Few Americans realize the hatchet job that the Reagan through Bush years did to the progressive income tax system, and to the quality of life that most American now have. While they wail about “excessive” taxation, they don’t remember -- or are to young to have ever known -- that the top marginal tax rate during the moderate republican Eisenhower presidency was 90%. Or that that rate of taxation enabled the America we grew up with to come into existence -- middle class and all. Nor do they realize that the extreme amounts of tax dollars flowing from the Bush tax cuts went not into their pockets, but into the bank accounts of the ultra rich. A question was asked of me today about the reprehensible increase in the number of billionaires in America, and what it’s roots were. Here’s a link to the original forum in the Altoona Mirror.
And here is the question, comming from a frequent contributer whose pen name is "Nobama4me"
11-21-09 11:40 AM
»Mal: the increase in the number of billionaires is a result of the increasing disparity between rich and poor. The greatness of America was the large middle class. I do NOT believe this increasing disparity is caused by the lack of socialism, but rather because of the increase in the tax burden of the middle class.
Nobama, I agree with everything you just said. Reaganomics and specifically, the Bush tax cuts, were responsible for the huge increase in the number of billionaires in America. It now -- just this year -- even exceeds that of the (almost universally agreed as corrupt to the point of being “evil“) “gilded age” That is an ominous landmark that most don’t vet know happened. The ultra-rich do not “work” for a living as do the rest of us. Their prime source of income is dividends. And, of course, Bush radically slashed the tax on dividends. This benefited not just the rich generally, but his own family and close circle of friends exponentially. It actually resulted in a tax decrease for the rich, while imposing a tax increase on the rest of America.
And, of course, they never really repaired things like the “alternative minimum tax”. And yes, you are correct that the Regan through Bush economic policies have crippled the ever increasingly disappearing middle class in America. In fact, “class” as a concept is no longer even a relevant term. So demographers are more often referring not to “class”, but, instead to “economic clusters” to describe the ever more bizarre and skewed way that American society is dividing.
But, even though the middle class -- which was indeed the backbone of America’s stability and strength -- is disappearing, it is the working poor who bear the real burden in our society. And their numbers have increased exponentially during the last 40 years. The real middle class -- those earning $100,000 and up a year -- have no problems putting food on the table yet. Their problem is in putting that third car in the driveway, or purchasing that second home in the mountains for a summer retreat.
And so, they too can reasonably be expected to bear the costs of redistribution of the wealth to all Americans. But they have, of course, become increasingly enmeshed in the radical right wing thinking that bombards us constantly from Big Brother, and his radio, television and newspaper soapboxes. You’re perhaps right that a lack of socialism was not the cause of the problem. It was more the result of the success of the greedy rich in destroying the progressive income tax system. But socialism is the solution. We just have to get a more acceptable sounding word. Thanks to Big Brother, people equate the word “socialism” with big hairy spiders. Even while they struggle to understand why they cannot free themselves from the sticky, and collapsing, web of capitalism.
Who's Afraid of The Big Hairy Spider ? by jimmi malarky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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