Republicans argue that society is made up of job creators and moochers – contributors and extractors. In Republican World, higher taxes punish those who are “more productive.” Higher taxes are an unfair burden imposed on the “producers” by a too-powerful government which “steals” their hard-earned cash and redistributes it to the “moochers.”
In Republican World, the word “productive” is simply code for “rich.” Republicans and their wealthy sugar daddies equate money with hard work and virtue. Because they earn more money, they believe they work harder and are more virtuous than those who earn less money. They believe that anyone who needs any kind of subsidy from the government is shiftless and lazy.
The twenty-something Ivy Leaguer who sits in front of a computer screen all day, buying and selling pieces of paper, sincerely believes he works harder than a pre-school teacher who cares for 25 toddlers during the day and pours drinks for arrogant MBAs at her second job tending bar at night. Or than the guy who picks strawberries for ten hours a day in the blazing sun. Or the nurse who empties his bedpan should he ever be so unfortunate as to become sick.
In Republican World, the waitress who works 40 hours a week for minimum wage and no health benefits is a moocher because she needs subsidized child care. The janitor who works for thirty years, gets cancer, loses his job and then his health insurance is a moocher when he’s forced to resort to Medicaid. The assembly-line worker who makes one 500th of what the CEO earns and is lucky enough to have good health benefits and a pension plan is a moocher because he’s taking money out of stockholders’ pockets.
Taking the Republican argument at face value, moochers are people who extract more value than they contribute. So when a corporate executive fails, destroys jobs and stockholder value and is rewarded with a golden parachute – what does that make him? A producer or a moocher?
Those who got laid off because of the Head Moocher’s – I mean Producer’s – incompetence are rewarded with unemployment benefits averaging $295 per week. An amount so “generous” in the eyes of the “Producers” that it is a disincentive to work. With all these disincentives – it’s a miracle that anyone works!
Republicans see themselves as clear-eyed pragmatists and Democrats as dreamy idealists who just don’t understand the real world. Yet it is Republicans who call climate change a hoax and evolution an unproven “theory.” It is Republicans who insist that universal healthcare deprives us of our freedom while indiscriminate strip searches do not. It is Republicans who, in spite of thirty years of evidence to the contrary, insist that giving more to the rich – in the form of lower taxes – helps the poor.
Republicans love the myth of the self-made man because it helps justify their unwillingness to contribute to the well being of society as a whole. In their fantasy world, all children are born with equal opportunities and if everyone doesn’t become a successful hedge fund manager – well – it’s because they didn’t have a strong enough work ethic.
“For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.” Luke 12:48