanks purport the proposals in the Path to Prosperity are the first serious attempts to “grow the economy” in four years, and job-killing cuts and slashing domestic programs is necessary to balance the budget and cut the deficit. However, every economist on the planet that is not from the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, and Club for Growth remind Americans that eliminating jobs through austerity and taking money out of the economy will lead the nation back into a recession. Ryan and his teabagger cohort might be taken seriously if the drastic cuts were spread evenly around, but giving the rich a 15% tax cut and eliminating middle and working class family’s earned income and child care credits bolster Bernie Sanders’ long-standing contention that Republican economic policies help the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
The Republican class war has, for well over a decade, contributed greatly to income inequality that hastens America’s rush to oligarchy, and the primary driver is trickle down tax cuts for the rich. Ryan’s tax reforms give people earning over $1 million a tax cut of $200,000, and it excludes corporate entitlements and other subsidies that enrich the wealthy. In fact, 66% of Ryan’s cuts come directly from programs that reduce income inequality (purposely), and it will spur economic growth and prosperity for the very rich who already take 25% of the nation’s income and control 40% of the nation’s total wealth. The bottom 80% of Americans hold 7% of the nation’s wealth and as the rest of the nation suffered declining incomes, the richest 1% saw their income grow 18% directly from Republican economic policy.
The Republicans big push to reform so-called entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security is forcing increasing segments of the population into financially insecure futures. The sequestration cuts Republicans celebrated are affecting financial insecurity of federal workers who between now and September face mandatory furlough days (22) without compensation that amounts to a 20% pay cut. School teachers around the nation have already been laid off, taken pay cuts, and lived with mandatory furlough days and Ryan’s budget and conservatives in the House are calling for much more sacrifice from primarily middle class union workers. One of Republicans’ favorite masters, corporations, are reaping record profits, paying 10% or zero in federal income taxes, and laying off workers at an alarming rate, and Republicans are calling for corporate tax reform (read tax cuts) to encourage job creation. One thing is certain, Republicans are waging class war on behalf of the wealthy and their corporate support groups, while they kill jobs and gut safety nets to send more Americans into poverty.
The conservative ideology that the rich inherently deserve to dominate and rule over America is dependent on income inequality that defines oligarchy. A recent study reveals that Republicans have won the class war for the wealthy and that the devastating income equality plaguing America is here to stay and it will get much worse; if that is possible. Republicans are doing their best to see it does get worse and between Republican budget proposals and threats to hold the debt limit hostage for steep cuts to Medicare, education, Social Security, and safety nets to give the wealthy more tax cuts, the rich will continue getting richer as the poor get poorer until there is a permanent underclass barely surviving the next round of Republican austerity to “balance the budget” and “eliminate the deficit.”
Democracy cannot co-exist with oligarchy, and after thirty years of Republicans fighting for the one-percent, there is little hope for democracy. There are some pundits who claim Republican economic policy is founded on ideology that favors the “makers,” and although that may be true, it is just as likely that they lack the moral fiber of a sponge and could not care less about the majority of Americans they are relegating to a permanent underclass to serve the wealthy. President Obama did not start, and has not engaged, in class warfare. The Republicans began incrementally disenfranchising the middle class, poor, and seniors over the past thirty years, and they are precariously close to their intended goal; America owned, operated, and ruled by the wealthy and their corporations. That precious statement that all Americans are created equal is nice sentiment for the history books, because it is was not true in 1776 and it certainly is not true today.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.