Why the rich have all the money and pay lower taxes than ever

From Robert Reich:

The American economy is more than twice as large now as it was thirty years ago. So where did the money go? To the top. The richest 1 percent’s share of national has doubled – from around 9 percent in 1977 to over 20 percent now. The richest one-tenth of 1 percent’s share has tripled. The 150,000 households that comprise the top one-tenth of one percent now earn as much as the bottom 120 million put together.

Given this explosion of income at the top you might think our tax system would demand a larger share from them. But you’d be wrong. You’re not taking account of the power of the super rich. As income and wealth have risen to the top, so has political power. As a result, their taxes have plummeted.

From the 1940s until 1980, the tax rate on the highest earners in America was 70 percent or higher. In the 1950s, it was 91 percent. Even if you include deductions and credits, the rich were paying a far higher share of their income than at any time since.

And that money the government does bring in? It’s not being spent on making our lives better, or giving kids better opportunities. It’s spent blowing up innocent people half way around the world. That’s why your Social Security and Medicare will be cut.

Former Senator Dodd is now a lobbyist

Greenwald sums up the situation:

… even Good, Liberal Democratic Politicians like Chris Dodd – who has done some decent things in his career – scamper out of the Senate to the nearest feeding hole …

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Jon Stewart nails it

According to conservatives, bankers and people making $250,000+ a year shouldn’t sacrifice, teachers should. Because… you know… teachers are living the Miller High Life™. They’ve got it so easy!

12 Cookies

Via Balloon Juice: A Modern Parable:

A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says “Watch out for that union guy—he wants a piece of your cookie!”

QFT.

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Reagan <3 unions

Guess what Republicans! Reagan liked unions. He was even a union boss!

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Why the media crush on Chris Chrisie?

Rather than put the spotlight on all the crazy sh** Republicans are doing around the country, big media wants us to fall in love with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. This is the tag line for a NY Times profile:

The governor of New Jersey became the most celebrated Republican in America by tagging public-sector workers — especially teachers — as 21st-century welfare queens.

First off, he doesn’t sound so sane. Second, how come “the most celebrated Republican in America” barely has over 50% approval in his own state?

‘Our diplomat’

From Greenwald:

President Obama then publicly demanded the release of what he absurdly called “our diplomat in Pakistan”; when he was arrested, Davis “was carrying a 9mm gun and 75 bullets, bolt cutters, a GPS unit, an infrared light, telescope, a digital camera, an air ticket, two mobile phones and a blank cheque.”

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When do the rich get to sacrifice?

According to rich conservative pundits, government employees need to sacrifice for the good of over-stretched government budgets around the country. Well, what about the huge tax cut you ***holes got in December? When are you going to sacrifice?

The boning, Pt. 2

The Washington Post (via John Cole):

The 401(k) generation is beginning to retire, and it isn’t a pretty sight.

The retirement savings plans that many baby boomers thought would see them through old age are falling short in many cases.

The median household headed by a person aged 60 to 62 with a 401(k) account has less than one-quarter of what is needed in that account to maintain its standard of living in retirement, according to data compiled by the Federal Reserve and analyzed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for The Wall Street Journal. Even counting Social Security and any pensions or other savings, most 401(k) participants appear to have insufficient savings. Data from other sources also show big gaps between savings and what people need, and the financial crisis has made things worse.

Keep this in mind when you listen to rich Washington politicians and Big Media pundits go on about how imperative it is to cut the safety net for current and future retirees. They don’t have to worry about their retirement, but thanks to the all but gone pension system, you do.

Idiocy rules in D.C.

Ladies and gentlmen, i present to you the new Republican majority:

House Republicans on Friday easily approved amendments to the spending package that would deny government financing for Planned Parenthood, block money for the Democrats’ big health care overhaul and bar new regulation of certain greenhouse gases.

[…] The Securities and Exchange Commission, for instance, charged with carrying out a sweeping new financial regulation law, will end up with $25 million less than last year, which was before the law was adopted.

Just what this country needs! More pollution, less regulation of banks and more unplanned pregnancies!