July 29th, 2011
|08:00 am - Tax the rich|Talk about back from the brink. I see the loony Tea Party Republicans have postponed the destruction of the US economy until next Tuesday (edited - ninebelow points out I was overestimating them - the crisis has not been averted - things are still as bad as they were).
Tell you what though, I think this shows there is no point in trying to find common ground by 'being reasonable'. These people are so extreme. I am talking about ultra-rich people, who are paying historically low rates of tax in America. The obvious solution to the budget problems of Western countries is to raise taxes on the very rich. I don't mean harm them personally. I don't even mean stop them from being much richer than us. I just mean get them to pay more, tax at a rate they used to pay thirty or forty years ago. It didn't kill them then. They were still rich.
And why are we in this financial mess? Because of the incompetence and corruption - and frankly criminality - of the very rich, specifically the financial sector super-rich. Firstly they made the mistakes, secondly we gave them a load of money. When it comes to paying for it I know where I would go.
So it seems to me that there are three approaches to raising the money. One is to cut the meagre benefits of the very poor and infirm. They can barely spare it. Second is to stop people working, like what happened to me, to save their wages. I think that's killing the goose that lays the eggs. Thirdly, raise taxes on the ultra-rich. They can spare it guys.
And the only reason it's not happening is because they control most Western governments these days. I think that's got a lot to do with control of popular ideas through cultural channels. Anyway, that's a whole other story. Murdoch is certainly up to his neck in it.
ETA: for example see Richard D Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at Amhurst, writing today in the Guardian:
The crisis of the capitalist system in the US that began in 2007 plunged millions into acute economic pain and suffering. The "recovery" that began in early 2009 benefited only the minority that was most responsible for the crisis: banks, large corporations and the rich who own the bulk of stocks... The countless claims of "recovery" as if it were a general economic event spread across the entire US economy were, and are, lies. They hide the tragic truth of ongoing economic crisis for the many.
I don't usually read the newspapers (on paper) but encountered one on Weds while waiting for an appointment and was sent into instant teeth-grinding mode because the front page had an article about the 'recovery' which included statements from various government spokespeople that they wanted to reduce the top rate of tax and increase VAT. Aaaaaggghhh.
Yes. I feel impotent, except to shake my little fist in futile dissent. This seems to be a cross day.
I see the loony Tea Party Republicans have backed down at the very last moment, from destroying the US economy.
I'm not sure that is the right reading of this. Boehner's bill didn't get enough votes in the House because it wasn't right-wing enough for Republicans. However, it had no chance of passing the Senate anyway. So really this makes no difference; no compromise has been reached and the economy still hangs in the balance. Let's hope sanity prevails by Tuesday.
Oh, wow. Yes, you are right, they aren't refusing because Boehner is nuts, but because he's not nuts enough. It's hard to credit that people can slit their own throats like that.
I sometimes wonder what they think is going to happen?
In that case, everything I said, magnified by urgency.