Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who are the rich and do they need tax breaks?

In today's america, 1% of the population owns 42% of the wealth. What does that really mean? Well, lets look at some numbers.

There are 311,167,353 Americans today. So 1% of that is 3,111,673 Americans.

At the end of 2010, Americans owned $56.8 trillion in wealth. A trillion is one million million, 42% of that is 23.4 trillion. So if 3 million Americans owned 23.4 trillion dollars of wealth, thats an average of about 8 million a piece. Not bad huh?

So what does that leave for the rest of us? About 33 trillion. For about 308 million Americans. That averages out to about 0.1 million, or 100 thousand dollars.

8 million v. 100 thousand.

Who do YOU think we should tax?? I'll give you a hint... letting those with the most money, those who are getting the most benefit from our society NOT pay taxes is a *great* way to "go broke."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Government through Anarchy

I remember a time back when all the right wingers were shouting "No negotiating with terrorists."

Well, today they want us to negotiate with terrorists.. and they *are* the terrorists.

The republican party has apparently decided that politics through brinkmanship is the way to their ends. First they held the country hostage to a governmental shutdown, and now they are doing it again with a vote they have never opposed in the past but, if not taken now, will cause the immediate financial collapse of the government.

"These increases to the limit are a yearly occurrence. In fact, many of the Republicans who railed against this bill voted to raise the debt limit by more than $6.4 trillion under President Bush. "

Is it really good politics to try to appease someone just because he is sitting in a room full of gasoline and playing with matches?

Or maybe they aren't actually in the room with us at all. The *true* constituency of the republican party has a lot less to lose by a US financial meltdown then you might think. The richest Americans have been quietly taking their money *out* of our system and investing it in others:

Supposedly-American multi-national corporations keep most of their wealth outside the US to avoid US taxes. (See my previous blog on GE paying no taxes. of $14B in revenue last year, $9B of that never saw US shores.)

SO, maybe its not so crazy for them to threaten financial anarchy when all it will really harm are you and me.

But last time I read the document they like to wave in the air more then actually read (the constitution) this wasn't how we were supposed to be governed-- by threat of anarchy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm Changing my name to General Electric

Back in the 80s, after Chrysler got a huge government hand out to help it stay in business, Tom Paxton wrote the song "I'm changing my name to Chrysler..."

Well, think you are taxxed too much? Then change your name to General Electric.

The marching myth of the neo-right right now is "we need to reduce taxes to encourage employment."

That would be a good trick, since GE who had a $14B year in 2010 paid NO corporate income tax.

Exactly how much lower the $0 is necessary to work this miracle?

Maybe if we actually started taxing our richest individuals and corporations, we wouldn't be so "broke" after all...