Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Socialism for white people – Political Orphans

Image result for home mortgage interest tax deductionImage result for home mortgage interest tax deduction
Middle class and working class people (to use inadequate prevailing terms), especially if they're white see their government benefits as no burden.  My home mortgage interest deduction is not a cost - just a break from supporting "them"; same for my untaxed health insurance ).   Those are just earned benefits - not like those Section 8 and food stamp payments to the lazy, etc. Chris Ladd, a conservative refugee from the GOP views it in highly racialized terms - which I think are mostly right since the `middle class' is mostly white and we are now suffering from a white voters uprising.  - gwc
Socialism for white people – Political Orphans
by Chris Ladd
*** When it seems like people are voting against their interests, you have probably failed to understand their interests. We cannot begin to understand this election until we understand the power and reach of socialism for white people.
Like most of my neighbors I have a good job in the private sector. Ask my neighbors about the cost of the welfare programs they enjoy and you will be greeted by baffled stares. All that we have is “earned” and we have no use for government support. Nevertheless, taxpayers fund our retirement saving, health insurance, primary, secondary, and advanced education, daycare, commuter costs, and even our mortgages at a staggering public cost. Socialism for white people is all-enveloping, benevolent, invisible, and entirely reserved for the “deserving.”
My family’s health insurance costs about $20k a year, of which we pay only $4k. The rest is subsidized by taxpayers. You read that right. Like virtually everyone else on my block who isn’t old enough for Medicare or employed by the government, my family is covered by private health insurance subsidized by taxpayers at a stupendous public cost. Well over 90% of White households earning over the white median income (about $75k) almost universally carried health insurance even before the Affordable Care Act. White socialism is nice.
Companies can deduct 100% of the cost of their employees’ health insurance. That results in roughly a $500bn annual transfer of funds from the state and federal treasuries to insurers to provide coverage for the Americans least in need of assistance. America pays about as much to subsidize my private healthcare as we spend annually on Medicaid. This is one of the defining features of white socialism, the most generous benefits go to those who are best suited to provide for themselves. Those benefits are not limited to health care.
When I buy a house for my family, or a vacation home, the interest I pay on the mortgage is deductible up to a million dollars of debt. That costs the treasury about $75bn a year, about what we spend to fund the food stamp program. My retirement savings are also tax deductible, diverting another $75bn from government revenues. Other tax preferences carve out special treatment for child care expenses, college savings, commuter costs (your suburban tax credit), local taxes, and other exemptions.
By funding government programs with tax credits rather than spending, we create an enormous social safety net that grows ever more generous as household incomes rise. It is important to note though that you need not be wealthy to participate. All you need to gain access to socialism for white people is a good corporate or government job. That fact helps explain how this welfare system took shape sixty years ago, why it was originally (and still overwhelmingly) white, and why Trump voters backed their candidate instead of Bernie Sanders. Blue collar voters are not interested in democratic socialism. They want to restore their access to a more generous and dignified program of white socialism.
In the years after World War II, the western democracies that had not already done so adopted universal social safety net programs. These included health care, retirement and other benefits. President Truman introduced his plan for universal health coverage in 1945. It would have worked much like Social Security, imposing a tax to fund a universal insurance pool. His plan went nowhere.***

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