Friday, October 31, 2008

Redistribute the Wealth

Many of us were blown away by the McCain camp accusing Obama of socialism, what decade are we in, anyway? I wonder how many people under 30 even know what socialism is? Certainly McCain doesn't. Here is a little article by TOM TEEPEN at the SeattlePI entitled If Obama's a socialist, so is McCain:
As it happens, we have already had a revolution that redistributed the wealth. Bush's big tax overhaul redistributed it to the already rich, so they could be richer yet already.

By 2005, households enjoying the top 1 percent of incomes -- those over $348,000 a year -- were receiving the biggest share of national income since 1928. The income gap between the well off and others has stretched beyond shouting distance. Where middle and lower earners had shared in the 1990s boom, they generally lost income in the meager "Bush recovery" from the brief 2001 recession.

In their rush to make Obama out as a socialist readying tumbrels for the rich, conservatives have sometimes explicitly but for the most part implicitly reverted to the old country-club grumble that the graduated income tax is nothing more than a radical scheme to coddle the undeserving poor with the money of the deserving rich.
It's very important to remember that ever since Reagan became President we have been on a course of redistributing the wealth upwards to the rich people of this country, which W put the final period on, that has helped to bring us to our current financial crisis.

So Obama isn't redistributing the wealth, he's getting back what the Republicans and the rich have stolen from everyone in this country who makes less than $250,000 a year.

We've had a progressive tax rate since Teddy Roosevelt, John McCain's hero, first started it. Progressive means the percentage gets higher the more you make. By the early 60's the very top rate was 90%. The Republicans try to use JFK as an example of a Democrat lowering taxes on the rich as if that would make it OK for us to do. He brought it down to 75%, but also did away with many of the loopholes that allowed those in that bracket to get massive deductions, the end result was that the richest people actually paid MORE when Jack Kennedy's tax bill went into effect.

That's very similar to what is happening today with business taxes. McCain continues to claim we have the second highest tax rate on business in the world, around 34%. This is true BUT (there are always these "buts" in any claim by Republicans) there are so many loopholes that after deductions US businesses end up actually paying the second lowest taxes in the world. Obama doesn't want to increase the tax rate but to decrease the loopholes. Things like a corp getting a tax break to move their production to China. He actually wants such a company to pay MORE taxes if they want to do that. But give them tax breaks if they choose to keep their jobs in this country.

So during the most abundant times in our history, the 50's and 60's, the progressive tax rates for the rich were very, very high. Why, if the Pubs were right that high taxes on the rich depress the economy, were we so prosperous in those decades? I think we've been trickled ON by George Bush and the other Have's and Have More's long enough. Nothing like a collapsing economy to tell us we are on the wrong path. High taxes on the rich are a way of creating prosperity for the entire economy, lowering the rates creates disaster. Current tax rates for the rich are around 36%, and we are all less prosperous than we were 40 and 50 years ago when the rates were at least twice that much.

Obama just wants to bring the taxes of the top 1% of the country back to the levels they were when Clinton was president, and THIS is being a socialist? I'll tell you what being a socialist is; it's Alaska claiming that all of the state's natural resources belong to everyone - collectively - and that everyone should get a share of the profits. So Sarah Palin took money from the rich oil companies and sent every man, woman and child in Alaska a check for around $3200. That's about as socialist as it gets. Are you against that? Is it a terrible thing that the oil companies have to pay the citizens of Alaska for using their resources?

In Washington they do it a little differently; they privatize profits, and when the top people of a corporation have squeezed the company dry then the government steps in and pays for their losses! What could be better than that? Wouldn't you love to be able to spend like crazy, take all kinds of chances and when you go broke have the government give you a couple of billion dollars? Sorry, only the top one percent of the wealthiest Americans can get that kind of socialism.

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