Make the Wealthy Pay their Fair Share

WATCH HERE! With or without a government shutdown, Republicans have already won the debate on our nation's budget. Why? Because the corporate media is on their side.

Make the wealthy pay their fair share.

A budget shouldn’t just focus on spending cuts directed at the poor and middle-class - it should also include revenue raisers like closing corporate loopholes and asking millionaires and billionaires to cough up a few extra bucks a year. Let’s cut some wasteful spending, but let’s also raise a few taxes. But this common sense narrative has been lost inside the main stream corporate media - where there’s only one question that’s being asked today, and that is “how much spending needs to be cut?”

Not, "why aren’t some of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world skating by paying zero taxes?"

Not, "why are the wealthiest Americans enjoying historically low tax rates during a historically high budget deficit?"

Did you know Corporate taxes used to account for roughly 30% of revenue collected by the government and today that number is only 7%? Probably not, because the corporate media, which would prefer not to pay its taxes and only wants us to focus on just how much Republicans and Democrats can cut out of the budget?

So why is the media ignoring these calls?

It’s simple - corporate owned media outlets won’t call for tax hikes on corporations, and rich TV personalities won’t call for tax hikes on the rich. The topic of tax hikes just doesn’t exist in our now-consolidated media. Which is really a shame because the Republicans who seem to have already won the debate have a bad idea - a really, really bad idea.

Let’s take their road - let’s cut all the programs for poor people in America - let’s throw every middle-class family under the bus - let’s tell poor and sick Americans who rely on the government for health care assistance to, “walk it off.” Let’s do ALL these things that Republicans want to do - and you know what - we’d still have a massive budget deficit. Why? Because our government really doesn’t spend all that much money helping poor people - but we do hand off trillions to corporations and their millionaire and billionaire CEOs for buying everything from bombs to fighter jets to Chertof Porno Scanners for our airports.

So if we let the Republicans win this budget fight - as the corporate media seems more than willing to let happen - then a few years from now we’ll be asking these same questions about what to do with the soaring budget deficit - and at the same time wondering why the middle-class seems to have completely disappeared.

The solutions to our budget problems are simple - you wouldn't BELIEVE how simple they are. I can tell you the solution using only 6 words…ROLL - BACK - THE - REAGAN - TAX - CUTS. Heck - roll back the Bush tax cuts - go back to Clinton levels where the wealthiest Americans paid an extra 3% - just 3% - three measly percentage points - and we’d take a huge chunk out of our deficit just like that.
Remember how the Clinton budget - passed without a single Republican vote in the House - gave us not only a balanced budget but a surplus? And if we rolled back the Reagan tax cuts - and made billionaires pay at least 74% like they did for more than half of the 20th century when our nation prospered and the middle class grew - then we’d have a budget SURPLUS!

A budget surplus? Can you imagine how different life in America would be with a budget surplus?! We’d be paying down our debt year-to-year. And we’d be able to use that extra cash to do things that our nation hasn't done in generations since Reagan started “starving the beast.”

We’d build new roads and bridges - new schools - build new science programs like NASA from scratch - renovate our national energy grid - invest in clean energy like Denmark did where 19% of their energy now comes from windmills - or like Germany did by putting solar panels on people’s roofs - and now after 10 years solar power is generating more electricity in Germany - the second cloudiest country in Europe behind the UK - making more power than 8 nuclear power plants. This is what America could be doing today - putting people to work - rebuilding the middle-class - and reclaiming the top spot in the world economy.

We need to change the debate in America today.

Unlike the Republican budget proposal passed a few months back that's nearly 200 pages of draconian cuts - after all, we know Republicans hate bills more than a few pages - unlike their budget bill - mine is just 1 page - in fact - it's just 1 sentence. It simply says one thing - Restore the top income tax rate of 74% - as it was the year before Ronald Reagan took office in 1980 and we had no debt crisis. If we can get this bill passed - or even just get it debated - we can fix America's problems today.

So call your congressman and tell him to vote for the simple solution, the right solution and roll back the Reagan tax cuts.

Comments

Jeff321's picture
Jeff321 8 years 11 weeks ago
#1

On target as always. I will call my congressman and ask my wife and friends to do the same. But what else can we do? I don't have much confidence that the newbie Republican (Dold-IL) who may lose his seat due to redistrictiing will care. He doesn't seem open to any compromise. But I'll call.

What if anything can we do about the corporate media? If it is to be our constant headwind so be it, but what strategies would help for bypassing them? Note that I don't think that there are any remote chances of "reforming" them. They have their interests and they have their orders.

dnarnadem 8 years 11 weeks ago
#2

Thom - We, or most of us know this already, and have known this for years! Call your elected representative? Kidding right? I do that until I am blue in the face. Bottom line, they will vote whatever their political options tell them to. Elect another one? They do the same!

And then you have the Nut-jobs, the tea-baggers, the true believers. They will NEVER vote for what would be in their best interests. Proof - look at the election last November - their representatives, the nut-jobs, now want to shut the government down! And these very voters are cheering them on!

Obama and the Democrats cannot wake up one morning and at the stroke of a pen and just simply eliminate the tax-cuts for the rich! THERE are laws! There is Congress! There is the Senate! Even the Supreme Court for God's sake. All owned by the robber corporations who spend Billions on the whole process to control the government and eliminate corporate taxes. Don't you think that if there would of been Democratic majority after 2008 that this wouldn't have been done? What about the Supreme Court decision on Citizen's United? Do you actually believe that Obama and the Democrats can overrule and ignore this also?

It’s the voter. Some are smart and some are just downright Not Smart! Just look at Wisconsin, the Supreme Court vote. Technically, after what has happened in Wisconsin in the last couple months, you’d think that Miss Koppenback would of won in a land slide, right? Yet in 1.5 Million votes cast, she won by 250+ votes!! That means that ½ of the voters, 750,500-, STILL VOTED FOR THE WALKER REPUBLICAN pick! What does that tell you? Simple. This no longer has anything to do with reason or self-interest, but everything to do with ideology, fundamentalism, indoctrination and the unwillingness to grasp reality. The neo-cons and their fascist paymasters have over the last 60 years, bit by slow bit, piece by piece, year in year out, carved themselves a plutocratic political empire that will in the near future implode on us all if not stopped. They, however, will never stop.

The only way this will ever end is when we, the American people, regain the control of the corporate held media propaganda machine and either regulate it or eliminate it. If we don’t, we, as Free nation, are doomed, and will just become just another failed civilization, like all the rest that lie in the bone yards of history.

Who are we kidding here? All at once we need a Progressive President, a Democratic Congress with 2/3 REAL Democrats, 62 REAL Senators, and a LIBERAL Supreme Court. If we had all these, we could technically fix ALL what the neo-cons have wrought over the last 60 years! We could. But it will never happen in my lifetime. What we see today is, unfortunately, the status quo for the coming 50 years, if not more. By then it will be too late.

We need a better way to fight the Corporate Media propaganda machine. We need something to replace it. We also need a better way to educate our young to think critically. It is no accident that fundamentalism of any stripe, is willing fodder for the neo-con fascist propaganda machine, simply due to the fact that un-critical minds are easy to manipulate, instill fear, and then mobilize to do stupid things at the expense to themselves and their families, like lemmings going over a cliff just because the one next to it is doing it.

yankeerebel64's picture
yankeerebel64 8 years 11 weeks ago
#3

I couldnt agree more dnarnadem. The republican agenda is ruthless and take no prisoners mind set . 100,000 protesters with signs didnt even make them flinch. I am afraid its time to replace those signs with something more intimidating ... WE GOT TO LIVE FREE FALL OR FIGHT !

wholetruth2's picture
wholetruth2 8 years 11 weeks ago
#4

Why has no politician asked for monetary restitution from those (corporations/individuals) who tanked a world's economy and those who benefited from it? They must make us whole again.

niathabiti's picture
niathabiti 8 years 11 weeks ago
#5

I agree that the actual wealthy, as opposed to what the Administration has been calling "The Rich" for the past several years, should pay higher taxes. Perhaps a luxury tax on income over $1M/year. But to suggest just taxing the rich more fixes the whole problem is asinine. Structurally, the budget is weighted too little in future investment because of the high % spent on seniors and defense. I voted for the President but I sincerely believe, and criticized Bush as well for the same, that the pace of spending is unsustainable.

I wish we could see something like a rate of 10% for income that would encompass the bottom 50% of tax filers, 15% for filers in the 51-75% percentile, 20% for filers between 76-99% and 25% for the top 1% with absolutely NO loopholes, credits or deductions whatsoever, apart from a revised standard deduction. Also, a corporate tax rate of 25% and capital gains rate of 25%, both with no loopholes. Obviously, I'm just free texting. These numbers surely would need to be massaged to get them just right but I think anyone would get my point of shared sacrifice, broadening the tax paying base and radically simplifying the process.

On the spending side, let's end these wars, close about 500 foreign military bases but also get serious about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Social Security was intended as a social safety net for those who outlived mean life expectancy. It was not meant to be a retirement plan. As such, the retirement age needs to be gradually raised. I'd also suggest raising the income cap on the revenue side to broaden the base of contributions. With Medicare, I'm in favor of treating it more like we do USPS, more of a quasi governmental agency. I'd allow any adult to enroll and let it compete against the private sector but also give it, finally, the ability to negotiate with drug companies on prices and to create formularies that give cost-based preference to generics with proven effectiveness over more costly brand drugs and breaks in premiums to those with healthy BMI and non-smokers. The trade off is then it has to survive on its own, which it could absolutely do by bringing younger, healthier individuals into its payer mix. (Full disclosure- I'm a doctor). Lastly, Medicaid is really a state run program. The Feds should just get out of completely.

I don't expect everyone to agree with all my points but I think they are a superior starting place to anything we've seen out of Washington by either party thus far.

jpintar's picture
jpintar 8 years 11 weeks ago
#6

You are right on, dnarnadem. I have no words to express it better. We are doomed because we are fed stupidity. Okay, a few of us are smarter than average because we listen to Thom, but how many hundreds of thousands don't? They listen to Rush and his cronies, or they don't listen at all. The media is a mess. We've been indocrinated since the 80's to believe all the wrong things...and most of the people in this country, rich and poor, are sheep. "A Nation of Sheep" remember that book? Nothing's changed, in fact, it has become worse. They want to take us back to Kings and serfs. Why can't Obama see that? Doesn't he realize what will happen to his "people" if the Republicans are allowed to do as they are doing with the money machine corporations. Forget emancipation...we will all become slaves to the rich. One measly little 3% tax raise and we could all be living better. I'd even go for, say, one cent on every internet retail purchase...imagine the monies that could generate? Rather than cut funding...make money! Our representatives are really stupid. And, sadly, Obama isn't any better. I bet Michelle could figure out the best ways for our country to reduce deficits!

Blue Mark's picture
Blue Mark 8 years 11 weeks ago
#7

I have one simple question that I've been asking every time someone proposes painful budget cuts that hurt the already suffering. It is especially useful when they justify those cuts by expounding on the need for shared sacrifice, and a willingness to share pain in the face of a national emergency. My simple question:

What sacrifice is being asked of the nation's millionaires and billionaires and of big successful business?

I have yet to receive a coherent answer. So I'll add one simple request:

Name just one instance in the last 10 years where the millionaires or big corporations were asked to make any sacrifice at all. Just one example.

::crickets::

Paul Ryan's draconian budget proposal ends Medicare and Medicaid, paints a target on Social Security, and explodes unemployment. Necessary shared sacrifice in an emergency? It also lowers the top tax rate on millionaires to 25%. Hella sacrifice there.

How about it, got any examples of actual sacrifices that are being asked of the economic elite?

niathabiti's picture
niathabiti 8 years 11 weeks ago
#8

Ask and ye shall receive...

http://taxfoundation.org/publications/show/23408.html

Unless the IRS is lying, looks like top 1% earns 20% of income and pays 38% of taxes, top 5%- 35%/59%, while the bottom 50%- 12.75%/2.7%. I'd say the rich are paying their fair share. Now, I'm not saying a progressive system is not right. Just saying how much money is enough for the government to take from anyone? It's really how they spend our money...

Carole Capriotti-May's picture
Carole Capriotti-May 8 years 11 weeks ago
#9

Thom, why can't you run for President? The blaming rhetoric, the divisive ideology belies what we all have heard all our lives -- America is the greatest country on earth! Well, maybe, but we are floundering now in a lower state of consciousness that is keeping us STUCK and indeed manifesting that we are not the "greatest" afterall. A huge balancing act is happening in the world and we are witnessing other country "competitors" creeping up towards our level -- SO BE IT! However, it is a wonderful chance for us as a leading good nation to leap ahead with much more innovative models of renewal -- e.g., stop our "wars", massively invest in renewable energy releasing oil dependency as quickly as possible, take good care of ALL our citizens and help other "country citizens" when we can, and reward small business innovators as vigorously as possible!!

Yes, raise (even slightly) taxes on the top earners (both corporate & individuals) in this country -- many of the more notable, known super wealthy have even broadcasted their willingness to fork up more at this time to assist us out of this convoluted quagmire we've gotten ourselves into!! What are our elected representatives waiting for -- another lobbyist to wine and dine them more & more???

Yes, I will call my representatives but Thom, can't you get on C.N.N. or MSNBC more and drag Bernie Sanders with you and debate some of the known conservatives in front of America -- why shouldn't we utilize the major networks for true bipartisan "town forums" for debating urgent issues of our country. We certainly get that privilege when national elections are pending!!

Well, at least our energies probably helped to get Glen Beck off the air -- YAY!!!

richwingerter's picture
richwingerter 8 years 11 weeks ago
#10

"Make the wealthy pay their fair share."

Exactly. But then you fail to follow up. Yes, getting them to pay their fair share would balance the budget. But that's not the point. The point is in that sentence you wrote:

"...their fair share..."

What is their fair share? Well, the top 1% of incomes go to the people with over 40% of the wealth. Their fair share of the taxes is over 40%. But they are only paying an effective tax rate of 20%.

And why are they getting all this money? They are getting it because of unrestricted globalization. That allows the very rich to get their money from anywhere on earth. But workers can't get their money from anywhere on earth. They have to get it where they live. If they live in the U.S. then they can't scoop ups higher pay by going to some other country to work. The policies set by Congress are enriching the rich and impoverishing the poor. That's why taxes for the rich should go up.

It used to be that those with property had to defend the country. The sovereign gave you title to property in exchange for your pledge to go fight in his army to defend the nation. That was called your "fee". But that was too complex so they simplified it. Instead of showing up with your horse and your sword and your shining armor and some pikers you just paid a certain sum of money each year and the king used it to rent an army and defend your property.

But the U.S. doesn't have this fee. We don't use property taxes to fund the military. Instead, we have an income tax. The income tax is graduated because the people with the highest incomes typically have the most property. If you are very wealthy you should be paying the bulk of the federal bill because the majority of that money goes to defend us. And when I say "us" I mean our people and our property. Those wars we are fighting defend both people and property, and those with the most property are getting the most service from those wars.

This is what I mean by fairness. There is an objective way of looking at that fairness. It isn't about balancing the budget or how we can do that. It's about what percentages people should be paying to defend the nation. When we talk about how we need to tax the rich in order to balance the budget, that misses the point. The point is that they should be paying more. Because they aren't paying their fair share we have a shortfall. The sensible remedy for that is to CHARGE THEM what they OWE.

Progressive need to hammer away on this issue. This is how the other side convinced dirt poor red necks in the back woods that they should vote for Republicans, even though that was destined to take away the last living dollar those people might ever see. You have to talk about the morality in a way that people cannot fail to understand the ramifications of what they do in the voting booth. You have to show in unmistakable dollars and cents how these people are robbing the country blind. I call them "The Bandits". They aren't conservatives or Republicans or libertarians. They have no compunction about selling this country out. They've nearly looted it of all it's worth. The only thing that will stop them is the public going to the polls with the blindfolds taken off and sweeping just about every last member of Congress out on the pavement.

Please, talk about how a higher tax rate for the rich is fair. That's what will turn this discussion around.

MarlaBets's picture
MarlaBets 8 years 11 weeks ago
#11

A budget shouldn’t just focus on spending cuts directed at the poor and middle-class !

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 11 weeks ago
#12

My Congressman is a Secretary who answers the phone and sends out pre-fab letters from My Congressman.

Is it "special interest subversion of our democracy" or just plain greed which has taken over a class of madmen who are mad with greed? The things they say don't even make sense. This is the proof that money is the root of evil and the lion's share of money has gone over to poorest of the poor stewards of Nature's bounty snickering amongst themselves.

If they were doing a good job with the bounty, then fine, who cares? I personally can't imagine spending more than $250,000 a year.

We are in a National Morality Crisis which seems to cross all party lines. We have gotten here with the help of both traditional Parties and the cult Parties.

I suggest launching a Shame on You Tube which puts on public display the lives and holdings of elected officials like Hollywood Stars.

XXXXX

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 8 years 11 weeks ago
#13

It's called neofeudalism.

The Lords and Barrons own all the land, have all the money, control the food supply (keeping the best for themselves and their syncopathic court), squeeze the peasants for taxes (while demanding their loyal, unending, poorly-paid labor) and use them as cannon-fodder for frivolous wars, undereducate them, incarcerate them for minor infractions against the ruling class, and push religion and a better afterlife as consulation for such usage. Thus, render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's, shut-up, and let us have everything our way.

This will NEVER stop until we, the poor and shrinking middle-class, stand up with our rakes and hoes and march upon the castle and starve the b@#$%^ds out.

sdougreid's picture
sdougreid 8 years 11 weeks ago
#14

Our only choices are between paper or plastic. The wealthy own America. They own our media, the courts, and our government. How can one not feel despair?

tell the truth's picture
tell the truth 8 years 11 weeks ago
#15

oh thom your so silly you know their not going to pay their taxes! they have friends called

presidents congresspersons and senators to stop this from happening. had to use the woman to

man dialogue to explain the silliness of this.

gerald's picture
gerald 8 years 11 weeks ago
#16

It is truly amazing. I am away from my computer for four weeks and the Republicans always win. Even the question," Have the Republicans Won the Budget Debate?," seventy-four percent says yes. The more things change, the more they remain the same. While I was away from my computer, I did write down some information and thoughts that I will share with you next week.

Martin Sandberg's picture
Martin Sandberg 8 years 11 weeks ago
#17

http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2011/04/make-wealthy-pay-their-fair-share

Thom is simply wrong - the problem cannot be solved on the revenue side. This years deficit will be at least 1.5 trillion dollars: ( http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/120xx/doc12039/SummaryforWeb.pdf ).

“In 2008 there were 4,359,000 tax returns filed with modified taxable income (MTI) of $200,000 or above. The total amount of MTI above $200,000 was $1.189 Trillion.” ( http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/03/higher_taxes_cant_solve_the_de.html )

Therefor, even if we completely confiscated the total income of everybody making more than $200,000 a year, we would still be a half a trillion dollars or so short. We simply MUST cut.

As for the cuts being “Draconian”, here’s a few definitions:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/03/budget_cuts_lingo_stranger_tha.html

“In the interest of fairness and balance, a budget cuts language reference guide is in order.

Budget Cuts - Sanity version

------------------------------------

Minute = 1-1.6%

Minor = 1.7-3%

Small = 4-6%

Average = 7-10%

Large = 11-15%

Significant = 16-20%

Serious = 21-25%

Drastic = 26-30%

Severe = 31-35%

Draconian = 36-40%

Budget Cuts - Insanity version

------------------------------------

Draconian = 1-1.6%

Catastrophic = 2-3%

Demonic = 4-5%

Apocalyptic = 6-10%”

KevinZeese's picture
KevinZeese 8 years 11 weeks ago
#18

Obama gave the class warfare victory to the economic elites and big business interests in his State of the Union, speech to the Chamber of Commerce and the budget he submitted to Congress. It is not a Republican victory but a victory of the wealthy. But, there is not really a fight in Washington, DC -- elected officials agree on the basic philosophy it is only a question of degree.

Obama's budget focused on cutting the deficit at a time when we need stimulus. He promised a budget "freeze" but he excluded the security state budgets from the freeze and let their budgets increase -- military, war, intelligence, and domestic security. The security budget is 66% of discretionary spending. Everything else in Obama's budget would be cut or kept at their current level. The Republicans just pushed the same agenda further in favor of the wealthy, militarists and corporatists.

In addition to not cutting the bloated security state budget, Obama has taken discussion of taxing the wealthy, making corporations pay their fair share and taxing purchase of stocks, bonds and derivatives off the table. Big businesses that received hundreds of billions in bailouts after crashing the economy are getting billion dollar tax refunds instead of paying taxes. Obama is silent on this economic theft (he wrote the laws that allow it!).

If you are not going to face up to security state spending and the wealthy not paying their fair share, then there really is no debate. It is all imaging and positioning by the Dems. In the end, they push a "Republican" agenda. After-all, Obama wants to raise a billion for his re-election. That is not coming in $25 donations!

Join us in revolt this Friday: www.ItsOurEconomy.US.

KZ

gerald's picture
gerald 8 years 10 weeks ago
#19

Why is it that so many Americans hate other Americans? We are all God's children. Mother Teresa said that we belong to each other. I say we are connected to each other whether we like it or not. Why does the pain and suffering of other Americans make so many Americans ecstatic?

gerald's picture
gerald 8 years 10 weeks ago
#20

Our son subscribes to several magazines, such as Harper’s, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker. Our son is also avid reader. There was an essay in the April, 2010 of Harper’s. The title was “The Vanishing Liberal: How the Left Learned to be Helpless” by Kevin Baker, pages 29-37. Here are some highlights from the essay – Democrats are reduced to a state of psychological helplessness; they are no longer able to overcome political obstacles; the progressives have rejected nations of destiny; they prefer the authority of experience to the claims of ideology; and for a generation or more liberalism became an almost perfect machine for the reformist impulse. When the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, our democracy has ended forever. We can no longer rely on a party or a person for the work to be accomplished. Change can only come from the ground up and the work will have to be accomplished by you and me.

Our son has entered a charitable bike ride for the Red Cross. He has raised $3,200. The bike ride is 520 miles. The bike riders will travel ninety miles per day for six days. The charitable bike ride is in Louisiana. All money raised will go to Japan and the Japanese for the destruction in their country through the tsunami earthquake and the radiation released from the nuclear plants.

gerald's picture
gerald 8 years 10 weeks ago
#21

There is talk about the power of one. Each person can help to change our world for the better. Each person has the power of one.

gerald's picture
gerald 8 years 10 weeks ago
#22

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.

gerald's picture
gerald 8 years 10 weeks ago
#23

THE END IS NEAR FOR AMERICA!!!

The Federal Reserve is Buying 70% of U.S. Treasuries. The Federal Reserve has been buying 70% of all new U.S. treasury debt. Up until this year, the U.S. has been successful at exporting most of its inflation to the rest of the world, which is hoarding huge amounts of U.S. dollar reserves due to the U.S. dollar's status as the world's reserve currency. In recent months, foreign central bank purchases of U.S. treasuries have declined from 50% down to 30%, and Federal Reserve purchases have increased from 10% up to 70%. This means U.S. government deficit spending is now directly leading to U.S. inflation that will destroy the standard of living for all Americans.

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