7/27/2011

Let the Reader understand

Well, this says it! 

From the Daily Kos , greywolfe359 writes, "I just wanted to get this chart out there.  I originally received it as a post by the Facebook group "The Christian Left."  This chart puts the class war in simple, visual terms.  On the left you have the "shared sacrifices" and "painful cuts" that the Republicans claim we must make to get our fiscal house in order.  On the right, you can plainly see WHY these cuts are "necessary."  The reason?  Because we already gave away all that money to America's wealthiest individuals and corporations."

Let the reader understand.



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39 comments:

  1. When I taught social ethics and when I did workshops on homelessness, I usually asked people to raise their hands if they had ever lived in any type of subsidized housing. A few hands, including mine, would go up, and I would ask if any of those who hadn't raised their hands had ever taken an income tax deduction for property taxes and mortgage interest. Tax policy encourages homeownership, but I think it's way past for it to stop subsidizing ownership of vacation homes.

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  2. This needs to be published for more to see. Facebook?

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  3. This equates to less than 10 days (4.6 Billion Dollars) of Obama-level spending. We could immediately recoup these costs simply through releasing a fraction unspent "stimulus" dollars back to the US Treasury.

    Let's not liquidate the Kulaks just yet.

    David Rourke

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  4. Perhaps before we repeat the official Fox News meme that the current deficit is the creation of the current President, check out this article, and especially the concluding graphic before assigning blame:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/five-reasons-the-house-gop-is-to-blame/242673/

    His predecessor in the White House fought two wars on a credit card (including the extensive use of very expensive mercenaries in order to avoid a resort to the draft to make up for personnel shortages), and reduced taxes on the top income earners to their lowest level in 60 years, paid for by all the rest of us with drastically shrinking government services and rising state and local taxes.

    Speaking of shooting kulaks, I for one fail to see the "shared sacrifice" in taking huge cuts in my future Medicare benefits so that some hedge fund manager who makes my annual salary in 5 minutes can continue to pay a lower tax rate than I do.

    A publicly funded plutocracy is not my idea of a just society.

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  5. We could solve the whole deficit problem now by ending the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% income earners, returning their rates to Clinton era levels (still far below the Eisenhower era level of 91%, a rate which Ike supported as good for the country).

    We could solve the health care issue, including its ballooning expenses, by simply expanding Medicare to cover everyone.

    If we acted responsibly to take care of our families, ourselves, our communities, and our country instead of swallowing the idea that we could be holding a winning lottery ticket and devil-take-the-rest, then those measures would be easy.

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  6. Of course, there are the examples from history of government leaders who tried to balance government budgets in times of economic depression and high unemployment. Someone remind me how successful Herbert Hoover and Heinrich Brünning were in their efforts.

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  7. I'm a libertarian with a degree in economics. My lips are neither stained with red nor blue kool-aide. Second off, I didn't blame our situation on the current president, but simply use his fiscal burn rate as a point of reference. I could have used POTUS 43's burn rate of 1.6 billion or POTUS 42's rate of .546 billion.

    Facts are facts; Sticking it to the rich will provide 10 more days of operating capital, then what? OK, we feel good, then what? Yes, I used the kulaks for dramatic flair but we need to see the cautionary message. Uncle Joe whacked the Kulaks, the producing class, and it resulted in the deaths of millions as an unintended consequence.

    Perhaps, just maybe, we have EVERY citizen become a stakeholder in this nation. How about... if you're an adult citizen or legal resident alien you pay taxes. As a stakeholder and contributor, you're far more likely to be concerned about government stewardship and where your dollars are going.

    David Rourke,
    Villa Nova, '86

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  8. The rich are the "producing class?"

    I didn't realize. How grateful we should all be for their allowing us to live off of them while making and buying the products they sell!

    I'm so tired of Ayn Rand's followers and their adolescent pseudo-Darwinian fantasies. As to the "degree in economics" - well, we'll just take your word for that, shall we?

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  9. I'm a community college professor who has to suffer the economic policy cooked up by experts who think in ideological abstractions.

    As far as I;m concerned, the end of the American Revolution is not supposed to be a new class of plutocratic overlords replacing the former nobility. And I'm not about to subsidize them by taking a hit on my taxes, or cutbacks in services I've paid into and worked hard for.

    My idea of a decent society where real people would actually want to live is not Thunderdome where we shoot the wounded and eat our young.

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  10. And how is the financial industry, the industry that dominates the economy now, productive? They're supposed to finance the people who are productive. They move money around and skim some off the top. They don't produce anything.

    The people who produce are the people use their skill and labor to make things and provide services,i.e. wage earners.

    Where would John Galt be without them?

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  11. Besides, Bush created this mess by throwing gold coins to his cronies and benefactors from out of the public Treasury.

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  12. Like the Obama Immelt romance? And BTW, after not paying HIS "fair share" (5 Billion in corporate taxes), he's moving jobs to the PRC.

    Daniel Rourke

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  13. Sorry, mistyped the signature. Don't blog before coffee

    David Rourke

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  14. Didn't hear that one on Hannity.

    Small change compared to two wars on borrowed money and a huge tax giveaway to all the people who so very generously financed Bush's "winning" campaigns.

    If you want to go live in Ayn Rand's Thunderdome, then help yourself. I won't be joining you, in fact, I'll be out there doing all in my power to stop it.

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  15. Oh, and how does deferring to all the wishes of the owning classes serve Christian morality as outlined in the parable of Dives and Lazarus, or in Our Lord's replay to the rich young man, or in Matthew 25:31-46?

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  16. Oh, and how does deferring to all the wishes of the owning classes serve Christian morality as outlined in the parable of Dives and Lazarus, or in Our Lord's replay to the rich young man, or in Matthew 25:31-46?

    Didn't you hear, Counterlight?

    It was Christian before, when they called it feudalism. Rand wasn't even original.

    It worked so well, don't you know, they thought we oughta go back to the good ol' days!

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  17. And how would this erase the 14 Trillion deficit?

    The top ten per cent (income) of Americans pay 55% of all taxes. Let them pay 65% instead.

    The deficit will still be there, due to the huge costs of medical care and no politician brave enough to say that must be fixed. At present the elderly cost 3 times what they paid into the system.

    This problem will only get worse not better, as people live longer and the percentage of new tax payers drops due to low birth rates.

    A perfect storm. Republicans and Democrats both ignoring reality.

    Franklin.

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  18. so, why is Pres Obama, that well known right winger, giving all this free money to the rich?

    maybe things ain't so simple??

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  19. so, it is interesting that David mistakes his first name for Daniel, and misspells Villanova as his alma mater.

    How much else is true?

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  20. So, making the rich poorer makes the poor richer? Facinating, and yet so simple.

    No, wait, maybe this isn't as simple as the chart shows.... maybe a tax break for a corporation allows them to hire more women with infants and children, putting fewer on WIC? But that's even not directly opposite the WIC entry on the chart..It can't be that complicated, can it?

    If we make the rich poorer, the poor will get richer... for a while. Then... well, then, not so much...

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  21. "Not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth, but theirs."-- St. John Chrysostom (+ 407 A.D), On Wealth and Poverty,

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  22. "But it seems that I can hear the God of the universe saying, "even though you've done all of that, I was hungry and you fed me not. I was naked and ye clothed me not. The children of my sons and daughters were in need of economic security, and you didn't provide for them. So you cannot enter the kingdom of greatness." This may well be the indictment on America that says in Memphis to the mayor, to the power structure, "If you do it unto the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me."…

    Now you're doing something else here. You are highlighting the economic issues. You are going beyond purely civil rights to questions of human rights. That is distinct…

    Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality. For we know now, that it isn't enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn't have enough money to buy a hamburger? What does it profit a man to be able to eat at the swankest integrated restaurant when he doesn't even earn enough money to take his wife out to dine? What does it profit one to have access to the hotels of our cities, and the hotels of our highways, when we don't earn enough money to take our family on a vacation? What does it profit one to be able to attend an integrated school, when he doesn't earn enough money to buy his children school clothes?" --Martin Luther King Jr. Memphis, March 18, 1968

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  23. "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

    And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

    And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

    And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart," -- Acts 2:42-46 KJV

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  24. Franklin, I've been thinking of your comment. I have found myself wondering about your numbers, and similar statements I’ve seen (all with varying numbers, but with much the same point). So, I did a bit of searching, and found this paper, titled “Wealth, Income, and Power.” The author is William Domhoff of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

    The article is illustrated with some very helpful tables and charts. For example, a chart on wealth distribution indicates that in 2007 households above the 90th percentile (90% of households had lower net worth) controlled 83% of financial wealth. So, one could argue that instead of paying 55% if all taxes collected, they should be responsible for 83% of taxes.

    But, we don’t tax wealth. We tax income. So, let’s look at income distribution. In 2006 more than 41% of all income received in the United States was received by only 20% of those who received income. A different table from Citizens for Tax Justice indicates that this group above the 80th percentile of those receiving income received 59% of all income, and paid 64% of all taxes. Now, that seems pretty even, doesn’t it? But while it may look “equal” in some sense, it’s impact is not equally felt. Those above the 80% pay roughly 30% of their income in taxes. Those between the 60th and 80th percentiles pay about 29%, and those between the 40th and 60th percentiles pay about 25%. Those below the 40th percentile pay 20% or less. It looks progressive for a moment. But, think about how this impacts standard of living. Those above the 80th percentile receive in income $100,000 and up. Those below the 40th percentile receive in income $25,000 and less. 30% of even $100,000 ($100,000 minus $30,000 leaves $70,000) has much less impact on purchasing power and standard of living than 20% of $25,000 ($25,000 minus $5,000 leaves $20,000). $30,000 sounds like a lot of taxes; but $70,000 is still a pretty good discretionary income. $5,000 sounds like a lot less; but it represents a lot of groceries for folks who are already living pretty close to the margin.

    It seem pretty clear that the reasons to tax those who have more in a greater measure than those who have less are first and foremost that they have the wealth in the first place; and second, that they have benefited much more from this economy that we share than most of us. And after all, they can afford it. The one person in America whose name is more associated with paying taxes than Grover Norquist is Henry Bloch, the “H” of H & R Block. He wrote an editorial that appeared in the Kansas City Star His closing comments were, this past Saturday.


    Those of us earning more than 250,000 a year are very fortunate. We have an obligation to help our nation overcome this challenge. While I don’t look forward to paying more taxes, it must be done. And it’s a small price to pay for living in this wonderful country. Responsible change that promotes good public policy and tax fairness is to be welcomed.


    So, here are a couple of ways to think about what might make for “fair” taxation. We could tax wealth, and set it up so that those who own 83% of the wealth are required to provide 83% of taxes paid (instead of 55 or 60%). Or, we could figure out how to tax so that those at the top have their purchasing power reduced as significantly as those at the bottom. See, it’s not whether those at the top pay more taxes than those at the bottom. It’s whether those at the top pay enough more taxes that their lives are proportionally affected as much as those at the bottom. That might be a truly progressive tax plan.

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  25. Marshall--and this will fix a 14 Trillion dollar debt? My point was distribute and redistribute to your heart's desire. But the debt means that (redistributed) tax income goes to service interest payments on a huge, immoral amount. People are living longer and drawing twice what they paid in or more. That is unsustainable.
    Time-bomb.

    Franklin

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  26. Franklin, right-wingers lovers of the rich have sown the wind; one day, hopefully soon, they will again reap the whirlwind for their greed.

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

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  27. Here's a novel idea for cutting the public debt, put people back to work. That's only going to happen if someone somewhere spends money. The salary and wage earners who make up the large bulk of the population (and are still employed, at least 26 million are not, and that's NOT counting the under-employed or those who just quit looking) are anxious about their own jobs and are watching their real purchasing power decrease, so they aren't spending any money. Businesses large and small aren't spending because there's no demand. And now governments, state and federal, are hamstrung by law from spending anything more than their budgets allow, including on those old Republican make-work programs in defense spending and prison expansion.

    So I'm wondering who will be spending anything to get the economy moving? The Bush tax cuts were supposed to create an abundance of new jobs and opportunities. As I recall, that did not happen, and still isn't happening despite the lowest tax rates and revenue collection since the Truman Administration.

    Maybe the Episcopal Diocese of New York could finally finish Saint John the Divine, and someone could start to build another new cathedral somewhere, except that the church is only as wealthy as the salary and wage earners who make up its membership these days, so back to square one.

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  28. Kurt

    How very true!

    But rich, poor, potential new wage earner -- all are treated equally at the bar of 44 cents per dollar toward interest payments.

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  29. It will be hard to save money when at the end of this long period of high unemployment, we will have a large class of unemployable and under-employed people. Middle aged people, and older, who once had productive careers now find themselves 2 to 3 years unemployed, and may never work again, except maybe in some very low wage and humiliating service job in retail, if that. College graduates who had the misfortune to finish their studies in the middle of high unemployment will see their career prospects (and earning potential) diminish the longer and longer that they are unemployed or underemployed.

    All of the above are probably permanently lost, a whole class of people sacrificed, as Cornelius Vanderbilt would say, for the common good.

    And as for the lazy poor accustomed to government assistance and idleness, tell it to my students in the Bronx, all of whom work, many of them full time, while going to college full time. Many of them are veterans. Some of those veterans are immigrants who are not yet citizens of the country they served (I've had such among my students from Gambia, Dominican Republic, Thailand, and The Philippines). They now must face financial aid cuts on top of tuition increases. Like all the rest of us, they must run harder and harder just to stay in place.

    "Shared sacrifice" indeed!

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  30. Franklin:

    By itself, no, it won't eliminate next year that deficit. That doesn't mean it's a meaningful and important step to take.

    By the way, I have what I think is a great way to change some of our concern about the deficit. I would like to see the Government renew efforts to sell U. S. Savings Bonds (the EE bond that has replaced the E bond we all grew up with). With time, the debt would shift from China and other external bankers until it was a debt we as citizens owed to ourselves and fellow citizens. While it would not eliminate debt entirely, it would make us less vulnerable to foreign lenders. It would also give us an investment both emotional and tangible in our own government - something that the anti-government types who find a place in the tea party movement really don't want to have happen!

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  31. Maybe Professor Mullin at GTS could donate the 600K plus he billed in legal fees for acting as a 'legal expert' in TEC suits, thus topping off his GTS salary to the tune of about 18K per month. Not something likely to endear him to colleagues at, yes, another financially strapped seminary in TEC.

    A hero for the TEC cause of concern for the poor.

    Franklin

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  32. Franklin, I'm assuming that you are are no longer, or not, Episcopalian.

    The Episcopal Church didn't spend the bulk of its financial resources trying to take property that isn't theirs.

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  33. So you are content with a 600K stipend to a man who is a lecturer at a struggling TEC seminary -- about 1% of what TEC has spent in toto?

    Care for the poor, yes indeed.

    Franklin

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  34. Content with theft of property, as well as robbing the bread out of the mouths of the poor to feed the already well fed.

    "Christian" "charity" indeed.

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  35. I'm sorry but that was incomprehensible.

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  36. Counterlight, you've actually put your finger on why many here vote Republican. Average income in MT at the 2000 census was $17000, and the amount of unemployment/disability money including subsidies for housing,etc. that 20% of the population is getting is about equal to that. So yes, the working poor, the ones who do those "humiliating service jobs and retail," and farmers vote Republican because the Democrats are too busy throwing money at the do nothings to help the workers. The way some liberals talk it's better to be unemployed than to work a low level job. So do you vote for the bosses or do you vote for the guy that takes your money and gives it to the addict down the street so he can live as well as you do without the work?

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  37. To Chris H. and to all the rest of you.

    Put your moneys where your mouths are.

    Come up here to the Bronx and explain to me and to the students at the community college where I teach just who exactly is this Fifth Column of Freeloaders wrecking the economy. Who are they? How many of them are there? Where do they live? How can we find them and root them out?

    You can contact the Student Life office at Bronx Community College to make arrangements to speak to our students.

    You can find the contact numbers here:

    http://www.bcc.cuny.edu/StudentLife/

    I'll see you in the Bronx, and wait to hear what you have to say to some of its inhabitants.

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  38. Jesus only loves those who deserve it.

    "Orthodoxy" in a nutshell.

    Feh!

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