Joe Biden parachuted into the heart of Detroit on Wednesday, a Democratic city suffering under a 20 percent unemployment rate, the nation’s worst public schools, a federal-welfare-induced implosion of the nuclear family, violent gangs of fatherless young men, and labor unions whose fat contracts have brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy.
“Four more years!” chanted the crowd.
Needless to say, the mixed audience of suburbanite party activists and unionistas bused in to Renaissance Public High School’s auditorium (schools don’t open to students until after Labor Day) to cheer Obama-Biden 2012 don’t have to live in the mean streets that their liberal programs have created. So Biden didn’t dwell on the misery outside the school where 220 people have been murdered already this year. Indeed, Biden didn’t mention gritty Detroit reality all.
Instead, Biden gave the packed high school auditorium a lesson in Class Warfare 101.
“Why are they doing all this?” said Biden of a Romney-Ryan team he warned is coming to steal your Medicaid, Medicare, and school aid. “To provide massive tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Lesson one, trash your opponent. Lesson two, trash the facts.” A half trillion (in tax cuts) will go to 120,000 families,” scared Biden. “The average middle class family will see their taxes go up $2000 a year.”
This is a lie.
Romney’s actual proposal is an across the board 20 percent rate cut for anyone who pays income taxes. So from top earners (from 35 to 28 percent rate) right down to the bottom (from 10 to 8), everyone gets the same cut. The plan stays revenue neutral by reducing or eliminating tax deductions and loopholes (as in Reagan’s successful tax reform of 1986). Where does Biden get the $2000 figure? “This is real,” he told the audience defensively. No, he simply made it up.
Michigan’s media gaffe-police took all this with a collective yawn. “Biden didn’t offer up any overt verbal oddities,” reported the liberal Detroit Free Press, satisfied that the speech contained no “chain” diversions while ignoring its uncivil tone and serial untruths.
Biden continued to bash the rich as schemers that outsource jobs, don’t pay enough taxes, and “have bank accounts in the Cayman Islands” — the irony of which is that the rich are all Detroit has left. Were it not for massive investments in downtown Detroit by Detroit millionaires like Ilitch, Penske, and Gilbert in the last decade, Detroit would be even worse off. Yet, Biden’s approach is to create more resentment for these men, forcing them to send more money to Washington – and leaving them with less with which to grow Detroit.
“We’re going to rebuild the middle class,” Biden concluded. But the result of his party’s policies in Detroit has meant an emptying-out of the middle-class. Detroit lost a staggering 25 percent of its population in the last decade as the black middle class followed the white and ethnic middle class into neighboring, Republican-run, low-tax, low-crime Oakland County.
And that, class, is Economics 101.
(Henry Payne is editor of The Michigan View. Originally posted on The Michigan View.)