Monday, March 26, 2012

Why It's Even More Critical to Turn The Tax Code Around

Top: The richest 1% will enjoy even more lavish 'chocolate scrubs' and rose wine wraps at special luxury enclaves as the rest of us (bottom) pack bread lines....if the GOP candidate gets in and enacts even more regressive tax cuts!

Even as I showed in a previous blog the extent to which Paul Ryan's new, regressive taxation budget will send this nation permanently into the dumpster, newly released statistics disclose the extent to which massive inequality has become entrenched since Bush Jr's original tax cuts implemented in 2001. This new data, culled from American tax returns by the French economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, shows that in 2010 an astonishing 93 percent of the additional income created in the country went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers.

What about the 99%? They were left sucking salt and pounding sand, financially, as the wealthy parasites bled off them. To be specific, the bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay (0.001%) per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation! This is compared to an 11.6 percent increase in income, for the top 1 percent, whose average income is $1,019,089.

As grossly reprehensible as this is, and any person ought to be rightfully outraged even if you ARE a member of these elite groups, 37 percent of all the additional earnings for the same year went to just the top 0.01 percent! These comprised a teaspoon-size collection of about 15,000 households with average incomes of $23.8 million. Is there something seriously wrong with this picture or what? Is there something seriously defective in our tax code or what?

If the preceding stats aren't enough to make the 99 percent stark raving mad I don't know what will. If it isn't enough to cause them to think five or ten times before voting for a Mitt Romney (who plans to double down on these iniquitous tax policies) I don't know what will. In any case, given these new statistics disclosing the horrific extent to which regressive taxes have shattered this nation, I can't imagine any true ninety-niney percenter voting for a Republican presidential candidate this year, no matter what the beefs with Obama.

The French investigation uncovered that nearly all the inequitable numbers derived from the insane financial policies of the Bush II years, particularly the Glenn Hubbard-designed Bush tax cuts. Among other things, they gave the wealthiest a mere 15 percent tax on capital gains and dividends, much lower than many middle income Americans pay in their regular earnings' taxes. In addition, the 2001 Bush-Hubbard cuts rewarded each of the top 1-percenters with the equivalent of a new Lexus each year, and rewarded each of the top 0.01 percenters with the equivalent of 1 new yacht.

No wonder the rest of us are drowning in debt, can't catch up and are at most treading water in a corrupt economy that rewards the pirates, piranhas and parasites even more. The only thing that caused the tax regressives and austerity mongers to back off a bit was the Occupy Wall Street movement which drew needed attention to the inequality. Clearly, we need the OWS movement to be revived again to drive back any more extensions of the Bush tax cuts. And, if that means the middle class must get no cuts to ensure the richest don't fucking be it.

The saddest thing, is that if the Repukes get into office, they promise to ratchet up the inequality even more, by allowing even lower taxes for the wealthiest. They say, like Romney and Ryan, "Oh but we shall cut your total tax rate to only 10%!" But what they don't say is that unlike the wealthiest, those middle earners must still pay the FICA (payroll taxes) of 6.2% and often large local, state taxes as well, so that they end up....again....much worse off tax dollar for tax dollar than the richest (who often use trusts to protect their assets, wealth).

Let's hope the 99 percent Americans wake up before it's too late, and push for the changes we need in our tax system before it's totally co-opted by the wealthiest - who will then also demand severe cuts to the few social protections, benefits remaining- including Medicare and Social Security...because there wasn't enough tax revenue to pay for them!

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