archive2009-14.pdxradio.com » Politics and other things

GOP's Debt Solution: Soak the Poor

(11 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by Andy_brown
  • Latest reply from NoParty

  1. Andy_brown
    Member

    Imagine a bulky schoolyard bully routinely holding you and your classmates upside-down by your shoes and pocketing the money that falls out, using the amount gained from his extortion to buy a new bike at the end of each semester. Now imagine enduring this process every day, all year, throughout each grade of school.

    What if one day, the bully actually complained that you weren't bringing enough lunch money to school because he wanted a nicer bike? Would you comply and let him rob you of a larger amount, or would you and your fellow classmates surround the teacher and demand the bully return the money he stole?

    Despite billionaire Warren Buffett's pleas to reduce the deficit by shifting the tax burden to the super-rich, Republican members of Congress have officially come out in favor of raising taxes on the poor, while fiercely protecting trillions in tax handouts for billionaires, big oil and corporate jet owners. Right-wing politicians and corporate-media pundits have now set their sights on "lucky duckies," or the bottom half of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes. As law professor Edward Kleinbard noted, this statement is misleading and ignores the need for meaningful reform of our tax code.

    Jon Stewart creatively dismantled the poor-people-don't-pay-taxes argument on The Daily Show, highlighting conservatives who dismissed the $700 billion in revenue gained from ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in 2010. According to Stewart's calculations, taking exactly half of everything owned by the bottom 50% of Americans would also generate $700 billion, exactly as much revenue as increasing the tax rate for the richest Americans by a modest 3%. Stewart sarcastically suggested Republicans trim the deficit by seizing all assets owned by the bottom half of Americans.

    It's incredibly audacious for the rich to ask the poor to pay more in taxes in order to protect their budget-busting tax breaks, especially considering America's wealth disparity. The gap between the richest and everyone else has grown to levels even greater than on the eve of the crash that triggered the great depression, with the top .001% of Americans now owning 976 times more than the bottom 90%. In 1928, the richest only owned 892 times more than the bottom 90%.

    And of course, those accusing the working poor of freeloading ignore the fact that 1 in 4 American jobs don't even pay poverty wages, or that the federal income tax is inherently designed to avoid hitting the poor, the elderly and working families with children. Such bold accusations also ignore the reality that all of the aforementioned groups still pay roughly one-third of their income in sales, property, payroll and excise taxes.

    A single mother struggling to keep a roof over her child's head would probably love to trade places with a six-figure earner and bear the burden of paying federal income tax on a comfortable salary. But would a six-figure earner be willing to work three part-time minimum wage jobs and still worry about how the rent is going to be paid at the end of the month? Would he really be eager to forgo paying federal income tax if it meant he had to scrape quarters together to buy beans, lentils and ramen noodles for dinner?

    Big oil doesn't need $4 billion per year in taxpayer subsidies - they're making record profits. Excessive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires won't create jobs - the unemployment rate doubled after ten years of the Bush tax cuts. And corporate jet owners don't need a tax break while public employees nationwide are losing their jobs to budget cuts.

    America needs to surround our teacher before recess and make a strong statement together - the bullies don't need to rob us of our lunch money to continue their excessive lifestyles. Let's stop subsidizing wealth for the sake of wealth, and leave struggling middle-class families alone.

    http://tinyurl.com/3lr8gpf

    Posted on September 5, 2011 - 11:49 AM #
  2. Deane Johnson
    Member

    Andy, I've got to hand it to you. You win the Troll Of The Day award. Nobody else could even get enough votes to come in 2nd.

    Posted on September 5, 2011 - 11:50 AM #
  3. Andy_brown
    Member

    Thanks again, Deane, for your thoughtful comments and keen observations. Over the years I've always cherished reading your opinions and they have guided me through these difficult times when it is indeed a challenge to know which fork in the road to stick in the ass of every con that I meet.

    Posted on September 5, 2011 - 11:57 AM #
  4. NoParty
    Member

    Nobody else could even get enough votes to come in 2nd.

    from the bullshit that you've posted all day I'd say you took the award away from Andy....

    Posted on September 5, 2011 - 12:49 PM #
  5. RadioBuggie
    Member

    :lol:

    Posted on September 6, 2011 - 12:05 AM #
  6. fairandbalanced
    Blocked

    " According to Stewart's calculations, taking exactly half of everything owned by the bottom 50% of Americans would also generate $700 billion, exactly as much revenue as increasing the tax rate for the richest Americans by a modest 3%. Stewart sarcastically suggested Republicans trim the deficit by seizing all assets owned by the bottom half of Americans."

    But what Stewart did not share was a relevant comparison.

    The issue was not the assets of the bottom 50% of everyone, but the income of the bottom 50% OF THOSE WHO FILE TAX RETURNS. They are two different things, and it would have been nice (and honest) if he would have shared the income figures of the relevant bottom 50%.

    And note that the $700 billion generated by the proposed tax increase is over a TEN YEAR period. A drop in the bucket that takes ten years to collect. The rest will come out of the hides of the working class in one way or another. It has to.

    "Big oil doesn't need $4 billion per year in taxpayer subsidies - they're making record profits."

    I've seen this before but never have seen it supported. What government program sends $4 billion to the oil companies?

    "Despite billionaire Warren Buffett's pleas to reduce the deficit by shifting the tax burden to the super-rich, Republican members of Congress have officially come out in favor of raising taxes on the poor, while fiercely protecting trillions in tax handouts for billionaires, big oil and corporate jet owners."

    Punishing the rich would bring in a pittance. Do the math.

    Where is the rest going to come from?

    It will have to come from the average working man. Gouging the rich will cover only a small percentage of the deficit.

    The "class envy" card is being played once again and anger is ginned up against the rich as if the poor are poor because the rich are rich. The idea of "punishing the rich" might sound good and might bring pleasure to some, and it might buy some votes (which is the intent of course) but it is not any kind of solution.

    Posted on September 6, 2011 - 12:22 AM #
  7. fairandbalanced
    Blocked

    "Andy, I've got to hand it to you. You win the Troll Of The Day award. Nobody else could even get enough votes to come in 2nd."

    I do believe he set a record today for making lengthy posts of copied material accompanied by zero original content.

    Nobody could ever keep up with responding to page after page of lengthy copy and paste jobs.

    Posted on September 6, 2011 - 12:22 AM #
  8. edust1958
    Member

    FairandBalanced and others who consider themselves on the conservative side of the ledger (and I include myself there on this issue):

    If it is correct that we clearly can't solve the budgetary challenges of the federal government by only taxing the "super-rich" at higher levels and that it is not possible to solve them solely by cutting expenditures without "welshing" on commitments to fellow citizens, what is the balance? I believe there are programs especially those that distort the market that could be cut or eliminated but that won't be enough. So what form of general tax increase would you support to "bail out" the expenses incurred by fighting two wars and providing drugs to senior citizens (Medicare Part D).

    Please don't come back with "the money is there..." or "if we only lower regulation on business..." -- the economy is not going to come back fast enough to generate the revenue that is needed to lower the deficit and if you think the "money is there" then point out exactly what you would cut and how much of the deficit would be eliminated...

    Posted on September 6, 2011 - 06:14 AM #
  9. edselehr
    Member

    The "50% of Americans don't pay income tax" statement (sometimes stated as "50% of Americans pay NO taxes!", which is false) is a popular conservative meme right now. The assumption seems to be that half of Americans are scofflaws, dodging their tax responsibilities.

    I look at it differently. If 50% of Americans don't pay income taxes, I would assume that 50% of Americans don't have enough taxable income to pay income taxes. These may be the poor, which speaks ill of our current American prosperity. These may be the rich, who have found creative ways to loophole their way around their tax obligations. Or it may be a little of both.

    Anyway, I don't think the right mentions this statistic to imply that the rich aren't paying enough. Why do they think it's good politics (for them) to point out that half of Americans are too poor to pay taxes?

    Posted on September 6, 2011 - 06:53 AM #
  10. Vitalogy
    Member

    The idea that taxing the rich won't solve the problem is wrong. There's plenty to go after. And we're not just talking income, we should tax wealth as well.

    Consider this: The top 10% own 71% of the wealth, and the top 1% own 38%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_wealth

    So, there's plenty of money to go after to solve our deficits, and the people at the top will have to kick in a little more than they're used to.

    Posted on September 6, 2011 - 09:33 AM #