Now that the same ol' Republican BS about cutting taxes is rearing its ugly head again, we're hearing the same ol' griping about how it's only fair to cut their taxes since they pay the vast majority of the tax revenues. The apology goes that, It's impossible to "cut taxes" without making it a yuge boon to the very wealthy, and of minimal impact for the working class.
But that assumes that the main goal is to lower taxes, and that the inequality aspects are incidental, which nobody believes. Everyone knows the goal is to make the rich richer, whether or not that benefits the middle class, and even if it won't benefit the working class at all.
By now the mask is off: the elites of our society refuse to provide for our protection and prosperity, i.e. to fund the government that provides these large-scale public goods, whether directly or indirectly by establishing the rule of law, regulations (especially over economics), and so on.
The Pentagon still refuses to defend our southern border, or any of our borders for that matter. They turned a blind eye to obvious terrorists who were training on our soil (Florida, run by Jeb Bush at the time) to blow us up on 9/11, and they have refused to exact the slightest revenge against Saudi Arabia, the nation that attacked us and that continues to be the #1 exporter of radical Islamic ideology (Wahhabism). They instead took us on a pointless and ruinous war in Iraq and Afghanistan, who did not attack us.
Our military elites do not want tax revenues to go toward protecting the American people, but toward trying to (and always failing at) extending the empire's borders abroad. The American people couldn't give less of a shit about whether or not we are in control of Afghanistan, but to the brass at the Pentagon, that is a very big deal -- another piece on the chessboard that they may come into possession of.
On the Democrat side, Wall Street still refuses to use banking as a means of building and sustaining the American economic ecosystem. As far as stockholders are concerned, America is only good for corporate headquarters and the executives who run them. Actual productive activity may take place in a foreign nation, or at best in a domestic setting but with an immigrant workforce that works for pennies on the American worker's dollar. That's putting aside that so much of the banks' activity is speculation -- gambling -- rather than productive.
Given our elites' clear contempt for the notion that they have a duty to protect us and help us prosper, it comes as no surprise to see them clamoring for paying even less for such projects than they already are.
Besides, cutting taxes won't dry up their funding for the elite-benefiting bubbles -- they'll just borrow another trillion from China in order to bail out Goldman Sachs or wage war in Afghanistan. Some future group of suckers down the line will pick up the tab for today's elite debtors, or maybe the country will default and suffer a massive credit penalty -- borne by those future suckers, not today's charge-a-holic elites.
No society has had the elites disconnected from the common people for very long. In pre-industrial, pre-democracy times, the elites provided protection by raising standing armies to defend against invaders, personally leading the charge into battle, and so on. They provided the land to live on and to raise food up out of for commoners, albeit with a decent chunk of that food going to the landlords and other elites.
This big chunk going to elites would not materialize without the participation of the masses in a stratified large-scale economy. The elites owe their elite status to the cooperation of the commoners. If the elites only relied on themselves, they would be dirt-poor commoners, too, with no status. A tiny number of people cannot produce what is needed for massive wealth and power. It is their connection to, and reliance on the labor of, their far more numerous subjects.
In return for propping up the elites, the commoners enjoyed a certain measure of protection and prosperity.
Otherwise, why would the vast majority tolerate elite rule? They could simply encircle the elites with their sheer numbers, march them up to the guillotines, and then that's that for the elites. They only go along with elite rule because they're getting enough out of it, enough to stay safe and to earn enough of a living to support their family. The relationship is normally one of symbiosis.
But once the elites begin to hold back on protection and prosperity, they become a big fat parasite on the poor host. Then it becomes only a matter of time before the host tries, by more and more desperate measures, to excise the parasite and begin healing.
Today's elites are so insulated by their constant in-fighting and hyper-competitiveness against one another, that they don't realize how despised they have become by the common people. And once that trust is lost, by continued abdication of their elite duties, it becomes impossible to win it back with just words and promises. They will settle for nothing short of a purge of the elites and a whole new group of leaders, a whole new vision of how society ought to work, and a whole new attitude toward their subjects.
That's why they elected the guy who campaigned against the "rigged system," who expressed frustration with both parties of leadership, and who promised to "drain the swamp" in the nation's capital.
The elites have responded by taking the people's ambassador hostage and running society exactly the way it has been run for the past 40 years. Draining the swamp is not happening (not just at a slower pace than we'd want, but the re-growth of the swamp), the nationalist project has been halted for the time being by the purge of Trump supporters in the national security apparatus, and it still remains to be seen if the populist themes will get any real action like gutting NAFTA and slamming 35% tariffs on corporations who fire Americans in search of cheap labor abroad.
Trump is only one man, with few supporters inside the government or elite factions, and who as a total outsider came into the White House with zero political capital. So we must blame the elites for all of the bad things that are still getting worse. And most people do. They see who the real problem is -- not Trump, but the GOP Congress, its donors like the Koch brothers, and its elite factions like agriculture and the military who insist on cheap labor and open-borders multiculturalism (which empires necessarily are).
The fact that the Republican Party could be pushing the biggest tax cuts for the rich in world history, during at time of populist rebellion among their own party's most hardcore voters, just goes to show how suicidal the party is. It may be beyond redemption at this point, to be replaced by a new second party -- not a permanent third party, but a new second party. It's only happened once before, but that too was during a climate of literal civil war. Maybe it's going to happen again.
Trump re-election theme: "The Republican party -- forget about it, it's dead, it's gonezo. We're going to repeal and replace the Republican Party -- and we're going to get much better policies!"
The Democrats are bound to hang on and ride this whole thing out. People thought after the election that it was the Democrats who were dead, and the Republicans who had become invincible and immortal. Wrong. The Republicans are still hell-bent on suicide, while the Democrats are at least adapting to the new climate. They're not as shrill about identity politics, framing their arguments against Trump / GOP as battling elitists, rather than racists or sexists or homophobes.
To reiterate: the Dems are going to ride it out rather than exploit Republican weakness to triumph like never before. Democrat voters are not as angry with their own party, and do not want to burn it all down like the Republican voters do to their own. That's because Democrats actually deliver for their voters, even if it's just bread crumbs -- better than absolutely nothing.
In this context, there's a big role for Rust Belt Trump voters to play in getting the Democrats to deliver more substantially on their issues that overlap with the populist agenda. "We voted for Trump, so if you want us to vote Democrat for House or Senate, you'd better propose a soak-the-rich tax policy." Otherwise, the Democrats can kiss Trump voters good-bye.
Obviously the Democrats' framing would not be "soak the rich" as though they were victims, but as making the elites give back to the commoners who are the basis for the elites' wealth and power. Otherwise we're going to see wild mobs chopping off heads in order to free themselves of the parasites, and nobody wants the war to escalate that far. They can frame themselves as the calm reasonable mediators between the two classes, and the Republicans as the "let them eat cake" party -- not a hard thing to do, since that's exactly how they're behaving, even after their own voters told them "populism or death".
While the Democrats peel off the populist half of the current zeitgeist, the new second party will peel off the nationalist half. The main faultline in the GOP today is insurgent nationalism vs. Establishment globalism. And since the GOP is already more of the elitist party on economics, they have nothing to offer the populist-nationalist movement.
After peeling off their specialty area, they have to not be so crazy on the other area, which is hard in such a polarized partisan climate. Democrats must say, "Yeah, we're open to closing the borders -- on the condition that American workers get more unionized." And the new second party must say, "Yeah, we're open to single-payer healthcare -- on the condition that only American citizens get access."
In the meantime, keep burning down the worthless, globalist-elitist GOP.