I was watching MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning during another conversation on the Bush Tax Cuts. As usual the pundit's round table consisted of millionaires and "inside the beltway" elites. One of the pundits, a millionaire businessman who once hosted his own show on sister network CNBC, spouted the usual "conventional wisdom" that there is no other choice for the President but to compromise to a couple year extension for the tax cuts for the wealthy. Another on the panel asked "what about the President's base?" The businessman responded by saying "This will not be a problem. Where else will the base go?"
My first thought was did he not just observe the midterm elections two weeks ago? Nineteen million Obama voters who cast a ballot in 2008 sat this election out. My fear is that this is the typical psychology that is more than likely the prevailing wisdom among the President's White House advisers. How ironic it is that multi-millionaires are routinely asked to give their opinion on whether they should be given additional tax cuts in spite of large deficits and a "depression like" economy? Would it not be interesting if for once the corporate media had a round table that included average Americans giving their opinions on the issues of the day? After all people like Joe Scarborough continue to tout their "blue collar" backgrounds regularly so why not let them at least get one seat and have a voice at the table?
Another point, the majority of Americans do not favor tax cut extensions for the wealthy according to polls. You know the beloved polls that are quoted endlessly on air day end and day out. Strange that you do not hear the corporate media and their pundits touting polling data on this issue? Whether looking at polling from Gallup, CBS News, CNN, or others, the majority of Americans think that tax cuts for the wealthy should expire. This is why the corporate media are not quoting polling on this issue. It does not favor their position on this tax issue at all.
Gone are the days where the majority of American businessmen and millionaires have any allegiance to this country. During The Great Depression, the tax rates were raised from 25% to 63% on top earners to pay for necessary items to keep this country running. By 1945 during World War II, tax rates on top earners were 91%. The rates fell and stayed at 88% until 1963 when it was then lowered to 70%. US tax rates today are 35% for top earners.
Today, however, the majority of businessmen and millionaires are content with shipping American jobs overseas, hiding a portion of their income overseas, not paying corporate taxes at all (60% of all US corporations pay no taxes) by having their business addresses listed overseas or through finding tax loopholes and right offs, and then demanding that tax rates for top earners and corporations be lowered. Their loyalty and allegiance is no longer to this great country, but to their money as personified by the commentary and attitudes of the pundit this morning.