Saturday, August 18, 2018

The two 500 lb. gorillas in the room

Who needs the super rich? I don’t. Do you?

I don’t know about you out there, but whenever I drive around my city and surrounding area of perhaps 250k people, I notice the increased congestion and near crazy drivers. It keeps getting worse and some of the blame has to be pointed at the uncertainty of our times. You don’t have to be an accounting genius or a historical scholar to realize when you’re on the receiving end of the shaft. The facts are out there, even though the embedded mainstream media does its best to keep them from you. We live in an empire whereupon over half of our hard-earned federal tax money goes down the rabbit hole of military spending. That’s the first gorilla in the room. It sits there smiling at you, because it knows that its appetite is being satisfied… as your needed safety net is shredded to bits. How many out there understand that this first gorilla needs over $700 billion each and every year? Some researchers have that figure at a cool trillion dollars. Imagine if even a quarter of that money went to establish a National Health Service to dwarf even the one the Brits have had for decades? Imagine going to any doctor you wanted and having any surgery you needed, along with saving your teeth with comprehensive dental care. With $180 billion going into that kitty, imagine how little it would cost you and me to pay for such care? Oh no, the gorilla is growling and pounding his giant paws!

The second gorilla is also very content now. He knows that his super-rich existence is safe, because Uncle Sam is in his pocket. How many of you realize that the super-rich had a top federal tax bracket of 90% to deal with in the 50s and 60s? During the 1970s the top bracket never went below 70%. In 1981, under Reagan, the top rate dropped to 50%. Now it is at 37% for incomes over $ 400,000+. That does not mean that anyone actually pays that amount. No, with a good accountant and plenty of deductions, even multi-millionaire Mitt Romney acknowledged that he paid at around 15%. Get it? Plus the fact that someone earning, let us say $500k a year, is put in the same bracket as a Romney or a Bill Gates. Thus, the mega-millionaire and billionaire gorilla are happier than a pig in ****. Meanwhile, back at the (prison) ranch you and me and all the millions of working stiffs out there (who make up most of the 99+%) have to subsidize this government spending with our sweat and tears (maybe some blood added to the mix?). Every dollar we earn is taxed at the Payroll Tax rate of over 7.5 %, the same for what the super rich must contribute. Plus, the social security tax stops at incomes of $128k a year. So, the Fat Cats and wannabee Fat Cats can earn ‘the sky’s the limit’ and are only responsible for $128k of income. Imagine if that ceiling was extended all the way up to the sky, how much-added revenue our Treasury would have? This could be used to secure and expand that safety net. Another idea is to create a ‘Mega Millionaire Flat Surtax’ of let us say 50% of any income over one million dollars a year, leaving the first million to be taxed at the current rate. This would include bonuses and all stock and bond income as soon as either is cashed in. Translated: Jeff Bezos, a multi-billionaire, only makes less than $100k a year in salary. His stock is worth billions! So, when Jeff one day decides to cash in or transfer his holdings to someone else, the flat surtax kicks in.

What could occur if our nation was a mix of socialism and capitalism? Well, all major industries that are vital to the public’s health and well being would be nationalized. Imagine if Banking, Energy, Pharma, Healthcare, Defense, Real Estate were owned and operated by the citizens through local and federal government. No more excess profits from our taxes going for mortgages, residential and commercial real estate rentals, doctor visits and medicines, home heating and electric, surgeries, dental care, weapons systems and military needs… all working at nonprofit or low profit. Socialism and ‘Adam Smith capitalism’ would see a nurturing of Main Street small businesses. It can happen if first we can get rid of those two smelly 500 lb. gorillas! Imagine for a minute if all small businesses with less than 100 employees (for argument sake) had a moratorium on the Payroll Tax contributions from both employee and employer for the first $20k of employee wages… with companies over 100 employees just having the moratorium on employee contributions. Think how A) $1500-$1600 a year tax-free can be useful for the worker and his or her boss; and B) this would get rid of most of the ‘off the books’ employment that many Mom and Pop businesses are forced to utilize to stay above water. Ditto for the workers.

With our own government running the weapons and military equipment industries, the trumpet for more phony wars and occupations would be muffled a great deal. All those private Pentagon influenced lobbyists would need to go out and get a real job! We could use that money wasted on the profits of the few to be used as I mentioned above. Think about that. And with local community nonprofit mortgage banks, imagine how many current renters would be able to afford a home or apartment of their own… at rates that only translate into overhead costs. You want real economic stimulus, well with more new homes and apartments needed, the housing and materials market would be overflowing with energy… and plenty of needed jobs.

Who needs the super rich? I don’t. Do you?

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