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A closer look at progressive taxation

October 30, 2008

Can we please stop the political rhetoric for two seconds and look at our tax system realistically and fairly? First let me state that someone that has an income of 100 million dollars a year cannot possibly earn that just from their labor. What is the different in the lifestyle of a man that makes 100 million a year versus a man that makes 20 million a year? One has more power than the other and that is what the wealthy want once money is no object…..power. When a corporation attains economies of scale they redistribute the wealth from a few workers and the owners to upper management and the shareholders. The workers receive usually under 100,000 a year for varying amounts of labor while upper management is out playing golf by 3pm calling it a business lunch and receiving stock options and bonuses in addition to an inordinate base salary. The salaries of upper management are more like professional sports than someone who earns an income. This is where the real redistribution of wealth takes place. This is not to say that entrepreneurs do not deserve good compensation for innovation and creativity but most of upper management is just collecting checks and sucking up to the shareholders at workers’ expense and they will be the first ones to be laid off when the bottom line is not being met, regardless of their contribution to the company’s success. Huge income disparities undermine the very thread of capitalism that these people claim to defend and hold high.

Now that we understand that no one deserves 100 million dollars a year unless they cure AIDS or cancer let’s talk politics. McCain is calling Obama a socialist which he most certainly is not. Obama is saying he wants to beef up social programs to help the middle class. That is not socialism. Socialism is public ownership of private property. We don’t have that in this country but we do have a few social programs like welfare, Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans are not only distortiontists and promulgators of disinformation. In other words they’re goddamned liars. I’m no Obama supporter because of his imperial foreign policies and support of Israel. Obama needs to change those positions but in all likelihood he won’t so he won’t get my vote. Lucky for him I live in North Carolina so he doesn’t need my vote to win thanks to blacks giving him all of votes so they can hold their heads high around white people. I would vote on principal for McKinney or Nader but since one of the duopoly parties gets all electoral votes here my vote for president basically won’t count.

Returning to taxes, Republicans say that taxes need to be cut on corporations so they can create more jobs. Bullshit. Corporations don’t create more jobs when they have more money. They give it to the shareholders in increased dividends to please the board who in turn will give them a fatter piece of the pie for their profits. The people at the bottom get nothing except perhaps a menial bonus taxed at the 40% gift tax rate. Who gets those tax dollars I’ll never know. What the media and even alternative news outlets have not been discussing is that corporations rarely pay their taxes. When they don’t then the middle class shoulders the burden. Corporate tax lawyers find loopholes, or just engage in outright rewriting of the books like Enron did, to avoid paying anything so what we really need is to ensure that corporations, all corporations, are paying all of their taxes. That is the real problem and it’s being obfuscated behind a class warfare argument by the Republicans.Yes this is class warfare. It’s about the rich screwing the poor. It’s always been about that and it always will be.

Now I know that corporations will continue to skirt the laws in any way possible and bought politicians and judges will enable them. If taxes are raised on corporations then they will become even more criminal in their attempts at tax avoidance and others that were paying their taxes will now get into the game of paying nothing or as little as possible. I’m not saying corporations shouldn’t have their taxes raised so they won’t attempt to cheat. I’m saying that there needs to be more accountability when they don’t pay and most of them don’t and get away with it. If we lower taxes on corporations they will just keep giving more and more money to the shareholders and upper management which means the wealth disparity will continue to increase which means the people will continue to have no voice in government because lobbyists and special interests have all of the influence via their corporate political contributions. Corporate politics is the problem. Politicans serve corporations now, not the people. Greed and rankism have infected this society in the worst possible way. The wealthy now view the poor and middle class as expendable and themselves as superior beings. This will have disastrous consequences for the majority of us as public policies become more and more apathetic to our concerns.

This stockpiling of wealth by the upper class is unnecessary and hurts the rest of America. The elite will be dead and long gone before they spend half of it and many of them don’t even have children to inherit it. Those that do should be subject to the death tax (as it’s unfavorably called). In other words if you don’t earn it then you shouldn’t get it. Incomes should be capped at some figure that is intelligently derived. Too many rich people haven’t done a thing except manipulate the system to obtain and increase their wealth. At a certain point they can squash all competition and then democracy in the same breath. This is too much power for politicians and corporations to have. Nader has it exactly right. He wants to transform corporations back into non-human entities so they are not entitled to the same rights as humans from a legal perspective. This would reverse this negative trend of legal decisions favoring corporations at the expense of humanity and the planet. We must be crazy putting a non-human entity in charge of humanity?!?! Our own corporations are going to kill us but humans are the only species on the planet that knowingly try to kill themselves. Apparently we have a death wish.

The richwill  support any and everything that puts more money in their accounts. That is their only agenda. Few of them have any compassion for Americans without healthcare or orhpans in Iraq or victims of genocide in Africa. This cold-hearted, calculating, amoral way of life is cancerous. If humanity is to survive we are either going to have to wrest control from these financially parasitical maniacs by force and sequester them or simply outright kill them and take back what is rightfully ours as a whole. Socialism is right. Capitalism is wrong. Why? Because once you throw in the human tendency for greed, corruption and competition you are no longer dealing with a purely theoretical economic system. You are dealing madmen who will kill their own mother for a dollar.

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