The Perennial GOP Tax Scam

There's something about taxes that elected Republicans know, but most Americans are completely unaware of. It's the reason we keep falling for the perennial GOP tax scam, and Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and their buddies in the White House are getting ready to run this ruse on American working people all over again.

Here it is in a nutshell: Tax cuts for truly wealthy people increase their income and wealth; tax cuts for working people actually decrease their income and wealth over time.

Here's how it works.

If you're part of the top .1% - say you're earning a million dollars a year - and you get a tax cut, you'll keep more of the money you're earning. The main reason is because people in those income categories 1) generally have a high degree of control over their own income; and 2) they more often than not already are working under a massive tax cut - at least a lower tax rate – called the capital gains tax. But even setting aside Part II of that, truly super-high income earners, like the banksters on Wall Street or CEOs of large corporations, have a significant measure of control - if not total control – over their own income.

For working people, it's an entirely different story.

Read more here.


Outback 7 years 17 weeks ago

Thom, you've hit a home run with this installment. Now if you could only get the conservative rural crowd (who seem to be the backbone of the Republican Party) to read it! The problem, of course, is that a) most of them are too busy sucking up bread and circus (in today's terms, pizza, beer and football) to read anything, and b) that very soon none of them will be able to read at all. So what now .... ?

Oldskoold's picture
Oldskoold 7 years 17 weeks ago

It is sad isn't it. Bless their hearts, they still have no clue what they have signed on to. Anybody listened to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" lately? Seems rather appropriate.

Outback 7 years 17 weeks ago

"We dont need no ....; ejucashun" ?

Martin Jackson's picture
Martin Jackson 7 years 17 weeks ago

hey thom...we watch your show every day,,,on medicare most think it is a free service,,but you have to pay a fee,,part A is free but part B C D is cost you..both myself and wife pay close to $400,00 per i pay $200,00 and my pays $200.00..this come out of our social sercurity checks first...thanks Thom..

Edward J. Dodson's picture
Edward J. Dodson 7 years 17 weeks ago

How government at all levels has come to raise revenue to pay for public goods and serivces is both inequitable and highly destructive. As economists such as Michael Hudson, Mason Gaffney and Joseph Stiglitz have argued, the rent of land and land-like assets (e.g., the broadcast spectrum or even take-off and landing slots at airports) is unearned by individuals or entities; rent is societally-created by a combination of aggregate demand and locational advantages (whether natural or by investment in public infrastructure).

The taxation of land (and, by extension, land rent) is in the United States a responsibility of local government. And, quite frankly, local governments have done a terrible job of keeping assessments up-to-date. The result is an almost-universally low effective rate of taxation on land values, causing a reliance on the taxation of property improvements, income from wages and commerce. Michael Hudson estimates that rent-derived income accounts for one-third of GDP. Another economist, Fred Foldvary, calculates that restructuring taxation to collect rents would result in at least a 10 percent increase in real GDP.

Getting all of the towns, cities, school districts, townships, boroughs, and counties to move to a land-only property tax base would require a degree of civic and political enlightenment not likely to occur. More practical is to capture rents via the state and federal individual income tax systems. This would require restructuring of the tax system to combine tax simplification with real progressivity. What might this look like?

The starting point would be for states and the federal government to exempt all individual incomes up to some level, say, the federal median income level. All other deductions and exemptions would be eliminated. Above this level, an increasing rate of taxation would be applied to higher and higher ranges of income.

wmleidy's picture
wmleidy 7 years 17 weeks ago

republicans do an excellent job of linking their values to flawed economic and tax policies. and, except for thom hartmann, democrats do a lousy job of educating their electorate about FDR and LBJ era programs and tax structures that are truly successful. we won't get fascism out of the whitehouse and people like ryan and mcconnell out of congressional leadership until there is a cohesive plan in place to educate the masses.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 17 weeks ago

That's exactly right. Democracy can't survive unless people have ready access to relevant information, which is both correct in detail and true in context. This was Thomas Jefferson's biggest worry throughout his life, and why the press is the only private industry singled out and given special protection in the Constitution.

It is supremely ironic that, in this day and age of mass communication and advanced information technologies, where virtually everyone literally has the entire data base of human knowledge tucked in their pockets, it is so difficult to get at the simple truth of things and to make informed, intelligent decisions in the political arena that affect the lives of everyone.

This new dark age is no accident. There are powerful forces that deliberately distort the truth to achieve self-serving goals, and there is a willing audience entertaining false narratives that seemingly lend support to agreeable religious and political ideologies and that assuage fear and insecurity. It is much easier to believe a comforting lie than to accept a hard truth.

Ignorance is not necessarily stupidity; willful ignorance certainly is.

GulfTrout's picture
GulfTrout 7 years 17 weeks ago

Trumpty Dumpty built a border wall.

Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall.

Trumpty Dumpty has decided that people don't have to have health insurance if they do not want to. Those suckers who do buy it should be paying for those who don't, according to the Trumpeter.

Its a new story in the news, that's about to have repercussions with the IRS. The Form 1040 line 61 Shared Responsibility Payment is the part of the ACA that peanlizes those without health insurance (for those who opt not to buy Obamacare & consequently risk creating massive amounts of unpaid health care costs). Trumpty Dumpty doesn't think the IRS should still assess it on those who did not claim and pay it. Why should people who claimed the penalty on their tax returns still have to pay it? If not, why not get a refund if you did pay it? How much is this going to cost the IRS, the American taxpayers? Hundreds of millions, onsidering the refunds, the check production, the postage, the employee time, the systems redesigns for auditing, collecting, adjustments,..? What is the ultimate cost? Just one more thing Trumpty Dumpty is doing without considering the repercussions.

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