Moving toward greater fairness
Just after the networks announced Obama’s victory and a possible GOP contesting of results in Ohio, there was a very telling interview with a commentator from the Huffington Post. He stated the obvious quite well — rich people don’t like to lose. Actually, no one likes to lose, but rich people normally have a stronger sense of entitlement than do most of us, and therefore the rich are often poorer losers than the rest of us.
He then went on to express hope that this event will be a watershed for the years ahead — that people like Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and the rest of the 1 percent who have been bankrolling the Tea Party will start to live in the real world where money does not always determine outcomes. We have many real problems (e.g. health care, Medicare, Social Security) all of which are solvable if Americans of different stripes can just sit down at the same table and talk to each other as mature adults instead of slinging slogans at one another from opposite sides of the room.
Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into existence July 30, 1965. At that time approximately 50 percent of federal revenue came from individual income plus payroll taxes, 25 percent came from corporate income taxes, 20 percent came from excise taxes and 5 percent from “other.” In 2010, 80 percent came from individual income and payroll taxes, 10 percent came from corporate income taxes and 10 percent from excise and “other.”
This gross disparity between individual and corporate taxes must be addressed. We have plenty of money to pay America’s bills if everyone pays their fair share, including the 1 percent, who pay much lower taxes on corporate dividends than to working folks on their wages. Corporations like Exxon-Mobil who milk loopholes to the point where they pay zero tax must now begin to share the load with the rest of us.
The same commentator then ridiculed the false notion that reducing taxes for the richest of us produces jobs for the rest of us. He cited the fact that Romney’s Bain Capital made its millions by flipping companies in the same manner that real estate speculators flip houses. The goal is to make a quick profit and stuff your pocket; the flipped company then sends American jobs overseas to recoup the flipping fees. Zero job growth during the Bush tax-cuts-for-the-rich-era from 2000-2008 should hammer this evident fact home to even the densest of us.
My personal hope is that my country will now begin to journey away from posturing and sloganeering and toward some realistic problem-solving. It’s doable so let’s get on with the job.