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Friday, December 17, 2010

Did We Really Elect The Cowardly Lion To Be President??

Today, Obama signed a piece of crap that was a complete concession to the Republcan Party. He gave the richest Americans a HUGE gift just to get a minor change in the Unemployment Insurance. Now we will have to borrow over $800 BILLION from China to pay for his cowardice. It is impossible to believe that the Republicans would have dared to play show down if Unemployment Insurance had been proposed alone. And nobody but a full blown coward would have given a HUGE gift to the richest of all Americans. A whole bunch of rich people, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, et al, have told him that they don't need, nor want, a tax break.

But this crappy legislation has another truly awful effect that nobody is talking about, and that is the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer. The country is coming apart and that should truly scare the hell out of everybody. Obama blathers on and on about protecting the "middle class", but this bill cuts the legs out from under that untruth.

Let's take a minute to look at the real data about income distribution in the United States. The comparisons start with 1987 since in 1986 involved a major change in the income tax laws, and it ends in 2008 because that is the latest available data.

In 1987, there were 10,615,000 households in the top 10% of all households filing tax returns. In 2008, there were 13,996,000 households in the top 10%. That is an increase of 32%.

In 1987, the top 10% of all households received 36.90% of the total of all Adjusted Gross Income reported in the United States. In 2008, that share had grown to 45.77%

So not only are there a lot more rich people in the U.S., but they now control almost half of the income in the country. 10%=46%. Like that equation?

In 1987, the top 10% had $1,038 BILLION in Adjusted Gross Income, but by 2007, they controlled $3,858 BILLION, an increase of +372%. The number of people grew 32% while their income grew +372%! The rich getting richer? You bet!!!

Hang on, it gets worse! In 1987, the top 10% paid 19.77% of their Adjusted Gross Income in Income Taxes. By 2008, that percentage had fallen to 18.71%. Not only are they getting richer, they are paying a smaller tax bill.

And these are the people that the Republicans just gave a huge tax break. And Obama refused to take a stand against it?

This rapidly increasing of two Americans is not just some intellectual exercise. In 2003, George Packer has this to say about the growing distortion of incomes in the U.S.

"The relationship between democracy and economic inequality creates a kind of self-perpetuating cycle: the people hold the government in low esteem; public power shrinks against the might of corporations and rich individuals; money and its influence, claim a greater and greater share of the political power; and the public, priced out of the democratic game, grows ever more cynical about politics, and puts more of its energy into private ends. Far from creating a surge of reform, the erosion of the middle class has only deepened the disenchantment."

Does that sound like anything you have seen happening lately? The growing inequality in America is a greater threat to the future of the country than any war or any deficit. And Obama has just gone out of his way to increase that inequality.

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