Myth Four: It's poor people who are the biggest freeloaders. What's especially galling about conservative attacks on "takers" is that they focus exclusively on lower income groups and leave out all the subsidies to middle and upper income households. Yes, tax breaks for the working poor -- like the EITC -- have been expanded, but they still pale in comparison to the giveaways to better off groups. The three biggest tax breaks in FY 2014, according to Congressional Research Service, will be as follows: $164 billion for employer-provided health insurance, $162 billion for retirement savings (mainly 401ks), and $99.8 billion for the home mortgage interest deduction. Needless to say, most poor people don't benefit from these giant breaks because they don't have employer-provided health insurance, 401ks, or own homes. Meanwhile, the EITC will cost $58 billion in FY 2014.
Beating up on the economic losers is not new in America. It was popular in the late 19th century, when Social Darwinism was in vogue. But today such attacks have moved to the very heart of the conservative project.
Excerpted from DEMOS - The Policy Weblog at Freeloader Fabrications