Photo: Ove Overmyer
I would argue that most sane people would think that these results are hardly fair and totally unacceptable-- and very detrimental to a stable functioning democracy.
According to Citizens for Tax Justice, when the 111th Congress extended the Bush tax breaks for the top 2 percent of the wealthiest, it has provided Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corporation, with an estimated $1.3 million tax break. Think about that for a moment-- he pays no tax and even gets a huge return. That is money that is owned and generated by the American people.
Tom Donohue, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who has urged American corporations to ship jobs overseas, will receive an estimated $215,000 tax break from this deal.
Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan Chase, whose bank received a bailout of over $160 billion from the Federal Reserve, will receive an estimated $1.1 million tax break from this deal.
Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup, a bank that got more than $2.5 trillion in near zero interest loans from the Federal Reserve (our tax dollars), will receive an estimated $785,000 tax break by virtue of the Bush tax cuts.
Ken Lewis, the former CEO of Bank of America, a bank that got nearly a trillion dollars in low interest loans from the Fed, will receive an estimated $713,000 tax break.
The CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, whose bank got a $25 billion bailout, will receive an $813,000 tax break from this deal.
The CEO of Morgan Stanley, John Mack, whose bank got more than $2 trillion in low interest loans from the Fed, will receive a $926,000 tax break from this agreement.
Ronald Williams, the CEO of Aetna, will receive a tax break worth $875,000.
David Cordani, the CEO of Cigna will receive a $350,000 tax break. And, on and on it goes.
Facts are facts. The rich are getting richer, the poor are get poorer, and the middle-class is disappearing. Today, income inequality in the United States is the third worst in the world of developed nations. Today, the top one percent earns over 20 percent of all income in this country, which is more than the bottom 50 percent earns.
Did the United States grow more unequal while Republicans were in power? It sounds crude, but Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels has gone a long way toward proving it. Bartels looked up income growth rates for families at various income percentiles for the years 1948 to 2005, then cross-checked these with whether the president was a Republican or a Democrat. He found two distinct and opposite trends. Under Democrats, the biggest income gains were for people in the bottom 20th income percentile (2.6 percent). The income gains grew progressively smaller further up the income scale (2.5 percent for the 40th and 60th percentiles, 2.4 percent for the 80th percentile, and so on). But under Republicans, the biggest income gains were for people in the 95th percentile (1.9 percent). The income gains grew progressively smaller further down the income scale (1.4 percent for the 80th percentile, 1.1 for the 60th percentile, etc.).
Knowing what we do from this study, economically speaking, why would anyone in their right mind who makes less than six-figures a year ever vote for a Conservative or a Republican? Over a recent 25 year period, 80 percent of all new income went to the top one percent. In terms of the distribution of wealth, as hard as it may be to believe, the richest 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 155 million Americans.
America will not survive without a strong middle-class economy. When you strip average folks of their spending power, it leads to strained public services, social unrest, crime, high unemployment and a poor quality of life for the majority of taxpaying citizens. People die-- and families suffer. Nobody wins in this scenario-- except the architects of this master plan-- namely those insulated from any harm like the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove’s CEO cronies and their bought and paid for GOP political puppets.
Let’s get something straight here. Republicans in Washington have never believed in Medicare, Medicaid, federal assistance in education, or providing any direct government assistance to those in need. They have always believed that tax breaks for the wealthy and the powerful would somehow miraculously trickle down to every American, despite all history and evidence to the contrary.
parasites-- not breathing, living human beings.
And, that's exactly what the intent of Ryan Republican budget plan is-- you know, the one that was passed in the House of Representatives earlier this year and supported by the vast majority of elected Republicans? The GOP Ryan Budget Plan is so wrong on so many levels. It is a damn shame that the American people are not paying more attention to what is happening in our nation's capital. History has proven that this ideology is flawed-- all the economic indicators were practically the same in 1929 when compared to 2008. At the end of Bush 43's second term in 2008, America was plunging into another Great Depression because of his failed policies.
Is this the America we had in mind when you thought it was a good idea to vote for the radical GOP and Conservative candidates in 2010? Is this the America you had in mind when your kids got out of college and are still unemployed? Is this the America you had in mind when you forgot to vote in the last election? Is this the America you had in mind when you were thinking about a better future for your children? Is this the America you had in mind when you actually had a job? Is this really the America we had in mind?
These comments are the author's views and do not represent CSEA as an organization.