Sunday, December 17, 2017

America’s economic inequality is on track to become much worse because of GOPlin’s tax cuts

AZ Blue Meanie directs our attention to the recent 2018 World Inequality Report: inequality in U.S. is a result of deliberate policy decisions. The World Inequality Report 2018 was summarized in an article in the Washington Post, U.S. lawmakers are redistributing income from the poor to the rich, according to massive new study. Here is some of the Post’s reporting.

Back in 1980, the bottom 50 percent of wage-earners in the United States earned about 21 percent of all income in the country — nearly twice as much as the share of income (11 percent) earned by the top 1 percent of Americans.

But today, according to a massive new study on global inequality, those numbers have nearly reversed: The bottom 50 percent take in only 13 percent of the income pie, while the top 1 percent grab over 20 percent of the country’s income.

What’s more: the US is unique among western democracies.

That trend is even more remarkable when you set it against comparable numbers for wealthy nations in Western Europe. There, the bottom 50 percent earn nearly 22 percent of the income in those economies, while the top 1 percent take in just over 12 percent of the money.

And that has not changed much in the studied period, 1980–2016. Here’s the graph comparing the US and Western European nations.

The Blue Meanie sums up with a disheartening appraisal.

And then there were none … Senator Bob Corker, who was the only Tea-Publican to vote against the Senate GOP tax bill, announced on Friday that he will vote for the final GOP tax bill. Et tu, Corker? …

You want to know how corrupt is the GOP? Corker’s flip informs us. John Cassidy (New Yorker) assesses the damage to be inflicted by the GOPlin’s bill: The Final Version of the G.O.P. Tax Bill Is a Corrupt, Cruel, Budget-Busting Hairball, and closes with this juicy example of GOP hypocrisy.

Another provision, which wasn’t in the House or Senate bills, allows real-estate developers who own buildings through L.L.C.s, as Trump does, to deduct twenty per cent of the income that these properties generate. To qualify for the break, the properties have to be newish ones that haven’t been fully depreciated. “This helps people who have held property for a while, like Donald Trump,” David Kamin, a law professor at New York University, told David Sirota and Josh Keefe, of the International Business Times.

Another beneficiary of this provision may well be Senator Bob Corker, of Tennessee, who is also a real-estate investor. Corker had been the only Republican to vote against the Senate version of the tax bill, but on Friday he announced that he’d changed his mind, and that “after great thought and consideration, I believe this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make U.S. businesses domestically more productive and internationally more competitive is one we should not miss.” Corker didn’t mention his personal interests, but Sirota and Keefe did. “Federal records reviewed by IBT show that Corker has millions of dollars of ownership stakes in real-estate-related LLCs that could also benefit” from the final bill, they reported.

Read Cassidy’s report for more examples of what got added to the tax bill at the last moment - in secret.

Scriber agrees with the Meanie in predicting passage of the tax bill - with only Republican votes.

The GOP tax bill in all likelihood is going to pass on a party-line vote: all Tea-Publicans in favor and all Democrats opposed.

The GOP exists for one purpose, and one purpose only: to serve the interests of corporations and wealthy plutocrats who are systematically turning our country into an authoritarian oligarchy. They do not represent the interests of working Americans, the retired, the disabled, or the poor — the 99%.

Now that the GOP’s wealthy plutocrat donors have their tax bill, next year they are coming for the spare change they have left in your pockets, i.e., America’s safety net: social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

The GOP tax bill already includes massive cuts to Medicaid, and if Congress does not vote to waive the PAYGO rules, the GOP tax bill will also trigger massive cuts to Medicare, and other social welfare programs. The GOP tax bill will also undermine the “Obamacare” health insurance system. It is all about taking wealth from average Americans and redistributing it upwards to the wealthy plutocrats at the top who seek to lord over us all in an authoritarian oligarchy.

Touching the third-rail of American politics, social security, will prove to be a heavier lift for the GOP. But as we are seeing with the GOP tax bill, they have the votes to do as they please, regardless of public opinion, because they do not serve your interests.

The bottom line is that we should prepare for the worst. Hoping for the best is futile when it comes to GOP and their wealthy corporate masters. The next chapter in this sorry saga will be an assault on the social safety net - which has already begun in the repeal of ACA individual mandate. Trump will eventually go, but the GOPlins’ deal with the devil will be with us for a long time.

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