Posts Tagged recession

France Initiates the “Millionaires Tax” – Puts An End to Trickle Down Myth

The wealthy enjoy all the advantages of living and doing business in a first world country. However, they believe that all that should come at no cost to them. They believe that their wealth exempts them from contributing to the very society and structures in that society that have enabled them to be where they are. In other words, wealthy people want a free ride (which is ironic because “wanting a free ride” is precisely what is often used to argue against social safety net and various other programs aimed at keeping people off the poverty wagon).

Well, France has finally put an end to the free ride wealthy people have been enjoying at the expense of everyone else when its Constitutional Council gave the green light on Sunday to the government’s controversial ‘millionaire tax’, to be levied on companies that pay salaries of more than 1 million euros ($1.38 million) a year.

The measure was introduced in line with a pledge by President Francois Hollande to make the rich do more to pull France out of crisis. To that end, a 50 percent tax is to be paid by high earners on the portion of annual income exceeding 1 million euros. This change has infuriated the wealthy because, of course it did; god forbid anyone ever asks a rich person to pitch in a dime for the common good. Let’s go after Medicare and food-stamp recipients and thus the poor as we do in this glorious, most awesomest country in the world blah blah fart.

Hollande’s 2012 supertax election pledge infuriated high earners in France and prompted actor Gerard Depardieu to flee the country. It has also alienated entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who have accused Hollande of being anti-business.

Hollande has said that the wealthy should contribute more to help to repair the country’s finances, arguing that the supertax should also encourage companies to curb excessive executive pay.

Not Being Greedy Is Difficult

I find it interesting that rich people, the 1% to be precise, get all riled up, feel exploited and, literally, run away as it’s been the case with Depardieu the moment they are asked to give a bit of their obscene wealth in the form of taxes, but that poor people – the elderly, food-stamp recipients, the disabled, student loan borrowers – heck even hard working middle class folks that hold two jobs and still are barely able to make ends meet and are fucked in case of a crisis – are repeatedly being asked to make more and more sacrifices to subsidize, essentially, the privilege of the wealthy. And they are asked to do so without complaining and in the name of compromise, good will and bi-partisan ship – as if agreeing to be underpaid, worked to death and rendered unable to make ends meet were compromises.

However, let me ask this: is it fair to ask someone who makes $20 million a year to spend half of that in taxes or is it fair to ask someone making $65 thousand a year to pay half of that in taxes?

Is it fair to ask someone living at the poverty threshold, eeking by on a miserable existence by collecting an abhorrently low, not-fit-to-feed-a-dog-in-a-pound welfare check and food stamps in this country, to please take some more cuts to their already meager, not-fit-to-feed-a-dog-in-a-pound welfare check and food stamps so that the wealthy can remain tax exempt and still pay very little?

Is it fair to ask a recent college graduate stuck in a shitty job making $45k a year and drowning in student loan debt (which he had to accrue to get that 45k job)  to pay nearly 40% of that in taxes while the CEO of Facebook pays less than 10% of his billion dollar income, if that, in taxes?

In the US the top one percent hold 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.  What the average CEO of a Fortune 500 company makes in an hour, the average worker (not the janitor, but the college graduate  in the cubicle) makes in a month. The on-the-book tax rate for Capital gains, primarily the payment vehicle of the rich, is 15 percent –  while most American workers pay upwards of 40 percent of their  sustenance in taxes.

The narrative here, according to the 1% and those who hold the torch for them in the name of The Grand American Dream,  is that average American workers are hundreds of  times less productive than the CEO who makes hundreds of times more money than they do. And that they are lazy. Lack motivation. Work Ethics. Depend on hand-outs and just don’t know how to be successful or properly manage their hand-to-mouth earnings.

Just earlier this year, our spineless President made permanent the Bush administration’s tax cuts. Permanent; barring and preventing top earners, the 1%, from ever having to pay more in taxes than the maid who cleans their house or the even the educated engineer even who builds their car elevator.

Trickle Down Economics A Scam

One of the biggest scams, one of the most outrageous, yet effective, lies of the 21st century has been trickle down economics and the absurd idea that the more you let a company or individual amass wealth without taxing them or regulating them, the more those rich people will invest back in the economy and in the long run benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole. In other words, the bullshit here is the notion that the wealth the wealthy amass by not paying much in taxes or fair wages etc., will come back to citizens as a whole.

The truth is, unregulated Free Market Trickle Down theory and ideology has been tried and has proven, beyond all reasonable doubt to be a failed idea. In practice, it simply does not work (for 99% of the people, that is).

The only people this ideology of greed and immoral self-service works for are the robber barons and thus the very people that spend hundreds of millions a year selling this lie to the masses – under the guise, and false promise may I add, of the American Dream and how hard work pays off and that those “who are successful” should not be “punished” yadda, yadda, yadda, blah.

I cannot imagine anyone still holding on to this perverse lie where people are basically asked to personally fill the pockets of robber barons  – willingly and unquestionably no less – with a straight face.

Trickle down economics and the promise of prosperity-for-all as long as the wealthy get to remain wealthy while the economic burden will be carried at the backs of the middle class, the poor, and disabled, is an outrageous lie and blatant deception.

It is also brilliant from a robber baron/Mitt Romney/one percenter perspective because it has convinced people for decades to hand over their hard-earned dollars to said robber barons, willingly and passionately, in the hopes that they too, one day, can be one of those barons. And you know what? It may work for a very few who manage to somehow get a foot in the door to the Kingdom  and profit immensely while the majority of their fellow men will not.  But for most people becoming the next Bill Gates or Mitt Romney is nothing but a pipe dream. Most people have to get an education or training, get a job and work for a living and save up for a retirement instead of playing golf until 11 every day and letting other peoples’ hard-earned monies work for them and when they fail to make that money work for them they are let go with a golden parachute and set for life.

At any rate, as the wealth gap between the rich and poor has been increasing to staggering heights over the past thirty to forty years, people are yet to see any of that trickle down wealth come to fruition. If anything, a dwindling middle class and a tremendous wealth gap in this country appear to be testament to the exact opposite, namely that the more you let rich people amass wealth, the more they will amass wealth but without putting much of it back into the economy in terms of fair wages, benefit, jobs and investments.

Just enter the world of labor export to places like China where slave laborers are paid abhorrent “wages”, if one can even call it that – I believe slave labor is a more appropriate term since a few dollars a month are hardly wages – so that a company like Apple Inc. – which is supposed to be the example of the American Dream – can post a $7.5 billion profit; Apple Inc.  – the great American company that employs more people in China than its beloved US of A.

I applaud France’s measure because it is attempting to close the immense wealth gap – which is the cause  and further catalyst of economic recessions  – by forcing those navigating an existence in extreme wealth and privilege to pay a bit more so that the poor don’t have to. A lesson this country could learn and will learn – the hard way if need be.

The truth of the matter is that cash flow must exist in the economy for all parts to work effectively. If the upper levels of earners are not keeping those monies flowing, then the only mechanism left to us is taxation. It’s sort of like a parent trusting a child with something but then realizing that it is not working, after all, because said child has taken gross advantage of said privilege given to him.  So the parent has to step back in again.

The wealthy, the 1%, have taken immense advantage of the freedoms their governments gave them for all these years – so much so that the world is in a recession thanks to deregulation and abolishing a host of other mechanisms in place to insure a level playing field where all members of society pay their fair share. This has resulted in stagnant wages, the complete non-existence of a social safety net in this country (when I say welfare monies in this country are not fit to house and feed a dog in a pound for a month, I am not exaggerating) and a host of other middle-class busting policies keeping the 99% poor and asset-less while the 1% keep getting wealthier by the minute.

If corporations and the rich paid in taxes what they used to pay back in the 40s and 50s, and 60s when America grew like wildfire to be the planet’s economic powerhouse truly resulting in making the American Dream a reality for millions, America would not be discussing, as recently as the budget debate and lousy compromise of just a couple of weeks ago, what poor, sick, or elderly group need to be gutted, cut, or kicked to the curb next.

(Have you noticed how so-called “entitlements” are always on the table when it comes to budget discussions in this country? By both parties.  It is never “let’s stop subsiding oil companies” or “maybe we do not need another aircraft carrier” because apparently oil companies and defense contractors that post record profits already getting our tax dollars is not entitlements, but someone getting money back they paid into for years, is).

Currently, the conversation in America is a conversation being set up by guys like Charles and David Koch, the Walton heirs, Exxon, Lockheed, Raytheon, Donald Trump, Mitt Romney and so forth. Entities that feel entitled to their greed and do not want us ever talking about re-taxing them. That is why they complain about the debt to muddy the waters and distract from the real cause of the recession, demanding that the poor, sick, and elderly give a pound of flesh, because the CorporateCon Right Wing Mega-Rich have no intention of helping anyone with anything and want to keep and secure their massive economic gains which they have made at the backs of said poor, sick, and elderly.

The paradigm in this country, regardless of party affiliation, is always cutting more food-stamps or gutting Medicare or keeping minimum wages stagnant for a bit more. No one, not even Democrats, ever truly considers taking those things off the table and instead solely putting oil companies, the Defense Department and tax exemption for the wealthy on the table when talking fiscal responsibility.

That conversation needs to change.

So let what France is doing be a lesson to those of us in the US. If you do not want taxes set upon you, get to work doing your part to keep the economy moving, such as paying your employees fair, livable wages and great benefits to balance a home/at work lifestyle so that people do not feel enslaved to their jobs. 

The Walton family (i.e. owners of Wal-Mart) is a prime example of entities that possess more wealth than can be used in several lifetimes, yet insist on continuing to pay wages to their workers that are essentially poverty level, even though they have more than ample room to improve those wages and still profit handsomely. As long as the government stays shies away from holding Wal-Mart accountable and hopes instead that they will somehow eventually come out and do the right thing, nothing will change.

At any rate, in the case of France, one million euros per year should be more than sufficient to live and thrive on, dear Wealthy People. Remember, that you are being taxed on your income and wealth while 99% of the people in the world are being taxed on their subsistence. I do, however, dare you to try to live on 30,000 Euro for one year without running away – or hey, I’ll be generous, let’s make it an even 100k – if you can, that is.

Remember, being poor is not for lazy people but making a little less than a million per year apparently is. So much so that those wealthy people are, literally, fleeing their motherland.

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Food Stamps in the Way of Republican Plans to Increase Entitlements for Military

Paul Ryan’s plan for helping the poor is to cut programs for the poor.

Now this is the kind of logic and policy advise Mary Antoinette and Louis XIV could have used to prevent having their heads chopped off: in order to help the poor suffering from lack of opportunity and destitution, keep cutting programs aimed at helping them out of poverty. Now why didn’t they think of that back in 1789 when people were starving and instead said something intelligent like “let them eat cake.” This is much more effective. And smarter.

See folks, being poor is a pleasure and choice many people consciously and willingly make. As we all know, there is nothing more fun than being poor and struggling to make it and being at the mercy of anyone without much choice or autonomy. And yeah, nothing beats that $200 a month in food stamps, which means something like a whopping $7.21 a day for food. Now that is what I call taking advantage of the system. Those food stamp recipients are getting away with highway robbery. After all, there ain’t nothing better than sitting on your ass getting those great food stamps sent to you so you don’t starve.

And as we all also know, welfare recipients in a country with a practically non existent safety net already have it so good: they get to send their kids to top notch schools on tax payer dollars, they live in the best residences in the best neighborhoods in this country, also funded by tax dollars, they have the best health due to the immense and affordable health care resources at their disposal and let’s not even mention those food stamps they use to eat and not starve.

Since they do so much better than anyone else could ever imagine, we have to put a stop to that; we have to put a stop to these people living in the lap of luxury wanting food, health care and jobs. We need to do such things so we can give more tax cuts to people making $250k or more a year and millionaires, since clearly they need the money while these poor mooches don’t. They worked for it remember, while most people don’t work for it.

So what you live in a poor neighborhood and go to a shitty, underfunded poor public school with 100% racial minorities and metal detectors at the door; you can totally move upward if you put your mind to it. This is America.

You are hungry from not having enough money to pay for your food at the school cafeteria? Go ask daddy to dip into your trust fund and help you out (by the way you should remember this for when you get into that Ivy league school with those amazing grades you totally had the chance of getting in a school falling apart at the seams and metal detectors at the door – if you can’t pay for it, just ask your parents, silly). This is America.

The thing is, our military needs more money and we need to take that money off the back of those pesky food stamp recipients referenced above.  It is not enough that we have a military spending that is greater than that of the next ten nations combined. We need more.

Think of all the defense contracts we will get to issue to places like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon  – corporations that pay little to no taxes while posting record profits – to build more weapons and ships we don’t need, but which we can sell to other nations so they keep killing people we do not approve of.  Or heck even to people we do not know anything about. Business is business and war is great for business. Food stamps aren’t. Why spend money feeding the poor and children or any human beings for that matter if we could spend that money to wage wars and take lives? Don’t you know what America stands for? We are a peace loving nation.

You have to understand that the Republican efforts to slash the food stamp program is based upon the conservative belief that low paid soldiers will fight harder for their starving families.

Poor defense contractors not being able to make the payments on their yachts or refurnish their second dream homes on the private islands that they own, on the other hand, is the real tragedy here. It is a real shame to ask the rich to be responsible enough to provide food for the starving among us. We really would not want the rich to suffer because they deserve so much.

So what you have become ill and had to stop working, have no insurance because no one will insure you for any amount and lost everything – going from a $60,000 a year income to something like maybe $14,000 a year and now have to feed yourself on less than $200 a month in food stamps. So what you walk into the grocery store and eat a mostly non-meat diet since meat is so expensive for someone who has a less than $200 budget for food every month and become anemic. And so what the $14,000 you do make are considered “too much income” for all those cozy benefits they want to slash becasue “lazy” people do not know how to be responsbile and starve to death with dignity.

Go beg rich people to help out and be at their mercy for a loaf of bread, access to health care and a roof above your head. We do not need to have compassion and a safety net for our hard working fellow Americans in need of those benefits becasue of the policy decisions the likes of Ryan and Romney push for.

In addition to waging wars against a number of nations on our hit list of nations we do not approve of, it is especially fun to wage wars against decency, women, reason, Hispanics, blacks, freedom, gays, democracy, students and the 99%. Paul Ryan is a true Christian and human being in that regard.

Remember, we cannot place any burden on the wealthy. Sure their causes and policies are what created the recession but that doesn’t mean we cannot go after the elderly, the poor, the Medicare recipients, those damn starving parasites on food stamps,  hard working middle class wage earners and students to clean up and pay for the mess the wealthy created. This is totally what Jesus would have done.

Paul Ryan’s Christ Like Path to Prosperity Begins With Throwing Everyone but the 1% Under the Bus 

So as Paul Ryan suggests, to avert the above mentioned from happening,  cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps, in place of looming cuts to defense spending are necessary and just the first step because the buck doesn’t stop there.

Here are some of Paul Ryan’s truly humane and conscionable cuts everyone in the lowest tax bracket, hedgfund millionaires, the 1% and Jesus himself completely endorse:

1) Paul Ryan’s most recent budget proposal would save those making between $20,000 and $30,000 just $246 in taxes, compared to savings of $265,011 for those who make over $1 million, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

2)  The “Path to Prosperity” would cut $2.4 trillion from Medicaid and other health care programs for people with low or moderate incomes, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

3) Under Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” as many as 44 million fewer people would be covered under Medicaid, according to CBS News

4) Ryan would raise the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. If the Affordable Care Act was repealed, something Romney has pledged, that means many 65- and 66-year-olds would be left uninsured, theCBPP reports..

5) Under Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” senior citizens would have to pay as much as 68 percent of their health care coverage, up from 25 percent today,

6) Ryan’s proposed “Path to Prosperity” includes $134 billion in cuts to SNAP, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, CBS News reports.

7) A single mother of two working full time at the minimum wage would have her Child Tax Credit cut by more than $1,500, assuming she made $14,500 a year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

8) Compared to the most recent White House budget proposal, Ryan’s budget spends 33 percent less on education, training, employment and social services according to the Washington Post reports..

9) The current government worker pay freeze would be extended under the “Path to Prosperity,” meaning public-sector employees wouldn’t get a raise until at least 2015, the Washington Post reports

10) Ryan also plumps for his Medicare reforms as a solution to inequality. As you’ll remember, his budget proposes converting Medicare into a voucher system where seniors would be given a check and sent into a regulated private market to purchase insurance. The plan saves money because the check would grow at the rate of inflation, while health-care costs often increase three times faster than inflation, so, quite quickly, the check would cover only a small portion of an individual senior’s costs.

For rich seniors, this wouldn’t much matter. They could easily afford the cost of private insurance. For middle-income seniors, or lower-income seniors, it would be a disaster. Ryan offers them some subsidies, but not nearly enough. The cost of coverage would quickly outpace the resources many of them have to pay for it.

Republicans Aren’t Pro Life For No Reason

We are a government that deeply cares for its citizens, after all, we need them to pay taxes so the rich and corporations don’t have to, we need their kids as soldiers in wars that the rich kids don’t have to go to (that is, by the way where being anti abortion and “pro life” comes in handy *wink*), we need them as low wage workers in corporations whose stockholders and corporate executives are enriched by their labor, and if they get sick, hungry, disabled or become homeless well… tough luck. This is America, don’t you know.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are both deeply religious, god fearing  men to whom life is precious and begins at conception.  Exploiting people is the American Dream and the Christ like thing to do.

And if you end up not being able to pull yourself by the bootstraps you do not have, well then your demise is collateral damage for the wealthy and smug politicians who always get the best health care, nice pensions and benefits paid for by those warm bodies we call the middle class and the poor.

Do not mistake the GOP’s hostility toward the majority of the population as a sign of them not caring. They do. They want you to not abort a child so there is one more source of tax revenue for them to pay for all the programs that benefit the 1%. They need you to work long hours without benefits so they can keep getting richer at your expense. This is all part of the compassionate path Paul Ryan keeps endorsing.

So see you insolent fools, the real enemy here are starving people on food stamps and single mothers and college grads, not to mention the elderly. We do not want to create a society where people have rights, are well fed, get an education without going bankrupt, have access to quality and affordable health care and job prospects with fair wages and benefits. Such a world would make it so hard for the wealthy to keep exploiting everyone – which is their god given right after all. Remember, “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“…er, no wait.

Just remember that all the Republican policies referenced above  are nothing but a sign of love and care and respect for the American people and this grand nation, this beacon of light at the end of the tunnel, under the flag, guns and a cross.

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