Rich and Not Rich on Jobs and Deficits

Rich and Not Rich on Jobs and Deficits

From the February 2012 Harpers’s Index:

Average annual tax savings for member of the top 1 percent of earners under the Bush tax cuts:  $66,384

Average annual income for the other 99%:  $58,506

Factor by which an American is more likely to cite unemployment than deficit as the country’s “most important problem”: 3

Factor by which a wealthy American is more likely to cite the deficit than unemployment: 3

And there you have it.  The rich have been paying taxes at historically low rates for the past few decades (Yes, even the Clinton top rate of 39.4% is low by historical standards. It was 70% during the Kennedy years, and 91% during the Eisenhower years) and they are most concerned by the deficit while they are in the best position to do something about it-pay more taxes. Many of them do want congress to raise their taxes, but Republicans are doing everything in their power –  filibustering – to prevent any increase in federal revenue through any types of changes to the tax code. In fact, every tax plan proposed by Republicans running for president includes more tax cuts for the super rich, and some even include tax increases on the middle and lower classes.

If wealthy Americans are really concerned about the deficit, then they should contact their representatives in congress and ask them to raise taxes on the top 1% earners.

If wealthy Americans are really concerned about the deficit, then they should contact their representatives in congress and ask them to pass the Obama Jobs Bill that would put hundreds of thousands of currently unemployed people back to work. Providing jobs increases tax receipts and reduces the deficit. Providing jobs also increases consumer demand which grows the economy.

All the proposed austerity measures that Republicans are pushing will decrease jobs and shrink the economy causing greater deficits. Simple math tells me they are really all about making the rich richer and screwing the middle and lower classes.

The very wealthy people need to start paying more taxes – at least at the rate they paid during the Clinton years – and the government needs to start spending money on projects within our borders that create jobs. Once the economy gets back to pre-recession levels, taxes should go up on the middle class too.

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