Progressives Whiffing on Talking Point About the Rich and Taxes

When the corporate rich don't pay their fair share of taxes, it leaves us more vulnerable to attack. (Photo: J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Commons)

When the corporate rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, it leaves us more vulnerable to attack. (Photo: J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Commons)

Progressives are missing an obvious talking point regarding the rich, corporate and otherwise, and national security. You always hear that tax evasion by the rich could fund needs such as education and poverty in the United States. But another area is being shortchanged as well. I addressed this in a 2012 post titled Low Tax Rates for the Rich Harm Not Only the Economy, But Defense, which I present here, updated.

In a Counterpunch article titled Starving the Real Beast, sociologist Darwin BondGraham wrote:

The war machine has begun to eat itself for the sake of preserving hyper-inequalities resulting directly from the less progressive tax code instituted a decade prior, and the multitude of shelters capital now hides behind.

See what he’s saying here? By paying minimal taxes, the rich and corporations are depriving defense of funds (or forcing their reallocation to defense from other budget needs). BondGraham again (emphasis added):

Whether the Right realizes their folly at this point is not yet clear. After a decade of record breaking tax cuts for the wealthy, and economic deregulation … leading to explosive inequality and a historic crash of over-leveraged and debt ridden markets, the American plutocracy has not only [driven] millions into poverty, they have now gone so far as to undermine the budgetary and organizational basis of the military establishment upon which a larger global system of inequality, which they benefit from, rests.

Yes, you read that right. Put aside for a moment that a decreased defense budget is a key component of the progressive agenda. The point is that the rich, generally conservative and advocating a defense program on steroids, are creating a huge obstacle to the implementation of one of their key initiatives — a bloated national-security apparatus.

Thus, BondGraham provided progressives with a stunning talking point — one seldom seen (never, in my case). It might be worded something like this:

When the corporate rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, it leaves us more vulnerable to attack.

It should make it more difficult for the conservative media to continue to propagate traditional conservative issues such as tax cuts for the rich and deregulation. Of course, this is the election year that has shown how little those goals mean to rank-and-file Republicans anyway.

 

Meanwhile, less and less moored to the United States and able to afford their own security, perhaps the rich are becoming as uninvested emotionally in U.S. national security as they are financially.