All the following sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Many people think so. Tax the 516 American billionaires more, tax corporations more and give everyone else “free” stuff. Imagine if it really worked that way. It doesn’t; even in socialist countries.
Liberals and in this case socialists don’t live in the real world. Taxing their favorite target is a ruse. To provide all they promise requires taxing everyone. In other words, to get your free stuff you first have to pay for it by giving up a good chunk of your discretionary income, that’s your income, not somebody else’s.
Consider this. The total wealth of the 516 billionaires in the U.S. Is $2,759,700,000,000 (that’s trillion), yes I added it up. Most of that wealth is in stocks, and assorted other investments. Their actual annual income is much lower. But let’s say we really go for it, a political revolution as Bernie says, and tax 50% of their wealth. That amounts to $1,379,850,000,000 which equals $4,339.15 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. That $1.3 trillion equals 4.7 months of current federal government spending including what the government borrows to spend.
For a country with 318 million people even confiscating all that money won’t get you much free stuff and what do you do after you spend their wealth, take the remaining 50%? The fair share mantra of the Sanders and Warren’s of the world sounds great, but it’s a ruse. It creates the impression that you have an easy out, just go after the wealthy.
And don’t forget to ask Bernie about the tax rates in his socialist countries. In Austria the top income tax rate is 50% if your income exceeds $66,690. And then ask him about the VAT (national sales tax) that ranges between 17% and 20%. If you look at the average income of Europeans and then look at the prices they pay for many goods and services, you ask yourself how do they do it? The answer is that they don’t have as much stuff as Americans do and the vast majority live a more frugal lifestyle than Americans. There is a price to pay for “free” stuff and it’s not paid by billionaires.
There is pretty general agreement we need to fix the tax code and we need to spend our money more efficiently. Wouldn’t it be great to have the big mouths like Sanders and Warren come up with some real plans to deal with the tax code and Social Security, etc. based on reality rather than spew their populist rhetoric trying to convince you that giving you more and more is easy; just tax the millionaires and billionaires.
If government doesn’t work for the people in this country whose fault is it? It’s the fault of the people who don’t vote and the people who keep voting in the same politicians year after year and then complain about all the problems facing the U.S. It’s the fault of the politicians who refuse to fix the tax code and are not held accountable. It is the fault of the politicians who allow themselves to be influenced by big money even more than the fault of those who offer it.
Bernie Sanders has a 71% approval rating in his home state. Guess why? Well if you believe what he is selling, that every social issue can be resolved simply by raising taxes on somebody else, why wouldn’t you like the guy? You probably also believe in Santa, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny. The real shame is what this philosophy does to the people it seeks to help, but in the end only makes them more dependent on others and eventually there won’t be enough others to keep it all going. 😪
Before you swallow the populist rhetoric from the extreme left about millionaires and billionaires, check out the facts from the Tax Foundation.
Sanders and others harp on the fair share nonsense, but make no mention of the charity from the wealthy or belittle that giving from individuals part of the far right as if it didn’t count. The much hated Koch brothers are an example. David Koch had donated $1.2 billion in his life, mostly to medical research, but you only hear about his political donations.
In the current debate over progressivity in the tax code, there is a tendency on the part of advocates for higher taxes to generalize wealthy Americans as faceless “millionaires” and “billionaires.”
However, the portrait of millionaire taxpayers is anything but static. Indeed, the evidence shows that millionaires are an ever-changing group of people who tend to share some common but desirable traits—they are married two-earner couples, who are older, well educated, and America’s business owners.
Thus, it is clear that policies aimed at making America more equal by targeting “the rich” are likely to be ineffective, not only because they are aiming at a moving target, but also because so many of these common traits stand outside the bounds of tax policy.
“We need a political revolution in this country involving millions of people who are prepared to stand up and say, enough is enough, and I want to help lead that effort,” the self-proclaimed socialist told ABC News’ This Week when asked why he was seeking the presidency.
Host George Stephanopoulos questioned whether the country was ready to elect an avowed socialist.
“Well, so long as we know what democratic socialism is,” Sanders responded. “And if we know that in countries, in Scandinavia, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, they are very democratic countries, obviously. The voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States. In those countries, health care is the right of all people. And in those countries, college education, graduate school is free. In those countries, retirement benefits, childcare are stronger than in the United States of America. And in those countries, by and large, government works for ordinary people and the middle class, rather than, as is the case right now in our country, for the billionaire class.”
Sanders said. “I think at a time when we have seen trillions of dollars shift from the middle class to the top one-tenth of 1 percent, we have got to say very frankly that the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations are going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes; profitable corporations can’t stash their money in the Cayman Islands and avoid about $100 billion a year in taxes.”