Pity the poor wealthy
It’s clear that if we raise the taxes on millionaires and billionaires their income will suffer and their incentive to create jobs will wane. If only the rest of us could suffer so wonderfully and as far as taking jobs away from us – news flash – current job status is the same today as it was twelve years ago.
According to the AFL-CIO, chief executives at some of the nation’s largest companies earned an average of $11.4 million in total pay — 343 times more than a typical American worker and non-farm jobs have not increased in 12 years according to former Reagan financial advisor David Stockman and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. SOURCE
No job growth but higher earnings for corporations and their CEOs means business profits have improved from using cheaper foreign labor and keeping wages stagnant for American workers as they struggle each month to make ends meet while trying to tuck some away for retirement and college fees for their children. This failure of real wage growth for workers has been linked to the economic failure of 2008 by Raghuram Rajan:
In a new book he is working on, entitled “Fault Lines,” Rajan argues that the initial causes of the breakdown were stagnant wages and rising inequality. With the purchasing power of many middle-class households lagging behind the cost of living, there was an urgent demand for credit. The financial industry, with encouragement from the government, responded by supplying home-equity loans, subprime mortgages, and auto loans….The side effects of unrestrained credit growth turned out to be devastating-a possibility that most economists had failed to consider. SOURCE
You can’t legitimately blame the jobless crisis on Obama and the Democrats when corporations are making larger than ever profits and Republicans are protecting them from efforts to remove corporate welfare payments like the $4 billion a year to the vastly profitable oil industry.
But then maybe our point is getting through
On that last note about subsidies to the oil industry, I think progressives have finally broken through that thick-skulled mindset of those on the right. The sky-rocketing price of gas has helped soften the position the GOP has traditionally held on this and the public is also aware that giving billions away to highly profitable oil companies while the cost of filling their gas tanks goes up is unacceptable, to say the least.
When Boehner broke ranks on this stance earlier this week indicating that oil companies should “pay their fair share”, the door swung open a bit further. In a town hall meeting in Waterford, Wisconsin yesterday morning Rep. Paul Ryan, who has already voted twice on extending oil company subsidies this year, responded to questions from constituents that declared his intent to “get rid of corporate welfare” including tax breaks that increase the major oil companies’ profit margin by nearly $4 billion each year. SOURCE
It’s hard to represent yourself as honoring the people’s wishes when you take money away from the budget for schools and essentially give it to wealthy corporations whose profits are again near record levels this quarter. The callous indifference to public worker’s rights to collectively bargain in Wisconsin and a “Path to Prosperity” budget reduction bill that mentions altering Medicare and Medicaid while Defense spending and tax cuts for the rich are off the table is hardly one that even the most ardent GOP supporter can get behind.
We’ll see though. We’ve already entered the 2012 election cycle so this may be nothing more than a head fake to distract the voter until after the elections are over with. It behooves them to make some concessions here because they have yet to follow through with any substantive effort to create jobs which recent polls show is now back in the number one spot of voter concerns.
A graphic that’s worth a thousand words. Thanks to jobsanger’s blog for this one.
It would be interesting to see data that reveals how many of these deaths were related to citizens defending themselves, a stance the NRA takes to justify its defense of hi-powered automatic weapons with extended magazines. I suspect that number would be very low and would be very difficult for the NRA to defend.