Yes, Ms. Burns, Let’s Tax the Hell Out of the Rich!

The headline reads above an article from the leftist publication “In These Times”, published on February 8th, 2019, by Rebecca Burns, “Tax the Hell Out of the Rich, When They’re Alive and When They’re Dead.” Without saying, I was already on-board.

What the article outlines is a comparison of the three proposed ways that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sen. Bernie Sanders want to create a fairer tax system for the 99%. Here’s the rundown:

First Warren’s plan

…(A) 1 percent tax on the wealthiest 0.1 percent, or those with assets of over $20 million. Warren’s proposal would tax fewer people—those with more than $50 million in assets, an estimated 75,000 families—but she would bump up the rate to 2 percent. Households with more than $1 billion in assets would get a 3 percent rate.

Yet,

Where Warren’s proposal would probably be insufficient on its own is that it wouldn’t offer a particularly aggressive corrective to inequality over time. It would raise trillions for social programs, which is crucially important and would certainly have other beneficial political effects. But, as a result of the tax, the fabulously wealthy would be only slightly less fabulously so.

But right now, correcting the immense rate of economic inequality in American society is not going to fix itself with one tax plan. So, don’t get down, writer Rebecca Burns. That’s going to take something truly radical to happen (hint, hint).

Second, AOC’s plan as outlined in a “60 Minutes” interview,

“You look at our tax rates back in the ’60s and when you have a progressive tax rate system. Your tax rate, you know, let’s say, from zero to $75,000 may be ten percent or 15 percent, et cetera. But once you get to, like, the tippy tops—on your 10 millionth dollar—sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent.”

But,

By even the most optimistic estimates, this would bring in only a quarter of the revenues Warren’s plan would generate.

So, once again, it will not cure the economic inequality in our society as Warren’s will neither. Yet, it is a starting point and one that may be more palatable to everyday-progressives.

And lastly, the Sander’s plan,

Bernie Sanders’ plan involves restoring top marginal tax rates on inheritances to where they were in the 1970s: 77 percent for estates over $1 billion.

The plan would also decrease the threshold for the inheritance tax from $11.18 million to $3.5 million and impose a 45 percent rate on this lower (but still very rich by any normal standard) tier. Even with this new threshold, just 0.2 percent of Americans would ever pay an estate tax. Thus, in the style of Occupy, the plan is called “For the 99.8 Percent Act.”

Yet,

Again, Sanders’ plan would probably raise less revenue than Warren’s: About $315 billion over a decade.

Then it continues,

But by taking aim at the ultra-rich as a class, it also singles out the kind of dynastic wealth that allows a few families to wreak havoc on our political system. Just three families with multi-generational wealth—the Waltons, the Kochs, and the Mars—have a combined fortune of $343 billion, more than 3.5 million times the median wealth of U.S. families. And they use that wealth to fund all manner of right-wing policies.

The Sanders plan makes the least revenue for the government and will not even come within seeing distance to the eradication of the exspanse of inequality in the United States. But it could be the most acceptable not only to progressives but even centrists if the argument is framed properly by Sanders.

What I am trying to do up above is, first and foremost, to educate everyone on the strides made by modern politicians (two of the three deeming themselves so-called “socialists”) towards income equality which would have been unimaginable 10 years ago. It’s almost amazing, when you really think about it.

Yet my main point comes out of the analysis of the Warren plan, namely, that her plan is the most effective regarding a shrinking of the income gap in this country, but it does not really even make a scratch. As Burns was writing above, “the fabulously wealthy would be only slightly less fabulously so.” That’s all. And this is the reason why we need real change in this nation. We need real radical leftists in power, not just democratic socialists, but real revolutionary thinkers. That is the only way to get any immediate help with the income gap in the U.S. and, later, around the world.

So, I am greatly impressed with the ITT article by Burns in that, first, it has a cool title and, secondly, she respects that even these so-called sweeping tax plans will not truly affect the disparity between the rich and the poor in this nation.

But it’s a start…now let us take advantage of it.

Warren For President?

Elizabeth_Warren_Nov_2_2012Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent.

Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and later worked on the implementation of the bureau as a special assistant to the president) has the left-wing of the left-wing of the Democratic party dreaming of a Presidential run. A site has even popped up at ready4warren.com stating “Run, Warren, Run!”

But Warren has stated, over and over, that she will not run be running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, telling the Boston Globe “I am not running for president. Do you want to put an exclamation point at the end of that?” She is currently only serving as speaker at rallies for Dem candidates such as Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes and West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant. That’s all.

But it’s like the NYT wrote,

Progressives like Mrs. Clinton (and think she can win.) But they love Ms. Warren (even if they are not sure she can.)

I agree with the NYT’s observation. I see Warren as the Dem’s Ron Paul or Ted Cruz: a favorite of the fervent base, but not a viable candidate for November ’16. But if Warren could just move the dialogue a little bit to the left, just maybe Hillary will move a little to the left. And I believe, if presented in a balanced way, voters will be drawn to what Warren is espousing in some measure. For example:

A 6/16/2014 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Survey states:

Voters still regard Wall Street and big banks as “bad actors.” A 64 percent majority believes “the stock market is rigged for insiders and people who know how to manipulate the system.” Another 55 percent majority believes “Wall Street and big banks hurt everyday Americans by pouring money into ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes rather than real business and investments.” Therefore, not surprisingly, most financial institutions generate huge negatives among voters.

Those results are indicative that Americans still hold a grudge against Wall Street and the 1%. So if Warren’s critical stance against large financial institutions can find its way into the spotlight, in any amount, we could really get something going here.

 

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Warren Not Ready for 2016 Presidential Race

0beb2c2ebA good article in The Atlantic explains why even though Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a true progressive loved by liberals, she could not win the 2016 presidential race because she has only spoke out on one issue and would not move to the center.

Read Here.

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Sen. Warren Challenges Obama on Wall Street Reform

Elizabeth WarrenSenatorial firebrand, and all-around leftist badass Elizabeth Warren, challenged Pres. Obama at a congressional event today regarding the lack of Wall Street reform and the rise of the banks occurring once again.

Also, thought not running yet, Warren’s possible run for President in 2016 (which I don’t think will happen) may serve as a counter-weight to big finance-friendly Clinton.

Read Here.

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AIG Tax Loophole

A good editorial from four of the Congressional Oversight Panel members established by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 alerting us to how a tax loophole is costing taxpayers billions and AIG Execs gain millions.

Read Here.