(Tom Toles)
Editorial cartoonist

This isn’t complicated. The rich only want their fair share. Since their view is that they create all of the wealth, the fairness issue is quite simple to them. Their goal is to have all of the wealth. Their interim strategy is to get more of it.

How do we know this? Actually, we don’t know it. You could read this story and see that’s what’s happening, but the information doesn’t seem to register. People think that the rich have always been around and always have more money. People can’t seem to comprehend the trend line. They don’t realize that the rich have turned into a vacuum cleaner and are in the process of gathering up an ever-growing share of the money.

What people persist in thinking is that the poorest American are somehow the ones cleaning up. And they are, but only in the sense of being the cleaning staff for the rich, and being paid subsistence wages in an ever-decreasing share of the economy. Look at the graph.

So, in the light, or rather darkness, of this data showing that the rich get richer, and richer, and are eating all the pie while for the rest of us it’s let-them-eat-cake, we have just had yet another spasm of … what? Of tax cuts for the rich! That’s right! Your unduly elected representatives have studied the data and decided this: In an era when the rift in resources is tearing the country apart, the rich do not yet have a large enough share. Their historic “simplification” of the tax code was a bacchanalia of additional complications serving to sluice a new river of wealth unto the wealthy. The simplicity part consisted only in the objective: MORE money for the rich.

Where do they get ideas like this? Um, from the rich! Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) put it out there in crisp, clear terms when he said, “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’ ” Can it get any plainer? And what did the honorable Rep. Collins do after receiving this threat? He served his masters. He in effect told us that the rich call the tune, the tune is more money for them, and the chorus is how money controls voting, and now they will have even more money.

And of course, the flip side now is that the tax cuts create a hole in the budget, and the hole will be used to make the poor and middle class poorer! Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are already sharpening steel to cut Medicare and Medicaid, added to their never-ending efforts to slice away Obamacare and replace it with nothing. Can your Social Security be far behind?

In summary, the rich get richer and thereby more powerful. The rest get poorer and thereby less powerful.

Tax simplification couldn’t get any simpler!