Why Tax Cuts For The RICH Killed The economy in 1929 and Are Killing us again

Here is where the problem lies with the conservative argument defending tax breaks for the top 2%. It is causing a greater gap in our income brackets.

The disparity of income in this Country has grown to Gilded Age levels.

In 1925-26 the top marginal income tax was DROPPED from 73% to 25%. This caused the greatest disparity in income in our history until today.

The rich KEPT most of their money and it wasn’t distributed through out the economy.

What happens here is a smaller pool of people are HOLDING a larger share of the wealth.

This essentially puts a strain on DEMAND for products. The wealthiest can only consume so much and we all know it is CONSUMPTION that drives our economy. In fact it is 2/3rds of our economy.

In 1926 and now in 2010 we are at the same crossroads. The top 2% are holding a majority of the wealth and the pool of consumers has shrunk to pre-depression numbers.


Essentially the majority of the wealth they are keeping is sitting in banks or stocks and even in the Cayman Islands. It is not creating demand, which puts people to work.

Raising the income tax on the top 2% enables greater tax credits,breaks and a lower income tax rate for working middle class people. This puts more money in the hands of MORE people, spurring demand to a greater amount than a handful of millionaires.

130 Replies to “Why Tax Cuts For The RICH Killed The economy in 1929 and Are Killing us again”

  1. Excellent point and report. Not only are the rich holding on to their money, but when they do spend decent size portions of it, it goes to others in the top 2%. The people who cater to the wealthy, are also wealthy. (Think fashion designers, Winston jewelry, etc.)

  2. Yes, in fact Rachel Maddow did a report on that I believe last week. The low end stores weren’t fairing well,but places like Tiffany Jewlery and Neiman Marcus were BOOMING

  3. Something I have been hanging onto for a little while

    “Bill Quigley recently summarized the damage: “We now have the highest number of poor people in 51 years. One in five children in the US is poor; one in ten senior citizens is poor. Fifty million people in the US lack health insurance. Women in the US have a greater lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy-related conditions than women in 40 other countries. About 3.5 million people, about one-third of which are children, are homeless at some point in the year in the US. There are 49 million people in the US who live in households which eat only because they receive food stamps, visit food pantries or soup kitchens for help. Sixteen million are so poor they have skipped meals or foregone food at some point in the last year. This is the highest level since statistics have been kept.

    Wages have not kept up with inflation; adjusted for inflation they have lost ground over the past ten years. The cost of housing, education and health care have all increased at a much higher rate than wages and salaries. In 1967, the middle 60 percent of households received over 52% of all income. In 1998, it was down to 47%. The share going to the poor has also fallen, with the top 20% seeing their share rise.

    A record 2.8 million homes received a foreclosure notice in 2009, higher than both 2008 and 2007. In 2010, the rate is expected to be rise to 3 million homes. For the first time since the 1940s, the real incomes of middle-class families are lower at the end of the business cycle of the 2000s than they were at the beginning. Despite the fact that the American workforce is working harder and smarter than ever, they are sharing less and less in the benefits they are creating.

    The wealth of the richest 400 people in the US grew by 8% in the last year to $1.37 trillion. Income disparity in the US is now as bad as it was right before the Great Depression at the end of the 1920s. From 1979 to 2006, the richest 1% more than doubled their share of the total US income, from 10% to 23%. For the last 25 years, over 90% of the total growth in income in the US went to the top 10% earners – leaving 9% of all income to be shared by the bottom 90%. In 1973, the average US CEO was paid $27 for every dollar paid to a typical worker; by 2007 that ratio had grown to $275 to $1. Since 1992, the average tax rate on the richest 400 taxpayers in the US dropped from 26.8% to 16.62%. The US has the greatest inequality between rich and poor among all Western industrialized nations and it has been getting worse for 40 years. The US ranking of 45 in 2007 is the same as Argentina, Cameroon, and Cote d’Ivoire.”

    And we must give the rich tax breaks?

  4. I watched the Ed Show on MSNBC last night, and he has a segment called Psycho Talk. On this occasion, he featured John Thune of South Dakota, who is considered a potential Republican presidential nominee for 2012. This fool was saying in so many words that the tax cuts for the rich superseded health care for the 9-11 first responders in importance. This is the kind of mindset that is widespread among congressional Republicans. That’s why they are against the benefits of the New Deal that helped to level the playing field for millions of Americans. I have no doubt at all that the United States of 1929 is what they want to return us to.

  5. Thats right why dont we take away the money these people earned so its fair for all.. if you took all the money in the country and spread it out evenly the rich would still manage to get it all back.. instead of whining about it being unfair work harder and you will be rewarded. Im sick of the poor me mentality you want to be rich do something worth getting paid for dont expect others to give it to you.

  6. Excellent example of class warfare propaganda. There’s no proof of causality. And money invested in a stock or saved in a bank is not “sitting”–it is busy WORKING (working capital in a company, letting that company hire employees, actively helping the economy, or via a bank, re-lent to someone else as borrowed money, which likewise is IN the economy). That argument holds no water.

  7. God forbid we let “the rich” keep the money they’ve earned.

    Your article does exude the populist assumption that everyone in this country is equally entitled to capital (an assumption that directly contradicts that of capitalism).

    What’s troubling is that even if this assumption were true, your research into the cause and effect relationship is lax.

    If we wiped the slate clean and gave every individual in America an equal share of the pie…within 6 months, some people would be broke, and others will have grown that equal share of the pie to a factor of ten.

    You can’t assume that people who are disadvantaged are so solely due to external circumstances. And you also can’t assume that if we were to redistribute wealth to this group’s benefit, that they would necessarily be better off in the long run.


  8. lol stupid article! you are talking about a 50% drop in taxes in 1929, we are talking 3% this year. And if taxes were 75% why the F would you even work????

  9. A few things…

    The first is that this article claims that the wealthy are holding a large portion of the country’s wealth and that is bad for the economy. Later, it says that that money is sitting in banks and stocks. Do you really think that individuals at banks and corporations take money just for the sake of paying a return on it? The banks take deposits in order to have a pool of money to lend out. This money is either handed out to individuals to make a purchase (house, car, etc.), or to companies looking to grow, but don’t currently have the financial resources to do so. As for stocks, they work similar to a loan from the bank as far as the macro-economy is concerned. If I owned a company, there is no way I would sell part of it to a wealthy individual just so he could have more money in the future. I might sell some of it though if I had a great idea but no money to execute my idea.

    The next issue I take is that I don’t understand why a gap in income is an issue. Someone being a billionaire doesn’t necessitate that my quality of life is diminished. Why would I care that someone else is successful? I feel the argument that more people are poor today than ever to be a flawed one. One of the biggest issues facing the poor today is obesity. Not saying that life is easy for “poor” people, but wealth has grown in the country as a whole to where the average person is far better off today than where they were a few decades ago.

    My last issue is with the statement that consumption drives the economy. I would argue that value creation drives growth, and consumption is a result of value creation. Consumption itself is not inherently a good thing. To say that consumption drives the economy is like putting the wagon before the horse.

  10. If CONSUMPTION drives the economy, which I too believe, why don’t we turn to a consumption tax instead of an income tax system?

  11. What we need to talk about is the insane bonus money being paid out to the top exec’s and the tax code.
    If I were rich and you wanted to tax me more, then I would move to a place that won’t tax me as much as you, so all you would do if you taxed me more is change my address.

  12. What we need to talk about is the insane bonus money being paid out to the top exec’s and the tax code.
    If I were rich and you wanted to tax me more, then I would move to a place that won’t tax me as much as you, so all you would accomplish is you taxed me more I change my address and you still wouldn’t get my money and you still pay.

  13. so do away with consumption and see how long your millionaires last. consumption is need for products and services. Yeah, take that away and see what you have left

    You seem incapable of looking at this on the level of the entire nation. A nation can only be successful when all classes are capable of spending money to create an economy. At this point in time the gap between the rich and the poor is so great that in time needs for services and products will drop, putting corporations out of business. If you have no middle-class or a small middle-class you do not have people who are buying cars and other products. You cannot have just rich and poor and be a successful nation.

  14. Ann, I don’t recall anyone saying we should redistribute all the wealth. Do you realize that if a person has a billion dollars and they give up, say $200,000. That $200,000 would be absolutely nothing to them, they probably wouldn’t even notice it. But that $200,000 would be able to do so many things for so many people in this country. To respond to your argument of working hard instead of having it handed to you, how many of the ultra rich do you think had to work for it? I’m thinking very few!

  15. This article is complete nonsense. If the author feels this should occur then do the following. Take “your” paycheck for the next 12 months. Divide it into 10ths. You keep 1/10th and then you find 9 other people and give them 1/10th each.

    After the year is completed, let me know if you feel that your income should be taken and redistributed. You will never make it past the first month.

    I find it interesting that those who think wealth should be redistributed – always, and I mean always, want it to be taken from someone else other than themselves.

    You ignore the “fact” that the upper 2% already pay more than 50% of the entire tax burden and that more than 47% of the people in the US pay zero federal tax.

    Please deal in facts and not this liberal minded nonsense.

  16. the article does say that the wealthy are holding a large portion of the country’s wealth. A few sentences later it tells you where that wealth is being held. That should’ve been very clear to you

  17. The solution is simple. You tax everyone a % of their income and then no one gets a return. The more you make the more money you will pay in taxes. The amount of taxes that are collected in a year will then become the budget for the next year. We all seem to chastise people who spend money they don’t have on stupid stuff, yet we continue to allow Government on every level do the same thing.

  18. I wonder why this is such a big thing when in the 70s 80s and 90s tax on the uppermost rich was almost 90%. Now it’s down to 35% and people are whining like little girls. The idea of letting everyone just keep all of their money means that it’s necessary that that money is spent in the economy. If it isn’t then you have no economy. The poor have to spend their money, the rich don’t have to spend hardly anything except to use it to make more money

  19. You are arguing that consumption drives our economy… and that is a good thing? How long exactly will that last? We can’t be eternal consumers, which is precisely why countries like China are stealing our wealth. Only through SAVINGs and INVESTMENT will we actually have a sustainable economy. Taxing the rich is just a short term wealth redistribution scam which will screw us all in the end. Why do you feel so entititled to take other people’s money anyway? If you went out to drink beer with 10 friends, would one of them have to pick up 50% of the bill just because he makes more money than you? It’s utterly preposterous, but when that same scenario is obfuscated through government and enacted on a grand scale it’s perfectly fine to steal from your neighbor.

  20. As stated before, the author must not realize the FACT that the top 2% of the US pays 50% of the taxes.. and that the bottom 50% of the population pays ZERO federal taxes. Let’s also remember the FACT that 52% of the US population last year received a government entitlement.

    So how do you give a tax break to someone that not only pays NO taxes, but the Gov’t is already giving them money? Give them more money?

  21. The United States has been the most prosperous, most effective world economy when the tax situation was similar to how it was in the 1920’s and 1950’s.

    If you have a net worth of 50 billion dollars, and you have that sitting in investments and stocks and other NON-Economy stimulating assets, that 50 billion is static. It is not active in the economy. It is wealth that is hoarded and not participating in the economy.

    For an economy to flourish, Money must flow. Investment in manufacturing base, in infrastructure, in anything that generates jobs still causes a return on investment while stimulating the very economy that helped generate your 50 billion in net worth. That is the basic tenent of the ‘trickle down’ economic theory. The problem is that the extremely wealthy, the top 2-3% of people in this country (to give that perspective, that’s at most 9 million out of 300 million people) control more than 90% of the wealth that should be moving through the economy.

    That means that the remaining 10% of the weath that is moving through the economy is controled by the remaing 97% of the population. This also means that the actions (or in most cases inactions) of that 3% have a 90% stromnger effect on the economy than the 97% beause they have wealth that is not participating in the economy.

    To put it into perspective, if the top 3% are taxed at a higher rate of they are now and for the sake of math, lets say that is 500 billion dollars in additional tax revenue, that works out to be about 55,000.00 per person of that 9,000,000 that controls the 97% of wealth.

    That number seems like a lot. Relatively speaking it isnt. To increase taxes on that remaining 97% that have that remaining 10% of wealth to generate that same 500,000,000,000 in revenue is 1,718 per person. Which on a percapita basis is less, and this seems fair to those that do not think it through. Given for example a 60,000 a year income that becomes just shy of 3% of total gross income.

    The same 3% of income on someone that earns 10,000,000 a year is 300,000. So a 3% tax on someone earning 60,000 a year and whose money is almost entirely participating in tjhe economy is around 1718.00 and that money is taken out of the economy for use by the government in ways that may not stimulate the economy as effectively.

    that same 3% tax on the 10,000,000 earner whose income is not participating as much in the economy as a percentage of income, generate 174 times as much revenue, and puts a larger percentage of that income back into the economy, which then helps the economy become stronger which then makes MORE money for the wealthy because they have the investments in place to take advantage of any recovery before anyone else.

    If that same money that would be taxed was invested in participatory practices that would grow the economy without government intervention by means of taxes was actually being invested in that manner, we wouldn’t be in an economic down turn because the theory behind trickle down economics would have a valid basis on which to be true.

  22. How many fingers do you have? Ten? Did you know there are people who don’t have any? Compared to them, you have an infinite-percent more, so we’re just gonna take a couple of them and redistribute them to the needy. You have so many, you’ll never miss them.

  23. The “Tax the Rich” premise utilizes outrageously over-simplified economic models. Side effects of raising taxes on those making over 250K are:

    1) Failure of a multitude of small businesses.
    A great number of small businesses will be exposed in this bracket, while their owners are barely surviving at this point in time. Raising their tax burden will destroy them. These people are not “rich”, but they fall within the Democrat party definition of the same.

    2) Vastly increased unemployment.
    Those businesses that survive will need to cut back.

    3) General negative impact on the economy.
    In economics 101 you learned that taxation pulls money out of the economy — no matter who the targeted victims are. Raising taxes in a weak economy is just plain stupid. Taxing the most productive people just makes matters worse.

    No good will result from taking money out of the hands of those that produce and giving it to the government. The government will either waste it or give it to those who will not produce. Government money is used to buy votes, nothing more — and a vote from somebody that sits at home, does nothing to learn a new trade, and leeches off the government is just as good as a vote from a titan of industry. Raising taxes on those that actually produce is a way of fueling the idiocracy that exists in the US now.

    The author of the article above is the chairman of the Democrat party in Dartmouth, Mass. — and hardly provides an unbiased view. On the web, Ray has posted: “I am running to be the advocate for the working family and small businesses”. I would encourage him to talk to some of the small businesses in his district and ask them how some of the Democrat party’s proposed tax policies would affect them…

  24. Shiva. I don’t think D was saying do away with Consumption. I think the point was that if we don’t have value creation we don’t have CONSUMPTION.

    “Business spending on capital goods, new technology, entrepreneurship, and productivity are more significant than consumer spending in sustaining the economy and a higher standard of living. In the business cycle, production and investment lead the economy into and out of a recession; retail demand is the most stable component of economic activity.”

    “Granted, personal consumption expenditures represent 70 percent of gross domestic product, but journalists should know from Econ 101 that GDP only measures the value of final output. It deliberately leaves out a big chunk of the economy — intermediate production or goods-in-process at the commodity, manufacturing, and wholesale stages — to avoid double counting.”

    “Consumer spending is the effect, not the cause, of a productive healthy economy.”

  25. When your income is ZERO, it’s easy, I’ve been giving you(NCalFlyfisherman) 100% of my paycheck- did you spend it wisely? It’s also kinda hard to collect taxes from people like me(unemployed). When politicians started spending millions to get elected, thats about when the rich ruled the LOCAL AND FEDERAL government. Where does that put everyone else–below them!

  26. You are a student of economics? Well you better keep studying, because you are ignorant of how our economy actually works.

    You said, “Essentially the majority of the wealth they are keeping is sitting in banks or stocks and even in the Cayman Islands. It is not creating demand, which puts people to work.”

    At least you mentioned banks and stocks, as a lot of people making your argument pretend or assume that Rich people have some sort of vault at home and just swim in their money like Scruge McDuck.

    Study Fractional Reserve Banking. Wiki it. For every dollar you put into the bank, the bank can legally lend many times that amount of money to the public. The more the rich put into the banks, the more the banks can lend to the lower classes to buy cars, to build homes, to do all kinds of things. As somebody who believes in Austrian Economics, I don’t believe this is the best money system to have. But this IS our money system.

    So when you, or Bill Clinton say that the rich are “sitting on their money” (as Clinton also said last night on Larry King) you are just full of it.

    Same with the stock market. That money is invested in companies. People are taking partial ownership of a company. Business investment doesn’t help the economy?

    Come on! You can do better than that. Just be honest and admit that you hate that the rich have so much money while the poor suffer. Admit you want to tax the rich more to give to the poor. You want a centrally planned economy. You want wealth redistribution. Just be honest instead of pretending like your “economics” is the right thing for the economy and that it will create jobs.

  27. Consider the Fair Tax proposal. It taxes consumption, not income. This means that the people who spend the most pay the most taxes.

    It’s worth your time to take a look at this.

  28. Since when did money become part of one’s anatomy? It isn’t the same thing at all. Besides, asking the rich to put in the same percentage of taxes as the lower classes means they are going to put in more, but why not?
    They receive PLENTY of tax breaks in the form of subsidies and other things that we don’t even figure in. Like using “hiring agencies” to contract labor so they don’t have to pay unemployment insurance (can we say undocumented workers?) or huge discounts on their purchases of fuel or water thanks to lobbyists and veiled threats that they’ll leave.
    Lose their fingers? Don’t make me laugh. These fat cats don’t weep at all for the poverty they force many of their workers into.

  29. Plenty of spin-master responses here. From toddlers on up through adulthood, humans master the lie. If you have something, you will lie to keep it. If you want something, you will lie to get it. Confirmation bias makes you agree with all the facts that prove your case and makes you ignore the facts that don’t. You are a weak species.

  30. I agree with Don; top 2% create jobs, jobs for you and me and you. taking money from them, so they are going to take money from you and me, well there goes your raise, there goes higher prices. How about this the government stop spending stop spending stop spending. easy simple and worth it.
    What the government doesn’t realize if they stop spending and stop raising taxes; The people you and me the ones sitting behind the desk that have more money in their pay checks will do that start spending more which is better for the economy.

  31. This article is proof positive that one doesn’t have to have even a basic understanding of economics to talk about the economy. People who claim that the solution is simply for gov’t to have more money have no credibility until THEY give more of their money to gov’t first.

    It’s easy (and dishonest) to say that “the solution is simply for OTHER people to give more of THEIR money to gov’t but not me.”

  32. Really? A weak species? And you are from Xenu? If you were a superior species you would objectively look at all of the comments and formulate an intelligent thought instead of attempting to belittle people by claiming to be a master of the universe. We will call you, Captain Obvious!!!!

  33. I think that was the point. We love a good graph in this country especially ones we can’t read or don’t understand. Ha.

  34. Many of them inherited their money, as opposed to having earned it. The fact that there are people who see nothing wrong with the rich getting more tax breaks while not supporting people who have worked all their lives and lost everything when their jobs were outsourced, for example, indicates a moral blind spot. I get so sick of hearing that the idea is to take money from “deserving” people and give it to “undeserving” ones. That’s the kind of mindset among the Party of No, which sees nothing wrong with giving the rich unneeded tax breaks and funding endless wars, while trying to dismantle health care reform or cut spending on things like health, education, and infrastructure in the name of “fiscal responsibility.” I don’t have a problem with someone being rich, but IMHO, a truly successful human being is someone who does something worthwhile, regardless of his or her personal wealth. The Party of No appeals to greed, as well as the short-sighted selfishness that keeps many of us from looking at the big picture.

  35. So the top 3% has 90% of the money but only pays 50% of the taxes? Shouldn’t they be paying 90% of the taxes? And as for redistribution of wealth, since when does the govt. tax the rich and just GIVE it to the poor? They don’t. They USE the money. It’s not redistributing the wealth it’s paying for services. I personally don’t think that the govt. CAN fix the economy, I think that’s up to us, BUT if you really want them to try YOU HAVE TO PAY THEM FOR IT.
    Also money isn’t a body part. Taking a finger away is vastly different than taxing someone. BUT if you wanna use it, and you want to use wealth redistribution, it would be closer to say:
    You have 13 thousand fingers (many of which aren’t attached, you’ve just been collecting them), and most people have 10 (all of which are fully engaged). There are some that only have 5 (cause they sold 5 for crack). Govt. says everyone gives up 2 so that those that have five can have 7. Those that had 10 will have 8 and those that have 13 thousand will have 12,998. (or if percentage is your thing, 20% of 13,000 is 2600 fingers which leaves you with 10,400 fingers… Which is not only more than you need, but probably a little creepy.)
    Cry me a river.
    Those with 10 fingers to start aren’t begging for anything. They’re working and they’re making fingers for everyone. The problem is that when you take fingers from someone that has 10 to start it makes their lives more difficult immediately. When you take fingers from people that have thousands, they can still eat.

    NO one wants to give their fingers to a crackhead that sold his just to buy a rock, and a lap dance. But the govt. is going to. They’re gonna get their money from somewhere, and the more 10 fingered workers they take from to help, the more 8 finger cripples they make. Those people can’t work because it takes 10 fingers to work the equipment at the plastic vibrator plant, and they become 5 finger crackheads themselves. So instead of crippling the the only workforce that makes the toys you can go FU@K yourself with, maybe we should look to the people that will STILL have the most fingers of anyone even after 10%, 30%, or even 75% is taken away.

  36. The rich get more benefits than the poor in this country as it is – even counting welfare and such. The rich get ready access to their employees (legislators) who legislate on their behalf. The poor don’t get this benefit. So why complain about taxing the rich to pay their rightful share?

    Warren Buffet pays 16% while his secretary pays double that percentage. This is REDISTRIBUTION of WEALTH to the WEALTHY. The fed gave out over $2 trill in low interest loans to places like McDonalds and European banks (Bernanke wanted to keep the list a secret) who turn around and lend to the rest of us at exorbitant rates. That’s further REDISTRIBUTION of WEALTH to the already WEALTHY.

    Why do you characterize the state of being “wealthy” to having “earned” that wealth in a free market economy? This is -not- a free market economy since legislation on behalf of the wealthy has had the effect of redistributing all the wealth to one side of the buyer-seller transactions.
    (a recent economics Nobel laureate demonstrated that any intervention into the value proposition in market transactions will favor either the buyer or seller, but not both).

    … the problem is ppl like you who perceive the wealthy 1% in the US as deserving the wealth due to value they’ve added to the economy. That cannot be the case. The bottom 90% cannot have gone down in value as much quoted above since the 1970’s. The mega-rich have not added a comensurate benefit to the economy.

  37. @Tex – You have some delusional idea that you’re protecting the rich so that one day when you are rich, you’ll get to keep it all and not pay any taxes.

    NEWS FLASH: You’re not rich, else you wouldn’t be hanging around this forum. Rather, you’d be talking directly to legislators or having your minions do it for you. You won’t -ever- be rich. Wealth is locked up nice and tightly already and will only concentrate further.

  38. If you click on the graph, to get a better look (not everything should be fed to you) it get’s bigger and vastly more concerning. Understanding it though, I won’t help you with. We call that natural selection.

  39. Arthur I couldn’t agree more. The whole problem is greed. I give an extra 20 bucks per check to taxes. That’s an extra 5% (roughly) (and yeah, I AM that poor.) And even though I don’t thing the govt. can fix this, they seem to be the ONLY ONES trying. Greedy greedy greedy greedy greedy greedy greedy.

  40. Capitalism isn’t evil; class warfare is.
    Wealth is not a “zero sum game”.
    Rather it is more like
    “A rising tide raises all boats.”
    Let the rich keep their well-earned money and use it to grow more.
    Let businesses succeed without government taking away most profits.
    Reduce the regulations. Let everyone know that it’s easy to start a business, be your own boss and get a bigger piece of the profit pie.
    More buinesses, more profits, more jobs. Better for everybody.
    And of course the rich will get richer, too. LET ‘EM!

  41. Your arguing based on bullshit assumptions. Jame’s assertion that the top 2% have 90% of the money appears to be untrue: http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

    Also, how effective is the government at “using” the money anyway? How much of it is used to pay political favors, broker power, and buy votes? I’m talking about BOTH sides of the aisle here.


  42. The point of this article is to show how the disparity in income and wealth can have detrimental effects on the economy.

    Some of you have pointed out that money sitting in banks is WORKING capital, while that is TRUE, the business isn’t borrowing that money unless there is a demand to cause them too.

    A manufacturer will not purchase new machinery if Demand for their product doesn’t increase. A business will not expand into another city if demand for their product isn’t there.

    Essentially what I am saying is the WORKING capital in a bank will always be there. Whether the wealthiest put it there or the working middle class put it there.

    Also, as I have stated it is demand that drives the economy. When the POOL of people that consume SHRINK, you have less demand in the economy.

    Think about some of the poorest countries. Business do not go there or SELL there because demand is low because so few people have money. Same idea happens here in the USA.

    If more people have more money rather than consolidated the higher the demand will be and thus will spur hiring and capital investment.

  43. You know, the one allowance I would make to the class warfare crowd is that something is seriously the matter with Wall Street.

    Do those guys produce anything? No.
    …but their actions impact us greatly.
    The banker crown is extremely wealthy, but are they contributing, or skimming?

    I think that there is something wrong on Wall Street, but the guys in Washington are the ones I trust least to be able to fix it.


  44. The real cause of why the depression was so bad had nothing to do with taxes but instead was the result of a massive contraction in the money supply by the Federal Reserve. This has been pointed out by virtually every economic study on the depression. Combine that with the passage of Smoot-Hawley Tarrif made it even worse.

    Oh and by 1932 Hoover had the top marginal rate increased to 63 percent from 24 percent, with the estate tax doubling and corporate income taxes rising by 15 percent. Roosevelt continued in this fashion, raising the top marginal income tax rate first to 70 percent and eventually to 90 percent.

    Fucking idiot

  45. “We now have the highest number of poor people in 51 years.”

    As long as we keep raising the poverty line faster than the cost of living, the 51 in this statement will increase by one every year.

    “Women in the US have a greater lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy-related conditions….”

    Because in those “40 other countries”, the women probably don’t wait until they are in their forties before they decide it’s time to have a kid, and then go through a handful of down-right dangerous methods and drugs to try to get pregnant.

    “There are 49 million people in the US who live in households which eat only because they receive food stamps….”

    Where I live, there are quite a few men who used to work in the mines but are now “disabled” and unfit for ANY work so they receive public assistance, yet they don’t seem to have any problem riding an ATV or snowmobile all day, or bouncing down woods roads in an old truck and dragging a canoe a quarter-mile to go fishing, or chopping and selling firewood (only for cash), or plowing driveways (again, only cash).

    “Wages have not kept up with inflation; adjusted for inflation they have lost ground over the past ten years.”

    Even better… I work for a mostly rural county in a northern-tier state. The County Board, all of whom are elected on the Democrat ticket, want to CUT the wages of the County employees and RAISE monthly insurance premiums and co-pays. Wages range from $12-20 per hour, which I guess puts us right in the “rich-sons-o-bitches” category.

    “A record 2.8 million homes received a foreclosure notice in 2009, higher than both 2008 and 2007. In 2010, the rate is expected to be rise to 3 million homes.”

    Because the Democrat run Legislature passed laws forcing banks to make the loans. With all this free money flying around, “The cost of housing … increased at a much higher rate than wages and salaries.” People who couldn’t afford them suddenly had loans for half-a-million dollars. Most of them were interest-only payments, so there was no way they would ever pay down the principal. When the sh!t finally hit the fan, the bubble burst, and the same Democrats in the Legislature stood up on national TV and said, ‘This should never have happened! We’re going to get to the bottom of this and fix it!’ So, they passed laws forcing banks to refinance with the people who couldn’t afford to pay off their loans. In the great American gimme-mine spirit of today, many people who had been paying their loans watched the news and their neighbors and promptly stopped paying they could refinance, too.

    “…the richest 1% more than doubled their share of the total US income….”
    “…the average tax rate on the richest 400 taxpayers in the US dropped from 26.8% to 16.62%….”

    So, if income goes up by 100% and taxes go down by 38% (1-(16.62/26.8)), than they are ONLY paying 125% of what they used to. Nowhere in the big, long quote does it mention that the top 5% of the income earners in the country pay 90% of the taxes. In 2000, Cheney had to sell off his oil company stocks before he could run for Vice-President. He paid over $16-MILLION in taxes that year. If you total the salaries of me, my wife, our kids, our parents, and our siblings and their kids, you will not get $16-million in income, let alone taxes. And, just so you don’t claim it’s all those no-good Repulblicans, in 1990, Willie Nelson owed $32-MILLION for many years of delinquent taxes and fines.

    “Despite the fact that the American workforce is working harder and smarter than ever, they are sharing less and less in the benefits they are creating.”

    If nobody is getting any benefit from the system, why do we need to keep raising taxes on the rich? Where is all that money going? Rather than trying to take another couple percent from the rich, how about we trim the budget of a few, useless, billion-dollar projects? I gaurantee the return on investment would be much greater. Oh wait, we can’t… Each member of the Legislature ensures their continued employment with such projects. There are 535 members in both Houses of Congress. A billion-or-three each totals up to… Hey, what’s the deficit up to nowadays? Maybe if being a Senator or Congressman wasn’t one of the greatest jobs in the world, they wouldn’t need to waste so much of our money to hold on to those jobs. How about we demand that they get the exact same health care they “give” us?

    “And we must give the rich tax breaks?”

    Yes… Because they’re the ones passing the laws…

    “The current salary (2010) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.” The Majority and Minority leaders get another $20,000. The current Speaker of the House gets $223,500, and her “travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period.” And, let’s not forget that she has the largest staff (51) ever, and she charged $3000 in flowers, and another $3000 in bottled water, in the third quarter of 2009 alone.

    “A cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase takes effect annually unless Congress votes to not accept it.”

    “In 2006, the average annual pension for retired senators and representatives under CSRS was $60,972….”
    What’s Social Security paying out these days… $15,000 a year?

  46. But Ray, there is complexity in the economy.

    Consider the incremental tax rate of 73% you mentioned. If I was going to pay $0.75 of every extra buck I owned to the government, how motivated would I be to invest in a new venture. I would never find the kind of outrageous ROI that it would make it worth-while after tax. If I had a cache of money buried in my back yard (figuratively — Money that is “idle”), how would that motivate me to pull it out and invest it?

    Also, can you comment on the effects of an extremely progressive tax system on upward economic mobility? The “american dream” is to “get there” someday, reaping the rewards of your own hard work. Paying the government an ever increasing share is at odds with this.


  47. … and what we are doing what about it exactly ? Besides being a bunch of whiny losers that is ? I see Republicans getting organized and pulling their sh*t together behind a common goal, even if that goal is and I see the other side bending over and taking it because they are incapable of making a cohesive decision. And I’m speaking as one of this other side. The US is not a two party system. It’s one party and one grab bag of pathetic, bitching whiners.

    We get handed a golden opportunity to make a difference and we piss it away. WE are the ones who put the people making these decisions in power. How ? BY NOT VOTING ! WE are the MAJORITY ! We outnumber the Fox News crowd AND WE DON’T VOTE ! What was the turnout at the miderms ? STOP BITCHING AND VOTE YOU F***ING WHINERS ! Or shut up and take it like the sheep you are. The rich are rich because the poor want them to be, because the poor need the delusion that they will themselves be rich. Or else we the poor will have to finally admit that not only is the American Dream dead, IT NEVER EXISTED IN THE FIRST PLACE !

    Get this. YOU WILL NOT BE RICH. You won’t even come CLOSE to being rich. But maybe, just maybe, you will have a chance to be HAPPY ! But who am I kidding ? This country isn’t about being happy, it’s about how much happier than you can I be ? It’s all about the chase. The pursuit of happiness doesn’t generate revenue streams if you catch it and stop running.

    Instead the rich can count on the poor to keep ensuring the political longevity of members of congress who will keep the rich rich, and keep the poor poor. And how will they do it ? By telling the poor that they will someday be rich. “You too can be like me. Trust me. In the meantime, keep me rich. Buy my shit, watch my show, burn my oil, wear my clothes. And maybe you’ll be like me….. Like the threads ? Know who makes them ? Not you. How ’bout my ride ? Also not you. Whadaya mean you don’t know anyone who’ll capitalize you ? Isn’t your dad rich like mine ? Tough shit. Just go to school for 6 years then on the off chance that I haven’t killed the economy or outsourced your job by the time you get out. Or you could just sing about being poor.

    It’s as sure as Death and Taxes. Which in this country means “I die 25 years later than you and I pay no taxes.”

    The people who matter, i.e the poor, ignorant shlubs who are putting the Nazis back in power here DON’T READ YOUR EDITORIALS. They watch Fox. And Fox is NOT carrying your story. You cannot sway the other side. They have demonstrated that they will not meet you halfway. They don’t even need to pretend to smile anymore while they wipe themselves with your Bill. You can beg and plead all you want (because being on your knees is what you are good at) but you can’t change minds that they do not have. You can only outnumber them. And until you do, until you stop bitching and act, until every single last person in this country actually shows up at the polls and votes, you have NO voice and NO right to complain.

    So if there is someone in your entourage, someone you know, someone you talk to, someone you nod at in the driveway in the morning who didn’t vote, drag them to the polls by force if need be and TAKE OUR DAMN COUNTRY BACK !

    In the meantime, enjoy the memory of the bright future you aren’t going to have because you just handed it to John Boehner who will endeavor as hard as he possibly can to take a crap on it so large he’ll slim down by 2 pant sizes.

    End rant. The vitriol is out. Don’t slip on it. Not that it makes a damn bit of difference anyway.

  48. You assume they *earn* it. Most of the super rich are *given* “compensation” from their peers so the whole thing is just one giant corporate circle-jerk.

  49. Money buying stocks only *works* with the first sale of that stock by the company. Everything after that is smoke and mirrors.

  50. First you said “If I had a cache of money buried in my back yard (figuratively — Money that is “idle”), how would that motivate me to pull it out and invest it?”

    This is taxed at 15%, a capital gains rate.

    Second, realized profits is only taxes if you pull it out for personal income. Profits that stay in the business, like expansion of a factory is not taxed. Profits that go to niring new people is not tax, profits that go toward raises are not taxed.

  51. I say we should do what all the big corporations do. We give everyone a big golden parachute and then get taken over by another country. Us and the new named us would still dominate the world’s economy and we would be debt free. :)

  52. Redistibution of wealth is simple. Taxes on the wealthy enable the the government to increase the child tax credit, home mortgage interest deduction, a lower income tax on those making less the a quarter million…etc

  53. They created, out of whole cloth, the interstate highway system. It was wonderful until the boomer’s got pissy and stopped paying to maintain it.

    The European train systems are wonderful—it would be nice to have that here.

  54. Capitalism, but its very definition, assumes that those with capital somehow deserve the greater reward for the wealth created by its use than the laborers who are doing the actual creating. That’s kinda evil.

  55. If the American Dream never existed, why could immigrants with almost nothing come to this country (legally!) and end up owning a store, a few hotels, or some other small business after just a few years? How many “Patels” own small hotels or 7-eleven franchises?

    The answer is that these folks come to this country expecting to work hard and they lack the entitlement mentality.

    If you expect the federal government to help you, you are sadly mistaken. With them, it is all about a power grab. On paper, it is the state governments and the people that are supposed to have the power — but the federal tax code changed all that. Suck all the money out of the states and make them beg for a little bit of it back! Federal taxes are all about power…and some folks want to let them have more???

  56. Let’s see, you can work that additional dollar and get the 25 cents or you can just not work and get nothing extra. Isn’t 25 still the better deal?

  57. Increasing taxes on the top 2% will enable the bottom 98% to have more. This isimply how it works. The government will increase tax credits for children, deductions for first time home buyers, etc…this will enhance the purchasing power of the middle class, boost demand and increase profits and hiring. Right now if the top 2% are holding their money, it isnt creating consumption demand.

    Yes they may put it in banks but that will not create economic mobility through demand.

  58. Now you stepped in it Ray.

    You want to tax the extremely rich, but how many of them get an actual paycheck every two weeks? Much of their income is in the form of capitol gains. Your progressive tax ideas do not touch those guys.

    Like I said, things are more complicated than these simple “tax the rich” ideas imply. Raise the top income tax brackets and you kill small business but do not touch the uber-rich. Raise capitol gains and you clobber the small investor and everybody’s retirement accounts.

    Are you going to comment on my “upward mobility” comment, or is everybody supposed to be the same and not be rewarded for working harder than the next guy?

  59. I feel as though that was exactly the point that he was trying to make in that statement: that incomeless people, being inherently without income, do not pay an income tax.

  60. I am rich guy and I am hanging around this forum…
    Stop trying to take all my money and get your lazy asses to work. How about instead of buying whatever you think you need, you pay off your credit card and put some money in the bank. I assure you compound interest over time IS your friend. It has been extremely nice to me and made me wealthy over time. !Personal Responsibility! Hand outs are for suckers.

  61. Now that would depend on how much I value my time and effort now wouldn’t it?

    To pick numbers, maybe I’ll hang around and work some more for $20 an hour, but at $5 an hour I’ll go home and spend some quality time with the kids.

    I want to see you negotiate a union contract where the guys get paid only 25% of their hourly after the first 40 hours instead of the customary 150%.

    Do you value your leisure time that little, or are you a total idiot?

    Myself, I think truly productive people should be encouraged to be productive.

  62. If money is in a bank…its on my statement and I have a right to it..but its actually being used by other people who get loaned that money through the bank….thus why we get interest. So the rich are not actually hoarding there money unless they have a big vault of gold coins they go swimming in.

  63. You too can work in finance if you want to. No body is stopping you from being one of those people who works hard and gets bonuses. Mind you that they don’t just blatantly hand out bonus money to people for no reason. It is based off of the deals people do and is a % of the profit they bring into the company.
    If you work hard you get rewarded….this is still America despite what you may think.

  64. Right. All they needed was a little sweat equity. All you had to do was show up and work. Right ? Nobody needed government intervention because all the Patels were working in hotels, mom and pop shops and hardware stores. You could hardly move for all the selfmade business owners. Hardly anybody at all needed things like labor laws, anti-cartel laws, federal level policing agencies because Americans are such generous, good natured likeable people that they would never exploit you or make you work in conditions that would kill a horse. In fact our business and industry is such an idyllic model of efficiency, safety and well-being that people hardly even need to be paid at all. Which is why our minimum wage is the envy of the world. Everybody wants to be on it !

    There is ONE Bill Gates. There are 300 MILLION other people. DO THE MATH ! How true is the American Dream ? Is everybody in this country except for the top 2% a bunch of lazy sods ? Or is it maybe that hard work and good will aren’t the only things you need. Maybe hard work, good will, some serious luck, readily available capital, the right skill set, a broad knowledge base, a generous dose of “right place, right time” a willingness to stab backs and cut throats and grab what you can, are what you need.

    But you’re right. The states are all we need. They cooperate willingly. They’re so on the ball and like minded it’s like we’re in frigging Japan. If I’m in business in your ideal world, what I really want is to have a situation in which I market my product to 50 separate nations with their own tax codes, currencies, border tarifs, transit authorities, railway gauges, police systems, and trade laws. That’s such a model of efficiency in accounting that it makes you wonder why anybody ever had to invent a central bank.
    Things were so much easier back in the day when everybody had their own bank and currency. They enjoyed the mental exercise of the diversity so much they even used Pesos just to mix it up a little.

    It was truly a happier better place where all races, creeds ages and sexes lived and worked in perfect harmony with no government intervention at all. They didn’t even lock their doors at night.

    Because everybody is just a decent kind of person. We all just work together.
    What the fuck are you on man ?

    The government exists because if you leave people alone you get “Gangs of New York” . The only thing that sucks more than government is people. And if you want to dispute that, just honestly stop and think for a second what would happen if you just took government services out of a place for even a day.

    Baghdad … Mogadishu … Port au Prince…. New Orleans …

  65. Even if you believe the author (and he’s wrong) the world is not the same as it was in 1929. In 1929, if you wanted democracy and a stable Government you had few choices. Today there are a ton. If we excessively tax the rich they leave and pay $0 in taxes. Plenty of Ex-American’s (expats) made their fortune here but now run under another countries flag. If we tax them more, then more will do this until there are no rich left to tax.

  66. What are YOU on?

    The federal government is incredibly efficient with their use of money and show true genius with their policies.

    How fortunate for us to not have a government comprised of a separate political class that uses the flow of money principally for the brokerage of power.

    You think having homogeneous policies within the states would be a GOOD thing? I don’t think so. The states with good economic policies would thrive, and those with bad ones would not. Companies would move if they had to. States would adapt or suffer the consequences. They would be placed in a competitive situation.

    On your last comment, I’ll bite: If government services disapeared for a day, what service would I likely miss the most?

  67. Sorry, but the top 5% of income earners DO NOT pay 90% of the taxes. The rich own most of the wealth and earn most of the income in this country and use most of its resources. Therefore they should be paying most of the taxes.

  68. It sounds like Mr. Medeiros is implying that income inequality was a contributing factor to the Great Depression of 1929. Really? I would have thought that many other factors would have been involved such as hyper-inflation in Germany, the collapse of the German and French economies and the massive reduction in world trade post-World War. The reasons are numerous but I highly doubt that income inequality in the U.S. prior to 1929 is that much of a factor . Mr. Medeiros, who claims to be a “student of economics”, should take more than the one entry-level economics class he obviously registered for many years ago but didn’t attend. Perhaps actually attending class and reading the required texts and/or textbook will help Mr. Medeiros to look less like the incompetent political science major he seems to be.

  69. The banks are sitting on their money and are not lending very much. The lower classes are not going to buy cars and homes if they do not have any money or income. Let’s be clear the mega rich got that way because of fraud and theft not because they are smart or “work hard”. The rich game and manipulate the system for their benefit. There has been a centrally planned economy and wealth distribution in this country for a while now. It distributes the wealth to the rich.

  70. You are dead wrong, the factories leave this country but their headquarters remain here. Why do their headquarters remain here, so thet can have the protections of our court system to protect their patents, protection of our military and yes the loopholes in our tax code.

  71. First of all, I appreciate your elementary school recess time attacks on my character.
    Second,I never implied that income inequality was the sole cause. What I can do is justify why I believe it was a contributing factor, as i have done in the article.

    My question to you would be, how can the majority of wealth being concentrated in the hands of a smaller pool of people be healthy for the economy?

  72. Defend that.

    I worked hard to get my degree. I financed it myself by working hard while I was in school. When I was not working, I studied hard to get damn good grades.

    After graduation, I worked hard at my job. Engineering is about lifetime learning. I understood that. My employers understood that, and saw that I performed. My salary increased fairly rapidly over time.

    I work, in general, approximately 60 hours a week. Sometimes more. I love engineering and I am always learning more.

    I am good at what I do.

    I am not in the 250K+ club yet, but I could be one day. My guess is that once there is a line at 250K, it could easily creep down to my level.

    I have no doubt that my wealth is meritoriously acquired.

    Why do you assume that in general, wealth is not meritoriously acquired? Do you think that in general, folks will throw money at you for no value added? Is your economic sense that twisted?

    What do you do for a living? Is your wealth meritoriously acquired? Perhaps you are just consumed with such wealth envy that your cognitive dissonance does not allow you to not believe that those more productive than you must be somehow dishonest or evil?

    Perhaps you plunder for a living. I can see why none of this makes sense if that is the case.

  73. Where exactly have you found that the American workforce is working harder than ever? All I have observed is the American workforce becoming fatter and lazier than ever. How many people do you know that work hard compared to how many people do you know that take take every opportunity to take advantage of the system?

  74. We are work longer hours, for the same pay. We are getting fatter because we lack the fiances to but healthy food. (IE Frozen food and processed meat like bologna is cheaper than fresh food)

    We eat more on the run because of the longer hours, meaning more fast food.

    American middle class is working harder to obtain the middle class lifestyle.

  75. The Conservative Government in Canada has the same mindset as The Republicans, and are adherents to the same ideas of governance and economic policies.

    They see nothing wrong in dismantling our Health Care system, cutting back on Science and Technology (hoping somehow God will take care of things), dismantling our Civil Service while paying untold monies for Consultants, selling off Natural Resources, and refusing to even acknowledge there might be some truth in Global Warning. At the same time we are wasting lives and money on a foreign war that is none of our business, and can’t be won.

    They are spending massive amounts of money on war, policing and security, etc., while reducing the taxes needed to pay for all their waste and incompetence.

    It’s all a rather disappointing state of affairs.

  76. I love it when they say that raising taxes on people who make over $250,000 a year will cause businesses to fail. So, I have a business and I took home $250,000 this year. Next year I pay an extra 3% in taxes so I take home $242,5000. Wholly crap! We have to close the plant!

    There isn’t a person on this planet who would scale back his business because his personal income over $250,000 is taxed more. Business expenses are supported by the business. If you can afford to cut an employee you do it regardless of your tax rate. If you need another employee you get one regardless of your tax rate (and smile because your business is growing)

    I’ve been on both sides. I’ve written an income tax payment that was six figures and I’ve paid no tax at all after my business failed. At no point when I was wealthy did I think, “Gee, this tax burden is so bad that I’m going to just stop trying to make money!”

    The idea that people won’t try to be rich if taxes are higher is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

  77. What is the point of taxes, though? To punish people? Or to fund behavior and activities that are generally agreed-upon to be beneficial for most everyone.

    With that in mind, grossly disproportionate taxes on the rich do not accomplish the goal. Tax revenues just plain have not exceeded a constant percentage of GDP, despite peak tax rates of 20% to 70%. The money collected, historically, has been the same, relative to the GDP. Therefore, simply upping tax percentages on the wealthy accomplishes nothing but punishing the wealthy.

    The fact remains that 40% of the population does not pay income taxes. The fact remains that the state with the highest welfare rates – California – is in some of the direst straits ever seen in the US. The fact remains that people just plain do not appreciate things that they are given, and only value that which they earn. The fact remains that “spreading the wealth around” is an inherently inefficient and self-defeating system. The fact remains that 80% of the millionaires in this country are first-generation rich; which means that there is no finite amount of wealth, and that most anyone can go out and generate wealth from where once there was none. This doomsday “wealth disparity” bugaboo makes about as much sense as complaining about “height disparity”. As far as tax collection goes, disparity of wealth doesn’t matter, only GDP does.

    However, it’s not about GDP, is it? It’s about pacifying the masses, obfuscating lousy leadership by blaming some imagined “enemy” (the rich, if you’re a Democrat, or vague references to “terrorists” if you’re a Republican) to keep the masses from voting out 90% of Congress.

  78. The poor and middle class spend more of their money consuming than the rich… if you were starving and only had $10, you’d probably buy lunch rather than open a savings account. Consumption taxes only generate revenue if the money is spent here. The rich are more likely to buy goods and services not produced here and also more likely to travel abroad and spend money in those places.

  79. Wealth is already being redistributed..it’s just a matter of direction.

    Empowering the middle class with the ability to take risks, get their ideas out, start businesses, etc. is what leads to economic success. The middle class can’t do their job of creating new sources of wealth when they’re shrinking in numbers and influence, and when business power in America is so consolidated.

    The American worker has become a lot more productive in the last 50 years. Everyone’s working harder and longer hours, yet they make less money and see less in benefits. Please explain how that’s possible in a capitalistic society if there aren’t serious problems with economic policy.

  80. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

    Look at the “Academic Class Models”. Notice something about the 1%? It says “Heirs”. They’re out there. Nobody’s arguing people can’t become rich by working hard, but it’s a lot harder to be the heir of a middle class family and never work a day in your life. The rich can sustain a certain lifestyle based solely on investment income – its a neat perk.

    I have no doubt that you work hard (don’t pat yourself on the back too hard). A lot of people do assume that people who have money must work hard, and conveniently ignore the Paris Hilton variety.

    So when the guy two posts up talks about punishing the “successful” he really means the “successful” or their bratty, entitled progeny who will never have a real job.

  81. Is it really a problem to pay more tax if you do one day make it to the top tax bracket? I think there’s a habit of people to worry about “what if I’m a millionaire” type scenarios when the system is currently geared to ensure that not only doesn’t happen, but that you are actively punished for not being super rich.
    By punished I mean:
    * no public/universal healthcare in the USA like every other developed nation, meaning that you are just one bit of bad luck (or hell, in the case of the WTC attacks – just coming to help out and now having republicans vote down a bill to help out with health costs) away from bankruptcy
    * restricted access to social safetynets like the dole (unemployment benefits)
    * costly education meaning being poor means you can’t educate yourself way out of that situation


    The rich in the USA are not going to be out on the streets if they have to pay more tax, but the poor through to middle income earners (and indeed the pretty well off too thanks to the health insurance industry) DO end up on the street, in poverty etc. People in charge (well, republicans mainly) are more concerned about helping the high income earners amass more money than they are about helping people who are actually suffering.. Although they never seem to want to cut spending on military stuff to do anything about it either.. So really, taxing those who can most afford it is a pretty sensible idea.

  82. People with ideas should be entitled to make more money than people who take orders, follow directions, etc. The team that designed the iPad deserves more money than the factory workers who construct or perform quality assurance testing on it.

  83. Way to not read. My comment had everything to do with individuals and nothing to do with businesses or ‘factories’.

    If you are this intellectually dishonest in responses you shouldn’t be allowed to write articles.

  84. Poor Annie, still unable to grasp the simple fact as outlined in the article 80% or 8/10ths of those billionaires are first generation!

    What part of the decimal system, you do not understand?

  85. ME, you’re really showing that people without a basic understanding of math shouldn’t be in this ‘debate’.

    $200,000 of $1,000,000,000 is %0.02 percent.

    Using your analogy, that’d be like cutting a very small portion of one fingernail to provide fingers for the needy.

    So, looks like a failed argument from this angle as well.

  86. Tax breaks? Are you familiar with federal phaseouts for personal exemptions and itemized deductions below the line? The rich have to actively engage tax professionals in order to keep a substantial amount of their money from the governments coffers.

  87. The fact remains that people just plain do not appreciate things that they are given, and only value that which they earn. The fact remains that “spreading the wealth around” is an inherently inefficient and self-defeating system.

    – Those aren’t facts.

  88. Pur ittle heystupid jes don git it. The ultra rich get theirs by exploiting others and by grabbing a disproportionate share of our countries resources. They can damn sure pay a disproportionate share of the cost of running this country. The only recourse the people of this country have in standing up to the international corporations that are trying to weaken the government of our great nation, is that We the People ARE the Government.

  89. Rich guy is a poor ass snob who has bought into the Republican scams. He’s just a troll Republican stooge who actually think they care for him.

  90. to Ray Medeiros, you are spot-on with just about everything you say.

    to Don, I hope you and people like you open your eyes someday to whats going on in this country, the american dream is almost dead. Its a fantasy to most americans. why do you think so many people buy lottery tickets, just a last ditch effort to make it, everything else is just slave labor, just what capitalism likes!


  91. Simple facts of history show that the times of most robust economic growth in this nation was when unions were strong and the rich were taxed at the highest historical rates. We started downhill with the deregulation began with Reagan. Every time the Republicans get a turn in office, we go further down. They have made it clear – they want a weak federal government. Weakening the government weakens the country. The international corporations who have bought the GOP want to Balkanize the USA and chip away all controls over them as regards labor and environmental laws. The right hate America, and will do all they can to destroy her. The only hope lies in We the People.

  92. I know many many many people and they ALL work except a very few who are either full-time students, are 100% disabled (split about 50% between those hurt on the job or in warfare). Everyone I know who has been on unemployment were people who were laid off and had trouble finding work because of the Bush Recession. There are many of those who are that way because International Corporations (all the big ones are internationals you know) moved jobs overseas – of course, the Bush administration gave them tax breaks. The CEOs with the largest corporations who got the biggest bonuses the past few years are those who laid off the most workers. The vast numbers of non-working people taking advantage of poor working Republicans are a myth – no – a lie. A fabrication of GOP Inc.

  93. “…if taxes were 75% why the F would you even work?”

    Because if I was earning the kind of money that places me in a 75% tax bracket, that 75% would only be on a portion of my earnings – the portion above that line.

  94. Okay, your wealth is meritoriously acquired. Therefore everybody’s wealth is meritoriously acquired. I’m generalizing from one example here, but everybody does that. Or, at least, I do.

  95. “A rising tide raises all boats.”

    Just because one person’s boat is being raised up, that doesn’t mean the tide is rising.

  96. You’re making it sound worse than it really is.

    If somebody makes $250,100, and the tax bracket that starts at $250,000 goes up by 3%, how much more does that person pay?

    Would you believe $3?

  97. It’s bothersome that people talk about the rich paying their “fair share”. This debate seems to center around how much money the high income earners should be allowed to keep. What seems to be lost is the fact that it is THEIR MONEY and no one is entitled to it. It is being confiscated from them by the government. Even if you naively believe that doing so will stimulate the economy, the rich have no constitutional responsibility to do that more than anyone else. It originates from the flawed reasoning, amply demonstrated in the article and the comments, that they have more than they need already and so the “extra” money should be turned over to the feds. To that point, I love this last quote from the article:

    “Raising the income tax on the top 2% enables greater tax credits,breaks and a lower income tax rate for working middle class people. This puts more money in the hands of MORE people, spurring demand to a greater amount than a handful of millionaires”.

    Using the tax code to redistribute wealth is not only un-American, it is grossly inefficient.

  98. Severnj said “Using the tax code to redistribute wealth is not only un-American, it is grossly inefficient.” I disagree, in fact Thomas Paine disagrees also, see link

    This link provides Thomas Paine’s thoughts in Agrarian justice.
    Paine finishes off with a detailed plan of how to move forward. His proposal:

    To create a national fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property:

    And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to every person now living, of the age of fifty years, and to all others as they shall arrive at that age.

  99. I agree that people who have a problem with helping the poor, children, homeless, and disabled only care about money. I had a conversation tonight and it was very sad to hear how these people believed that everyone has the “same opportunities” because that is not completely true. People are so angry about the small amount of our budget that is actually is spent on what is considered “welfare” yet I don’t hear these people mention our insanely large “defense” budget. It makes me sick how people are more interested in material wealth than human beings. Not everyone who needs financial assistance is taking advantage of the system and that is not the reason behind our budget deficient. I also find it very humorous that the majority of these people who don’t believe in social welfare programs claim to be “Christian” but don’t even follow the words of Jesus when it comes to providing for the poor.

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
    -Matthew 6:24

    “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'”
    -Matthew 19:23-24

  100. This is hilarious, what do you all do for a living? If you want to be in the top 2% then just work harder. Why the hell should they have to give all their money back, just because they make more? Jobs created Apple, Michael Dell created Dell, the Papa John’s guy starting making pies in college.. That is 3 examples of billionaires creating jobs, want me to keep going? Our country is turning in to a bunch of whiny babies who want a ton of money but too damn lazy to go get it.

  101. ha ha ha ha, this website made my day, it would be the funniest damn thing if it wasn’t so sad. Fat cats don’t care about the poor is just the dumbest thing in the world. Go get a job and start being a contribution to society

  102. Doug, your lack of integrity is incredible. The point of this article is the disparity of income and it’s adverse effects of our economy. Second, the top 2% are 2% for a reason. You can’t possibly believe 98% of Americans are going to be 2 percenters…seriously…that is about as likely as a middle aged man waking next to a playboy model.

    If everyone was a CEO, who is going to do the work? Answer that?

  103. And you’re free to make that choice—leaving the work to be done by somebody else. Cool!

    Thus, increasing the tax rate did do something Good: it got you out of way to make a job for someone else *and* it got you home to be with your kids. Win-win, I’d say.

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