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View Diary: The rich really did get richer, while the rest of us ... didn't (74 comments)

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  •  The reason the Buffet Rule raises negligible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, Mary Mike, Klusterpuck

    income is because it does not go nearly far enough.

    What we need to reverse the impact of three decades of wealth redistribution in the form of societal attitudes toward what the rich deserve and government policy that no longer supports unsupportable accumulation of wealth.

    Re-skilling America is a small, though admittedly important, part of the solution.

    What is happening is that a small percentage of people in America are taking all the credit for the country's prosperity.

    You simply can't justify increasing the income share of the 1% going from 8.7% in 1979 to 23.5% in 2010.

    You simply can't justify executive compensation increasing from 42 X average working pay to 350 X.

    These are both unsupportable AND unsustainable.

    The 1% has become a parasite prepared to kill its hosts, both people and planet.

    Frankly, I'd rather take down Exxon or Goldman Sachs, the way we're taking down RushBeckistan, than elect another "better" Democrat who's going to wind up singing for the bankster choir.

    by Words In Action on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:07:10 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  And what do you propose? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Balto, VClib, Sparhawk

      a 30% effective tax rate -- i.e., the Buffet Rule --  is higher than this country has ever had on the top 1%.  See the SECOND chart here for effective individual income tax rates (based on CBO data).  In 1979, when top marginal rates were 70%, the EFFECTIVE individual income tax rate on the top 1% was only 22.7%.

      There's not enough billionaires to fund the rest of the country.  That's why the Buffet Rule raises so little money, relatively speaking.  It starts at household income of $1 million a year.  There just aren't that many households that have an income over $1 million a year.    

      •  You didn't justify the unjustifiable, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Klusterpuck

        merely re-asserted that fixing it wouldn't be enough.

        What you fail to factor is that the demand that would be created by more broadly distributed income and wealth, rather than having it hoarded and not circulating in the real economy, would heat up the economy.

        And you only go to prove my point, which is that the Buffet Rule was not nearly enough. Yeah, not enough millionaires. But plenty more people in the top 1-2%.

        Frankly, I'd rather take down Exxon or Goldman Sachs, the way we're taking down RushBeckistan, than elect another "better" Democrat who's going to wind up singing for the bankster choir.

        by Words In Action on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:43:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about a flat tax? (0+ / 0-)

          I know, I know, everybody screams that it would be regressive but I disagree.  What if there were a 30% flat tax on all income, regardless of where it comes from (e.g. earned, capital games, carried interest, etc...) and the only deduction was the poverty rate?  Social security and medicare would be included in the 30%.

          There are some difficulties with the finer aspects of corproate taxes but none are insurmountable.  I think it would work.  This way, we would never charge taxes to poor people and those closest to poverty would pay the least.  A tax deduction of $25,000 dollars would be like no tax deduction at all for Warren Buffet but for someone making $15.00/hour, total taxes (including Social security and medicare) would be only about 5%.  

          Earned income could be applied to the poorest people to bring them up towards the poverty level (kind of like negative taxes).

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 01:23:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Much of the top 2% already pays (0+ / 0-)

          an effective tax rate of 25% or so, due to the Alternative Minimum Tax. Because the 2% is household (2 incomes) of maybe $250,000 or up, that's people who work for a living, but are well paid -- a middle-aged accountant married to a police captain, a dentist married to a 20 year teacher, an engineer married to a mid-level manager in a large corporation.  

          These are not hedge fund managers or trust fund babies, but typically people who make a very good living largely because they got an advanced education and/or worked all their lives to get where they are. I don't think that there's a whole lot of support in this country for redistributing their wealth.

    •  And let me make clear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      that I am not arguing against something like the Buffet Rule. I'm fine with something like that.  After all, people who are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax -- at incomes far lower than $1 million -- already pay an effective federal income tax rate above $25%.  All I am saying is that kind of thing is negligible in terms of actually solving the problem.

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