Bush’s tax cuts on capital gains are the biggest contributor to rising income inequality

While we consider how we are just days away from devastating sequestration cuts (which the Republican Party has decided is superior to closing tax loopholes for the super rich), take a look at why there’s such a huge gap in income inequality in America today:

Changes in tax law that reduced the federal tax rate on capital gains income is “by far the largest contributor” to rising income inequality in the United States, according to a new paper from Thomas Hungerford, an economist at the Congressional Research Service: By far, the largest contributor to this increase was changes in income from capital gains and dividends. Changes in wages had an equalizing effect over this period as did changes in taxes. Most of the equalizing effect of taxes took place after the 1993 tax hike; most of the equalizing effect, however, was reversed after the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts. […] The large increase in the contribution of capital gains and dividends to the Gini coefficient, however, is due to the large increase in the share of after-tax income from capital gains and dividends, and to the increase in the correlation of this income source with after-tax income. 


We’ll stop talking about George W. Bush when the things he did while he was president for eight years stop affecting us today.

1947 FBI Memo Re: “It’s A Wonderful Life”

Yesterday vs. today:

1947 FBI Memo Re: “It’s A Wonderful Life”

With regard to the picture “It’s a Wonderful Life”, [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists. [In] addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.”


The entitlements of the job “creators” (i.e. the sneering plutocrats)

Steven Pearlstein wrote an excellent “manifesto” for the entitled, the job “creators.” Here is some of it, be sure to click through and read the whole thing:

I am entitled to a healthy and well-educated workforce, a modern and efficient transportation system and protection for my person and property, just as I am entitled to demonize the government workers who provide them.

I am entitled to complain bitterly about taxes that are always too high, even when they are at record lows.

[…] I am entitled to have my earned income taxed as capital gains and my investment income taxed at the lowest rate anywhere in the world — or not at all.

I am entitled to inside information and favorable investment opportunities not available to ordinary investors. I am entitled to brag about my investment returns.

I am entitled to pass on my accumulated wealth tax-free to heirs, who in turn, are entitled to claim that they earned everything they have.

I am entitled to use unlimited amounts of my own or company funds to buy elections without disclosing such expenditures to shareholders or the public.

[…] I am entitled to fire any worker who tries to organize a union. I am entitled to break any existing union by moving, or threatening to move, operations to a union-hostile environment.

I am entitled to a duty of care and loyalty from employees and investors who are owed no such duty in return.

I am entitled to operate my business free of all government regulations other than those written or approved by my industry.

I am entitled to load companies up with debt in order to pay myself and investors big dividends — and then blame any bankruptcy on over-compensated workers.

I am entitled to contracts, subsidies, tax breaks, loans and even bailouts from government, even as I complain about job-killing government budget deficits.

I am entitled to federal entitlement reform.

I am entitled to take credit for all the jobs I create while ignoring any jobs I destroy. Continued…

Speaking of which:

image: destroythegop

The Resentment of the Plutocrats: “Stop it. This is hard.”

“Any gratitude toward the country we’ve all built, Romney seems to be saying, is misplaced. Instead, the feelings Romney regards as proper ones for the rest of us to assume are a cheerful appreciation of the wealthy and an eager resolve to be just like Mitt—and also a little nicer to him. Romney has reduced the great issues of fairness and a just society to the rather boring question of whether people are being fair to him and his friends, and whether they admire his fine qualities. Among other things, this cannot help him electorally: What is less attractive than a manifestly lucky man sulking about how everyone is jealous of him?”

— Mitt Romney’s Resentment (via azspot)

“The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque.”

“…if you look at the facts, you learn that the great bulk of those who pay no income tax pay other taxes; also, many of the people in the no-income-tax category are (a) elderly (b) students or (c) having a bad year, having lost a job — that is, they’re people who have paid income taxes in the past and/or will pay income taxes in the future. The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque.” — Paul Krugman

Earnings vs. taxes: hardly a picture of moochers waging war on heroic entrepreneurs


The Most Misleading Part of ‘The 47%’: Total U.S. Taxes Are Barely Progressive

Mitt Romney is worried that half of make the wealth and half of us take the wealth. So is his running mate Paul Ryan. If this sounds like something out of a dystopian novel, that’s because it is. The world we live in is far different from the world Ayn Rand imagined. Just take a look at total taxes.

The chart above, from the Citizens for Tax Justice, looks at how much households earn and how much they pay in all taxes. In other words, it compares what percent of overall income they make and what percent of overall taxes the government takes from them. It’s not exactly a picture of moochers waging war on heroic entrepreneurs.

Read more. [Image: Citizens for Tax Justice]

And a reminder when Romney talks about his tax plan (more tax cuts for the wealthy): Decades of tax cuts for the wealthy have not led to a more robust and growing economy — instead they’ve created greater income inequality and a modern economy that’s growing at a much slower pace. 

Choices: who really represents you

barackobama: Don’t boo—vote.


This is Ayn Rand thinking. The Makers and the Takers.

“Well, the president has his group. I have my group. I want to keep my team strong and motivated and I want to get those people in the middle.”Mitt Romney, addressing his hidden camera comments, dismissing the more negative tone — and sharper messaging — in the closed-door fundraiser, chalking it up to talk about “process.”

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Video: the top 5 reasons Mitt Romney won’t release more tax returns

The top 5 reasons Mitt Romney won’t release more tax returns:

5. He pays a lower tax rate than you do.
4. Romney has millions of dollars in offshore accounts.
3. Romney used loopholes (available only to the super rich) to pay less in taxes.
2. Under a plan Paul Ryan proposed, Romney would pay only 1% in taxes.
1. He thinks coming clean will hurt him in the election.

What else is he hiding? Only Mitt Romney knows.

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Dream Team: Romney pays little / no federal tax, Ryan thinks the rich shouldn’t pay federal tax

Matthew O’Brien calculates Romney’s taxes (on the ONE year we have) with Paul Ryan’s tax plan and finds: Mitt Romney would pay 0.82 percent in taxes under Paul Ryan’s Plan:

“In 2010 — the only year we have seen a full return from him — Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, rather than the 13.9 percent he actually did. How would someone with more than $21 million in taxable income pay so little? Well, the vast majority of Romney’s income came from capital gains, interest, and dividends. And Ryan wants to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends.

“[…] It might seem impossible to fund the government when the super-rich pay no taxes. That is accurate. Ryan would actually raise taxes on the bottom 30 percent of earners, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, but that hardly fills the revenue hole he would create. The solution? All but eliminate all government outside of Social Security and defense — a point my colleagueDerek Thompson has made in incredible chart form…”

Steven Dennis at Rollcall agrees, saying Ryan’s plan “would have slashed Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate to about 1 percent in 2010”:

“The Ryan tax cut, which would shave about 90 percent off of Romney’s tax bill, would result from the Wisconsin Republican’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” proposal to eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest. Since about 95 percent of Romney’s $21.6 million income came from those sources in 2010, he would pay no taxes on the vast majority of his earnings. It’s not certain exactly how low Romney’s tax bill would go, but his income from other sources amounts to about $1 million, and Ryan’s plan would set a new top rate of 25 percent. Romney’s total tax bill would have dropped from the $3 million that he paid to a few hundred thousand dollars if Ryan’s plan had been in effect. Ryan also proposes eliminating the estate tax, which would benefit Romney’s heirs by tens of millions of dollars.”

Kevin Drum piles on:

“The Joint Economic Committee released an analysis today of the tax implications of Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” based partly on work from the Tax Policy Center, and you will be unsurprised at their conclusions. The chart [below], a rough conversion from JEC’s raw numbers into percentages, tells the tale: if you’re part of the middle class, your taxes will probably go up. If you’re rich, your taxes will go way, way down.

“[…] In any case, if Ryan thinks this is unfair, all he has to do is release a plan of his own that can be scored in the normal way. The fact that he consistently refuses to do so tells you all you need to know about how serious he really is about this stuff. Answer: not at all.”

If this chart doesn’t illustrate “class warfare” and bottom-to-top income redistribution, I don’t know what does.

image: motherjones

LOL Willard Romney


Source: Democratic Underground

One half of all jobs in the U.S. today now pay less than $35,000 a year

We were once a great country that proudly built things, exported goods, and earned a living wage—in large part because we had thriving labor unions. We also had a healthy public sector employment rate, which contributed to employment, the economy and America’s overall success. Over the past 30 years or more, we’ve been outsmarted with tax laws written to benefit the one percent, had our labor unions and government workers demonized by conservative ideology, and we were Bain Capitalized out of our manufacturing base—we were Bain Capitalized to death. The GOP and their wealthy benefactors have killed America’s middle class for nothing more than greed—and here we are today.

A report from NPRHow America’s Losing The War On Poverty:

According to a recent survey by The Associated Press, the number of Americans living at or below the poverty line will reach its highest point since President Johnson made his famous declaration of war on poverty in 1964.

Close to 16 percent of Americans now live at or below the poverty line. For a family of four, that’s $23,000 a year. On top of that, 100 million of us — 1 out of 3 Americans — manage to survive on a household income barely twice that amount. How is this poverty crisis happening?

[…] One half of all jobs in the U.S. today now pay less than $35,000 a year. Adjusted for inflation, that’s one of the lowest rates for American workers in five decades.

There’s a common perception that somebody who’s poor or living below the poverty level is lazy or simply living off government handouts. Edelman says the actual average poor person is working.

[…] Many economists say that when the economy does recover, a lot of the jobs that were lost won’t be coming back. That suggests the possibility of significantly high unemployment for a long time — maybe even a permanently large class of Americans who live in poverty. Blackwell says we can act to prevent that future. “And it’s not rocket science.”

“We know now that by 2018, 45 percent of all jobs in this nation will require at least an associate’s degree,” she says. “We could invest in the system of training — particularly focusing on community colleges and preparing people to go to four-year institutions and improving our high school education.”

“We actually have extraordinary infrastructure in this country, from the manufacturing base we once had,” she continues. “We need to retool it, we need to refit it, we need to make sure that it’s ready for the kind of advanced manufacturing that we’re seeing develop in other countries.”

What we don’t need is to be “Bain Capitalized” further — or more of those “great” ideas like outsourcing work that can be done locally in the public sector. To let Republicans find more ways to cut spending, more austerity cuts for 99% of us—just to give the wealthiest even more tax breaks—costs our society, and our people, in too many ways to count.

Romney has locked up the highly coveted porn star vote

“I’m very looking forward to a Republican being back in office. When you’re rich, you want a Republican in office.” — adult film star Jenna Jameson

She actually has more sense than all of the working and middle class Republican voters combined. Her reason for voting for Romney is actually legitimate.

via: christopherstreet

It’s hard work!

image: reagan-was-a-horrible-president

News on the $77,000 tax deduction the Romney’s Olympic dancing horse from Wonkette:

“Americans have no history of making jokes about the playthings of the rich, in this case a German-bred mare. As Mitt Romney says, if we all work hard, we’ll all get rich and own dancing horses, and will we want the cretins to rib us then? Right. So here is an objective report of the first Olympics performance from the 15-year-old German-bred mare that dances and is owned by Ann and Mitt Romney.”

  • Mitt Romney, you’ll recall, has said the dancing horse was “Ann’s thing” and he didn’t know when the dancing horse would begin competition and he had no plans to show up anyway.
  • Ann Romney, whose husband Mitt Romney has previously said that he doesn’t care about his wife’s dancing horse performing in the Olympics and won’t watch it, “was in the VIP section of the equestrian stadium at Greenwich Park for Rafalca’s competition” today, to cheer for Rafalca. Read more…

Is anyone surprised that the King of Bain uses the word “poppycock”?

Gawker found a video of our man Mittens using the word “poppycock” in 2004:

“Then-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney defended President George W. Bush, who was facing attacks on his economic record by Democratic candidate John Kerry.” Romney said:

“The people of America recognize that the slowdown in jobs that occurred during the early years of the Bush administration were the result of a perfect storm. And an effort by one candidate to somehow say “Oh, this recession and the slowdown in jobs was the result of somehow this president magically being elected…” people in America just dismiss that as being poppycock.  And they recognize it as that.”

You know what? Unless the people in America have suddenly transformed into 19th-century robber barons and tycoons, I’m pretty sure poppycock isn’t a word they throw around when they don’t believe something.

So liberals are elitists? When’s the last time you heard poppycock come out of a liberal’s mouth? Romney says it in the first 40 seconds below — and surprisingly he doesn’t preface the remark with, ‘I do say, good sir!’ nor is he wearing a monocle. So there’s that.

Also (more importantly) — think about that excuse Mitt was giving for GWB’s job recession. It’s truly poppycock and hypocritical to not apply this logic to President Obama — especially to President Obama. If Bush’s first term was a ‘perfect storm’ (of his own making), then Obama has spent his first term trying to repair eight long years of Bush-storms.

King Romney III