The “angry black man” is back and he brings class warfare, lock the gates of the plantation house. This is the not so subtle undertone coming from Republicans who want white people to see Obama’s modest tax increases as “wealth redistribution to the undeserving brown people”. This message is not selling so well this time with even 57% of Republicans supporting the Buffett Rule requiring people making over a million dollars to pay as much tax as their secretaries do. Of course Obama’s proposal wouldn’t really do that, but we’ll come back to that later.
Obama made a smart move in restricting the increase to people making over “one million dollars” (this could be called the Dr. Evil tax). Rolling back the Bush Tax cuts for the rich didn’t really sell because a too high percentage of Americans erroneously thought that it would apply to them. One advantage of the lingering economic malaise is that a lower percentage, now only 20% of Americans believe they might become millionaires themselves one day.
The percentage of Republicans that believe they could be millionaires is much higher with about half believing they too could be rich, this is even high among those who depend on Social Security to pay the bills. In fact their chances of moving to the millionaire class is about 0.9%, and their odds of success aren’t really that good as almost all millionaires in this statistic are born that way. Your chances of becoming a billionaire are considerably less than getting hit by lighting. (1 in 6250 chance of a lightning strike in your lifetime) Your chances of winning the lottery are about one in 275,000,000 which makes your chances of being born a millionaire much higher.
Obama’s proposal would raise taxes dramatically for the super rich who have been paying only 15% maximum on Capital Gains, Dividends and Interest Income with no Fica taxes. Though their first million would remain at only 15% with $894,000 of that exempt from Fica, and everything over a million exempt from Fica as well . Almost half of Americans earn too little to pay any income tax, something many Republican candidates have pledged to change. They would do this by raising their taxes, not their income as they also pledge to cut the minimum wage to be competitive with China . They don’t mention that Fica brings in almost as much money to the government as the income tax does and the rich don’t pay any of that to speak of.
The rich of course pay a very small portion of their income for Sales tax, property tax, gas taxes, fees for government services and the like. All of these regressive taxes (those are the ones aimed at the poor and middle class) have doubled, tripled or quadrupled over the past 30 years, and incredibly are always blamed on Democrats even as the rich Republicans see all the benefit.
But they are the “job creators”! You may have noticed that after thirty years of these policies that there are no jobs being created. Instead they’ve been crating up factories and selling them to China, since the Capital Gains tax is only 15%, this practice has been very profitable for “businessmen” like Mitt Romney. In just the past ten years this has been the fate of 55,000 American factories.
The hard cold truth is that Obama’s plan does nothing to fix any of these “class warfare” problems. The rich will continue to get richer by stealing the wealth of those in the bottom 99%. The rich will continue to concentrate more power with the ultimate goal of a feudal system where only the few at the top own anything or control their own lives. The Obama plan simply halts the current crisis, which is in itself a good thing. The long term is up to the rest of us. www.prairie2.com