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Forum Post: Why Congress Refuses to Tax the Rich - Bud Meyers

Posted 2 years ago on April 22, 2012, 7:21 a.m. EST by bensdad (8977)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

It would be too simple to say that, because half the members of congress are millionaires themselves, and that just like most of their largest political donors that get them elected and keep them in office, benefit from the very same tax laws that they write on behalf of the most wealthy and largest corporations. That would be too simple, but it is entirely true.

Just like the Republicans, who get so much money from the gas and oil industry (already large and profitable), continue to give them billions of dollars in tax subsidies, despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans are against this tax give-a-way.

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives worked up quite a sweat last week — protecting America’s richest. On March 29th they voted by an overwhelming 346-78 margin, to reject a Congressional Progressive Caucus budget proposal that would have put in place a 0.5 percent wealth tax on assets over $10 million and upped the tax rate on all income over $1 billion to 49 percent. That rate currently runs as low as 15 percent for capital gains.

The same day, by a 221-198 vote, House lawmakers lustily endorsed a GOP budget that gives taxpayers making over $1 million an average $265,000 in new tax breaks --- that's above and beyond the $129,000 they already each receive from extending the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 --- a move the budget also advances to make permanent.

GOP White House hopefuls want taxes on the rich cut even lower than they've already been cut. The United States is a land where the mega rich pay lower tax rates than their secretaries, and a White House hopefuls like Mitt Romney (with a quarter-billion-dollar fortune) only pays 13.9 percent of his annual take-home in federal income tax.

Romney and all his rivals propose abolishing taxes on the estates rich people leave behind for their kids. Rick Santorum advises we should drop the tax rate on capital gains below the current 15 percent - - or as Newt Gingrich advocates, simply eliminate those taxes altogether.

Cutting taxes on America's most wealthy, our GOP Presidential candidates all claim, would bring the United States a broad new prosperity from sea to shining sea.

Congress makes tax laws, and it's no secret that congress is influenced in their voting records by, not the interests of the general public, but the interests of their biggest campaign contributors. Members of congress don't vote with their conscience, they vote for their own re-election. This form of government is patriotically wrapped around the American flag and called "serving their country".

Politics in the United States has now become known as the “super PAC” phenomenon, but politics has been a rich person’s game for quite some time. The rich in America didn’t need the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision to dominate the American political process. They already did.

In the 2006 congressional elections, just under two-thirds of the individual contributions to candidates came from Americans that were affluent enough to contribute at least $1,000 to a political campaign. But super PACs have most definitely made a bad situation worse. Much worse.

The Supreme Court, by allowing the super-wealthy and large corporations to contribute as much money as they want to “independent expenditure committees” (the technical label for super PACs), the conservative-stacked court has essentially shifted dominance over our political process from our top 1 percent to the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. If they want lower taxes, they just ask for them...it doesn't matter what THE PEOPLE want or need.

Over the past two decades Chuck Collins has been moving among all the key players and groups working to make America a more equal place...think tanks, trade unions, tax reformers and concerned business leaders. People of faith and people of wealth uneasy about their privilege.

Collins has launched economic justice advocacy groups and co-written a book about saving the federal estate tax with Bill Gates Sr., the father of America’s richest man. He has shared strategic insights with Occupy Wall Street activists and listened and spoken at hundreds of community forums.

And Collins writes well, too, with welcome touches of humor. Early on in his new book 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do about It , he notes that he surveyed hundreds of people for ideas on titling the book. He still can’t help smiling when he remembers one of the ideas that came in, Eating the Rich: Recipes for Ending the Class War.

I just saw some of the richest people in America say the most astonishing things...and realized how they REALLY think and feel about the 99%...things you'll never read about in any newspaper, but you can now see and hear them with your own eyes and ears.

14 Comments

14 Comments


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[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

This is the reason why Aristotle was against representative democracy. He knew only the elite would be able to get elected and the elite once elected would pass laws that were in their best interest, not society's.

So Aristotle predicted this outcome. The government is not at all a representative sample of the public at large.

So in Greece they had a system where ordinary people were randomly selected to serve in government. It worked just like jury duty works. This ensures that the people running government will always be a representative sample of the make-up of the public at large.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6674) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Can we find out who the 78 were that supported the tax, that .5% on assets is key to fixing this thing.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll148.xml


78= Andrews Bass (CA) Becerra Blumenauer Brady (PA) Brown (FL) Capuano Carson (IN) Chu Clarke (MI) Clarke (NY) Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Conyers Cummings Davis (IL) Deutch Doyle Edwards Ellison Farr Fattah Frank (MA) Fudge Green, Al Grijalva Gutierrez Hahn Hastings (FL) Hinchey Hirono Holt Honda Jackson Lee (TX) Johnson (GA) Johnson, E. B. Kaptur Kildee Kucinich Lee (CA) Lewis (GA) Lofgren, Zoe Markey McCollum McDermott McGovern Miller (NC) Moore Moran Nadler Napolitano Olver Pallone Pascrell Pastor (AZ) Pingree (ME) Price (NC) Richardson Rothman (NJ) Roybal-Allard Rush Ryan (OH) Sánchez, Linda T. Schakowsky Scott, David Serrano Slaughter Stark Tonko Velázquez Waters Watt Waxman Welch Wilson (FL) Woolsey

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21299) 2 years ago

The wealthy and corporations are only fooling themselves. By impoverishing the American people through their hijacking of the government and their incessant greed they will eventually find that it not only causes suffering to the little folks (who they don't care about) but to themselves as well. And, in the meantime, hopefully, the little guy will be creating his own sub-economy, localized and true to himself, escaping the shackles of an economic system doomed to fail him.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

have you tasted or watched Soylent Green?

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21299) 2 years ago

No. I know of it, of course, and I remember my parents talking about it a lot when I was a kid.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

please watch it - we may be there in a few years the opening scene is amazing
and when you see Edward G Robinson's last scene in the movie -
keep in mind that it was his LAST scene

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21299) 2 years ago

Okay. Sounds interesting. And, I'll ask my mother about it.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

They dont care, because they know the big growth will be in the BRIC countries the next decade.

Pick the bones clean and move on.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21299) 2 years ago

You may have a point there. Sometimes, I just can't wrap my head around their lack of compassion.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

When you look at our culture, like on Black Friday, and you see how people treat their kids and neighbors, it is hard to have too much compassion sometimes...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21299) 2 years ago

True, but I guess I'm talking about the lack of compassion in the first place that causes people to behave that way.

[-] 0 points by ImperialWizard (-15) 2 years ago

Take the POLITICS out of The People's government and the money that stays in will naturally have to be dispersed to many more than just the gang in DC.

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

Has anyone else noticed that the income where someone is considered "rich" is just above the amount of income paid to congressmen?