Who says that Republican Congress critters don't care about minorities in our society? Why, at this very moment, they are pushing hard to pass a $372 billion federal program to lift the economic fortunes of just one minority group — a far more generous proposal than Obama has even dared to contemplate.
The focus of the GOP's generosity is a true American minority: the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of our people. Living in penthouse ghettos like Manhattan's upper east side, this tiny minority of about 120,000 people (who have an average annual income of $8 million) would get some $3 million each over the next decade from the Republican proposal. Doesn't that just make your heart bleed with empathy?
This windfall will go to the most un-needy among us if the GOP gets Congress to renew the Bush tax cuts for the super rich. Yes, the same lawmakers who have opposed even modest funding to keep schoolteachers and firefighters on the job, are wailing that we should take hundreds of billions of dollars from our public treasury and hand them to some of the richest people on the planet.
What's at work here is the narcissistic psychosis of the privileged — the delusional belief that they are entitled to special treatment because they're... well, they're rich, and therefore consider themselves to be both superior and especially deserving.
This attitude was expressed in a recent letter to the New York Times by a guy with the rather foppish name of Mr. Standish Fleming. He deplored any effort to deny these special tax giveaways to the elite, declaring that such efforts "discriminate" against the minority of wealthy and "productive" members of our society, thus rending America's "social fabric of trust and respect."
Of all the crying needs in our country today, these Republicans are wringing their hands over the "plight" of the wealthy. I don't know whether to laugh or cry!
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow. He will speak at CC's Cornerstone Arts Center on Sept. 17 (time TBD), and at a labor dinner afterward. See p. 7 for details on the latter.