By Andy Schmookler
Bob Goodlatte's campaign manager has accused me of waging a campaign of "class warfare." This tired old accusation provides a clear view of the moral bankruptcy of the politics practiced by Bob Goodlatte and the gang that's hijacked the once-great Republican Party.
Yes, there's class warfare going on in America. And billionaire Warren Buffett hit the nail on the head when he said not long ago, "There's class warfare, all right. But it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."
Whose version of this "class warfare" problem is right--Goodlatte's or Buffett's? I know that today's Republican Party doesn't like for evidence to be brought in to test their claims. But I am putting Mr. Goodlatte on notice: the era of getting away with just making things up is over.
Here's what the evidence shows: In the past generation, the richest of the rich have tripled their share of the nation's wealth (from 8 % to nearly 25 %), while 90 % of Americans have been losing ground, and the middle class is getting hollowed out.
Republican policies have played a huge role in this upward redistribution of wealth. And Bob Goodlatte is continuing to work to widen the gulf between the richest and the rest still further.
Twice Goodlatte has voted for the Ryan budget, which would gut Medicare and shift costs onto seniors (taking another $6500 per year, on average, out of the pockets of older Americans), and cutting other programs that help average Americans--and all to give yet another tax break to the richest, who are already paying at their lowest rate in 80 years.
Who benefits from the tax policies Mitt Romney, Bob Goodlatte, and the other Republicans are now running on? You guessed it: big bucks for those who already have the most, and greater pain for those who have less.
That's the class warfare in America today! Goodlatte is supporting Reverse Robin Hood politics.
What kind of people want to take from those who have less to give to those who already have the most? These are the people Bob Goodlatte chooses to serve.
What I'm saying here isn't about envy. This isn't about resenting success. This is about basic fairness. It's about how the power of money in our politics has stacked the deck against average Americans, and robbed them of their fair share of the fruits of their labors.
What do you call people who accuse others of the sins of which they themselves are guilty?
Let's hope that the time is over where hypocrisy and deception are the ticket to political success.
Andy Schmookler is the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia's 6th District.