Thom Hartmann produced an excellent short digest (below) of the problem with American oligarchs not paying taxes, being in open revolt against even a 20% minimum corporate tax (under FDR the rate was 48% on the wealthiest corporations). Joe Manchin and that narcissist asshole from Arizona, of course, support the billionaires on this insistence that they’re entitled to every penny they earn or inherit, making it unchallengeably bipartisan, thanks to the “bipartisan filibuster”. Hartmann presents the many popular programs instituted by Democrats against the united opposition of the Republican party, up to 1980, when the GOP regained national power.
On the Republican side, since Reagan, we have the slashing of tax on the wealthiest, protection of giant corporations, increased abuse of the filibuster and the dismantling of the administrative state. Also, a corruptly appointed majority of anti-abortion justices on the Supreme Court, legalizating, 5-4, unlimited secret money in political campaigns, eviscerating (5-4) Voting Rights and brazenly protecting unlimited gun and corporate rights.
Compare that policy record against these Democratic policies opposed by Republicans. Here’s Hartmann’s list (most of it):
Social Security, the minimum wage, [child labor laws– ed], unemployment insurance, world class public schools, free to inexpensive state colleges, the right to unionize, civil rights legislation, voting rights legislation, publicly owned utilities, new highways and airports, quality mass transit, antitrust laws to maintain competition and protect small businesses, Medicare, the Environmental Protection Agency, Medicaid, school lunch programs and food stamps, workplace nondiscrimination for women and racial minorities, federal deposit insurance to protect people from bank failures, Head Start and literally hundreds of laws that protected consumers and the environment from corporate predation and dangerous products.
As Franklin Roosevelt said: On the one hand there has been a vast majority of citizens who believe that the benefits of democracy should be extended and are willing to pay their fair share to extend them. And on the other hand there has been a small but powerful group which has fought the expansion of these benefits because they do not want to pay their fair share.
The next clip (both are from the video below) describes what the federal government accomplished for the citizens of our democracy just during the first few years of the New Deal, including this statement by FDR about the oligarchs of his day:
“You would think, to hear some people talk, that those good people who live at the top of our economic pyramid are being taxed into rags and tatters, but what is the fact? The fact is that they are much further away from the poor house than they were in 1932 and you and I know that as a matter of personal observation.”
Hartmann points out the $1.7 TRILLION ($1,700,000,000,000) windfall America’s now several hundred billionaires received during the pandemic and then plays the rest of FDR’s comment:
“A number of my friends who belong in this very high upper bracket have suggested to me on several occasions of late that if I am re-elected president they will have to move to some other nation because of high taxes here. Well, I will miss them very much.”