Republicans don’t even bother to hide their contempt for the poor anymore

The Republicans have the votes to pass the big tax giveaways to the rich that they have long been salivating over. It has always been thus but at least in the past, they tried to create a façade of how these moves would also help the poor and middle class, though they could not maintain that pretense as well as some Democrats, especially Bill Clinton who was a master at the game of catering to the oligarchy while acting like he was a champion of the poor.

While some Republicans make a feeble attempt at resurrecting the bankrupt idea of trickle down economics and claiming that the added wealth of the rich would result in more jobs for the rest, most do not even try anymore, as this post by Erik Loomis on the website Lawyers, Guns, and Money illustrates, where he quotes Republican senators Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley as they openly express their utterly contemptuous view of the poor as being a bunch of moochers and freeloaders.

Here’s Hatch:

“I believe in helping those who cannot help themselves, but would if they could. I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves – won’t lift a finger – and expect the federal government to do everything,”

And here’s Grassley:

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

Yes, these people really believe that wealth signifies virtue, irrespective of the fact that most wealthy people became so by accident of birth, and they think that the rest of us are living off their efforts.


  1. says

    And then Grassley’s “clarification” was such a joke (sorry, I’m not taking the time right now to dig up a link, but I saw it posted in the Guardian). Oh, he was trying to make the point that the government shouldn’t be able to just take the fruits of one’s labors after they are dead.
    Huh? How does that connect to people who are living? (I doubt he was talking about dead people boozing it up, and, if he was…that’s a major concern itself.) If anything, his comment is an argument FOR the government collecting those fruits because you wouldn’t want an alternative where their children get those fruits instead and use it for booze, etc.
    As an Iowan, I know some people around this state found it really interesting that he threw movies in his list. It was also assumed he meant “prostitutes” by women.

  2. says

    spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.

    Movies? Okaaaay. Most people spend their money on keeping an intact roof over their head, food, and if they have sprogs, silly stuff like trying to keep them clothed and educated. Gosh, a movie might even sneak into the unrelenting grimness of trying to come up with a few dollars each month to stuff into a savings account. That’s just evil, ennit?

  3. Jockaira says

    Hatch complains that millions of low-income and otherwise poor people sit back and depend on the federal government to supply relief from their unfortunate situations, but isn’t this what the wealthy and rich have been doing for years as they hire tax lawyers and accountants to take advantage of cutouts, work-arounds, and other loopholes available by federal subsidy to fatten their incomes and estates? Only a Republican could be so blind or hypocritically ignorant to these facts.

    (from an ex-Republican)

  4. smrnda says

    There was a funny article on the ‘estate tax booze and women’ comment that pointed out how many hundreds of thousands of bottles of booze you could decide to go without in order to be eligible.

    I also get pretty sick of the idea that poor people are not working. Many of them work far harder than the people who have more money than them, and when they are working less than that, it’s often for lack of full time opportunities. The whole move towards irregular, on demand scheduling is so that businesses can make more money at the expense of workers.

    And then, it’s pretty ridiculous for wealthy people to complain that poor people aren’t eagerly working hard at jobs the rich people would never touch. If someone actually did want to just collect a handout instead of working at some shit job, why should they be grateful for some ‘opportunity’ that so many consider beneath them?

    On inheritances, how is an inheritance not just a handout? Don’t conservatives hate the idea of people getting handouts they didn’t earn? At least government handouts are means tested.

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