First, some data. In the recent midterm elections, a study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that white working-class voters -- defined as those lacking a college degree, and whose jobs paid an hourly wage -- voted for the Republican over the Democrat for Congress by a whopping margin of 61 percent to 26 percent.
Got that? Good. Also, the "vast majority" of recipients of the Earned Income Tax Credit -- and remember, that credit only goes to people who earn enough money that, without it, they'd be paying income taxes -- are white, according to data collected by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Finally, the 2009 Obama stimulus package expanded the Child Tax Credit to make more working class families eligible. We don't have exact data on the racial composition of those who benefited from the expansion, but given that about half of families in poverty are white, we can extrapolate that somewhere around half of beneficiaries are white.
Still with me? Okay. Now check this out, from a New York Times article about a deal in the works that centers around making corporate tax cuts permanent:
The emerging tax legislation would make permanent 10 provisions, including an expanded research and development tax credit, which businesses and the Obama administration have wanted to make permanent for years; a measure allowing small businesses to deduct virtually any investment; the deduction for state and local sales taxes; the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college costs; deductions for employer-provided mass transit; and four different breaks for corporate and charitable giving.
Smaller measures already passed by the Senate Finance Committee, from tax breaks for car-racing tracks to benefits for racehorse owners, would be extended for one year and retroactively renewed for the current tax year.
[snip] Left off were the two tax breaks valued most by liberal Democrats: a permanently expanded earned-income credit and a child tax credit for the working poor. Friday night, Republican negotiators announced they would exclude those measures as payback for the president's executive order on immigration, saying a surge of newly legalized workers would claim the credit, tax aides from both parties said.
It's worth noting that the deal would also mean the expiration, in 2017, of tax credits that support the development of wind power because, oh noes, the oil and gas industry thinks they are unfair. Doesn't the oil and gas industry receive billions in tax breaks? Er, well, hey, look over there!
The absurd hypocrisy of that aside, think for a second about how Republicans understand payback. President Obama does something Republicans don't like on immigration, and their idea of payback is to stick it to working-class Americans who have kids, most of whom -- when we are talking about whites -- just voted to make them the majority party in both the House and the Senate. At this point, the only thing standing in the way of the loss of those tax breaks for working Americans is President Obama. Oops.
I guess the lesson of the story is: be careful who you vote for. A better lesson of the story is: Republicans are boot-licking corporate sycophants who hate working families.