Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 70 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/30/21

Why Aren't Biden and the Democrats Going All Out for Democracy?

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   9 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert Reich
Become a Fan
  (130 fans)

From Robert Reich Blog

Joe Biden
Joe Biden
(Image by Gage Skidmore)
  Details   DMCA

You'd think President Biden and the Democratic Party leadership would do everything in their power to stop Republicans from undermining democracy.

So far this year, the GOP has passed roughly 30 laws in states across the country that will make voting harder, especially in Black and Latino communities. With Trump's baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen, Republicans are stoking white people's fears that a growing non-white population will usurp their dominance.

Yet while Biden and Democratic leaders are openly negotiating with holdout senators for Biden's stimulus and infrastructure proposals, they aren't exerting similar pressure when it comes to voting rights and elections. In fact, Biden now says he won't take on the filibuster, which stands firmly in the way.

What gives? Part of the explanation, I think, lies with an outside group that has almost as much influence on the Democratic Party as on the Republican, and which isn't particularly enthusiastic about election reform: the moneyed interests bankrolling both parties.

They fear that a more robust democracy would make it easier for the majority of Americans who aren't wealthy to raise taxes on the wealthy to finance all sorts of things the majority may want, from better schools to stronger safety nets.

So at the same time white supremacists have whipped up fears about nonwhites usurping their dominance, America's wealthy have spent vast sums on campaign donations and lobbyists to prevent majorities from usurping their money.

They've already whipped up resistance among congressional Democrats to Biden's plan to tax capital gains at 39.6% up from 20% for those earning more than $1 million. And they're on the way to convincing Democrats to restore the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes, of which they're the biggest beneficiaries.

In recent years these wealth supremacists, as they might be called, have quietly joined white supremacists to become a powerful anti-democracy coalition.

Some wealth supremacists have backed white supremacist's efforts to divide poor and working-class whites from poor and working-class Black and brown people, so they don't look upward and see where most of the economic gains have been going and don't join together to demand a fair share of those gains.

By the same token, white supremacists have quietly depended on wealth supremacists to bribe lawmakers to limit voting rights, so people of color continue to be second-class citizens. It's no accident that six months after the insurrection, dozens of giant corporations that promised not to fund members of Congress who refused to certify Biden as president are now back funding them and their anti-voting rights agenda.

Donald Trump was put into office by this anti-democracy coalition. According to Forbes, 9 percent of America's billionaires, together worth a combined $210 billion, pitched in to cover the costs of Trump's 2020 campaign. During his presidency Trump gave both parts of the coalition what they wanted most: tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks for the wealth supremacists; legitimacy for the white supremacists.

The coalition is now the core of the Republican Party, which stands for little more than voter suppression based on Trump's big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and tax cuts for the wealthy and their corporations.

Meanwhile, as wealth supremacists have accumulated a larger share of the nation's income and wealth than at any time in more than a century, they've used a portion of that wealth to bribe lawmakers not to raise their taxes. It was recently reported that several American billionaires have paid only minimal or no federal income tax at all.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Reich Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

 
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump Cornered

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

What to Do About Disloyal Corporations

The Gas Wars

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend