Threatening a Class War If Billionaires Have to Pay the Same Tax Rates As Janitors

by: David Sirota

Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 09:15

I've written before about how the Washington drumbeat for a "commission" to slash Social Security and Medicare is starting in earnest - and how that commission aims to artificially skew the terms of our tax and spending debate. If/when that commission is created, you can bet those parameters will be skewed even more, as evidenced by Fortune magazine reporter Allan Sloan.

You may recall that Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to supplement Social Security revenues by lifting the cap on income that Social Security payroll taxes applies to. His proposal is eminently logical. Why should the tax apply only to income below $106,800 and not above it? Put another way, why should someone making $106,800 pay the same total amount of payroll tax as a billionaire?

But fair taxation is anathema to the moneyed class, which, of course, includes elite reporters like Sloan. At about 12:57 in this recent C-Span interview, Sloan says that those like him making six figures would basically stage a tax revolt if a plan like this was ever even considered:

Q:  If the income limit on the Social Security tax was eliminated wouldn't that fix Social Security?

MODERATOR: What's the income limit right now?

A: The income limit is $106,800. Let's say you took this limit off.  What you would be doing is doubling, tripling, quadrupling the tax for a whole lot of people who make more than $107,000.  And if you do that you are going - for 5 minutes you'll balance Social Security.  But the first time there is a conservative administration and a conservative Congress, if you have imposed another 12.4% income tax - which is what this is - on everybody making more than $107,000...To say, well you've got to pay another 12.4% and no one else has to do anything, no one else has to retire later, nobody has to take a cut in benefits, we're just going to come and take your money. People in my income class will turn against Social Security en masse and the next time there's a change in administrations you won't have Social Security.

Sloan made essentially the same point in a recent Washington Post article, insisting that lifting the payroll tax cap would be "a huge new tax to middle-class workers." Though a financial reporter whose job it is to know the basic numbers, he conveniently ignores IRS data that shows people who make over $106,800 are squarely in the top quintile of income earners - not the "middle-class."

But that's not nearly as significant as Sloan's class-war ideology. Setting aside a discussion about whether $106,800 is a significant yearly income or not (and I certainly think it is), it's a statement of verifiable fact that Sloan - theoretically an objective reporter - is on the extreme fringe when he lambastes the proposal to subject more income to payroll taxes. As a 2005 Washington Post poll showed, a stunning 81 percent of Americans believe there shouldn't be a cap at all. 81 percent!

Sloan, clearly part of the 19% minority, is no anomaly - he's emblematic of most of the financial and political press corps who themselves are largely in the top quintile and therefore see proposals to more progressively tax that quintile as a threat. And if those proposals are carried out in order to avoid slashing benefits or raising the retirement age, the moneyed class will declare war on everyone else. As Sloan himself says, if Obama tries to fulfill his campaign promise,* "people in my income class will turn against Social Security en masse."

David Sirota :: Threatening a Class War If Billionaires Have to Pay the Same Tax Rates As Janitors
Of course, if people in Sloan's income class tried to destroy Social Security, they'd face pretty stiff opposition from the other four income quintiles. But who would win that battle is less interesting than Sloan making it this explicit.

Sloan, speaking for his fellow Establishment elite, is quite publicly saying that he and his rich friends believe they are entitled to a payroll tax that lets them pay a lower effective tax rate than middle- and lower-income people. In fact, Sloan isn't just saying the rich believe they are entitled to this - he's actually saying the rich will wage an open class war against Social Security if anyone tries to change the situation, rather than slash Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age.

That is the hubristic threat those reporting on these matters are operating from. Despite the patina of "objectivity" imparted by a Fortune magazine title or Washington Post byline, we see that many people delivering business/political news are themselves purveyors of the most extreme conservative ideology - the kind that threatens class war whenever anyone proposes to make Warren Buffett pay the same payroll tax rate as a janitor.

* Note: Obama proposed only to additionally subject income over $250,000 to payroll taxes. So his proposal is far weaker than what the public supports.

Tags: (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Why have we not beat the repuglicans over the head (4.00 / 4)
with this factual argument that they are hell bent on destroying two of the most popular and effective and progressive-minded programs in government: Social security and medicare.

Repuglicans have tried numerous times to privatize these programs.  Bush wanted so desperately for private investment accounts for people and he won a huge giveaway to private insurance companies in the form of Medicare Advantage.

So, if they can't privatize then destroy them - obstruct any changes or adjustments to these programs.

RebelCapitalist - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

Good post, (4.00 / 5)
but as I am sure you know, there has been a class war for a long time waged by the wealthy agaisnt the rest of us.

A real progressive taxation policy would be nice.

class war (4.00 / 2)
The word "war" implies battle between sides of a conflict. That will be an improvement to our current situation. As you point out, now all we have is abuse toward the vast majority by the obsenely wealthy. We should all be looking foward to the time the middle and poor classes join the fight.

Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR

[ Parent ]
David ... (4.00 / 1)
Sloan is just continuing the BS that Charlie Gibson was peddling during the primaries ... you remember that ... right? .. if I ever saw Sloan .. I'd tell him to "Bring it on!!" ... cause he'd lose in the end

Simple Solution (0.00 / 0)
Put a donut hole between 107k-157k (and adjust this 50k gap annually for inflation).  The fact is, even though nationally 6-figures may be limited to the "wealthy," 107k can indeed reasonably be considered upper-middle class in places like NYC where the cost of living is much higher.

Netroots for Gore

Donut holes are weird -- here's something better (4.00 / 2)
Donut holes give a break to upper-middle income people at the expense of the rich and the poor. This is just weird as well as creating an accounting mess.

Instead of a donut: eliminate the top income limit so everyone pays the same percentage rate on their earned income and then either reduce this percentage rate or institute a low income limit of $5,000 (so that no one would be taxed on the first $5,000 of their earned income). Either of these measures would reduce SS taxes for everyone below $107,000 and would offset the additional taxes imposed on those somewhat above the $107,000 level. This is more fair (the poor would get a big boost and the rich would pay their fair share) and would be easier for accounting systems.

[ Parent ]
Coming distractions (4.00 / 1)
The class war is already on its way. In the end, I expect it to be worse than the one in the Thirties, to last longer, and like all class wars, to have all sorts of unforeseen and unpleasant consequences. Still, in an abstract way, I welcome it, because at least it would offer the opportunity to gain some clarity about the real nature of the forces contending for dominance in our society, and put an end, at least temporarily, to the schizophrenia which gives us hysterical teabaggers on the one hand, and the bland assurances of Tim Geithner or The Economist on the other.

What we've got may have been inevitable, but it isn't one of the forces of nature. Despite appearances, and the best efforts of our media propagandists, neither is it eternal. (These days even the forces of nature don't seem eternal, or at least not eternal in the form we've become accustomed to in the course of human history.) Our betters are selling us a pendulum as the preferred metaphor for the future of our corporate state, a pendulum with an ever decreasing arc and increasing frequency as they refine their tinkering. I would argue that apocalypse is an equally valid metaphor, and that we might well prefer it, at least in the abstract, if we looked on our own at the evidence which our convinced capitalist punditry would prefer that we ignore.

It's conventional when making an unsupported and arguably extreme assertion like this, to say that you hope that you're wrong. Despite what history teaches us about the horrors of fundamental changes in the social order, I can't say that I hope any such thing. At this point, I think I'd prefer chaos to the insanities of the news cycle, or the inanities of the U.S. Senate. Let me put it this way: I don't wish us any harm, but I definitely would like to see us a bit more honest about what we're facing.

What never ceases to amaze and perplex me (0.00 / 0)
is the ability of the rich to manipulate millions of people who should be on our side, to instead side with them, via the trick of convincing them that opposing them would mean taking away their "freedom", and that this "freedom" (which is a lie on multiple levels) is more important than being treated with dignity and fairness by corporations and the rich in terms of pay, working conditions, benefits, savings, retirement, quality of life, etc. It's a classic real-world example of how the devil convinces people that he's not the devil, but their friend, and that their real friends are the devil, and in doing so gets them to act against their interests.

What's the matter with wingnuts, eh?

What most surprises me is that this faux populist nonsense began, or at least achieved critical mass, with Jefferson, that plantation-inheriting, slave-owning, pampered child of wealth and privilege, who had the chutzpah to rail against proposed political and economic reforms that would enable far less well-off people to move up in the world and maybe someday become as well-off as himself, but by their own efforts, not their ancestors', and against the rich, which he was and never made any effort to not be (other than squandering his money and ending up in massive debt). On an ideological level, one can trace the roots of Ron Paulian "freedom" RW populists to Jefferson and his "Government don't tread on me" screeds.

Tree of liberty my ass. Rich faux populist hypocrites have always been about the same thing--manipulating the poor and unsophisticated to serve their interests, by preying on their fears, anger and ignorance, and leaving them even less well off than they were previously. And getting rich off of it (well, except for Jefferson, but perhaps there's some poetic justice in that).

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
I do agree, though (4.00 / 1)
that there is a coming class war. The only questions being whether it will be led by the right or left, and whose interests it will end up serving once it's all played out.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
The dogs of war (4.00 / 1)
Once legitimate resentments arouse the people, there's no guarantee that they'll choose their targets wisely, or ally themselves with either the political forces or the principles that might actually return to them what's theirs. That's why it's said that civilization is fragile, and why overthrowing tyranny is always chancy. It's also why I don't share your disdain for Jefferson. Despite his limitations, it's hard to imagine anyone in the same situation being either more insightful, or more effective in steering what could be steered.

As smart as they often are, people in power never seem to realize that they can't have it all their own way forever. Even worse, once the inevitable consequences of their pig-headedness do arise, they almost never survive long enough to put things back the way they found them. That's the task of those who come after them. Sometimes it turns out relatively well; sometimes it doesn't. Will we get Jefferson this time, or Robespierre? At this point, I wouldn't even hazard a guess. At the rate things are coming apart, we might do worse than either one of them.

[ Parent ]
But Jefferson was aok with Robespierre and the Reign of Terror (4.00 / 1)
Which is why I can't respect him, and view him as dangerous and irresponsible, at best a misguided utopian, at worst a hypocritical demagogue. If he had stopped at pushing for a Bill of Rights and other protections against unlimited, unwarranted and illegitimate government power, then that would have been fine. But he went far beyond that, pushing for a decentralized and weak central government that would have been as bad as the Articles of Confederation, and untenable, and which would have given even more power to southern states than the constitution did and all but invited tyranny down the line.

He was really a forefather of latter-day radical libertarians, pony-chasers who believe that a weak central government is better than top-down tyranny, when in reality all it does is set up populist demagogues to exploit the masses to become tyrants themselves. Anti-Federalists like Jefferson certainly had a salutory effect on the final version of the constitution, but the document that emerged was still, fundamentally, the work of Hamilton and the pre-Republican Madison, creating a strong central government with various checks on its power. Which has become the model for nearly every successful democracy in the world, directly or indirectly.

That "tree of liberty" stuff frightens me, be it from the right or left. Of course, it's vastly more likely to come from the right than left these days, in the US. This aspect of Jeffersonianism (I'll grant that there are other aspects) is strictly a right-wing phenomenon these days. And it appears to be gaining steam. I don't expect an armed rebellion any time soon (let alone a successful one), but if Obama fails to deliver on his signature issues, RW demagogues will become more popular, and the makings of a RW resurgence will emerge, this time far more radical than before.

Behind the genial front that a Ron Paul presents, lie the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, Tancredo and Palin. Sooner or later, they'll leave the GOP and form a radical far-right 3rd party, and it'll have a similar effect as did Buchanan and Perot, if not more so, and actually win some seats and have real influence. And their followers are crazy and raring to pounce. And we don't have anything to combat that on the left. And they know it.

"People Power" and "Down with government" sure sound nice, but they tend to lead to unintended and undesired consequences, when taken up by the radical fringes, no less so than excessively strong central power tends to result in such consequences. Hamilton and Madison were shooting for a middle ground. Jefferson was not.

Things always look better from a mountaintop retreat.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
La plus ça change.... (4.00 / 1)
Excesses in defense of the revolution? Yes, but then it's not as though revolutions don't have real enemies. Knowing what we now know about what Kennedy was up to, for example, a reasonable person might be somewhat more inclined to understand Castro's penchant for throwing people into dungeons who even smelled like American sympathizers. Not forgive, mind you, but understand.

As for libertarians, Jefferson is hardly responsible for that bunch. They claim him, of course, but then they're a lot like Mormons, baptising their ancestors into the faith without bothering to ask them first.

[ Parent ]
Excesses? (4.00 / 1)
Bit of a euphemism, don't you think? Had the Reign of Terror amounted to some angry mobs lynching some easy targets before order was restored by the new regime, then that would have been one thing (and of course wrong, on multiple levels). But it was institutionalized into an exact replica of what it overthrew, deliberated turned into an instrument of power, and carried on for several years, making it just as morally illegitimate as its predecessor.

And my being able to "understand" this doesn't make me respect or approve of it. Not that the American Revolution wasn't without its "excesses", but these were generally not officially sanctioned, and happened because of a lack of sufficient order, not as a direct consequence of it (the major exception being in the south, towards the end). Ours were two very different revolutions, playing out very differently and with very different outcomes.

The French one replaced one tyranny with another (which itself was replaced by yet another, which was replaced by yet another...), in very bloody and brutal fashion. Ours replaced a far less tyrannical regime with one that was even less tyrannical (but still far from perfect, obviously, regarding slaves, women, people of little means, etc.), and most of the blood was shed between soldiers, not civilians (although there was some of that too). While we didn't exactly throw parties for them, we didn't guillotine Loyalists and Tories or exile them. We incorporated them into the new order that was created--with the emphasis on the word order--and those that didn't leave on their own, found their place in that order.

In any case, my point is that while it's certainly legitimate and healthy to fear and be on guard against a too-powerful and unchecked central government, the radical libertarian solution of seeking to replace it with a too-weak decentralized government is just as bad as that which it seeks to replace, because it is untenable and leads to demagogic tyranny sooner or later (a la France). And my reading of Jefferson and his fellow anti-Federalists is that this is what he advocated for (even if, once he became president, he acted contrary to his prior beliefs), be it out of ivory tower naivitee, or out of demagogic tendencies.

A little "rebellion" from time to time is a good thing, I believe. But so long as it's no more radical and bloody than it needs to be, to achieve its purpose of restoring lost freedoms (or establishing ones that never existed except in peoples' minds). Because when you cross that line, you often end up having a new version of the very tyranny that you sought to destroy.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
I take your point -- honestly I do (0.00 / 0)
I agree with you for the most part, although I think you're wrong about Jefferson. He was far more complex, in my opinion, than you make him out to be.

I also think that your opinion of the human frailties which produce mobs and their mindless brutalities would be more moderate if you'd actually seen them develop on the ground. (I don't know whether you have or haven't, but I have, and I've never forgotten it, which is why I think that it's so foolish of the powers-that-be to scoff at their responsibilities to the rest of humanity, including the least among us.) That said, I'm no more consoled than you are by the thought that tyrants go first to the guillotine, believe me.

[ Parent ]
At this point (4.00 / 1)
My fear is of right-wing mobs, not left-wing ones, the latter being almost entirely a right-wing bugaboo used to suppress legitimate left-wing movements. But there clearly have been left-wing mobs in the past, that have done as much if not more destruction and suffering than right-wing ones. The difference, as I see it, is a matter of composition, leadership and ideas.

When movements, on either side, are made up of inchoately angry and restive mobs who want "change" but don't really know what that means beyond a few buzzwords like "freedom" and "revolution"--and are willing if not eager to engage in violence--(be they gun-totin' teabaggers or Khmer Rouge fighters), are led by demagogic proto-tyrants who are exploiting these mobs for their ulterior purposes (be they Glenn Beck or Stalin), and are informed by half-baked and dangerous ideas (be they radical libertarianism or imposed communism), bad things tend to happen if they attain real power.

I understand why some people, put upon for years (or imagining themselves to having been put upon as a result of being subjected to years of dishonest propaganda, which is what they're really being put upon by even though they don't know it), resort to mob behavior. I understand why some people with natural leadership abilities tend to exploit such people, and wrap themselves up in such half-baked and dangerous ideas to make them seem legitimate--i.e. demagogues, of whatever phony ideological persuasion.

Which is why I also understand the need of every person to not let themselves fall into a mob mentality and behavior pattern, and why it's probably even more important for people with leadership abilities to try their best to organize and steer everyday people in the right direction, lest they be steered in the wrong direction by immoral demagogues. And why it's also important with smart and thoughtful people to develop ideas for governing society that are both fair and practical, that such leaders can implement.

And which is why I also believe that Jefferson, whom I agree was a complex person who evolved over time, especially upon becoming president, but whose role in the first years following the ratification of the constitution was, I believe, in many ways odious, did the nation a disservice by opposing the Federalists in a more or less knee-jerk and often hypocritical and dishonorable fashion (he was, perhaps, the first sockpuppet), acting more as the demagogue trying to defeat his enemies and stoke up everyman anger than the statesman trying to bring about a workable solution that served all of society, and not just its landed southern elite and their landless followers (foreshadowing the Civil War).

We needed to restore the country's credit and a national bank and the assumption of debt (done properly) was essential to that. We needed a modern army and navy (used wisely and necessarily). He was wrong to so passionately favor the Reign of Terror regime over England. And so on. Had he stopped at pushing to make sure that Hamilton's ideas would be properly implemented to assure that they wouldn't be abused or cause harm, then that would have been fine. But he pushed for their complete blockage, which was foolish and dangerous. Thus the comparison with modern radical libertarians, who push for a form of anarchy and weak government that is simply untenable. As, I believe, did Jefferson--at THAT time.

And he should have realized, by the example of the Reign of Terror (or even the English revolution), that such demagoguery and anarchy tends to lead to yet more tyranny, of the sort that he claimed to hate. Hamilton, Washington, Adams--even Madison, for a time--realized that. Jefferson either didn't, or pretended not to.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
maybe I'm misremembering how this works, but... (0.00 / 0)
His proposal is eminently logical. Why should the tax apply only to income below $106,800 and not above it? Put another way, why should someone making $106,800 pay the same total amount of payroll tax as a billionaire?

But aren't Social Security payouts similarly capped?  That is, yes, a billionaire pays the same payroll tax as someone making $106,800, but in return they both get the same payout from Social Security as well.  

Yeah, we can't have any of that socialistic (0.00 / 0)
wealth redistribution in the united free enterprise states of America. Rich people don't get Medicaid and probably don't use Medicare, either, so lets get rid of them too.

Hey, what's fair is fair!

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
While I agree that raising the cap is a reasonable idea (0.00 / 0)
(at perhaps a lower than 12% tax rate), you really should be careful calling a group of 19% of Americans an "extreme fringe".  Because, according to recent Gallup Polls, only 21% of Americans call themselves "liberal" or "very liberal".  Are you calling progressives an "extreme fringe?"  That's the rhetoric we expect to hear from Rush.

Also, ccarollo is right, the payouts are capped, so Social Security is more progressive that it appears.  Still not progressive enough, but better than first glance.

Sloan misleads (0.00 / 0)
Only half of Sloan's payroll tax is actually paid by a corporate employee like Sloan.  The other half is paid by the employer.  Sloan's Social Security tax is 6.2%.  His Medicare tax which is uncapped is 1.45%.

The group paying the highest Social Security taxes are self employed very high income individual, i.e. doctors. Self-employed individuls pay both the employer and emplyee share of payroll taxes. When Obama was iaugurated, the grapevine among these high income docs was full of panic.  They were not worried about health care reform but the elimination of the Social Security cap.

Under the current set-up, a self-employed doctor making a million dollars a year pays $13,323 in Social Security tax but more than twice that in Medicare taxes at $29,000.  He/she would pay $13,323 if he/she made $10 million a year but $290,000 in Medicare taxes.

Eliminate the cap and Social Security taxes would leap to $124,000 for the million dollar doc and $1,240,000 for the rare (but existent) $10,000,000 doctor.

This may be an item that can be traded off to help get passage of meaningful health care reform.

[ Parent ]
Middle Class (0.00 / 0)
I agree 100% that the limit to the payroll tax should be removed.  But be careful who say isn't in the middle class.  Wealth in this country is not concentrated in the top quintile, it is concentrated in the top 1%.  Heck, these days you almost have to go to the top 0.1%.  The curve is very, very steep.

Someone at the 90th percentile has more in common with someone at the 50th percentile then someone at the 99th.  (Looking for data to show that, can't seem to find it.  I'm pretty sure that is correct, though.)

LCurve has some figures: (0.00 / 0)
Those at the 99th percentile make about 6 times as much as those at the 50th percentile. This is a pretty big difference, but it pales compared to: Those at the 99.7th percentile make about 25 times as much as those at the 50th percentile. This is an enormous difference (the 99ers make as much in two years of work as those in at the median make in a lifetime), but it pales compared to: Those at the very top have an income about 1 million times as much as those at the 50th percentile (make as much in 2 hours as those at the median make in a lifetime).

See LCurve:

The US population is represented along the length of the football field, arranged in order of income.

Median US family income (the family at the 50 yard line) is ~$40,000 (a stack of $100 bills 1.6 inches high.)

--The family on the 95 yard line earns about $100,000 per year, a stack of $100 bills about 4 inches high.

--At the 99 yard line the income is about $300,000, a stack of $100 bills about a foot high.

--The curve reaches $1 million (a 40 inch high stack of $100 bills) one foot from the goal line.

--From there it keeps going goes up 50 km (~30 miles) on this scale!

[ Parent ]
Thanks (0.00 / 0)
Just guessing, that would probably put the 90th percentile at about $80,000, or twice the median, which was about what I was thinking.  That would make the step from 50 to 90 2x and the step from 90 to 99 3x.  But the steepness of the slope hasn't even kicked in, yet.

Some doctors and lawyers and professional people, with incomes over a hundred thousand dollars may feel "rich".  They may have nicer homes and cars, and they may have attitudes that separate them from the masses.  But they still must work for a living and are primarily consumers of their earnings.   Whether they recognize it or not, they actually have more in common with the people at the bottom than they do with the people in the top 1/2%.

If we could get a form of populism that includes the lower 99.5 percent, I'd be all in favor of it.

(Hell, I don't even have a problem with Bill Gates other than the details about Microsoft's practices.  He created something from scratch and helped transform the world.  That was real honest to goodness wealth creation [not the fake stuff we see on Wall Street].  But he shouldn't be allowed to keep it after he dies.  His children did nothing to earn this.)

[ Parent ]
That was exactly my point (0.00 / 0)
People making 110k or 150k or 200k shouldn't be considered rich. They're upper-middle class; and in some areas not even that. It makes a big difference where you live. Plenty of these people are Democrats and probably are willing to pay more taxes, but it's not helpful to talk about them as if they're rolling in money that they don't need.

[ Parent ]
It wouldn't even need to be open-ended (0.00 / 0)
or at the 12.4% rate if its purpose would be to assure that social security stays solvent indefinitely without benefit cuts or raising the retirement age, so the "hit" on rich peoples' net income would be pretty minor. There's no need to make the trust fund any larger than economic projections call for it to be. Adding any more to it beyond a prudent safety margin would take money out of the economy that the government would have to borrow and pay interest on, which would also make it easier for such borrowed money to be misspent in the future.

So Sloan & Co. are full of it when they cry "class warfare!".

Also, by allowing social security to pay out at 100% forever, it would mean more money being spent and thus stimulate the economy, whereas the same money, if kept in the pockets of the rich, would probably be invested in ways that didn't benefit the overall economy. Rich people don't spend all their money. They invest it, in ways that aren't necessarily stimulative to the economy.

This is a good idea, if social security truly does need the extra money. If it doesn't, it's a moot point, either way.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

Class War is nothing new... (0.00 / 0)
having spent my entire life working hard and coming from a whole family thats hard workinng, blue collar and WORKING CLASS, my experience tells me that class war is nothing new.  Class war is nothing new... its the rich, monied, owning, ruling class who wages the class war against the working class with each and every cut, each and every takeback, each and every job that gets outsourced, each union that is busted up and every worker who gets intimmidated or fired for trying to join a union.  The leadership and career politicians in both of the ruling class - capitalist parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, are equally guilty of waging class war on behalf of the rich and the corporations that make up the ruling class in any capitalist society, including America.

You know, what really gets me is when the far-right wingers call Obama and the Dems "Socialist", because they're nothing of the sort.  Obama is no more "socialist" or "leftist" than FDR was.  The Dems are doing whatever they have to do right now to protect capitalism, and right now that mean govn't interventions and bailouts.  there is absolutely nothing "socialist" about that at all... and btw, many of the big corporate campaign contributors who helped finance the Dems in their electoral comback in 06 and last year are many of the very same who raged against "big govn't" and supported Bush and the Republican Party during the last economic boom.  there truly is no democracy in capitalism other than the "democracy" of the dollar bill!

it should come as no surprise at all that the rich don't want to pay their fair share of taxes and that they are capable of sinking to the lowest levels and mobilizing the most radical right-wing reactionary mobs in order to defend the ruling class' general interests.  we've got one of the most complex and regressive tax codes in the world in this country, and the rich are pissy over potentially having to pay just a little bit more when plenty of them get away with paying next to nothing anyway...

you know what makes me proud to be a socialist? what makes me comfortable with the word? aside from my life experience, its when bajillionares like Warren Buffet go and admit that he conducted a survey and found that he pays the lowest rate of taxes out of all the people who he employs, and the people who pay the highest rate of all are the secretaries and file clerks at the bottom of his financial empire.  I say tax the rich, squeeze 'em good and make them pay for their mess they've made!

"Were there none that ever hoped for better, there would never be any better" -Florence Nightingale  

Most people in the top quintile (0.00 / 0)
are squarely in the middle class, which is not the same as being at the mean or average. Middle class people live on their salaries; rich people don't have to work. They don't need our pity, but treating them as rich people to be soaked is going to really piss them off.

I made that much money for a couple of years, and believe me I was as middle class as can be. I still drove an economy car, still had an unfixed-up fixer-upper house, had thrift store furniture, and didn't take vacations. Lumping people in this strata together with the rich is not helpful.  

middle class (0.00 / 0)
Not sure how to define the various levels of economic class devision, but read somewhere that 75% of the populas makes less than $50,000 annually. If true, $100,000 doesn't sound middle class to me.

Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR


Open Left Campaigns



Advanced Search

Powered by: SoapBlox