Class Warfare Is Being Used To Divide America – And It Is Working

At a time when America desperately needs to come together, we are becoming more divided than ever.  The mainstream media and most of our politicians love to pit us against one another in dozens of different ways, and right now class warfare has become one of their favorite tools for getting us to hate one another.  If you are struggling in this economy, you are being told that “the wealthy” are the cause of your problems.  If you have money, you are being told that the poor hate you and want to tax you into oblivion.  Class warfare has already become a dominant theme in the 2012 race for the White House, and there will certainly be endless speeches given along these lines by politicians from both major political parties all the way up to election day.  Class warfare will be used by both sides as a way to divide America and get votes.  And the frightening thing is that it is clearly working.  There is more hatred between the poor and the wealthy in America today than at any other time that I can remember.  But hating people because of how much money they have or don’t have is not going to solve anything.  Instead, it is just going to cause more problems.

The other day, Yale economics professor Robert Shiller told CNBC that the globe is already in a state of “late Great Depression“.  The United States is heading into unprecedented economic and financial problems and we desperately need to pull together as a country and solve these problems.

But instead, our leaders are tapping into the politics of division in a desperate attempt to get elected in the fall.

Rather than focus on real issues and real solutions, our politicians attempt to make “the wealthy” or “welfare recipients” the focus of our debates.

Well, you know what?

Most people that are rich and most people that are poor are not purposely trying to abuse the system.  Most of them are hard working people that are trying to do the best that they can in a world that is increasingly going crazy.

These days, the Occupy Wall Street crowd loves to talk about how evil the “1 percent” is.  But most of the “1 percent” are people that have worked really hard and that have been fortunate enough to get some really good breaks in life.

Yes, there are some among the “1 percent” that do some really bad things.  The too big to fail banks and the big money managers on Wall Street should be held accountable for the crimes that they have committed.

But most wealthy Americans are not trying to oppress the poor.  Most of them are just trying to do the best that they can for themselves and their families.

Neither are most poor people trying to abuse the system either.

Yes, without a doubt there are some that do not want to work and that want to live on government benefits indefinitely.

But that is a minority.

Most Americans that are receiving government benefits today would rather be working good jobs that would enable them to provide for their families.

Most Americans understand that government handouts can never provide dignity and hope for a better future.

But if you don’t demonize the poor and you point out the decline of the middle class, many Republicans will call you a “liberal” or a “socialist”.

And if you don’t demonize the rich and you don’t blame them for all of our economic problems, many Democrats will call you a “pig” or a “fascist”.

Unfortunately, playing the blame game is not going to get us anywhere.

The number of Americans living in poverty increased dramatically under George W. Bush and it also increased dramatically under Barack Obama.

Our country is drowning in debt, millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas, the middle class is shrinking at an astounding pace, and the Federal Reserve continues to destroy our financial system.

Getting angry at the wealthy or the poor is not going to fix those problems.

But it will distract us from the reality that both major political parties have been doing a horrible job.

Sadly, Americans seem to really enjoy blaming one another these days.  Just check out some of the slogans that have been seen on various signs at Occupy Wall Street protests….

“They Only Call It Class Warfare When We Fight Back”

“Eat The Rich – Feed The Poor”

“The Rich Are Wrecking The Planet”

So will destroying the lives of the rich solve our problems?

Of course not.

The truth is that we should want millions more Americans to be prosperous.  We should be cheering for one another instead of tearing one another down.

But that is heresy to many on the left.

On the right, it is heresy even to mention that our tax system is fundamentally flawed and that it has thousands of loopholes that are being abused by the very wealthy.

In a previous article, I detailed how many of the largest and most profitable corporations in America get away with paying absolutely nothing in taxes.

There is something very wrong with that.

Our income tax system should be abolished altogether, but if we do have to pay income taxes, then it is fundamentally unfair for some people and businesses to be able to pay little or nothing while the rest of us get absolutely obliterated by taxes.

But if you try to say that to many on the right, they will look at you in horror.

The other day, there was a New York Times article that detailed the extreme measures that Apple takes to avoid paying taxes.  It turns out that Apple sets up shell offices all over the globe in order to evade taxation….

As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world.

That same article talked about how Apple has become a model which hundreds of other companies have followed.  To giant corporations such as Apple, tax evasion has become an art form….

Apple, for instance, was among the first tech companies to designate overseas salespeople in high-tax countries in a manner that allowed them to sell on behalf of low-tax subsidiaries on other continents, sidestepping income taxes, according to former executives. Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean. Today, that tactic is used by hundreds of other corporations — some of which directly imitated Apple’s methods, say accountants at those companies.

So what is the solution to all of this?

Raising income taxes won’t work too well because the tax lawyers are always several steps ahead of our politicians.

The truth is that when taxes get raised it is always the middle class that gets absolutely clobbered and the wealthy always find more ways to reduce their exposure.

Just take a look at Mitt Romney.  He made more than 42 million dollars in 2010 and yet Romney had an effective tax rate of only 14 percent.

If I could find a way to have an effective tax rate of only 14 percent I would be jumping up and down for joy, and so would millions of other Americans.

Our tax system is deeply, deeply broken and needs to be thrown into the trash can.

Abandoning the current tax system would not solve all of our problems, but it would be a start.

Unfortunately, neither political party is willing to even consider this.

Instead, the Democrats want to raise taxes a little bit and the Republicans want to lower taxes a little bit.

But neither alternative will do much of anything to solve any of the real problems we are facing.

Our economy is dying and it is not producing nearly enough jobs for all of us.  When Barack Obama took office, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in America was 2.6 million.  Today, it is 5.3 million.

At this point, an astounding 53 percent of all college graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.

So where is all of the “change” that Obama promised?

Things just keep getting worse.

Since Obama has been in the White House, 14 million more Americans have gone on food stamps, and more than 25 percent of all American children are enrolled in the program today.

How will class warfare help those people?

Will blaming the wealthy make things better for them?

They are already receiving government handouts.

Will increasing those handouts a little bit more fundamentally change their lives for the better?

Of course not.

What those people need are good jobs.

But instead, both the Democrats and the Republicans continue to pursue the same job killing policies that have been destroying American jobs for decades.

Without good jobs, the number of Americans dependent on the government is going to continue to grow.

In a previous article, I detailed the explosive growth of social welfare benefits that we have seen under both Republicans and Democrats….

Back in 1960, social welfare benefits made up approximately 10 percent of all salaries and wages.  In the year 2000, social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages.  Today, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages.

The goal should not be to rape the rich and give out even more social welfare benefits.

Instead, the goal should be to develop an economy that creates good jobs.

We need have an economy that empowers individuals and small businesses.

Instead, we have an economy dominated by big government and big corporations.

We have an economy that funnels the vast majority of the economic rewards to a tiny elite while most of the rest of us struggle.

Just consider the following statistics….

*Back in the 1970s, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States brought in about 8 percent of all income.  Today, they bring in about 21 percent of all income.

*The following is how income gains in the U.S. were distributed during 2010….

-37 percent of all income gains went to the top 0.01 percent of all income earners

-56 percent of all income gains went to the rest of the top 1 percent

-7 percent of all income gains went to the bottom 99 percent

*In America today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

*According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

So what is the solution to that problem?

Is it to attack the rich and take away all their money and give more government handouts to the poor?

Of course not.

Rather, we need to change the rules of the game so that individuals and small businesses are empowered to succeed.

We need to decentralize economic power and dramatically reduce the undue influence that big government and giant corporations have over our economic system.

We need to create an environment where almost anyone that has a good idea and that is willing to work hard can succeed.

But instead of focusing on real solutions like shutting down the Federal Reserve, converting to debt-free currency, eliminating the income tax, shutting down the IRS, massively reducing the size of government and getting rid of thousands upon thousands of unneeded regulations, the mainstream media and our politicians are going to continue to try to get Americans to blame one another for our problems.

The efforts to divide America are working, and hatred is growing to unprecedented levels in this country.

Eventually this will lead to mass rioting in our major cities and that will make our problems far worse.

Hatred and division are not going to bring us a better future.

They are only going to destroy us from within.

We don’t need hate.

What we need is more love and more solutions.

Unfortunately, our leaders are leading us down a very dark path, and we are heading for a future that is going to be a complete mess.

The Obama Jobs Plan: 10 Reasons Why It Is A Bad Joke

So that was what we have been waiting for?  That was what all the hype was about?  With a little over a year until the next election, that was the “best shot” that Obama has for fixing the unemployment crisis in this country?  The Obama Jobs Plan (also now known as “the American Jobs Act”) is going to cost $447 billion and it is going to do next to nothing to create more jobs.  Many Americans were hoping for something bold and new from Obama, but instead what they got was a bad joke.  When Obama stated that there is “nothing radical in this bill”, he was not kidding.  Instead of addressing the fundamental issues that are causing job loss, Obama wants us to spend half a trillion dollars on measures that will only create a very small number of jobs.  Sadly, much of what Obama is proposing actually consists of huge bribes to middle class voters.  Obama is trying to keep his own job, and he appears willing to pile up even more debt in order to make that happen.

During his speech to the nation, Obama instructed Congress to either “pass this jobs bill” or to “pass it right away” 16 different times.  Obama obviously feels very strongly about his jobs plan.

But will it work?  Let’s take a few moments to break it down.  The following are 10 reasons why the Obama jobs plan is a bad joke….

#1 The payroll tax cuts are going to cost more than anything else in the plan, but they will do very little to create jobs.

Just take a look at what is happening right now.  Have the current payroll tax cuts done much?  No, the unemployment rate is still over 9 percent.

Yes, the new payroll tax cuts would be deeper and they would put some more money into the pockets of American workers.

But if American workers go out and spend it on stuff made in China, how does that create more jobs for American workers?

Businesses would certainly welcome the fact that their payroll taxes would be cut, but it probably will not entice many of them to hire more people.

Why?

Because they know that the tax cut would only be temporary.  After just a handful of months the payroll tax would go right back to where it was before.

Businesses are not often moved by temporary tax cuts.  If you want tax cuts to really move business, then you need to make them permanent.

So does that mean that I am against these payroll tax cuts?

Absolutely not.  I very much hope that payroll taxes get cut.  I am all in favor of the government taking as little money from me as possible.

Look, if the federal government is going to destroy our financial system anyway, I would much rather keep as much of my own money in my own pockets as possible.

So yes, I am all in favor of payroll tax cuts.

But no, those cuts are not going to do much to create jobs.  If payroll tax cuts were going to create a lot more jobs we would already see it happening.

However, if this is passed it will be a great bribe to voters because millions of Americans will see their paychecks go up and when that happens they will think of Obama.

#2 Obama’s plan to extend unemployment assistance is going to cost about $49 billion but it is not going to do much to create any jobs.

Back in 2009, Congress first authorized an extension of unemployment benefits to a maximum of 99 weeks.  Five times since then Congress has reauthorized this extension.

So has this made a huge difference in the number of unemployed?

Of course not.  If it was going to make a huge difference it would have done so already.

Yes, these extended benefits are easing the suffering of those that are out of work, and yes they are giving them a little extra money to spend, but let’s not pretend that extending unemployment benefits is going to create a whole bunch of new jobs.

#3 Obama is proposing $50 billion in “immediate” infrastructure spending and $10 billion for a new infrastructure bank that will be dedicated to raising private capital to finance infrastructure projects around the country.

Hopefully this will work out a whole lot better than the “shovel ready” jobs that Obama promised previously.

Yes, infrastructure all over this country is rapidly falling apart.  Yes, it is a legitimate function of government to invest in public infrastructure.

But no, this is not going to create a ton of new jobs.  It will create a few jobs, but it will also add to our rapidly growing national debt.

#4 According to the fact sheet on the jobs plan released by the Obama administration, direct financial aid to state governments will prevent up to 280,000 teacher layoffs, and it will also help states retain more police and firefighters.

Essentially, this is a “backdoor bailout” for the states.  Yes, it will be a good thing if teachers, police and firefighters are able to keep their jobs.  However, preventing job losses is not the same as creating new jobs.  So this may help reduce the bleeding a little bit, but it is not going to turn the overall employment situation around.

#5 There are a bunch of other minor things in Obama’s proposal such as “modernizing” public schools and helping more Americans refinance their mortgages, but it is not entirely clear how those things will help create a lot more jobs.

Meanwhile, there are a whole lot of things that the Obama jobs plan does not do….

#6 The Obama jobs plan does next to nothing to prevent jobs from being shipped out of the country.

As I wrote about the other day, right now the way the system is designed makes it highly profitable to send American jobs overseas….

*It is legal to pay slave labor wages in many of these other countries.  After all, why pay an American worker 10 or 20 times as much as a worker on the other side of the globe?

*In many of these other countries you do not have to provide any health care for workers.

*In many of these other countries there are virtually no environmental controls to worry about.

*In many of these other countries there are virtually no labor standards to worry about.

*In many of these other countries you only have to deal with a fraction of the “red tape” that you have to deal with in the United States.

Obama is doing absolutely nothing to address these imbalances.

#7 The Obama jobs plan does nothing about the unfair trade practices that are absolutely killing America on the global economic stage.

As I wrote about the other day, other nations are manipulating currency rates, they are openly stealing technology from our companies, they allow their workers to be paid slave labor wages and they put up huge barriers to goods and services from the United States and we let them get away with it.  Our trade policies are absolutely insane, and the way that the new “global economy” is structured guarantees that U.S. businesses are going to be operating at a huge disadvantage.  The following are just a few more of the reasons why foreign firms have a huge advantage over U.S. companies….

*Many foreign nations deeply and directly subsidize national industries and the U.S. government lets them get away with it.  That puts our industries at a vast disadvantage.

*The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.  That puts our corporations at a vast disadvantage.

*Many foreign nations do not require businesses to provide health care for their employees.  That puts our businesses at a vast disadvantage.

*Many foreign nations impose very little regulation on businesses.  That puts businesses in the United States at a vast disadvantage.  In the U.S., we have some of the most restrictive regulations in the world.

In 2011 we are going to end up with a trade deficit that is probably going to be well in excess of half a trillion dollars.  According to one estimate, if the trade deficit was totally eliminated it would create 8.4 million new jobs inside the United States.

So why isn’t Barack Obama proposing to do something about all of this?

#8 The Obama jobs plan does nothing about the gigantic mountains of ridiculous regulations that are absolutely killing small business in this country.  According to the Heritage Foundation, 75 new major regulations that have cost U.S. businesses more than 40 billion dollars have been passed since Barack Obama first took office.

The Federal Register (which contains all federal regulations) just keeps exploding in size.  Last year alone, 81,405 new pages were published in the Federal Register.

Right now there is a good chance that you are breaking dozens of federal regulations without even knowing it.

All of this regulation is crushing our businesses and is making us much less competitive in the global marketplace.

Yes, there will always be a need for common sense regulations on business activity.  But what we have right now is an absolute madhouse.

#9 The Obama jobs plan does nothing about the negative effects of Obamacare.  Obamacare is going to absolutely slaughter U.S. businesses.  Look, when most other nations do not burden their businesses with providing health care and we force our businesses to comply with the nightmare that Obamacare represents, who do you think has the advantage?

The other day, I noted some of the effects that Obamacare is already having on the U.S. business community….

According to a recent report from the National Federation of Independent Business, one out of every eight small businesses in the United States have either already had or expect to have the health insurance plans for their employees terminated by the health insurance companies because of Obamacare.  Another recent survey of mid-size and large businesses found that nearly ten percent of them plan to stop offering health insurance coverage to workers once Obamacare insurance exchanges begin in 2014, and another 20 percent are not sure if they will continue to offer coverage or not.  Our health care system is deeply broken and the ones that keep getting the short end of the stick are average Americans.

If Obama was serious about putting Americans back to work, he would do something about Obamacare.

But he is not going to do that, is he?

#10 The Obama jobs plan makes our national debt worse.  Yes, Obama insists that his plan will be “100%” paid for, but he has not told us how it will be paid for.

Exactly where in the world is he going to get an extra half a trillion dollars next year?

Obama probably intends to propose some tax increases that he knows that the Republicans would never, ever agree to.

So, no, Obama’s proposals will not be paid for.

The U.S. national debt has increased by more than 4 trillion dollars since Barack Obama took office.  It is currently increasing by more than 2 million dollars per minute.

We cannot afford to pile huge amounts of additional debt on to the backs of our children and our grandchildren.  What we have already done to them is deeply, deeply criminal.

In the end, some of Obama’s proposals will probably get passed, none of them will be paid for, our debt will get even bigger, and the fundamental reasons for our job losses will remain unaddressed.

So hopefully you can understand why I consider the Obama jobs plan to be a really bad joke.

Tonight, millions of Americans will be sleeping in seedy motels, in their cars or in tent cities.

Just check out these pictures from New Jersey.  Can you believe that some hard working Americans actually have to live like that?

We had the greatest economy that the world has ever seen.

Things did not have to turn out this way.

But they did.

Now Obama has come up with a “plan” that will not fix any of our fundamental problems but that will get us into a whole lot more debt.

Please excuse me if I am less than thrilled.

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