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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/27/11

Class warfare is really 'class welfare'

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Message P. A. Triot

By P. A. Triot

Republicans, millionaires and billionaires are all shouting at anyone who will listen that Democrats are engaging in class warfare when they suggest that everyone pay their "fair" share in taxes.

Of course, financier Warren Buffett of Omaha, Neb., has been blackballed from the billionaire club for suggesting that he and people like him need to ante up a bunch more in taxes to get square with the country.

What Republicans, millionaires and billionaires cannot get around is that Buffett is one of the world's wealthiest men and he's tough to blackball.

Buffett and, most likely, all the other millionaires and billionaires know that they are the recipients of "class welfare," not the victims of class warfare.

Class warfare (in the form of class welfare) has been waged by the Republican Party for the past 30 years, since the 1980s.

It was Ronald Reagan who led the assault on the middle class with the firing of air traffic controllers and breaking the PATCO labor union in 1981, his first year in office. That was the first class warfare battle. 

Also in 1981, Reagan first lowered tax rates for wealthy taxpayers. That was the first act of class welfare.

In the ensuing years, multinational corporations, including big oil, the  banking, pharmaceutical and insurance industries joined the super wealthy in the welfare lines. (Check out Exxon-Mobile's $4 billion tax credit.)

The U. S. Supreme Court created corporate-personhood by declaring that corporations were persons and had equal civil rights with real persons. 

In fact, the court's Citizens United 5-4 decision in 2010 gave corporations greater civil rights than U. S. citizens in that they can spend millions of dollars on any political campaign and the court opened the door to foreign contributions (through foreign corporations) to American political campaigns.  

Real people who are U. S. citizens are limited to $2,000 in contributions to a single candidate.

Democrat Bill Clinton ended "welfare as we know it" and helped helped replace it with class welfare as we never saw it before.

We now have Republican "welfare kings" riding in Rolls Royce limousines, rather than Reagan's "welfare queens driving Cadillacs."

For those same past 30 years, Republicans have engaged in a curious behavior. of accusing their opponents of whatever they themselves are doing.

Republicans have engaged in class warfare for 30 years, pitting the wealthy class agains the middle and poverty classes. 

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P. A. Triot is the pen name of a retired journalist.
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