Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Might Have Been... And Why We Must Tax The Rich

From masaccio on Firedoglake, an urgent plea to Tax the Rich Now:


Rich people refuse to pay taxes. They hire compliant economists who support their greed, exactly the same way tobacco companies hired compliant scientists to deny the dangers of their product,. The hired goons pollute political discourse with lies and nonsense. The rich buy off politicians, and their media produce a small compliant majority of populace to vote for those craven politicians. Even today, in the face of monumental deficits and massive national debt, we are told that taxing the rich will wreck the economy, and the University of Chicago economists who infest our policy apparatus nod their bobbleheads approvingly.
The plain fact is that if taxes had not been cut by a combination of soulless Republicans and spineless Democrats led by foolish presidents, we would not have seen the real estate bubble and the Great Crash. If there had been a balance between government investments in public goods and private investments in productive businesses on one hand, and savings and taxes on the other, there would not have been enough cash washing around to get the bubble going.
There is a solution. We increase taxes on a very small segment of the population, say the top .5% of incomes and wealth, at a high enough level to provide meaningful revenues, and invest the money solely in US public goods.

The benefits are obvious. We can fix our infrastructure and increase the quantity of public goods, reducing unemployment and improving the conditions for economic productivity. The less money the rich have, the less they can spend buying democracy and gambling.
I’m not seeing the downside. Oh, now I remember: it will make the heirs to the Walton fortune and the Koch brothers really sad.

And of course we can't have that, can we? can we?

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