Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby believes that the wealthy are the ones who deserve tax cuts because they are productive and poor people are not.
The Republican tax scheme to give handouts to billionaires and corporations at the expense of millions of working families is increasingly unpopular — so much so that the GOP delayed the release of their draft bill.
The richest Americans and corporations have grown even richer over the past few decades, while the middle and working have seen their earnings stagnate. So writing news laws to favor the 1 percent makes no sense from either an economic, fiscal, or moral perspective.
But according to the Hill, GOP Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama has a simple reason why he believes that giving tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy is important.
"People with money save money, create jobs, create risk," he said. "People with no money — I’ve been there — create nothing."
Shelby is essentially saying the poor are economically useless, whereas the wealthy make valuable contributions to society and therefore deserve even more money.
This is a common myth perpetrated by Republicans, and aside from being morally repugnant, it is not even correct. Consumer spending — most of which is driven by poor and middle class households — is a huge driver of economic growth.
Moreover, tax cuts for the rich historically trigger cuts to essential public services that give poor and working families the income security to buy what rich people create. Republicans have acknowledged this by adding huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in the bill that authorized their tax scheme.
Letting children and the elderly go without health care is as pointless and counterproductive for economic growth as it is morally indefensible.
If Shelby truly has “been there” and faced economic hardship, he ought to understand that even back then, he was important to the economy, and the nation. As are the millions of struggling families he is so quick to dismiss.