Friday, December 3, 2010

Do Politicians Stand With Us or Against Us?

The top marginal tax rate during the Eisenhower years was 90%. No one can argue there wasn't prosperity then. But in the 1980s, President Reagan cut taxes to 25% and thus began the largest income inequality in American history, which persists to this day. In the face of crumbling cities and vanishing services, the Republicans want to continue this failed, destructive policy by extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

Reagan and his henchmen referred to the theory of giving the rich tax cuts as "trickle down" economics, also known as "piss on us" economics, which was discredited by none other than David Stockman, Reagan's Budget Chief at the time. The rich do not spend to create jobs. They invest and manage to pay 15% tax on their capital gains. Ordinary earned income is taxed at 35%.

It's simple in terms of numbers. The most stimulative program that puts money directly into the economy is unemployment insurance. Ordinary people must go out to buy food, shelter and other taxed consumables. In essence, the lower 99% often pay tax twice, on their income and on the products they purchase.

I see more jobs disappearing every day. In my neighborhood, there is a drug store chain that has replaced humans with "self check out" machines. This is the finest example of corporate thinking, to commodify everything and everyone.

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