400 super rich Americans control more wealth in the country than 150 million other Americans

Even though a government shutdown was averted – working class people will still be screwed over in America. A new report by Wealth for the Common Good shows that the 400 richest people in America – our nation’s oligarchs – have never had it so good and are paying the lowest taxes ever in their lifetimes.

Those 400 super rich Americans control more wealth in the country than 150 million other Americans, and yet are effectively taxed at a rate of just over 16% while the rest of spay up to 35% plus higher levels of sales, property, and other taxes. To put that in perspective These 400 rich oligarchs effective tax rate has dropped by more than 2/3 since Dwight Eisenhower's administration – while the rate for working people has nearly doubled. Rich people get a 2/3 tax cut over the last 50 years – working people get screwed with a 100% tax hike.

To make matters worse – average CEO pay increased dramatically last year – despite an 20% real under- and un-employment rate plaguing the rest of us. And yet – now Congress says they're gonna pass a budget that cuts federal education, health care, and energy assistance programs for working class Americans while doing nothing to make America’s oligarchs pay their fair share or sacrifice even one damn thing.


gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

Here is a note that I will be sending to family and friends.

While I was away from the computer for almost four weeks, I kept notes with pen and paper. We also had a chance to listen to Thom Hartmann. On one particular day we heard Thom talk about the documentary film, “I Am.” We went to see the film with our son. “I Am” is truly a great documentary film that is written and directed by Tom Shadyac. The film probed the exploration of our world; what is wrong with it; and what we can do to make it better. After surviving a horrific cycling accident Tom Shadyac emerges a changed man by abandoning his life of glamour and possessions and he moves into a mobile home to begin life anew.

“I Am” is a film that is not playing in major movie theaters and it is not viewed in all the major cities. In the film we are asked to be part of a better world by cooperation, sympathy, love, and connection. We are connected to every human being whether we like it or not. Are you a person who can love? Are you a person who can see with your heart? God said to you and me, “I am who I am.” We need to be like God and be “I am.” Seeing God in all His creations is very important.

Let me say that this documentary film is not for everyone. If two questions can be answered with a yes, you are eligible to see the film. I need to caution you that your viewing of the film will shake you from your comfort zone. It is my understanding that whenever people are shaken from their comfort zone, they can become very upset.

Here are the two questions. Are you a person who can love God’s children? Are you a person who can see with your heart? We do see with our eyes but the eyes can be deceiving in what we need to see.

Sincerely, Jerry

P.S. I was unable to locate movie theaters in the Detroit area that are or would be showing the film, “I Am.” I tried – iam, iam.com, iamdoc.com, and iamthedoc.com with no luck. You may have better luck.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

I was away from my computer but a pen and paper were handy and I kept notes from Thom’s shows and from MSNBC. Listening and viewing these shows have made me disheartened by American corporations and the American rich’s hatred for our poor, average, middle, and working classes. America has always had class warfare and a class system. With India’s growing influence over the United States of Mortal Sin, America is now embedded with India’s caste system and the American blue-blood rich will do all it can to protect their wealth, possessions, and profits. The American blue-blood rich will also seek to pay less in taxes and to hoard more and more wealth, possessions, and profits because that is the American way. The American hatred for other Americans will never end.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

Here is what the world will look like in 2036. There will not be enough food for the almost nine billion people. The future of our food supply must have governments, retailers, and consumers working together. These three groups have never worked together and so the future of food is very bleak. As our population grows in numbers we will need to return to God for His guidance. With less grain we will have more pain. The food prices will dramatically increase and there will be less money for the monthly bills.

In a true democracy the elite serve the masses. The debate about inequality is an old debate. The bailout for the banks and financial institutions will hit average Americans hard. Countries need to help the bottom and middle classes.

Do you recall my prediction on one of Thom’s blogs? I have predicted a nuclear holocaust through wars and America’s demise by 2065. But, a nuclear holocaust from nuclear energy and a tsunami earthquake may also be considered a nuclear holocaust for America’s demise. Let me also remind you that the westerly winds come from China and Japan. What would happen if our country had a catastrophic earthquake in California and the nuclear reactors are greatly damaged and release radiation in the air and this radiation will cover our entire country? We must prepare for the end that appears closer than we know.

Yes, Thom is right and there is no safe level of radiation. Each American has different degrees of tolerance from various outside the body sources.

Our future is in God’s hands. We will be relying more and more on Hail Mary’s for our survival.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

Thank you Thom for cutting off a conservative crazy guest!!!!!

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

Why is there always talk about tax cuts and not about tax increases for American corporations and the American rich. The American rich have the most to lose so they should be taxed the most in order to protect their lifestyles. The American rich and American corporations are not making the sacrifices that are necessary for a better America. Until the American rich and American corporations pay more in taxes, America will remain a hell-hole and a rat-hole.

Rachel Maddow was great on her March 29, 2011 show. She had a segment that discussed authoritarian conservatism and libertarian conservatism. The Fascist-Nazi Party talks about small, leave me alone government but they really embrace big, intrusive government. We have liars in fascist-Nazis. With these conservative crazies in power we are not a democracy. As Americans we are enslaved and impoverished by fascist-Nazis. We are their personal slaves. Rachel mentioned that her email is flagged by the American government. She must really be bugging the conservative crazies.

These are my perceptual opinions and everyone is entitled to their opinions. Americans get what they deserve!!! Evil is short for devil. The United States of Mortal Sin’s policies and practices are the work of the devil. Satan’s disciples control the United States of Mortal Sin.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

In graduate school I had two courses – American Foreign Policy and United States Constitutional Law. These courses were completed about forty-five years ago and these courses have continued to interest me. In the Constitutional Law class the word, precedent, was a key word. Decisions from the Supreme Court would set a precedent. Today, with the Catholic Mafia in control the word, precedent, does not matter. The Catholic Mafia is a politically active group. You can distinguish the Catholic Mafia from other groups by their brown shirts and jackboots. In the Foreign Policy course I learned that our policy has been a disaster since the days of George Washington. We are complete fools in our foreign policy. Greed and selfishness is at the core of American Foreign Policy. We embrace and sleep with dictators. Our American Foreign Policy is totally an evil policy.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

Here are four articles worth reading. One article discusses the U.S. Dollar; another article informs us of the reality of rigged elections; a third article mentions concerns of GMO’s; and the last article has Americans as hostages to right-wing bullies.

This article discusses the U.S. Dollar.


This article discusses the reality of our rigged elections.


This article discusses GMO’s.


The ring-wing bullies will hold America hostage again and again.


Jgmdesign's picture
Jgmdesign 13 years 10 weeks ago

Hey Thom, I really appreciate your daily example on how to have a dialogue with conservatives, but I must say todays outburst was a refreshing change. Good on you for being human. If he was trying to make a valid point, fine, Have a dialogue. But we don't need to hear his kind of right wing propaganda blather on your air time.

firewolf's picture
firewolf 13 years 10 weeks ago

Thank you, Thom, from the depth of my soul, for cutting off the robotic spewing of garbage that your "guest" was engaging in. I understand your desire to help us "win the water cooler wars" by debating these right wing tools but let's face it - they show up with their own facts, trained in talking over anyone who challenges them, never respond to a question, and are simply spewing propoganda. There were loud cheers erupting from the various corners of our house/place of business when you ended that "interview." Those of us who live in the "reality world" and see what happening in this country need to feel like we've won a small victory occasionally. Thanks for that - and thanks for being willing to get as angry and in as much of a "bad mood" as you've been today. It's about time we all got in a bad mood - maybe there will be enough of us to get out there and do something about it all. If that's even still possible.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

A financial martial law is in effect for the state of Michigan. Why is this martial law avoiding increased taxes to corporations and the rich? No more local control is part of the conservative crazies’ agenda. The jobs budget is to cut corporate taxes and to cut programs for working Americans. How will these cuts create jobs for Americans? American corporations and the American rich must be willing to share in the sacrifices that will be needed from all our citizens for our economic recovery. The conservative crazies are clueless in the creation of jobs for Americans because they are unwilling to make the needed sacrifices that will be necessary for job creation epiphany.

Conservative crazies think short-term and the honorable progressive think long-term. Problems need to be solved for the long-haul. Short-term thinking creates long-term crises for Americans. Since Americans are into immediate gratification, they will experience short-term resolve but ongoing crises with serious problems and hardships for average, middle, and working class Americans will require both short and long-term resolutions .

Average Americans are cannon fodder, mushrooms, and turnips for the American rich. I am not a member of the lucky sperm club. Most Americans live in the right to work for less state. The right to work for less life is the goal of the conservative crazies. The rich are blaming poor and average Americans for America’s problems. The rich are vilifying poor and average Americans.

The Fascist-Nazi Party claims to be the Party for family values. The governor in Maine seeks to eliminate child labor laws. The U.S. Congress gears up to pass a bill to eliminate nutrition programs for twenty percent of American children. How can these laws be for family values? What the Fascist-Nazi Party is doing to family values is a total disgrace for humanity.

I was watching “Good Bye, My Fancy” with Joan Crawford and Robert Young. Joan said that if you want to destroy freedom you put a blanket over education. We need to take a good look at what the fascist-Nazis are doing to education from our fascist-Nazi governors to the Texas publishing companies. Keeping Americans ignorant and stupid is an ongoing process for the fascist-Nazis.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

A government that does not put the well being of its citizens as its first objective is a tyranny. A government whose policies benefit the few over the many is a sham. A government that does not protect its elections makes itself a fraud. War is the failure of politics and a government whose politics are war is unholy and unclean. So then revolution begins not with a brick, or a shout, or a gun but with a realization. A realization that the responsibility for life falls on our shoulders and we are in the breech.

It begins in the beating of our hearts and in an unwillingness to accept fraud, sham or tyranny as a way of life.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable"

John F. Kennedy

making progress's picture
making progress 13 years 10 weeks ago

Hooray for David Sirota! I loved his show. I would like to hear more from him. I read his article every week and he is spot on in most of his arguments. I dare say he was better than Thom because he didn't pussy-foot around and hide behind the so-called 'circular firing squad' shield. He told it like it is and didn't pull any punches. Thom.....

zjas 13 years 10 weeks ago

Aww Thom, can't stand to hear you apologize for yourself repeatedly. You ARE the standard of civil discourse for the democratic, liberal and progressive media. Why is it that we the democrats, libs, progs are moved to embarrassement or shame in realizing our own limitations!? ...And isn't this as self-defeating as it is a tool of the oppressors, isn't it!? We have limits, and by god (and I do mean ALL the gods) it is past time the oppressors meet it!

To me it is one thing to strive to be the best we can be, including in discourse, decorum etc... etc... etc... but at some point it seems it may be more ego or complex to assume that embarrassment or shame pre-empts the actual event that moves us to realize our own limits, such as the taking over of one's country.

We are humans, yes you too, we are not perfect nor will we achieve perfection and pretty sure your listeners do not expect perfection of you (probably quite the contrary- after all we're watching genocide by politics against the middle class, working class and impoverished- in other words ... human beings).

Please stop apologizing. We know your standards and even kids in the back seats probably rate you even higher for showing signs of imperfection so long as they were not too busy watching dvd, playing video game or sticking gum in each others hair.

...as always, thank you and Louise for all your hard work!


ekim555's picture
ekim555 13 years 10 weeks ago


I have written this post a couple of times and sent it to my Senators. This will work if the represenatives will represent us and not the big money interests. Otherwise the death of the middle class is a certainty!

Easy Fix!

In order to fix our economic problem we only have to impose a 1% transaction fee on the derivative trades. There are 400 Trillion dollars of derivatives traded annually. If we impose this fee, then we will generate 4 Trillion dollars of revenue—split it equally between the states and the federal government and the problem is solved. Since the derivatives were at the cause of the economic collapse, then this is a great place to create the solution.

gus's picture
gus 13 years 10 weeks ago

Q:How do you think this situation will be reversed? .....

A:By re-electeding status quObama!?!...oh... and drink, liberally!

reasonjr's picture
reasonjr 13 years 10 weeks ago

The way this situation will be reversed is an impossibility at this point in the game, in my opinion, since the American people have sided with the corporations and are willing to give their all to see the crooks succeed by giving up their rights. Let's be for real. . . as wonderful and as hope lifting as things were in Wisconsin, it wasn't nearly enough to send more than a slap on the wrist to those who spend every waking hour to rob the American people who are already giving them more than what they want. If it takes every night to come on here and yell I will. "R E V O L U T I O N !"

jaykaygee43's picture
jaykaygee43 13 years 10 weeks ago

Yes, the class war has been acknowledged by Warren Buffet, and, allegedly by Rupert Murdoch.

My frame for viewing all that has been going on is precisely that.

My prayer is that the president awaits the next gathering on the Washington Mall (and surrounding areas) of all of us who remember the Beat Generation's, "big lie" of the 50's; and the varied types of turmoil in the 60's about racism, equal access to public accommodations, consumers' protection laws, and in opposition to the Vietnam war. Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll were the markers of the sexual revolution, abortion rights, welfare rights, and "women's lib," which was born in the same cauldron, fired by the writing that had been published in the 50's and 60's.

Isn't it high time that we were called to protest the privilege of the filthy rich?

Jamie Johnson's film, "One" suggested, among other ideas, that many of the long-time wealthy are frightened by the messages they get from the advisers they pay handsomely to manage their funds. They're ignorant, and dwell in a delusion that holds that there will never be enough money to to safeguard them from the disasters that befall us all. And, "the message of fear" holds that there isn't enough to go around, so survival dictates that they clutch tightly what they own and bar no holds in the effort to seize and gather more.

When shall we meet again, and lead the way for our children and grandchildren, and support the efforts of the younger generation to take the lead and carry it on?

jaykaygee43's picture
jaykaygee43 13 years 10 weeks ago

Re: the 1% transaction tax: This is even more attractive than higher income taxes for the highly paid.

Wonderful! Are the numbers really correct???

This is in a class with my favorite solution: totally take off the cap on income subject to FICA (payroll tax). "Tax every earned dollar for Soc. Sec."

When you have bumper stickers printed please post that info and where I can buy some, please!

Frug's picture
Frug 13 years 10 weeks ago

How Can U think Of doing anything to them Poor Poor Poor Bankers:??????????Where would the Koch Bros get the cash for the right wing groups???They "NEED" every penny!!!!!!

Berry's picture
Berry 13 years 10 weeks ago

It looks like today tribes are going to be down to these 400 supper rich people, They want to live forever you know and screw the rift -rats. Winner takes all. Most likey they will hold a few number of us rift-rafts to work for them. You know they will need a audience so they can reflect their greatness because if there weren't, any rift-rafts around to show them, then who would they be to say so? The way things are going,they just might have to walk around with radiation suits, make love in these suits for the rest of their lives. Perhaps too, they will have to live underground just like moles. As years go by, their eyes may begin to bulge.

dianhow 13 years 10 weeks ago

Thom Lets keep it simple We must Raise tax rates on top- corp , multi million & billionaires , end their huge subsides, end tax loopholes. Its their turn to 'sacrifice ' Bill Clinton raised their taxes, made some cuts thereby balancing the budget and leaving a huge surplus.. also..Remove the soc sec tax cap now @ 106 K End Afghan war Leave Libya That saves many trillions Easy if GOP cares about the ' small' / middle class people.

rexlace1's picture
rexlace1 13 years 10 weeks ago

after tiptoeing around the forbidden topic, more and more of us are saying out loud the straightest path to a better america: no second term for obama. look at the empirical evidence: almost always sides w/ the right, almost always says nasty things about the left. every move: wall street, health care, spying on us, treatment of bradley manning, energy etc: all helping out the right. and now even social security is on his table. plus, what's he done for labor in 2+ years? he isn't caving, conceding or lacking spine. no, this is who he is. the man is doing what he thinks is correct. except that it's so wrong. 4 extre years of this? no way. the right wing constantly puts up total a-holes for office while we on the left are always told to 'settle', don't push too far or we won't win. b.s. right now with labor awakened is the perfect moment to move it all LEFT. now, not later.

Global's picture
Global 13 years 10 weeks ago

How much blood do you want from these so called rich? If you taxed them at 90 percent do you think that would balance the budget? Not even close, when you have 48 percent of working class people paying zero income tax it is pretty easy to see that you have to reduce spending in a big way and also broaden the tax base -- that means getting more people with skin in the game. if you want a welfare state be prepared to put up or shut up.

reasonjr's picture
reasonjr 13 years 10 weeks ago

Blood from the rich? I want as much blood from the rich as they have taken from the poor and middle class. If there is 48% of the working class people who are paying Zero in income tax, (which is an extremely high unsubstantiated assumption on the behalf of one person,) the reason would be that the 5% of upper class people (who are known to pay no taxes) have left 48% with no job to pay taxes in the first place. By the way. . . America has long past the possibility of becoming a welfare state. (.:!:.)

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 13 years 10 weeks ago

Yes, Thank You Thom! I mentioned that statistic on your show to Sen Sanders a bit over a week ago. I have been screaming at any Dem I can write to mention wealth-inequality stats to hammer home a more equatable budget, but to no avail. I'm sure you have many more where that came from. I think the writer who mentions the world 30 or so years from now makes a good point. Perhaps the rich have something else in mind...like hording as many assets as possible to gain control over natural resources, etc. If they don't listen to peaceful hoards, I guess civil disobedience might be our only hope.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 13 years 10 weeks ago

ekim555...great idea about taxing dirivative trades!

SteveL717's picture
SteveL717 13 years 10 weeks ago

The U.S. is simply stuck on stupid. With anything less than a full meltdown we will muddle along forever

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 13 years 10 weeks ago

Thom your program is the way to reverse the trend towards a feudal society. The problem is how to create a echo chamber filled with truth, justice, and the American way ,with the magnitude to counter corporate media, such as Murdoch's lies, injustice, and the oligarch's way?

I have noticed one common thread shared by the Tea Party and Republicans, they are all Foxed up on Koch. To put it mildly, they are being misinformed in order to be mislead. This evil and greedy manipulation of misinformation voters, to the point at which they all agree the super-rich need tax relief, is nothing short of mass certifiable brainwashing .

So back to the original problem, how to reverse all this brainwashing. I think big money in the manner of a George Soros or Warren Buffet need to step up, create a truth and justice echo chamber, and move us from these political Dark Ages, into a Democratic Renaissance. In addition to making history.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 13 years 10 weeks ago

Off with their heads!

They have no heart
and every tart
with future interest on the chart.
Andersen and Touche are Lord-
Lincolns for Royals, for peasants a Ford.


Berry's picture
Berry 13 years 10 weeks ago

I'm sure most everyone might have seen his, before, but it is funny at the same time true but sad. Here's George Carlin ~ The American Dream>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q&feature=player_embedded#at=33 A reminder to have a good laugh in these terrible times.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 10 weeks ago

@Berry, good post!!!

edmondsjh 13 years 10 weeks ago

I had a realization yesterday, that super wealthy people who want more wealth hoard money just as other people hoard things. Does anyone else recognize that? Some super wealthy people hoard money just like other people hoard books, or food, or tools, or cars, or dogs, or cats, or plants, or fabric, or anything else you can think of. What kind of therapy do hoarders get to stop hoarding? Super wealthy people could use that sort of therapy.

SteveSpears's picture
SteveSpears 13 years 10 weeks ago

A call to action!

What you can do to change our country and restore the balance of power to the people, instead of Wall Street.


Copy the vote-by-mail ballot forms included.

These can also be found online (longdistancevoter.org).


Give them out to ten people who you know can get to a mail box (or leave them in places where they can be found).


Convince others to make ten copies and pass them out also.

There are two political parties in this country.

One of them is trying to serve the interests of everyday people and the other party serves the wealthy and powerful who can donate millions to their campaigns.

The time has come to stand up and be counted.


After we get a super majority in congress, we demand the passage of Instant-Runoff Voting (IRV).

This will prevent politicians from splitting the voters and more people will get involved when they are confident that their votes can never be wasted. It will greatly decrease the influence of money on campaigns and politicians will be forced to actually run on the basis of ideas rather than insults.

This letter is going out all over the country. Pass it on!

SteveSpears's picture
SteveSpears 13 years 10 weeks ago

The letter posted previously is a chain letter for political action with the intended outcome that those who normally sit on the side lines can be enticed to participate. There is a wide margin of registered voters who have given up. This is my attempt to get them to wake up and make the difference.

0642to's picture
0642to 13 years 9 weeks ago

Hi Thom, can you comment on Chris Cillizza of the Wasington Post " The Fast Fix" that's on Yahoo.Com

I think something is wrong with he's graph about how the country got in debt, thanks

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
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From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann channels the best of the American Founders with voice and pen. His deep attachment to a democratic civil society is just the medicine America needs."
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