In fact, if the GOP tax plan becomes law, we may be looking at a future where our 1,600 richest hold more wealth than the nation’s entire middle class.
The wealth of America’s middle class, under siege for four decades, is now hanging on life support. That life will end if the basic Republican tax plan, as now envisioned by House and Senate majorities, ever becomes law.
By “middle class,” we mean America’s “Middle 40,” that stratum of American households that has more wealth than the nation’s poorest 40 percent and less wealth than the nation’s most affluent 20 percent.
In 2001, according to the Federal Reserve’s recently released Survey of Consumer Finances, the most systematic official survey of who owns what in the United States, the nation’s Middle 40 held 15.2 percent of the country’s wealth.
The new century has not been kind. By 2016, that share had dropped to 10.6 percent, a figure that leaves the entire Middle 40 — about 128 million Americans in all — sharing slightly less wealth than the 32,000 exorbitantly wealthy individuals who make up the nation’s richest .01 percent. In other words, each American in that top .01 percent holds as much wealth as 4,000 of the Americans in the Middle 40.
Continue reading at Inequality.org
Two years ago, Donald Trump chose to demagogue a tragic death into political hay. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who had entered the country illegally five times, had killed Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old American.
Trump seized on the incident, using it to champion a law, which he dubbed “Kate’s Law,” that would sentence all second-time illegal border crossers to a minimum prison term of five years.
When I learned of this, I wrote about the absurdity of the proposed law in The Mystifying Math of Kate’s Law and Kate’s Law Sinking?. We would be criminalizing an act that is wrong only because we define it to be — crossing the border twice without proper documents — based on some imaginary correlation between that act and violent crimes. And all based on the actions of one — that’s right, one — undocumented immigrant.
When I read about this two years ago, I assumed that the actual case against Zarate was airtight and that his taking of Steinle’s life was an especially heinous act.
Bad assumption on my part. Continue reading
No farm families, repeat no farm families, are losing their family farms to the federal estate tax.
The politicians currently scheming to repeal the federal estate tax — America’s only tax levy on grand concentrations of private wealth — don’t have any good arguments to make. They have only bogus sob stories. The most bogus of them all: the claim that the estate tax is forcing hard-working farm families to sell their beloved farms.
The repeal crowd has been circulating this canard for years – and frightened many farm families in the process. But let’s get real. This family farm story holds absolutely no water whatsoever.
Let’s start with the basic number of farms valuable enough to subject their owners to estate tax. This figure is currently running about 30 each year. For the entire country. That’s less, on average, than one farmer per state.
President Trump has called his fellow Republican and our U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake a “non-factor” in the Senate.
But Flake and his colleague Sen. John McCain have the chance to be big factors in the defeat of the recently released Senate tax plan.
That plan would hurt many working families, but some of the worst treated would be Mormons. Why? Believe it or not, because they tend to have larger families and give more to charity.
Continue reading at White Mountain Independent
Distributed via OtherWords
If the Trump-GOP tax plan doesn’t stink, why are they lying about the cost?
House Republicans and Donald Trump are ballyhooing the wonders of their new tax plan. It’s called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which we’re told will mean “More Jobs, Fairer Taxes, and Bigger Paychecks.”
Hallelujah! We can see the Promised Land!
But before we pop the champagne corks, let’s double-check the sticker price: $1.5 trillion over the next decade. That’s just shy of $5,000 for every man, woman and child in America. For a nation over $20 trillion in debt, that seems pricey.
But that’s only the beginning. The deeper costs of their tax plan are so large and so obvious that the failure of Republican leaders to disclose them is, for all practical purposes, a lie. Continue reading
I’ve started a petition addressed to Senator Flake regarding the Senate Tax Plan.
I’ll start with the first few paragraphs here, followed by a link to read the rest and sign.
Dear Senator Flake:
Your political beliefs do not line up with those of all your constituents. Many of us disagree with your votes far more often than we agree.
But we all respect you. We’ve always felt your votes, and your words, reflected your principles, not the dictate of some donor or a cynical political calculation.
So we’re not surprised to read that you are taking a hard look at the Senate tax bill and have concerns about its fiscal impact. We salute you for doing so.
As you consider your vote, we urge you to consider what the real cost of this tax plan will be. The sticker price, $1.5 trillion, is huge, but undoubtedly is a gross understatement. Here are a few of the areas you might want to explore on that front:
If you agree with me on this, please post a link to your Facebook page or Twitter feed. Thanks, Bob