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The Growing Case for Massive Taxes on the Rich


#1

The Growing Case for Massive Taxes on the Rich

Paul Buchheit

While candidates bicker and Congress stagnates and the rest of us dwell on the latest shooting tragedy, the super-rich enjoy the absence of attention paid to one of our nation's most destructive issues.


#2

I love Buchheit. I wish we could magically put his articles on the front page of everything.


#3

Andrew Sayer, a British university professor, recently published a book, Why We Can't Afford The Rich. It's another exploration of the consequences of economic inequity. In countries where inequality is less than the U.S. longevity is greater. Jacque Fresco, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, started The Venus Project decades ago. He has suggestions to deal with these issues. Robots replace workers. Robots make all the things - cars, appliances, etc. - and if you need something, you go to the equivalent of a library to check it out. It eliminates issues associated with money and manipulated scarcity. With automation eliminating more and more jobs, attention is needed now about solutions. Prof. Bucheit's article hopefully will start conversations.


#4

All of the evidence that Mr. Buchheit exposes lends itself to the thesis published by Thomas Piketty. Essentially, he's written a treatise on how it is that so much wealth has been sent to so few hands in recent years.

Chief Justice Brandeis once argued that a nation could EITHER have extreme concentrations of wealth OR Democracy, but not both.

The extreme concentrations of wealth enable extremely rich individuals to fund think tanks (the Koch Brothers), purchase entire TV networks (Rupert Murdoch), and keep major politicians cum lawmakers on their puppet strings (TIPP, TPP).

It's certainly true that most billionaires owe a debt to the societies that lent them the intellectual capital and infrastructure to build their fortunes.

It's also certainly true that tax rates are inverted in ways that favor those who need help least while punishing those who need help most.

Although mentioned in prior articles, the off-shoring of profits is another major problem.

In my view, most glaring of all, however, is the WASTE lavished on the Military Industrial Complex so that weapon system after weapon system is financed while communities are literally left to rot or fall apart.

THAT is the ultimate threat to so-called National Security. Yet rather than trim the military budget, or take soldiers situated in 1000 overseas bases and bring them home to rebuild the nation's declining infrastructure, this manpower is instead savagely reserved for killing innocents in wars based on falsified evidence (and other fake triggers).

The moral, financial, spiritual, and legislative bankruptcy on display must make the angels cry torrents of tears.

It is unfathomable, ungodly, and completely savage.

Bernie Sanders was the only one courageous (and morally fit) enough to speak to some, if not all, of these issues. And that is why he has been thwarted at every turn and even now is being shamed into "giving up" so that the insidious status quo that ONLY favors the 1% is maintained.


#5

"The richest Americans believe they drive the economy" ?

The problem at hand is that yes they DO drive the WALL STREET economy at the expense of the Main Street economy.


#6

It is the opinion here that not only will higher marginal rates on the rich not have a negative impact on growth, if coupled with lower rates for median income earners, growth will accelerate with greater demand for goods and services.


#7

Well said. Thank you.
Last night I heard a new Republican candidate lie to the viewers by claiming businesses pay the highest tax rate anywhere. I wanted to scream. No need to hear any more garbage from him.
Every year the politicians talk about tax reform but that's all. Just talk.
Clearly we need this revolution and we need it now. Between the military and the corporations there is nothing left to build our infrastructure or preschool for our children. This has to stop.


#8

The solutions here are very simple: tax laws and enforcement by a government which works for and represents it's citizens and the well being of its country. These inequities have only grown worse over my lifetime of some 70 years; most in the last half. Our nation is dying. Yes, it is dying. The solution is revolution. It is coming by way of a "people's revolution" vis-'a-vis a Bernie Sanders type, or the violent type which established our nation. Read the recent Chris Hedges piece on socialism and understand that most likely it will be a combination of both. People must stand up forcefully against corporations and a government which no longer represents "the people" or the nation. Right now it is the vast majority which has been made to live in fear by our government; fear of mass shootings, fear of the "enemy" coming to get us if we don't give up more and more of our "Constitutionally guaranteed" freedoms, fear of our financial system collapsing if we don't bail out criminal bankers, fear of losing our meager paychecks, fear of getting sick, fear of peacefully protesting in the streets lest we are brutally beaten up by a militaristic police force lined up like a bunch of ninja monsters in a sci-fi movie, fear of being harassed in our own neighborhood for being a color other than white, and on and on. No, until millions of fed up people take to the streets in mass, unafraid to press forward and demand in a no back down way our rights and turn that fear around around, we will continue to be enslaved by a system of government which is controlled by a very few very rich people. Until then things will only continue to get worse for the vast majority of people. Millions in the street will reverse the fear and things will change. History proves this.


#9

Some of the Borderline mentally ill can be very succinct in their analysis of things, and present back to the world in a clear way, statements that seem true, and that which gives them power. This is a great trait to have if indeed you want that kind of power.and Inherently it is not negative, unless it is used to subjugate and destroy others

They might do that at every social construct of their participation. In a public or work setting, these folks flourish. The American, and perhaps in general global media has constructed a narrative in which these people are most visibly ruling every scene on the most watched scenes, whether it be Television of the movies.

There are plenty of scenes on the planet that take a rational, stable, non predatory view of life. But the scenes from these shows get viewed by less than a couple of million people per product.The folks who view the scenes are those already in a place of calm themselves. The five second punchline is akin to a drug, which children are hooked on, and stay there until they are forty, after which few recover. If you never have consequences to your bullying and arrested development, why should you change?

If the personnel in the media are from the same cloth, they are never going to know the right question to ask. If they have been playing with smoke and mirrors inside their own souls for the purpose of being with the crowd that gives them their comfort, you are only going to get deflection, aggression, put downs and one liners.

These sick lines that these mental infants propagate have real consequences. You will never see them, but the number of hungry children, real people dying, and violent attacks are a direct consequence of this condition. Misandry rules on this very site due to verbosity of a couple of narcissists. Regarding someone for who they are is skill we must first cultivate before we pigeon hole, mudsling and attack. Borderline people are incapable of this, as their own experiences define them, and color everyone they see. .

Coming to the truth of silence can only happen through the honest sharing of community. It cannot come through the selfish pining of the mentally ill.


#10

The rich have gained a far-greater representation than the average person, and that has translated into numerous tax-cuts for the 1%. Whenever the revenues of a state are diminished by gifting the wealthy, it must be made-up elsewhere, and guess where? On the backs of the poor and middle classes via increased property taxes, "fees" AKA taxes of a different name, all manner of regressive taxes and costs for the average guy and gal!

The rich are paying the lowest taxes in modern history and that fact is shown in the obscene wealth distribution, crumbling infrastructure and billions the wealthy have to influence further gifts from their now-client Congress and local governments.

"Growing inequality means that the world's wealthiest 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the planet's population - some 3.6 billion people"

"Never before in the modern history of our country have so few had so much and so many had so little. This incredible and obscene level of wealth and income inequality is a grave danger to our economy and our political system” - Bernie Sanders, 2014

http://inequality.org/wealth-inequality/


#11

"all of these things were funded by Uncle Sam through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, the Navy, and even the CIA ". DARPA's annual budget is about $3B. Apple paid $13B in
taxes in 2014 only. You could say it covered DARPA's budget for the last 4 years and have some left for misc expenses.

Apple's tax rate was about 25%.


#13

How can we tax the rich when they make the tax laws?


#14

all pipe dreams sound great and very plausible until you actually bottom line it.
you have to understand that the people that would actually vote to 'tax the rich' are the ones that are benefitting from doing what the rich say. whats Not plausible is thinking the congress (the ppl that would vote on this) would actually vote on this and risk angering the banksters. they would in essence be voting to give themselves a paycut from their corporate masters I/e the ppl that really give congress their orders on what to vote for or against.
add that any corporate tax is passed on to the consumer.


#15

Even if in its "purest" form, putting money into an endeavor to help it grow, investing has the distorting tendency to drive the enterprise into maximizing money over existence and living. A family business, for example, is not focused on maximizing profits but rather on providing a livelihood and a life for the family and maybe a few others.

"Investing" as we see it on Wall Street belongs in quotes because it is less about investing than it is in placing bets on where the most money can be gleaned. It is similar to placing bets on horses where the first bets, when no odds are posted, are best guesses as to the ability of the horse to finish in one of the top positions (betting to win, place or show). These bets create the odds which are then posted. From then on the bets have less to do with the horse's presumed ability than with presumptions about how to bet to get the most money as a result of the odds.

At the track this doesn't really kill off the horses. In "the market" this kills off jobs, and people (through lack of medical care, by poisoning the environment and so forth).


#16

As I see it, if 1% of the population owns 99% of the wealth, then that 1% should pay 99% of the taxes. Its only fair.


#17

You're actually giving them a break. The top 1% own about 40% of the wealth and pay about 45% of the total federal taxes. Maybe it should be cut down to 40%?

Also, taxes are normally paid on income, not on wealth. Wanna talk income? The top 1% take home about 20% of the income not 99%.


#18

So, why are your figures different from all the other figures that all the other conservatives spew at me? What are you trying to mislead me into believing?


#19

Not sure which figures you are talking about?


#20

The same ones you just posted above only the amounts are different. or are you trying to pretend that you didn't post any? Or are you pulling a Reagan ("I don't recall")? But its apparent to me that you are deflecting and misleading. No point in trying to discuss anything with you. You won't just out and say what your agenda is.


#21

I know the numbers i posted. You are the one claiming they are different from whatever you had.The ones i posted are from the IRS. To be honest i really don't give flying. I was just pointing out your statement about 99% income 99% tax, which would be less than the pay right now. Personally i would send a Christmas card to one of "the rich" every year. The taxes you and I pay, the total taxes all the people on this board pays during their lifetime wouldn't pave 10mi of freeway.