Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tax the Rich without Representation

Since 1978 the Economic Policy Institute reports that CEO compensation — after inflation — has soared by 759.3 percent. The average U.S. worker's pay hike over that same period was just 5.7 percent. Now half of all Americans earn less than $26,363 a year. CEOs are now averaging $13 million every year.

See the executive scorecard at TooMuchOnLine. Click here for the FREE complete report.

And where is all their money going? See The Vain Pursuits Of The Super Rich. Among the honored vainglorious: Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos (net worth $18.4 billion) who is bankrolling the construction of a clock that’s designed to keep ticking for 10,000 years. To keep rain, snow, earthquakes, nuclear war, and other irritants from gumming up the clockworks, Bezos is having his timepiece buried in a mountainside. One nice touch: The clock will be programmed to have a cuckoo play every millennium.

I told you...many of the ultra-wealthy ARE cuckoo!

And if you want to know why American voters are ignorant about the tax rates, read this article. It still amazes me how little they know about how little the wealthy pay as a percent of their enormous incomes....yet they feel obligated to offer an opinion on the subject. Or worse, to vote on the matter! (See all the links within this article too).

But even today, with our historically low tax rates, rich Americans are still evading taxes -- AND they're also abandoning this country by renouncing their U.S. citizenships -- ever since a crackdown on tax evasion four years ago. And other multi-millionaires like Bill O'Reilly calls these "job creators" patriots, and people like me pinheads. Give me a break Bill!

The Financial Times has labeled these people the "stateless and super rich". These uber-wealthy have no interest in the notoriety of renunciation, they just live their lives as if they had no nation to call their own. “The more money you have,” explains Jeremy Davidson, a property consultant, “the more rootless you become because everything is possible.”

I wish Mister O'Reilly would leave the country.

Just how many potential stateless super rich are currently roaming the world? Late last year, the Singapore-based Wealth-X consulting firm put the overall number of global ultra wealthy worth at least $500 million at about 4,650. These super rich together hold an estimated $6.25 trillion in assets.

Linda McQuaig, a prominent Canadian columnist, and Neil Brooks, a Toronto law school tax expert, have covered this ground in their 2010 book, The Trouble with Billionaires. McQuaig and Neil Brooks have titled their latest book on the super rich the Billionaires’ Ball.

McQuaig and Brooks convincingly point out that billionaires don’t create great wealth, they divert it. Billionaires don’t deserve great wealth because the have skimmed their fortunes off treasure “built up by the collective effort of generations.” And I would also add, people like the Walton's and Wal-Mart, who made their money off the backs of slave laborers.

Over the last three decades right-wingers have labored relentlessly to position taxes as an abominable “assault on freedom", "punishing success", and waging class war on the "job creators".

McQuaig and Brooks close their new Billionaires’ Ball with a rundown of the tax changes needed to realize this long-lost conservative vision. They propose, among other initiatives, a 70 percent tax on both annual income over $2.5 million and inheritances over $25 million -- and the end to preferential tax treatment for income from dividends and capital gains. (Read: How the 1% bilks the 99%)

Tax changes alone, the two co-authors acknowledge, won’t clean up all the messes our billionaires have created. But taxes remain the key. A substantial recasting of the tax code has “the capacity to reduce inequality much more quickly and decisively” than any other step we can possibly take.

A lot faster that refunding the NPR or Planned Parenthood.

So let’s get to it now!


  1. President Obama: Would you consider signing an executive order branding wealthy American citizens traitors for renouncing their U.S. citizenship to dodge taxes, then freeze their U.S. assets and forbid them from returning to this country - - - even for medical care?

  2. Facebook co-founder renounces U.S. citizenship before selling stock to save a fortune in taxes.