Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No Bailouts for Millionaires and Billionaires!

Barry Blitt, New York Times

From 2002 to 2006, as American's median income went down and poverty rose, 3/4 of all the economic growth was captured by the top 1%. Today, the disparity in income in our nation is comparable to the Gilded Age when Robber Barons ruled. Plutocracy (government control by the wealthiest) has been growing in the United States for over thirty years. From 1980 to 2005 more than 4/5 of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1%.  If Republicans have their way, this ongoing financial coup, that threatens the very existence of America's middle class, will continue with the top 20% getting 60% of the Bush tax cuts.

Proponents of further enriching millionaires and billionaires call our country's wealthiest "job creators" and say America's small businesses cannot afford to be further taxed during a recession. Hmmmm, but the Bush tax cuts for the super rich have been in place for 10 years- how has that worked out in creating new jobs? Also, 98% of small businesses in our country will see NO tax increase if Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire for those making $200,000 or $250,000 for a couple. Further, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that tax cuts are the least effective means of spurring the economy of 11 policy options.

Not letting tax cuts expire for the wealthiest among us will also add $700 billion to the deficit. David Stockman, former budget adviser to Ronald Reagan is against it and says the Republicans "should be ashamed " for proposing it. Stockman also said "the top five percent have a net worth of $40 trillion. The top five percent have gained more wealth than the whole human race had created prior to 1980."

Making the Bush tax cuts permanent for millionaires and billionaires is all about politicians rewarding their biggest donors- it is not about growing the economy or helping hard working American families.

Please call your elected representatives today- 202 224-3121- Tell them no bailouts for the super rich.
Don't increase the annual income to $1 million as Sen Schumer has proposed. If you are making $200,000 as an individual or $250,000 as a couple, chances are you are already a millionaire and can well afford having your taxes increased by a measly 3% or so.

One statistic has stayed with me from the Bush era- under his administration the richest 400 families were enriched by over $400 billion! We should be working to get that money back, not giving them yet more. In our country, the richest 400 have more wealth than 155 million people combined. This is not sustainable for a democracy.

This is a perfect issue for Democrats to be strong on. Decouple the tax cuts for the middle class that everyone agrees should happen. Then make the Republicans make a case for making the super rich even richer at a time when our deficit is ballooning out of control and the middle class is suffering at levels not seen since the Great Depression.

Nicholas Kristoff  recently said the USA is now in the notorious league of banana republics, where there is a vast disparity in wealth. We now have greater inequality in income than countries like Nicaragua and Venezuela. We are in the midst of a class war and we, the 98% who make less than $200,000 a year, are losing.

It is time for America citizens to come together to restore government to "we, the people", and to fight for  fairness, equal opportunity and our democratic way of life.