27 replies [Last post]
SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1772
Obamanomics
JTapia wrote:
Can't wait for this one. I'll be sitting on my hands !! Yes

Ok, here goes. The following best displays my view on taxes and wealth distribution. My belief as the following article displays is that first Reagan 'trickle down' economics and the Bush tax cuts actually take away from hard working middle class Americans and give money to people who don't need it other then to provide fatter wills to pass down to their children.

For the life of me I can't understand how the party that has a great majority of people who espouse the ideals and standards of the Bible don't want to help their fellow man to elevate their position in life, but would rather pass money to insanely wealthy people who really don't need anymore.

Any way the following article sums up my position quite well.

The link: http://www.uvm.edu/~sgutman/Economic_Inequality_in_the_US.html

"Economic Inequality in U.S."
July 1, 2002

Huck Gutman

Like those magicians whose hand is quicker than the eye, the acolytes of American capitalism make arguments that are fascinating - and deceptive. The historian Francis Fukuyama, darling of American bankers and industrialists and conservative politicians, famously proclaimed "the end of history". What he was referring to was the uncontested victory of capitalism as the now dominant motor force of societies all over the globe.
There is no question that the United States is, by far, the wealthiest nation in the world; there seems little doubt that it, with its system of corporate capitalism, has amassed such a sheer abundance of material goods and productive capacity that it can lay claim to being the wealthiest nation in the history of humankind. What Fukuyama, and George Bush, and Bill Clinton before him (though the latter less so) do not pronounce nearly so boldly - they actually do not pronounce it at all - is who owns this wealth. Or, in more traditional economic terminology, they do not dwell on the manner in which this wealth is distributed.

In the United States today, the wealthiest one per cent of the population owns more than the bottom 95 per cent.

The United States has the greatest disparity of wealth in the entire industrialized world. That fact is a national disgrace, though it is largely invisible both in the media, and in the endless accolades about the wonders of capitalism. While America seems to be enjoying a banquet of unbelievable richness, most Americans do not get a full plate, and a remarkable number go hungry.

In the last quarter of a century when the United States moved from global power to global behemoth, a quarter of a century in which American corporations reaped huge profits while spreading their power and influence all over the globe, American workers made no gains. None. The wages of American workers have, since 1978, been flat or declining.

This may be hard to believe for those abroad who see, on television and in movies, Americans driving sports utility vehicles and living in well-appointed houses. But the economic reality is that increases in the standard of living - and many families have seen such increases - have come almost entirely because women have entered the work force in huge numbers, and households which formerly depended on one wage earner now depend on two. Child care, home management, cooking, today are not part of the work day, but in addition to it.

It is not only this increase in the invisible, unpaid work hours that accounts for the ability of many American families to maintain their standard of living. American workers today work longer hours than workers in any other industrialized nation, even hard-working Japan. Harvard economist Juliet Schor reported that the average American works an additional 163 hours, or one month a year, more than the workers did in 1969. American workers get less vacation time than in any other nation.

Let me repeat: the wealthiest one per cent of the population owns more than the bottom 95 per cent. There are three causes for this monstrous maldistribution of wealth: capitalism, government, and pay.

The first is obvious. Capitalism depends on capital, and some members of society have a lot more of it than others. So the in-built tendency of capitalism is to reward those who have capital, which in less technical terms means that those with money tend to see their wealth grow much faster than those who have no money. The rich get richer is a fundamental corollary of capitalist dynamics.

There are two ways of suppressing this tendency toward increasing concentration of wealth. One, obviously, is taxes; the other is government spending. Taxes support public services and government functions, but they have, always, another function. Taxes redistribute income. Governments take money from people via taxes, and they also give money back to people, via social programs. Who the government takes money from, how much it takes, and what it spends the money on: these are decisions with redistributive consequences.

With the exception of a Clinton tax increase on the wealthy in 1993, the major tax changes since 1978 - an era in which Republicans Ronald Reagan and the two Bushes (father and son) were president a majority of the time - redistributed wealth upward. That is, larger tax breaks went to the wealthy than went to ordinary citizens. In fact, while taxes on the rich were reduced in a multitude of ways, the non-progressive social security tax for federally-funded pensions and the medicare tax for health care for senior citizens, took ever more dollars from working people.

How egregious this tax policy has been can be seen, dramatically, from the single most important initiative of Mr. George W. Bush's presidency. Elected by a minority of voters only after shenanigans in the courts, Mr. Bush insisted that what the country wanted and what the economy needed was a huge tax cut. He proposed, and then rammed through the Republican Congress, a tax bill which redistributed money from social services into the pockets of the wealthy.

The wealthiest one per cent of the population will rake in 52 per cent of the tax benefits when the cuts are fully operative. In the next ten years, the new tax plan will divert an astounding $500 billion out of federal coffers and into the bank accounts of those who earn over $375,000 a year. Diverting this money to the wealthy has moved the US government into deficit.

Accordingly, the president and his Republican allies in the Congress are loathe to provide money for education, housing, health care, and other services which working people and the poor depend on. Not only are the rich made richer, the poor and even the middle class will see cuts in what they receive from the government. Redistribution two ways, in a country where the disparity of wealth is already so great that in the world's richest nation, over sixteen per cent of children live in poverty.

Capitalism favors the rich, and in America tax policies have been skewed to take from the working people and give to the wealthy.

The third cause of the huge wealth gap between the rich and the great mass of ordinary Americans, is pay.

In the United States today, according to the authoritative publication, Business Week, the CEOs of large corporations earn, in salary and other compensation, five hundred times what their average workers make. Put in less arithmetical terms, they earn in slightly over half a day what their workers earn in an entire year. As the recent debacles of Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing, Adelphia Networks and others have revealed, corporate executives have been running their companies for the sole purpose of enriching themselves. And rich they have become.

While greed has been the operative guiding principle for corporate executives - and their bankers, their accountants, their investment advisers - American workers have seen hard times. Over the last four years, a total of 2 million factory jobs have been lost - ten per cent of the manufacturing workforce, which is the best-paying sector of the American economy. The executives who reward themselves so handsomely (the CEO of pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck received over $250 million for one year's compensation) nonetheless cry in outrage at any mention in a rise in the minimum wage, currently at $5.15 an hour.

Since 1979 the minimum wage, in inflation-adjusted dollars, has dropped 21 per cent. In the same period, corporate executives were under no such restraint: in 1980, CEOs made 45 times as much as their workers, while last year they made 531 times what their workers made.

Wages have been flat, the minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation and, to make matters worse, well-paying jobs have declined while low paying service-sector jobs have increased dramatically. Worse, in the last half-century concentrated efforts by business and the corporate media have combined to undermine unions and union-organizing activities. While in 1954, 34.7 per cent of American workers were unionized, currently only 13.9 per cent of the workers belong to a labor union. This too drives wages downward.

It bears repeating, for a third time: In the United States, the wealthiest one per cent of the population owns more than the bottom 95 per cent. It would seem that capitalism is scarcely triumphant, except for those who are at the top of the pile. It is not even the case that, as capitalist apologists always seem to claim, a rising tide lifts all boats, for as we have just seen, the evidence reveals that wages have been flat and wealth share declining for a majority of American workers.

The Americans are, in general, hardworking and generous people. But the maldistribution of wealth, and the Republican effort to continue - with Democratic connivance - the wealth shift, has painful consequences. For all the appearance of material prosperity, Americans often live with large reservoirs of economic anxiety and unfocussed political anger. Economic injustice is the great unacknowledged specter which haunts American society. And this injustice is, sadly, increasing.

The writer is a professor at the University of Vermont in the U.S.A, and co-author, with Representative Bernie Sanders, of Outsider in the House [Verso].

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1772
Obamanomics

What really gets me are those repubs who fall in the middle class wage earning bracket. The repub tax cuts for the wealthy actually hurt them as they are paying higher health care costs, higher gas prices, working longer hours with no pay increases, and yet they support a repub plan that hurts them. They have convinced themselves that a Democratic tax plan would only take money out of their pockets and give it to a fat welfare ghetto minority or poor white trailer trash scumbag. That is all they see instead of the truth which is they will benefit and get to keep more of their money.

I can understand a person who makes over 300,000 a year or a corporate CEO supporting and being a repub as it will definitely keep more money in their already fat pockets.

The thing with taxes is I don't mind some of my money going to the things we all need like infrastructure roads, hospitals, services, police and other protection agencies, we all benefit from them even the wealthy. I also don't mind some of my tax dollars going to help feed children who come from very poor backgrounds or educate them or to the elderly who may have worked hard all their lives, but are struggling in their final years.

Again, I must honestly say for a party that has a large base built on a religious platform I don't understand how so many of them can turn a blind eye to one segment of their Brethren who is hurting and needs it and instead give more to those that don't. It baffles me.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5728
Obamanomics
SoCoKHntr wrote:
What really gets me are those repubs who fall in the middle class wage earning bracket. The repub tax cuts for the wealthy actually hurt them as they are paying higher health care costs, higher gas prices, working longer hours with no pay increases, and yet they support a repub plan that hurts them. They have convinced themselves that a Democratic tax plan would only take money out of their pockets and give it to a fat welfare ghetto minority or poor white trailer trash scumbag. That is all they see instead of the truth which is they will benefit and get to keep more of their money.

I can understand a person who makes over 300,000 a year or a corporate CEO supporting and being a repub as it will definitely keep more money in their already fat pockets.

The thing with taxes is I don't mind some of my money going to the things we all need like infrastructure roads, hospitals, services, police and other protection agencies, we all benefit from them even the wealthy. I also don't mind some of my tax dollars going to help feed children who come from very poor backgrounds or educate them or to the elderly who may have worked hard all their lives, but are struggling in their final years.

Again, I must honestly say for a party that has a large base built on a religious platform I don't understand how so many of them can turn a blind eye to one segment of their Brethren who is hurting and needs it and instead give more to those that don't. It baffles me.

You make OK points here, but why should I, as someone who has worked hard to get a good job, and bring home $130,000 in combination with my wife, give it to the less needy? I am not saying I won't, as I am a Christian, and believe in helping out the "hurting". However, whose place is it to tell me who I help? I don't believe the government should take my money to give to a mother of 5, who still goes out and buys cig's and alcohol, but can't feed her kids. Or that I should give it to a program to give clean needles to drug addicts. I give through my church, because I believe in the programs they support.

I work for my money, as do alot of the "rich" people ot there. Alot of the "hurting" people are lazy, and like to suck at the government teet. Do they all??? No. And I have no problem helping those people, just not a blanket assistance program for all. Just because someone works their but off all their career to better their lives, does not give you or the government the right to take it and "redistribute the wealth"....

I believe I know how to spend my money better than the government does.

And sorry, but the government here in CA actually does give it to a fat welfare ghetto minority or poor white trailer trash scumbags........

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1772
Obamanomics
Ca_Vermonster wrote:
SoCoKHntr wrote:
What really gets me are those repubs who fall in the middle class wage earning bracket. The repub tax cuts for the wealthy actually hurt them as they are paying higher health care costs, higher gas prices, working longer hours with no pay increases, and yet they support a repub plan that hurts them. They have convinced themselves that a Democratic tax plan would only take money out of their pockets and give it to a fat welfare ghetto minority or poor white trailer trash scumbag. That is all they see instead of the truth which is they will benefit and get to keep more of their money.

I can understand a person who makes over 300,000 a year or a corporate CEO supporting and being a repub as it will definitely keep more money in their already fat pockets.

The thing with taxes is I don't mind some of my money going to the things we all need like infrastructure roads, hospitals, services, police and other protection agencies, we all benefit from them even the wealthy. I also don't mind some of my tax dollars going to help feed children who come from very poor backgrounds or educate them or to the elderly who may have worked hard all their lives, but are struggling in their final years.

Again, I must honestly say for a party that has a large base built on a religious platform I don't understand how so many of them can turn a blind eye to one segment of their Brethren who is hurting and needs it and instead give more to those that don't. It baffles me.

You make OK points here, but why should I, as someone who has worked hard to get a good job, and bring home $130,000 in combination with my wife, give it to the less needy? I am not saying I won't, as I am a Christian, and believe in helping out the "hurting". However, whose place is it to tell me who I help? I don't believe the government should take my money to give to a mother of 5, who still goes out and buys cig's and alcohol, but can't feed her kids. Or that I should give it to a program to give clean needles to drug addicts. I give through my church, because I believe in the programs they support.

I work for my money, as do alot of the "rich" people ot there. Alot of the "hurting" people are lazy, and like to suck at the government teet. Do they all??? No. And I have no problem helping those people, just not a blanket assistance program for all. Just because someone works their but off all their career to better their lives, does not give you or the government the right to take it and "redistribute the wealth"....

I believe I know how to spend my money better than the government does.

And sorry, but the government here in CA actually does give it to a fat welfare ghetto minority or poor white trailer trash scumbags........

Appreciate your input and would just like to add for a lot of those ghetto or trailer lazy skum getting handouts and a bottle of cheap booze and cigs there are corporate CEO's that have screwed companies into the ground where their workers have lost everything and they have been bailed out by corporate welfare to the tune of hundreds of thousands.

There's a a lot of subsidies, tax breaks, corporate welfare, where a lot of money has gone for people who don't need it other then to keep them living a life of luxury.

Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
Posts: 723
Obamanomics

Vermonster empathise you are caught right in the crunch zone. You make plenty enough to tax but nowhere near enough to get the benefits of the big redistribution of the past three decades. You should at least be thankfull that you aren't making less.

By your income bracket you pay the full amount of payroll taxes and also make enought to pay income tax. Probably you and your spouse work. Most people in your income range do. Here in the US we tax workers heaviest. If you only had a trust fund things would be better, capital gains taxes are less, especially if managed well.

If you feel as if you are being taxed heavily, well that's because you are. You have been given tax breaks but other taxes have risen to take thier places. Especially property and sales taxes. Roads need to be repaired, schools built, police and firefighters hired.

The folks who have really done well are the point one percenters(0.1%). Those who average just under ten million a year. Under the combined tax cuts they averaged over $500, 000 per year savings, while at the same time thier income doubled. The stock market has done well, and American efficiency keeps increasing, while wages remain stagnant. There hasn't been a better time to be rich since the beginning of the last century.

I would caution you though not to blame those living off the fat of the land. I live in a blue collar town. I've never heard of anyone except old people collecting any sort of government assistance. Everyone here works also. Often they work spit shifts so one is always home with the kids. Many work two jobs. Every month or so I read in the paper about a benefit pot luck for someone who has cancer. Health care if they have it often isn't enough. I don't know how they do it.

I too don't like where much of my tax money goes. But I pay all I owe . I feel an obligation to the social contract and I figure I owe. I work hard too, and have invested wisely, but when it comes right down to it I've also just been incredibly lucky. My neighbors work hard but luck hasn't shined on them so brightly, and also they like you have been paying for those point oh one percenters. Do you have a good CPA?

MIght be time to change tax code.

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Obamanomics

I've lived on food stamps and had kids in Head Start. So don't make generalizations about what Republicans think of lower economic status.

The fact is that 86 percent of all federal income tax is collected by the top 25 percent of wage earners. 97 percent is paid by the top 50 percent. You can't cut taxes on the poor because they're not paying them in the first place.

I'm proud to have worked my way into middle class status. But I'm also keenly aware of the plight of the poor, because I've been there. I'm all about giving someone a helping hand, because it helped me. However, when I was down there I saw a lot of people who were taking their checks, leaving their kids with friends, and heading to the bar for a couple days. Then they'd come back, pick up their kids, and go hock their belongings at a pawn shop to live on until the next check came in. When the check came, they'd ask someone to watch the kids again, go buy their stuff back, and go on a bender again.

I've done bus duty on the Head Start bus and had to take kids back to school at the end of the route because the parents weren't home on welfare payday. I've known people who didn't want to seek work because the income gain wasn't worth the energy cost and loss of benefits. I'm not saying it's the rule, but it happens. There's a difference between helping someone out of a bad situation and making it easier for them to stay there. We need to have programs that invest in people to help them become tax generators, rather than enabling them to keep being tax consumers.

Offline
Location: Virginia
Joined: 12/06/2007
Posts: 45
Obamanomics

New to this thread and just have a few question:

What are their stances on hunting and gun control?

Who supports the mass murder of babies?

Who has experience?

What change is BHO talking about? Fiedel talked about change when he ran the frist time in Cuba.

1st three i know most of the answers to the last one no one can tell me just that he is for change.