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Tax the Rich

January 24th, 2012

Romney serves as an excellent example of the problem with today’s wealth-favoring tax structure: Romney paid a paltry 14% tax on $42.6 million of income over the past two years.

Aside from campaigning, how much actual work did he do? Probably little to none–in short, he just sat there as his assets made him more rich. What would he have done if his tax rate were 30% or even 40%? Quit investing and instead make no money? What a crock.

But wait, Republicans will say–the job creators need that money to create more jobs!!

OK, fine: exactly how many jobs did Romney create in 2010 and 2011? Directly, none. Not a single one. Indirectly? Not a single job more than if the money had been collected by the government and put towards, say, infrastructure or education. Had the income been taxed, in fact, the likelihood is that a lot more jobs would have been created–and that money would have been directed far more accurately at the American economy.

The value of enriching Romney is dependent upon Romney’s particular investments. Was the capital used to create jobs, or in the kind of destructive capitalism Romney himself used to engage in? Did he invest in American companies, possibly companies that maximized American profits?

Or did the money go to create more jobs in China than in the U.S.? Considering what American businesses are doing now, if Romney’s hoard actually did create jobs, they were far more likely overseas.

If it’s American “job creators” we’re supporting here, then how about a tax credit for actually creating jobs in America, and not just profiteering in a way that could potentially create jobs, probably more in other countries, as a by-product of getting even more filthy rich?

The whole “job creators” mantra is just as much a fictional piece of crap as everything else the right wing claims these days.

Tax the rich at 40% or even higher, pour the money back into infrastructure, education, and research, and the country stands a chance of coming back with a roar.

If you instead vote Republican and let the rich get off virtually tax free, you’ll get exactly what you deserve for being such a gullible rube: poverty.

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  1. Troy
    January 25th, 2012 at 05:54 | #1

    It’s all about the FLOWS to me.

    Where did that $42.6M come from? Mostly from wage earners.

    Where did that $42.6M go?

    We know $6M went to taxes. Nobody can actually consume $36.6M worth of stuff in a year, so most of it went back right into investments, investments like you said that did not result in more employment.

    This is a positive feedback loop, money leaving the payroll economy and entering the rentier economy, never to return as wages.

    What all this “job creator” bullshit is obfuscating is that it is possible for capital to lodge itself not in labor-creating industry, but predatory investments in land and other natural opportunities.

    (It’s no accident that the oil industry is solidly Republican. They know which side their bread is buttered on. Norway quasi-nationalized their oil industry and now each citizen has $100,000 in global assets held for them, built up from oil sales and investment returns. Alaska has something similar, but to suggest public ownership of natural wealth is the s-word here)

    I checked who owned my apartment building (300+ units, each at $1500/mo or more), and it was some corporation in Massachusetts. Could have been Bain, or some Chinese or Arab front company.

    Thing is, they owned that asset, are grossing $5M/yr on it, and not creating more than a handful of maintenance jobs (all staffed by immigrant labor I might add).

    That $5M (less maintenance and taxes) is leaving the paycheck economy every year and not coming back.

    Globally, we’ve got a $300B/yr goods trade deficit with China:


    that too is money leaving the paycheck economy and not coming back as wages.

    Republicans and the conservative ideology they are obeisant to has no answers for this, their ideology actually exacerbates the systemic imbalances.

    Krugman and other neoliberal schools also have no great answers, either, though they can sometimes at least see the problem.

    I think the entire dialogue has become a charade, corrupted to the core, with a fake “left” (Keynes) and “right” (Mises) that are “1984”-esque catspaws of the System itself, and we are increasingly unable to deal squarely with the issues that are tearing things apart.

    Our $500B/yr trade deficit is a major problem. It was not mentioned in last night’s debate. Hell, the word ‘deficit’ is not in the transcript.

    Neoliberals established and have been defending the ‘free trade’ of globalism, yet it was a colossal mistake.

    It is not a mistake to ship our jobs to China if they can do the same work we do for 1/10th the cost. The problem comes from the fact that they are doing this at an artificially low exchange rate, maintaining trade surplus, which become global economic power over us as it accumulates.

    This is neo-mercantilism and is hollowing us out, due to the $300B/yr flow of money leaving our economy and not coming back (as wages).

  2. Troy
    January 25th, 2012 at 06:00 | #2

    Interesting factoid:

    Minimum wage is ~1,500 yuan in Shenzhen:


    That is under 2万 in yen — a month.

    How can the Japanese worker compete with that?

    Is the system insane, or is it just me?

  3. Troy
    January 25th, 2012 at 06:09 | #3

    btw, I’ve been commenting here:


    on Japan vs. the US economy. Kinda long but if you want to read more about all this. . .

    (good for the iPad, eh : )

  4. Troy
    January 28th, 2012 at 08:55 | #4

    Ouch . . . so much for going back to Spain . . .


    though I suppose with an EC citizenship one could live in Germany, or even Norway : )

    Hard to see life being better in N Europe than Japan, especially for a Japanese-type person.

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