GOP = Party of the 1%

Tim Dickinson has written a comprehensive and informative article in Rolling Stone on how we got here: down the rabbit hole.  It’s here, and you should read it, just because, or because you view it as a duty of citizenship in the United States.

“We have moved toward a plutocracy,” Warren Buffett warned in a recent interview. “As people have gotten richer and richer, they have been favored by taxation – and have gotten richer to a greater degree.”

“The Republican Party went on a tax-cutting rampage and a spending spree,” says Rhode Island governor and former GOP senator Lincoln Chafee, pointing to two deficit-financed wars and an unpaid-for prescription-drug entitlement. “It tanked the economy.” Tax receipts as a percent of the total economy have fallen to levels not seen since before the Korean War – nearly 20 percent below the historical average. “Taxes are ridiculously low!” says Bruce Bartlett, an architect of Reagan’s 1981 tax cut. “And yet the mantra of the Republican Party is ‘Tax cuts raise growth.’ So – where’s the fucking growth?”

What surprises me: Those who believe they are in the fabulous 1% seem to think that this party will go on forever; and if not, they can go somewhere and the inevitable implosion will not touch them. Or if you watch Stephen Colbert, they think they can build an island and live there like it’s a libertarian utopia. Sure.

The Steps (as well as I can render them)

1. Kennedy administration: top tax rate @ 70% (post WWII taxes paid for infrastructure, science & education

2. late ’70’s high inflation pushed up taxes for many, leading to an across-the board-cut down to 50% -> ‘Starve The Beast’

3. force cuts in federal spending by bankrupting the country; create fiscal problem by slashing taxes

4. 1982 – undo the Reagan tax cuts and raise taxes (embraced by Reagan) – raised taxes 11 times in 8 years;

5. birth of Grover Norquist (fiscal terrorist) and Americans for Tax Reform

6. Bush 41 raised taxes to deal with soaring deficit – led to his defeat in ’92

7. tax hike in 1993 lead to 3.2% growth – by 1997 federal budget goes into black

8. 1994 – eliminate taxes on investment income and estates: capital gains to 20%

9. the tax advantage helped fuel the dot-com bubble and boosted housing transactions by 17% ~ 2007

10. cut in inheritance taxes doubled the amount passed on to the heirs of wealthy families; Glass Steagall repealed

11. check out the ‘drafting error’ on page two of the article – which created an $880 million windfall for the wealthiest     families

12. ‘Tax Harmonization’  was defeated by Bush and corporations were allowed to offshore profits and onshore deductions

13. ‘trickle down’ tax cuts do not juice the economy: they create bubbles and balloon the deficit

14. 2001: dot-com bubble bursts and 2011 tips the economy into recession; Bush/Cheney cut taxes

15. 2002 deficit-financed tax cut for wealthiest

16. 2002 American Jobs Creation Act so that corporations could repatriate profits tax free ( up to 92% of that money went to executives and stockholders

17. Scott Brown and The Volker Rule

There are all sorts of charts and statistics to support Dickinson’s argument and I believe there is no evidence or logic to refute his positions. Some of the charts are in Dickinson’s article. If you need more information, google Bruce Bartlett, or Paul Krugman. Bartlett is conservative and cogent. Krugman is liberal and maintains that the facts have a well-known liberal bias.  Educate yourself, because you get the government you deserve.

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