Sunday, June 05, 2005

Topic of the Week - The Conservative 'Pick-pockets'

A majority of us can see "stuff" clearly - we can see what is happening within this country and how we have been on the wrong track since 2000. Fortunately, this awareness is gaining momentum with the majority of the population (i.e. Bush's approval rating is the lowest of any incumbent ever in the history of the U.S.).

A quick comment - isn't this pathetic? We are stuck with a President, only seven months after the election who claimed a "mandate" in his victory speech, who has sunk to the lowest level in public confidence ever...only seven months into his second term! This, at a time, where consumer confidence in our economy is a bit (only a bit) stronger in the prior five years of his tenure and indicators are somewhat positive over the short-term (6-12 months)...as we know, a significant factor driving the approval rating of an American President is the health of our economy. And again, with this economy (in a state better than the prior five years), we have an incumbent whose approval rating is the worst of all time. Pathetic, and we are stuck with this for another three and half years. Hopefully, Congress and the American people can keep this regime in check so we are not in a state of utter economic and social chaos in 2008...hopefully. OK...on to the topic of the week.

This week's topic is not necessarily for those who see reality clearly but for those (The Christian Right/Conservatives) who do not and how these people are stuck on "hot-button" social issues at the expense of their own personal pocket-book. A study just released today by the New York Times of a computer model based on the Treasury Department's model, as well as consulting with experts at the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and Citizens for Tax Justice, on the effects of the tax cuts on various income groups outline the growing gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of Americans. All stated this model the NY Times utilized was reliable. The findings of this study?

- Under the Bush tax cuts, the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes (a minimum income level of $87 million annually and higher), now pay income, Medicare and Social Security taxes amounting to virtually the same percentage of their incomes as people making $50-$75,000 annually.
- Those earning $10 million or more in income annually now pay a lesser share of their income in these taxes than those making $100,000 to $200,000.
- The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), created 36 years ago to make sure the very richest paid taxes, takes back a majority of tax cuts over time from the majority of families earning $75,000 to $1 million -- far fewer compared to the very wealthiest and how they will be affected by this tax.
- Comparing the ultra rich (top one hundredth of one percent) earned an additional $18,000 for every ONE dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent of Americans between 1990 and 2002.
- Although the Bush administration claims the tax cuts have made the income tax system more progressive, more equitable, the Internal Revenue Service found that only taxpayers whose share of taxes declined in 2001 and 2002 were those in the top 0.1 percent.
- The Times analysis shows that over the next decade, the tax cuts Bush wants to extend indefinitely, would shift the burden further from the richest Americans. With incomes of more than $1 million, this income group would get the biggest share of the tax breaks, in total amounts and in the drop in their share of federal taxes paid.

Surprised Christian Right's and Conservatives? What is most interesting is that many Christian Right's and Conservatives are not surprised and are actually in support of this discrepancy and favoritism of the ultra-rich. Why? As long as these people feel they have a chance to get to the top (.01 percent of income), they just don't care how rich the rich are and ironically, they don't care they pay less taxes.

Think about this for a minute - as long as these Christian Right's and Conservatives think they can get to this level of income, which in approximate calculations of odds is a one in a million chance, yes one in a million chance of obtaining the ultra-rich status, they think it is OK for the rich to pay less in percentage tax than the bottom 90 percent of Americans. Do you know how naive this is? Again, you have a one in a million chance - you may as well play the lottery.

And, more consequential, do you know how selfish this thought process is? You Christian Right's and Conservatives think one is entitled to pay less in taxes because they have "made it." Why isn't it fair and equitable for the ultra-rich to pay the same percentage in taxes as everyone else? I have to say you Christian Right's and Conservatives' thought process is not very "Christian." It is about as self-serving as it comes.

Also - the Times reports that Warren Buffet (hero to Republicans and Conservatives, Alan Greenspan (probably most respected Federal Reserve Chair ever), George Soros (hated by Conservatives) and Ted Turner all warn that such a concentration of wealth can turn a meritocracy into an aristocracy and ultimately stifle economic growth by putting too much of the nation's capital in the hands of inheritors rather than strivers and innovators. Greenspan stated "For the democratic society, that is not a very desirable thing to allow to happen."

One last comment - economic mobility (upwards) - moving from one income group to another over a lifetime - has actually stopped rising in the U.S. and some recent studies suggest it has even declined over the last generation...yes declined.

Christian Right's and Conservatives, do you actually think this is good for our Country? Do you not see that the Conservative regime and constituents in Washington D.C. are picking your pocketbooks clean? Try to take a half step back and reflect a bit on this. And post your comments and give a counter-view (if you have one). Those that see this all too clearly, post comments if you like but you/I know this scenario all to well and this week's topic of the week is simply preaching to you, the choir.

Click below to post any comments.

4 Comments:

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PWB, Some time ago I stumbled upon your blog site and I have read a number of your postings. As a result, I have come to the obvious conclusion the you are one of the biggest left wing, liberal, cry babies I have come accross in a long time. Being as disgruntled with life in this fantastic country as you are, I'm wondering two things......one, how do you sleep at night and two, if you are married, how does your wife put up with you ? In reading the tons upon tons of babble in your blog site, I finally have to ask you a question from this most recent blog posting. You seem to tie all of the wealth in this country to either the Right Wing Conservatives or the Christian Right. My question to you is, out of your contention that the ultra wealthy in this country make up .01 percent of the people in the U.S. , do you know how many of those people are registered or publicly known as liberals or democrats ? Check into it Mr. "Fact Man" and you soon may be singing a different tune !!!

 
At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Common Sense Guy said...

Hey PWB,
Man-O-Man, do I get a strong sense of class envy here or what !!! First of all, let me say that I'm all for helping those who are truly down and out and in need in our country and I don't think the lowest wage earners should pay very much tax, which incidently, those are the people who benefit the most under our current tax law. However, as for everyone else, you and me included, I say everyone should get what they deserve, after all this is suppose to be the land of opportunity isn't it ? If you want to work hard and try to become rich , while taking all of the chances associated with that, then more power to you. If you don't want to do that and are willing to work for wages or whatever, then so be it. Just don't get angry or jealous over the people who have the ambition to do otherwise. PWB, based on the under lying theme of your topic, I would be willing to bet that you think that all of the wealth in this country just fell into the laps of those who have it and in your world it should be taken away from them and spread around accordingly. Well, once again, wake up and smell the roses. Most of the people I personally know who are wealthy, have worked very, very hard to get where they are today, not to mention the huge amounts of risk and sleepless nights they inherited along the way and the numbers of jobs they created in the process. I agree with the person who posted a comment before me........."Quit your complaining and whinning and get some rest" Also, I'm looking forward to the next posting of your results where the person commenting before me challenged you to see how many of those .01 rich people were liberals or democrats that you are complaining oh so hard about !!! I know it may be hard for you to do, but try to remember, we live in the United States Of America not Communist Russia.

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger PWB said...

Common Sense Guy - please see my response to your posting in CAPITAL LETTERS below:



Hey PWB,
Man-O-Man, do I get a strong sense of class envy here or what !!! First of all, let me say that I'm all for helping those who are truly down and out and in need in our country and I don't think the lowest wage earners should pay very much tax, which incidently, those are the people who benefit the most under our current tax law. PLEASE SUBSTANTIATE THIS STATEMENT - THOSE THAT BENEFIT THE 'MOST' ARE THE 'ULTRA-RICH' AS REFLECTED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT MODEL OF ASSESSING THE NEW BUSH TAX LAW. However, as for everyone else, you and me included, I say everyone should get what they deserve, after all this is suppose to be the land of opportunity isn't it ? If you want to work hard and try to become rich , while taking all of the chances associated with that, then more power to you. If you don't want to do that and are willing to work for wages or whatever, then so be it. Just don't get angry or jealous over the people who have the ambition to do otherwise. IT IS NOT ABOUT ENVY, ANGER OR JEALOUSY...IT IS ABOUT A TAX SYSTEM THAT IS EQUITABLE. PWB, based on the under lying theme of your topic, I would be willing to bet that you think that all of the wealth in this country just fell into the laps of those who have it and in your world it should be taken away from them and spread around accordingly. Well, once again, wake up and smell the roses. COMMON SENSE GUY - IT IS NOT A 'BLACK & WHITE' ISSUE, AND I AM NOT LOOKING AT IT AS A BLACK & WHITE ISSUE...BETWEEN THE HAVE AND HAVE NOTS. MY INTENT OF THE POSTING IS SIMPLY TO CREATE AWARENESS OF HOW THE BUSH TAX CUTS AFFECT THE DIFFERENT SEGMENTS OF THE POPULATION AND POINT OUT THE ULTRA-RICH AS BENEFITING THE MOST. THE DECEIT AND RHETORIC THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION USES IN STATING THE TAX CUTS AS FAIR AND EQUITABLE FOR ALL AMERICANS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. Most of the people I personally know who are wealthy, have worked very, very hard to get where they are today, not to mention the huge amounts of risk and sleepless nights they inherited along the way and the numbers of jobs they created in the process. AND I AM THANKFUL THIS COUNTRY HAS CREATED A SYSTEM FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BENEFITED FROM OUR FREE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM...IT IS ARGUABLY THE BEST SYSTEM IN THE WORLD IN CREATING OPPORTUNITY ACROSS THE POPULATION SPECTRUM. I agree with the person who posted a comment before me........."Quit your complaining and whinning and get some rest" I THINK YOU NEED TO REFLECT ON WHAT IS TRULY AN EQUITABLE SYSTEM - IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU (AND THE PRIOR POSTING FROM ANONMYOUS) HAVE NO PROBLEM IN PAYING HIGHER TAXES UNDER THE BUSH SYSTEM? WHY NOT? ARE YOU TWO THAT MUCH OF A LOYALIST(S) YOU CANNOT ACKNOWLEDGE A TAX PLAN THAT IS NOT EQUITABLE? I AM MOST CURIOUS ON WHY YOUR ALLEGIANCE IS SO BLIND? PLEASE ADVISE IF YOU CAN. Also, I'm looking forward to the next posting of your results where the person commenting before me challenged you to see how many of those .01 rich people were liberals or democrats that you are complaining oh so hard about !!! THE IMPLICATION BEHIND THE PRIOR POSTING FROM ANONYMOUS AND YOURS IS THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY INTERPRET I AM ATTACKING REPUBLICANS - I AM NOT. I AM ATTACKING A TAX CUT PROPOSAL (IN MAKING THE TAX CUT PERMANENT) THAT IS SIMPLY NOT EQUITABLE. YOU BOTH MAY WANT TO PUT YOUR DEFENSES DOWN AND TAKE A HALF STEP BACK AND REFLECT ON THE ENTIRE ISSUE, NOT JUST YOUR BLIND-FAITH TO THIS ADMINISTRATION. YOU MAY SOMEDAY, ALTHOUGH I DOUBT IT, REALIZE THAT QUESTIONING OUR LEADERS IS MORE PATRIOTIC THAN BLIND FAITH. I know it may be hard for you to do, but try to remember, we live in the United States Of America not Communist Russia. A 'PERFECT' CLOSING STATEMENT IN SHOWING YOUR ABILITY (INABILITY) TO SEE ANY COMPLEXITIES ON A GIVEN ISSUE -- THE WORLD IS NOT BLACK AND WHITE, COMMON SENSE GUY, IT IS A BIT MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOU REALIZE...

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger PWB said...

Anonymous who posted at 11:34 pm, please see my response to 'Common Sense Guy' - the response is relevant to your posting.

PWB

 

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