Saturday, April 20, 2013

Republicans Don’t Want Strong Economy

Here we’ve been thinking… but we’ve been dead-wrong all along! The Republicans don’t want a strong economy; they just want to protect the wealthy 3 percent in America.
by Charlie Leck

Here’s the harsh truth to which we can’t face up! Republicans don’t care whether or not we have a strong economy. The Republicans only want to make sure the very wealthy stay that way.

You just go ahead and listen to their jabber about how they want to get the economy rolling again; and how they want to create more jobs; and how they want get the nation out of debt; and how they want lower taxes.

That entire Republican claim is a bunch of horse-dung. The Republican Party has only one long-term goal and that is to protect the wealthiest of Americans – and I mean the very wealthy wealthiest – from having to pay higher rates of income taxes. They pass off this goal as something else, claiming it will help get the economy rolling again, create jobs and strengthen the middle class. In fact, it won’t do any of those things.

What America really needs to do is restructure its income tax rates. We need to go back to the drawing boards and recreate the progressive income tax rates of the 70s, 80s and 90s. The very wealthy should be paying a much higher rate of taxation.

In the 1960s, Americans making the highest incomes in the nation were paying as much as 75% of their income in taxes. Even in the 90s it was as much as 36%. Someone convinced us to lower those rates, claiming the wealthy would then invest more in business and that would provide more jobs and income for middle America. Is hasn’t worked that way at all. Instead, America’s wealthiest one percent now owns forty percent of the nation’s wealth. Do I need to repeat that? Did you catch it? One percent of Americans own forty percent of the nation’s wealth!

The progressive income tax system was formerly a staple in this nation. It has to be again. If we want to rebuild America and make it great again, everyone has to pay his or her fair share of the cost of this reconstruction.

Otherwise, we’re just on our way to becoming a very mediocre nation! Don’t blame me! I’m just the messenger.

Joseph Stiglitz, a highly respected economist and author, in an April 14, 2013 column in the New York Times, argues that the U.S. tax system is stacked against 99 percent of Americans. And, I believe he’s absolutely correct. In the end, when all things are considered, the mega-wealthy are only paying a percentage of their annual income that is equal to the amount paid by America’s vast middle class. His facts and explanation are difficult to refute – and I would say they are irrefutable.

Stiglitz points out that “…the burden for paying that price (taxes) has been distributed in increasingly unfair ways.” The economist argues that the tax system is unfair – and more bluntly put: “the very rich don’t pay their fair share.”

“The richest 400 individual taxpayers, with an average income of more than $200 million, pay less than 20 percent of their income in taxes – far lower than mere millionaires, who pay about 25 percent of their income in taxes, and about the same as those earning a mere $200,000 to $500,000. And in 2009, 116 of the top 400 earners – about a third – paid less than 15 percent of their income in taxes.”

Just for the record
Under such a system, my wife and I would pay significantly more income taxes. We’re willing. America needs to get going again if it is going to be the place in which I want my grandchildren to raise families.

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