Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Moment of Silence Please, so we May Mourn the Rich

The Republicans always say, "We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem", even though our population grew by 1/3, from 200 million people to 300 million, in just over the last 40 years.

When any Republican is asked about taxing millionaires and billionaires at the same tax rate as middle-class workers, the Republican's standard memorized response is, "We don't want to raise taxes on ANYBODY in this bad economy, especially on the job creators."

We've all wanted "transparency" in our government, and that last particular Republican talking point is about as clear as any statement could possibly be. The GOP doesn't want to tax the rich for any reason at all, ever. Period. No matter what. Case closed. End of story.

The economy was good before the Bush tax cuts [on capital gains] in 2003, but millionaires didn't really hire too many people back then either. So George W. Bush lowered taxes on the rich, but the millionaires still didn't hire anyone. Just the opposite had happened: 52,000 factories went overseas for cheaper labor and we lost 8 million jobs.

So instead of cutting taxes ten years ago, George W. Bush should have RAISED taxes when the economy was still "good" (according the Republican's reasoning today), but instead they lowered taxes and started two un-funded wars.

And if 2003 would have been a good time to raise taxes (if we had low unemployment and the economy was good), why didn't the Republicans propose raising taxes back then, instead of cutting them? Is there EVER a "good time" for the Republicans to tax all the personal earnings of the rich at the same rate as they tax the middle-class?

Mitt Romney earns millions of dollars every year from "investments" and pays a lower tax rate than most middle-class Americans, but how many jobs has THAT "job creator" been creating every year for the past 10 years since he left Bain Capital -- ever since he's enjoyed the low tax rates from the Bush tax cuts on his capital gains and carried interest?

Mitt Romney hasn't hired anyone, unless you count his "undocumented" and under-paid housekeepers. The Republican's reasoning today is, if we tax Mitt Romney the same as any other middle-class taxpayer, Mitt will be forced to hire less housekeepers, cooks, valets, maids, butlers, chauffeurs, and tax attorneys. Mitt won't afford to be a "job creator" any longer :(

Poor Mitt. Let's LOWER his taxes more, or not charge him ANYTHING on capital gains, just like all the Republicans are now proposing....a 0% tax rate on capital gains (And to "pay for it", we can eliminate congress all together.)

We should tax the top 1% on all their capital gains, dividends, annuities, gifts, trust funds, inheritances, and carried interest (etc.) just as we do with any other ORDINARY INCOME - - the same way the 99% is taxed on all their wages, IRA accounts, 401ks, and union pensions - - just as ALL INCOME should be taxed according to our respective tax bracket (see the chart below).

It's not "double taxation" -- all money is taxed again whenever it is transferred from one entity or person to another. Otherwise, after you got your paycheck, you should never be taxed again on your money, no matter what you buy or what you invest it in. But the GOP always likes to use that same old tired argument when we talk about corporations (details).

The Republicans claim they want to pay down our national debt and fund defense spending, but still the Republicans insist on giving BIG OIL taxpayer's hard-earned dollars for BIG GOVERNMENT subsidies - - yet the Republicans don't think that those things should be "paid for" with taxes, but with cuts to Social Security, Medicare, TANF, food stamps, and unemployment benefits. Is the GOP insane, ignorant, greedy, or all of the aforementioned?

The GOP doesn't want to raise taxes on "anyone", but only wants "you" to take all the cuts, rather than have the top 1% be taxed on their income at the same rate as you - - those special tax rates congress created just for the rich exactly 90 years ago.

Besides taxing the rich the same rate as regular wages, we should also remove the CAP on Social Security taxes for those earning over $110,000 a year in "regular wages". Everyone else pay this tax on 100% of their earnings, so why doesn't the top 1% have to? As it is now, the top 1% pays NEITHER Social Security taxes nor Medicare taxes on ANY of their capital gains income. And capital gains is how the top 1% makes most their money...stocks, bonds, dividends, (etc.), because they're not paid an hourly wage like most of us are.

If someone else earns over $34,500 a year in regular wages, they pay 25% in federal income taxes on anything over that. If they live in a rented apartment, they can't even deduct their work boots. If they own a home, they may get a one-time exemption for a capital gain if they sold the home for more than they paid for it, and lived in it long enough.

Otherwise, the only deduction you get on your taxes are the measly "standard deductions" for you and your children. Almost all other exemptions and deductions are written into the tax code to mostly benefit those in the top 1% (and larger corporations). People like Mitt Romney can pay the 15% tax rate on his capital gains (and carried interest) year after year, rather than the top marginal rate of 35% (see the chart below).

For the past 90 years this tax scam -- this unfair and inequitable means of taxation -- this preferential tax rate for the rich -- has been going on since 1921!

Commit to veto any legislation that extends the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% and sign this White House petition sponsored by Move.On.Org

- - - This is what $1 billion can buy today - - -

A $150 million mansion (The Spelling Manor in Los Angeles)

A $2.4 million sports car (2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport)

A $600 million ultra-luxury yacht (The 557-foot Eclipse)

A $60 million private jet (VistaJet RETNA), a little more than a Gulfstream G550

And to help celebrate your good fortune, a $275,000 bottle of rare champagne (Shipwrecked 1907 Heidsieck)

Why would one single human being ever want or need more than $1 billion in personal wealth in their entire lifetime? Just so that someone else could be denied food stamps because we lacked the federal tax revenues? Bill Gates has $59 billion, and Warren Buffett has $39 about a few more crumbs for the poor?

All these billionaires on the Forbes 400 List could buy one or more of everything listed above (in cash with taxes), and they would still have enough spare change left over for stuff like food, electricity, and healthcare (and no monthly bills to pay)....while we scramble every day just for basic survival.

But the Republicans don't want to raise taxes on the uber-rich at all! They lamely claim it is "punishing success" and "waging class warfare", when most of us already know that it's us that is being punished, and suffering a class war that's been waged on the middle-class by the Republicans for the past 40 years!

Last year 50% of all American workers earned less than $27,000 a year when the poverty line for a family of four was $22,314 -- but the Republicans think these people should "put more skin in the game"!

Loopholes such as carried interest and capital gains are taxed at 15%. Trust funds, SWAG investments (silver, wine, art, and gold), gifts and generation-skipping estates, annuities, interest (etc.) all get favorable tax rates for the very wealthy. They are taxed LESS than the wages you labor for, yet the top 1% is also more prone to evade income taxes too! Read my post: How the 1% bilks the 99% and tell me how much the rich are being punished.

But just for the sake of argument, let's assume the Republicans are correct. The next time you see a billionaire (if you can get close enough to one at McDonalds or Wal-Mart), please express your deep concern for them. Take a moment of your time and pause, bow your head in silence, shed a tear of grief, and then apologize to them for being so damn selfish (but whatever you do, don't make eye contact with them).

Then promise them, because they are so successful, they will never have to pay their fair share of income taxes ever again.

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1 comment:

  1. Good one Bud. I especially like the picture of the car - not that I can ever afford one of them.