“If we succumb to this view that our problems are bigger than we are — if we surrender more control over our economy to the governing class — then we are choosing shared scarcity over renewed prosperity and managed decline over economic growth. That’s the real class warfare that threatens us — a class of governing elites picking winners and losers and determining our destinies for us.”
Sounds purty, don’t it? Touches on all the myths about America that we like to embrace: that we’re endlessly optimistic, that we’re a classless society, that America is one vast level playing field. I’ll agree to the first (but what if it’s really denial and delusion? oh dear); but the latter two are false assertions that say a great deal about those that hold them tightly to their breasts, for all the world like a child’s blankie (and for the same purposes).
It’s not the Obama Administration or the Democrats who have picked the winners and losers this go-round, it’s the GOP when they embraced the Ryan budget. (You might recall the Ryan Budget depended on the Ryan Medicare plan, which was DOA by definition, and now stinks like three-day-old fish…and we are still talking about it. Why? Look for a later post on that.)
The GOP has decided that the poor, approximately 13 – 17% of the population and defined by HHS as a family of four with an annual income of $22,350, are beyond saving, so they’ve put their money, in the form of the Ryan Budget which slashed top tax rates, on the richest Americans. Naturally, those with the most resources will need the least help, which absolves the GOP from responsibility for figuring out ways to aleiviate poverty, that “problem” that’s bigger than we are. Give the money to the rich — it’s easier for everyone that way. (What’s the GOP definition of freedom? Not having to care about you. Or you. Or you over there.)
Here’s a graphic expression of US poverty in 2007 (the Bitch apologizes – she couldn’t find a graphic with updated poverty data). Now, if you lay that map over this nifty one from 2000, a US population density map, you get an approximate view* of the suburban- and ruralization of US poverty. The redder the area, the greater the concentration — of poverty, or people. Look at the dark orange/red areas moving west through the Rust Belt, down into the Southwest and up into the Great Plains and Mountain West. That’s exurban-small town-rural poverty.
And the Democrats are threatening a class war? The GOP’s bringing it down Main Street.
* No, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison and shouldn’t be taken as one. The Bitch would love to see both maps updated with 2010 census data, hint, hint…