Don’t believe it for an instant when the voices for the American elite tell you that the rich in this country don’t have enough money to close the federal deficit.
If the government collected just a 0.5 percent tax on all those speed-of-light Wall Street financial transactions, it would generate $200 billion a year. A 2 percent surtax on wealth over $7.2 million would yield $70 billion a year.
Just limiting some itemized deductions for individuals earning over $200,000 and families earning over $250,000 (as proposed by President Barack Obama to pay for his American Jobs Act) would bring in over $400 billion in 10 years. The Senate version of that bill put a 5.6 percent surtax on adjusted income over $1 million. Again, this would raise over $400 billion in 10 years.
We haven’t touched the corporations who pay nothing or shelter their profits in offshore accounts. And the federal government seems unwilling to raise the income cap on payroll taxes (income over $106,800 is not taxed for Social Security).
Republicans are not willing to bring tax rates for the wealthiest 1 percent even close to historical levels. I think a surtax of an extra 55 percent would do that, and that would just about eliminate the fiscal deficit. Who really needs more than a $1 million anyway? Who really “earns” more than a $1 million?
But right now we need to get the economy rolling by putting people back to work and putting more money back into the hands of average working households. The Republicans kept asking Obama for a jobs bill. Now Obama has given them one. It gives tax breaks to us average Americans, puts money into rebuilding America’s infrastructure, creates incentives for business to hire, and pays for it by getting the wealthiest to pony up some of the money they’re using for jets and yachts.
And the Republicans voted it down. Evidently, Republicans don’t want to get people back to work and they don’t want the U.S. economy rolling again. Evidently, Republicans prefer to cut government spending (read: eliminate government jobs), put more people out of work, and put more households into poverty.
Evidently, Republicans think it is more important to let their wealthy donors keep all their excess cash than to help ordinary people get back to work. And evidently, Republicans think it is more important to make Obama a one-term president, than to do what is right for the country.
If you’re paying attention, it’s obvious that Republicans don’t care about jobs. Republicans don’t care about the deficit. Republicans don’t care about this country. They don’t care about you and me. They just proved it, again. They care only about themselves, and their rich friends. So I say, tax the rich! Power to the people! We are the 99 percent! We want a government that works for us, not just the top 1 percent. Pass the jobs bill!