Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our unelected President

Many Republican legislators act as if our actual President is Grover Norquist, head of the so-called Americans for Tax Reform organization that has gotten most Republican (and some Democratic) Party legislators to sing a "no new/higher taxes under any circumstances whatsoever" pledge.

So the Republican Party has sworn allegiance to this unelected guy, following his dictates slavishly. Making him their Jefe Supremo--not us voters--not the elected President.


One of the non-negotiable tax reforms is the one that would tax the income of hedge fund managers and their ilk the same as that of hotel bus boys (for the details, read Nicholas Kristoff's New York Times column "Taxes and billionaires." 

Whenever you bring this stuff up, Republicans will say something like "10% of Americans pay 60% of taxes." Well, that's because they're appropriated most of America's gross domestic product for themselves. Meanwhile the other Americans pay plenty of taxes--just not income taxes. Those other taxes--including many withholdings on their W2s--are highly regressive BTW.

Proper tax reform and other structural reforms would put an end to the quiet class war America's billionaires have been waging against the middle class for decades, such that CEOs once again just made twenty times the income of their entry-level employees, instead of up to 180,000 times that (which is what one hedge fund manager makes, while being taxed like a taxi driver).

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