By now, everyone is probably aware that Warren Buffett wrote an op-ed piece for the New York times wherein he begged politicians to stop coddling the mega-rich (like-himself) and freaking tax them at least as much as they do the middle class. He claimed that his office staff paid a higher percentage of taxes than himself, even though he is a billionaire. He told the absolute truth. Sweet Babou and I pay a higher percentage of tax on our income than he does … almost twice as much in fact. This does not feel good. We don’t say, “Oh Goody! We get to pay taxes now! Let’s faint with joy!” No. We don’t like it. But we like having a fire department, schools, and roads even more than we dislike taxes. We’re funny that way.
Conservatives counter the argument that the rich, more to the point the super-rich, shouldn’t pay more taxes. After all, more than 50% of the US pays no income taxes at all … why don’t they cough it up? Well, in part because they only have, total, 2.5% of the wealth in America. Hell, 90% of us share just 30% of the wealth, because the top 10% have the other 70% of it.
That is the kind of income disparity more appropriate for the serf and feudal lord system of the Dark Ages, people. You can not build a stable middle-class and economic security with this kind of bullshit. So just what has this funneling of wealth upwards, gotten us?
“As for statistics on Americans being buried in financial debt: As mentioned before, from 1990 – 2010 costs of living have increased 67%, while wages have stagnated and declined. As the national debt has reached a record $14.6 trillion, total personal debt is now over $16 trillion. Consumer debt is $2.5 trillion. Credit card debt is $805 billion and student debt now exceeds $1 trillion.”
Staggering isn’t it? Should people have run up so much debt? Of course not. But if they hadn’t then our shaky economy would have lost it’s façade of success 10 years ago. Credit cards are the reason consumers were able to keep consuming. Unsecured loans enabled them to buy houses that they now cannot afford. The bankers who got us into this mess walk away scot-free while the little guy gets his home foreclosed on, often illegally because the banks didn’t have the correct paperwork due to THEIR OWN ERRORS.
How much longer can the system go one with so much distance between the vast majority of Americans and the very, very wealthy among us? What will we do when the middle class collapses? Do those in power really think that people won’t go batshit and have riots when their children are hungry and they start to see Wall Street as the genesis of their poverty?
Where is my amaretto?