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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Inequality In America & It’s Shocking Truth: The Top 1 Percent Have 40 Percent Of All Of The Nation’s Wealth

Why does this amazing video now have over 5,000,000 views? Because it shatters Americans’ perception of just how bad wealth inequality has become in America.

It’s based on Dan Ariely and Michael Norton’s 2011 study and it helps visually illuminate facts that are nearly impossible to comprehend — such as finding out that one family owns more wealth than the bottom 41.5 percent of America. However, when you see the situation laid out in the context of just 100 Americans, it becomes clear how much the richest 1 percent of the country has amassed.

As we’ve told you before, our progressive tax system is doing little to hedge this inequality. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that people who earn $450,000 a year pay the same tax rate as people who earn $450,000,000. In fact, because of tax breaks that benefit investors, it’s likely that the person earning $450,000,000 pays a lower tax rate.

Why are billionaires taxed so lightly? Maybe it’s because our political system is bent to serve their needs.



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76 responses to “Inequality In America & It’s Shocking Truth: The Top 1 Percent Have 40 Percent Of All Of The Nation’s Wealth”

  1. atc333 says:

    What is missing are the following facts. In 1969, the top 2% of earners in America owned 8% of all the wealth of America. After 25 years of GOP “Tax Cuts for Job Creators” the top 2% now own over 46% of all the wealth of America. It gets worse. the top 10% own 90% of all the wealth in America.
    Meanwhile, as a result of these, and other policies, the Middle Class has shrunk substantially, and the numbers of Americans living just above, at, or below poverty levels about equal’s to Romney’s scorned 47%.

    There was a reason why years ago, we did not have massive deficits, and why we were able to pay down the War Debt from WW II. Take the time to compare Presidential Administrations and which Party had control of Congress with the tax rates, Federal Deficit creation, and the redistribution of wealth in America.

    Trickle down Economics does not work, unless you are in the top 2%, then it works very well. All it has accomplished is the creation of massive Federal Debt, the destruction of the Middle class, the creation of a greatly expanded class of working poor, and the massive “Redistribution of Wealth” by the GOP, to their “Job Creators”, exactly what the GOP likes to claim the Democratic are guilty of.

    We are a great Nation, and a great People. We have many solutions to our fiscal issues available to us.. Unfortunately, until the Party of NO allows a true progressive tax rate to return, we will continue to see the continued migration of wealth to the top 2% There was a reason the tax rates went up to almost 90% for those earning huge amounts of money each year. In part, it was to keep American from becoming a third world Banana Republic, with a small, very rich, upper class, a very small, struggling middle class, and a very large working class, earning minimum wage. and providing Corporate America an unlimited supply of willing, cheap labor.

    Consider minimum wage today, and its effective buying power, of less than 70% of what it was 20 years ago. We see the Far Right blocking attempts to rase it, yet at the same time they carp and complain that almost 50% of Americans pay no Federal taxes (Romney’s 47% again) simply because they do not earn enough income to be taxed. Increase minimum wage by 30%, and suddenly, much of that 47% would be paying some Federal Taxes.

    What do you think the chances of that happening with the Party of NO! in control of the House? Instead, we get the Sequester, and the resulting slowdown of our economic recovery.

    Luckily, The good news is the 2014 elections are coming.

    • middleclasstaxpayer says:

      Based upon your thinking, here’s what we are in for:

      1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the
      University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the
      Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always
      temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent
      form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until
      the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous
      gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority
      always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from
      the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally
      collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a

      “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the
      beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200
      years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

      From bondage to spiritual faith;
      From spiritual faith to great courage;
      From courage to liberty;
      From liberty to abundance;
      From abundance to complacency;
      From complacency to apathy;
      From apathy to dependence;
      From dependence back into bondage.”
      The Obituary follows:

      Born 1776, Died 2012
      It doesn’t hurt to read this several times.
      Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in
      St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning
      the last Presidential election:

      Number of States won by: Obama: 19 Romney: 29
      Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000
      Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million
      Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1

      Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory
      Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens
      of the country.

      Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low
      income tenements and living off various forms of government

      Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the
      “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of
      democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population
      already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.

      If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million
      criminal invaders called illegals – and they vote – then we can say
      goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
      GOOD LUCK to all you folks on the take from our current government.

      • robotkilr says:

        Your Prof Olsen ‘stats’ is an outright lie, debunked many times over the last decade. Google it. That makes the rest of your post not worthy of attention.

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          Your negative comments were easy to make, but PROVE IT with specific references. You liberals are all alike… resent anyone who is successful. Marxism has NEVER worked, and it won’t here either. Obama will go down in history as the worst example of a “commander in chief???” we have ever had. He’s a loser, and so are most all liberals.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            And so was your mother, God rest her soul. I wonder if she ever had any idea how you would turn out, commie. Or was she an intimate friend of Joe McCarthy, he was said to have many.

          • robotkilr says:

            I have posted two seperate rebuttals with sources to your challenge but the mods have chosen not to allow them to show. What gives? You can google it you know, you’ll find I’m very much right about my comments.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Just as I thought…..all talk, no action, ad NO PROOF!

          • robotkilr says:

            Prof Olsen said: There is an e-mail floating around the internet dealing with the 2000
            Bush/Gore election, remarks of a Scotish philosopher named Alexander
            Tyler, etc. Part of it is attributed to me. It is entirely BOGUS as to
            my authorship. I’ve been trying to kill it since December 2000. For
            details see: snopes dot com

          • robotkilr says:

            You can also find the truth on FactCheck dot org, Truthorfiction dot com, UrbanLegends dot com, And about that piece you were quoting: The piece is saying that lazy, apathetic, violent, illegal, welfare
            sucking inhabitants of urban crime ridden areas of his beloved America
            are on the verge of putting him, the industrious, patriotic, peace
            loving, hardworking, middle class inhabitant of a peaceful neighborhood
            in “BONDAGE. ” He will become the slave of these non-God-fearing
            vermin. And now he is even in more peril with Obama, a black man in
            charge. This type stuff works, it scares people. Scared people close their eyes,
            yearn to go “bach” to the good old days when rich people signed their
            paychecks and people of color knew their place. Most importantly scared
            people are ripe for manipulation and misdirection. FOX knows this, the
            Koch brothers know this, and Governor Walker knows this. The poor, the
            migrant, the welfare mom, the union worker, become the target. And it is

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            The person scaring others is Obama himself….he is suggesting that “wealthy folks” are the enemy, taking food from the poor, in effect. Fact is, if it weren’t for the VERY hard working business owners WHO EMPLOY MOST OF US (and are probably more well off than the rest of us because of their hard work), we would ALL be out of a job. Obama is turning the many against the few, looking for scapegoats, to justify tax increases which will only HURT the middleclass & poor. When you take away the incentive to work hard, make money, etc,, business owners will simply stop the hard work, eliminate the jobs and the economy will collapse still further. The “amateur” Obama (Bill Clinton’s apt description of Obama in 2008) has never held a private sector job, so he knows NOTHING of job creation or the hard work it takes to start & run a successful business.

          • robotkilr says:

            So I provide you the proof that your post was a pack of lies and all you can do is spout crap seen on Faux Noise. Where are your sources for this BS? You have no original thought and resort to a decade old e-mail that had nothing to do with Obama in it’s original incarnation, post it as gospel even though the facts are so wildly off the mark as to be ludicrous and now you change the subject by regurgitating worn out and discredited talking points traced back to the RNC and you call me lazy. Go back under your rock you troll!!!

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            OK, lets hear it. Who do YOU think provides jobs for most workers in the US? Besides government jobs, private entrepreneurs & business owners do! Yet Obama portrays them (the well-to-do) as somehow guilt of taking all the money for themselves, when in fact they are providing jobs & a livelihood to millions of families. You don’t need to watch TV news shows to know this, although by your negative attitude I assume you get your “news” from a CNN or a Wolf Blitzer / Chris Matthews type who is of course completely “unbiased.” (NOT) You’re the one who needs to come out from the hole you’ve been living in.

          • robotkilr says:

            Since you failed to do your research, let’s disect your garbage logic. As of the latest BLS numbers issued we see that manufacturing jobs make up less than 5% of the total number of jobs out there. Removing farm labor, the bulk of the jobs currently available are low wage service and food industry jobs. It’s the ‘trickle down’ economics that has allowed for the ‘job creators’, given their massive tax breaks, to create this wealth of low paying service industry jobs. All the high paying jobs have already been moved offshore by these same ‘job creators’ allowing them to avoid paying a decent living wage as well as their rightfully owed taxes. O is correct that these uber wealthy 1% ers are taking the money for themselves rather than helping the working class maintain a parity with rising costs. A look at the ratio of CEO to worker pay by nation shows that only in the US is the ratio averaging 475 to 1 vs the next highest country of Venezuela being 50 to 1. The Bureau of Economic Analysis along with the Tax Policy Center has shown that from 1950-2010 real growth in GDP has occured when the top marginal tax rates have been 39-75%. And studies by the Tax Policy Center using BLS data showed that lower tax on the wealthy DID NOT create growth and in fact stifled it. Only when top marginal rates were in that same range of 39-75% was our employment growth 250% higher than at our current top rate of 35%. And for your info I watch zero MSM nooze. I prefer to get my information from CSPAN, govt data issuances, as well as a host of international business analysis sources. You provide no sources for your claims and you still have not addressed your initial failings in researching your first fallacious post. Olsen said none of the things you claimed and a Lexus/Nexus database search can find no Alexander Tyler quotes regarding past societies demises. Try harder!

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            So you support a 39% to 75% tax on the “wealthy.” Do you really think folks are going to break their backs starting & running businesses of any size when the govt takes up three quarters of the profits??? This is what happens in dictatorships & Soviet-style governments, and has always failed. No wonder you support obama, as this is HIS plan for America….have 50% of the population pay for & support the other 50%. Redistribute the wealth…where have we heard (and seen) that before. How about in Cuba, where our obama Treasury department recently sponsored J-Z to make an “educational tour” and denounce the US to boot.

          • robotkilr says:

            You truly are a Foxbot! Only half of a percent would pay these rates. Read up on Eisenhower’s era, the top rate was in the 90% range and we had the greatest growth rate of any nation on earth. You ned to go back to school troll!

          • RobertCHastings says:

            I think you weren’t paying attention to the discussion regarding the 47% statement by former candidate Romney.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            The 47 % comment was twisted into something it wasn’t by liberals… was stated that 47% of the population was not voting R, so lets focus on the 53% who likely may! That’s what Obama did, focus on those that were “likely” to vote his way….but of course nothing was said about that in the liberal media. Business as usual.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Once again, you wereapparently not paying attention to the “47%” statement by Romney. What you are, feebly, attempting to do is make it into something it definitely was not,especially considering the outcome of the popular vote,which went about 53% Dem. and 47% Rep. Romney made the “47%” statement because it was what his supporters wanted to hear. It was NOT a misstatement or a slip, but part of a written and rehearsed speech. He said what he meant to say and honestly meant what he said, that 47% of the people in this country do not pay taxes and sponge off the rest of us. The transcript is out there if you want to check it out, and it is in English so you won’t be losing something in translation.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Well, if that’s what he said, he was ABSLUTELY CORRECT!

          • RobertCHastings says:

            So, which is it? Either way, Romney lost the election 53% to 47%, and one of the reasons was his 47% statement.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            The fact that your boy won does NOT reflect well on the intelligence level of liberals OR democrats…….fact is, the votes that put him over the top were from folks that want to keep the gravy train coming…..IE: free stuff without working for it. It’s great while it lasts, but it can’t be sustained indefinitely, especially as MORE people get on the train without contributing anything to society!

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Except for the presidency of George W. Bush, Social Security and Medicare were being quite well funded, due to annual budget surpluses in excess of $160B (billion) for the last three years of the Clinton Administration. These surpluses were immediately turned into tax breaks for the wealthy, who were not the ones who had caused the surpluses in the first place. Those healthy surpluses were from FICA, the payroll tax ALL of us pay, and their continuance would have eventually led to the long-term health of Social Security, instead of the continued transfer of wealth from the middle and lower class into the bank accounts of the wealthy. But we knew Bush would favor the wealthy even before he took office because a $3.5B surplus for the CHIPS program (insurance for uninsured children, etc.) in Texas in 1998 was turned into – just take a wild guess – tax breaks for the wealthy. The people who are “on the train’, or the 47% that Romney spoke so disparagingly about, are people who paid into the Social ‘Secutiry and Medicare trust funds for their entire working lives. SS and Medicare are NOT handouts, nor is welfare (which has been greatly changed since the last time you read anything about it). Unlike you, most people in this country have to work for a living, and through their working they have saved, and from those savings they have a legitimate right to expect a return on investment. So sorry that you think your rich buddies are getting the short end of the stick, but over the past thirty years or so, there REALLY HAS BEEN a transfer of wealth, only not in the direction you have been led to think. Over that period, approximately $30T (as in TRILLION) has found its way from the middle class and poor into the bank accounts of the wealthy. I am certain you will not accept what I am saying as the truth, and I am equally certain you will make absolutely no effort to ascertain that truth. Just don’t say no one ever told you.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Once again, why should we accept a BLOG as an authoritative resource? HELLO! Is anybody home? Blogs are under NO ethical, moral, or legal obligation to print the truth or to deal in facts. As robotklr has already stated, your “Prof. Olsen” (if, indeed, he is a professor) has had his theories disproven and discredited, and yet you still persist in your delusion that he is some Olympian god who is infallible.

          • atc333 says:

            That slot in American History has already been won and will be occupied by GWB II for the entire rest of America’s History, past, present, and future. period.

            Our own economic history proves what works, and what does not. Check it out by Presidential administrations, tax rates, deficit creation, and job creation. There is your proof, like it or not. The Clinton Administration ended up with surpluses, Bush and co created massive Federal Deficits applying failed trickle down economics, then saddled us with his Bush II Economic meltdown. There is your poof.

      • RobertCHastings says:

        Except for one very important fact that your professor olson fails toinclude in his “obituary”, and that is that Obama won an actual MAJORITY of the popular vote (not a plurality, but a majority), and he won the all-important Electoral College vote. Apparently prof olson agrees with Romney’s 47% statement, and you do too, apparently. Social Security and Medicare have not fostered an attitude of dependence in this country, for the people who receive these entitlements know that they are not government giveaways, but the well-earned rewards of a lifetime’s investment in the trust funds for both.

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          Everyone knows we are NOT referring to Medicare & Social Security…we all paid into the SS system (if we worked) and we all expect to benefit when the time comes. I was referring to the almost 50% of our population who take but do not give….between food stamps, aid to dependent children, housing subsidies, welfare, you name it…half the population is paying for the other half’s FAIR SHARE. How can a system like this, where half the population supports the other half, survive?????

          • atc333 says:

            Why don’t you take a look at why we now see half the population “supporting” the other half. Could it be that jobs were shipped offshore, and even today, companies doing so get tax credits? Could it be that minimum wage is no longer considered to be an “entry level”wage for new, unskilled labor, but the going wage for most workers in the “service provider economy? Could it be that minimum wage now has the purchasing power of less than 70% of what it did 20 years ago, and survival in a GOP created minimum wage part time employment economy for the 50% referred to is impossible unless tax deductions, rates, credits acknowledge that fact? Despite all the complaining, this group still pays all the taxes imposed by state and local governments.

            If the GOP wants to end this disastrous state of affairs they have created, all it has to do is forgo deficit reduction now, cooperate with Obama and the Democrats to spend federal revenues on job creation, federal loans to qualified small business start up entrepreneurs (individuals, not Donald Trump tyoe small businesses), education, space exploration, infrastructure repair, alterantive forms of energy research, and new industry creation. But no, all the GOP can do is howl about deficit reduction, blocking any legislation to invest in job creation, and keeping the “Sequester” in place, a guaranteed way to slow the economy, and shrink Federal spending, their real goal, along with protecting the top 2% and Corporate American against any effective tax reforms. .

            In other words, it is still “The Economy Stupid”. Put this nation back to work, and watch the deficits shrink, and everyone’s lives improve.
            One other point. Years ago, we did not have massive Federal Deficits, but we did have a graduated tax system that did sustain the Federal Government. Today, without application of tax credits, deductions, and subsidies, the top 2% still pay less than half of what they did then.

            In the 50s and 60s,The Fed paid off the war debt, balanced the budget, and still created jobs. What has tax cuts for job creators done for the United States over the past 25 years besides create massive deficits, and the massive redistribution of America’s wealth to the top 2%?

            Think about it.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Obama has been in a position for 5 years now, the 1st 4 with both houses. Why hasn’t he accomplished these things himself? Answer: because he’s what Bill Clinton described him as…THE AMATEUR!

          • atc333 says:

            Because Obama made the mistake of assuming the “legislators” in the House and Senate were adults who put Nation first. He may have had a majority in both houses for the first two years, but even then procedural BS by the minority can stall legislation. Then in 2010, that majority was lost. Since then we have seen what block and stall by the Right Wing can do, Compare that to what we saw with GWB II, and the GOP majority who were falling all over themselves to give him whatever he wanted, enabling him to snatch massive Deficits out of the jaws of a balanced Federal budget when he took office with over a 100 billion dollar annual budgetary surplus. .

            “Great Job, Brownie”

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Obama took office in January of 2009, with a majority in both houses of Congress. TWO years later the Dems lost their majority in the House (NOT 4 years). Ever since his inauguration in 2009 Obama has been dealing with a conservative machine that refuses to do anything but their best to get him out of office, and the hell with whatever issues beset the rest of us.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Which includes a large chunk of those receiving Soc. Sec. and Medicare. Just how much do you think people make from Social Security; and do you think Medicare is free? I am among the 47% and, having worked my obligatory term as a working stiff, my contributions to my retirement have been earned. Check on how Soc. Sec. and Medicare work – I still pay in the neighborhood of $300/month for my health care, so it ain’t free, in fact it is more than what I paid for a personal policy thirty years ago. My income along with that of my wife leaves us just above poverty, so I DO pay some taxes, but the majority of folks in my position are spending their retirements in poverty and thus SHOULD NOT be paying taxes – it is what a CHRISTIAN nation SHOULD be doing.

          • Tyrone Thomas says:

            I have a solution to this problem that will actually work without the need for extra jobs, tax credits, tax cut, increasing the minimum wage, or changing some other government policy. If you want to know about it and or participate in bringing it to life see United Shared Savings Network on facebook


      • Rob Rowen says:

        What has perpetrated the fall of every “great civilization throughout history has been the unyielding greed of the ruling elite or wealthy class, their subsequent abuse and treatment of the poor and middle class, and their blind refusal to see their behavior as destructive and morally inept.

      • paul says:

        I have to smile. What do those statistics prove. Square miles won? what does that mean except for the fact that maybe large wealthy landowners wanted Romney. Other than that it seems that those who are oppressed recognized that a change was needed.

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          You don’t get “change” without working for it…every successful individual in our great land has worked long & hard for that success……look at Thomas Edison….he made over 1000 attempts before perfecting the electric light bulb. He slept in his office most nights to save time. He sacrificed & worked hard to get what he dreamed of. Now we have citizens who find it more “profitable” to crank out babies to increase their “take” by $1800 every month. We have welfare fraud, people getting “free phones” & food stamps instead of working. Everywhere I go I see signs that say “help wanted.” Sure, they may be entry level jobs, but I started with an “entry level” job at $1 an hour 55 years ago, and it never hurt me, only helped me.

    • jstsyn says:

      The 2014 elections better be good cause Americans are getting very tired of this shit.

    • RobertCHastings says:

      And who are the ones bitching about “redistribution” of wealth? The idea of trickle dow economics as brought to us by King Ronald was that the wealthy, through their care and compassion for the less fortunate would distribute their wealth downward by investing in the creation of jobs. It was clearly demonstrated to be wrong thirty years ago, and it has been wrong today. And what is the definition of stupidity – something like doing something and failing and then doing it again expecting a different result? During the Reagan/Bush years, tax breaks for the wealthy DID NOT ease recessive forces by creating jobs, it merely put more money into the bank accounts of the wealthy, wherever they might be located, clearly demonstrating that the wealthy DO NOT CREATE JOBS. How often have we heard this and seen it proven in every recession, minor or major, since the Great Depression, and yet we continue to allow Republicans to implement their current incarnation of trickle-down. Sounds “stupid” to me!

      • atc333 says:

        The classical definition of “Insanity”, (as the American Public has observed being practiced by the GOP over the past 25 years) is simply this: “Doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting a different result”,

        • ralphkr says:

          Well, atc, I would like to make an exception to that definition since it is standard operating procedure when using a computer. Then, again, perhaps merely depending upon a computer is proof in itself of insanity.

        • RobertCHastings says:

          Excuse me. I didn’t realize the definition of Republican had been included in the American Psychiatric Association lexicon. I guess the next step is for the APA to recognize it as a legitimate psychological problem.

          • atc333 says:

            It makes one wonder why after three failed attempts, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, why the GOP insists upon once again inflicting its economic theories upon this Nation, especially when we all saw what Clinton, with some help from the Late, Great, GOP accomplished with cooperation between the Legislative and Executive Branches, (impeachment efforts aside)

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Excellent point. When will the rank and file Republicans who, like us, contribute $100 – $200 a year to their party when they really can’t afford it, See the light and realize their party is not the same party they signed onto 20 – 30 years ago? Even Reagan would not recognize his own Republican Party were he still alive. Ronald Reagan managed to reduce taxes on the wealthy and put the country into a recession; however, unlike Bush II, Reagan recognized the connection between the recession and the reduced taxes and raised taxes, several times during his presidency. I feel certain that both Bushes also recognized the connection between reduced income for the federal government and deteriorating economic activity, but they both failed to do what was necessary to alleviate the problem. As we heard during the election cycle of 1992, “It’s the economy, stupid” did not seem to make an impact on Bush I. The Great Recession of 2007 was caused,in part, by reduced revenues; but, unlike his father, Bush II met reduced revenues with increased spending, earning him the reputation as the most profligate spender of ANY Republican president, and precipitating the worst worldwiode economic collapse since the Great Depression, from which we are STILL trying to extricate ourselves.
            Bush II inherited an economy that had seen the DOW more than quadruple in eight years and a budget that was creating annual surpluses of $160B/year. This surplus, it has been shown, emanated from FICA payroll taxes, NOT from excessive taxes on the wealthy. Had Gore won the presidency in 2000, and the surpluses continued, Social Security and Medicare trust funds would have been funded into the next century,now there is talk of their failing within the next 25 years, or sooner. The two wars begun by Bush II and the burgeoning defense budget are on the way to bankrupting the country, at the expense of the safety-net programs that mean survival for the middle class and poor of this country. Thank you, ever so much, Republicans, in following through on the Norquist pledge to reduce the federal government to something small enough to fit into Norquist’s bathtub so that he could drown it.

          • John Guthrie says:

            They probably should Scholar.

      • David Michael says:

        Ronald Reagan may have presided over the most significant tax reform effort in our nation’s history, yet historical revisionists are attempting to besmirch that legacy — while using him as a straw man against modern Republicans.

        Saying Ronald Reagan raised taxes is like saying Michael Jordan was a guy who struck out a lot — or that he was a failed baseball player: It’s factually correct, but misleading, nonetheless.

        I’ve decided to examine Reagan’s tax cuts and tax increases in order to set the record straight and end this tomfoolery.

        Over the course of his two terms in office, Reagan presided over several changes to the tax code. What is important to remember — what is vital to understand — is that not all taxes are created equal.

        When Democrats or media embrace Reagan for “raising taxes X number of times,” they are usually engaging in willful obfuscation. This is because they know that when most people hear the words, “tax hike,” they naturally assume you mean raising income taxes. But tax rates (both nominal and effective) dropped dramatically across-the-board during Reagan’s tenure.

        Not only did the top individual income tax rate go from 70 to 28 percent! — but the tax code was also indexed for inflation (this is a big deal, because inflation had heretofore pushed people into higher tax brackets — a double whammy.)

        Yet the notion that Reagan was a tax-hiker has persisted. In recent years, Republicans ranging from former Sen. Alan Simpson to Reagan aide Bruce Bartlett have been cited noting that Reagan raised taxes (he did.) But their statements are often taken out of context — as if to muddy the waters — to make it appear that Reagan was a fan of tax hikes.

        The typical tactic is to say Reagan raised taxes 11 or 12 times (the exact number depends on whom you ask.) But it’s unhelpful — in fact, it’s a bit misleading — to talk about how many times Reagan raised taxes. That’s because (as noted earlier) tax increases are not created equal. Some are much worse than others. And many of Reagan’s so-called “tax increases” were actually examples of ending deductions.
        Overall, Reagan dramatically cut the most odious of taxes.

        So, for those who care about the truth, here are some details. One of the tax increases Reagan signed (the Highway Revenue Act of 1982) was a temporary increase in the federal gas tax from 4 to 9 cents. (This could be thought of as a sort of “user fee,” inasmuch as the revenue generally went to roads and infrastructure.) Another was a cigarette tax (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.) These are real tax increases, but should not be confused with the income tax.

        (Reagan also deserves special criticism from free marketers on the right for raising the capital gains tax rate — as well as the corporate rate — in the Tax Reform Act of 1986.)

        Make no mistake, these were real tax increases — in some cases, “regressive” taxation — but they pale in comparison to the scale of the income tax cuts that defined the Reagan era. Again, it’s important to put things in context. When inaugurated, Reagan inherited a nation with 16 tax brackets — ranging from marginal rates of 14 percent to 70 percent. By 1989, that was down to two brackets — with marginal rates of 15 percent and 28 percent. (Those rates — and brackets — were short lived. By the time Clinton left office, the top marginal rate was back up to 39.6 percent. But you can’t blame Reagan for tax increases that came after his tenure. That’d be like President Obama blaming George W. Bush for tax cuts passed in 2011…)

        Again, my argument is that some taxes are more important than others. Do massive cuts to income taxes — perhaps the most confiscatory and arbitrary form of taxation (which disencentivize the very act of working) — carry the same weight as a temporary consumption tax increase which raised just over 3 billion in revenue a year? I would argue that the two clearly aren’t the same thing — and yet that distinction is seldom made.

        So how has this canard advanced to a state where it would demand correction so many years later? Both sides have contributed to advancing this misleading narrative. It’s in nobody’s interest to clarify the distinction — that not all taxes hikes and cuts are equal. Conservatives who oppose all tax hikes (or revenue raisers such as removing deductions) gain little by exposing Reagan’s nuanced approach. Liberals benefit most from the opaqueness — because they can label Reagan a serial tax increaser — while ignoring the broader impact of his work on the federal tax racket.

        Facts matter. Reagan’s legacy has been co-opted and mangled by both sides. Yes, he raised taxes. Yes he cut taxes. The real story is how he raised taxes and how he cut them. And the overarching theme is that Reagan dramatically lowered tax rates and broadened the base. He was a reformer willing to make tough decisions. And at the end of the day, his legacy is that of a free market tax cutter. “If you aggregate together all the tax hikes … Reagan was a net tax cutter,” says Americans for Tax Reform’s Ryan Ellis. “I believe that makes him unique in the 20th century Cold War era. (Kennedy’s were passed by Johnson, who later raised taxes to pay for Vietnam).”

        Why is it important to set the record straight on this? Because liberals continue to attempt to hoodwink conservatives into supporting deficit reduction plans along the lines of tit for tat. “We’ll cut spending if you raise taxes.” Looking to history, though, conservatives should be wary of this feint.

        Reagan was offered such a deal (a 3-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases) in 1982, and it’s the reason he reluctantly agreed to the largest tax increase of his presidency, the “Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982.“ The Democratic Congress then promptly proceeded to ignore the planned spending cuts. George H.W. Bush encountered the same trick in 1990. It cost him the presidency. The same idea was tossed out last summer — and smartly rejected by the GOP.

        President Reagan deserves better than to have his legacy misrepresented. It is healthy for us to properly assess his policies. He came into office amid very difficult times, vowing to restore the American dream. Considering the full body of his work, I’d say that was a mission well accomplished.

    • Tyrone Thomas says:

      Soo right you are!
      I hope you don’t mind if i use your above comment on my United Shared Savings Network facebook page:

  2. All I can say is thank God America didn’t become a victim of Romney’s careless ambitions to completely destroy this country all for the benefit of the 1%.

    • JohnRNC says:

      Perhaps not a victim of Romney’s ambitions, but we continue to be dragged down that slope by a selfish and ignorant Conservative majority on the HoR.

      And in states like NC that went bright RED in 2012 (both houses and the governor’s office) we’re seeing the harsh reality of an unchecked conservative majority: State imposed Religion, “Rubber Stamp” regulatory Boards for things like Fracking, deep cuts in education at ALL levels (except vocational skills training)…..just for starters

      We may have a democrat in the white house, but the ultra-conservative agenda is alive and strong in the rest of the country.

    • matt says:

      You are an idiot

      • WhutHeSaid says:

        You are a greedy, ungrateful, tax-benefit-snorting deadbeat.

      • RobertCHastings says:

        She is exactly right, and the first responder to her post, JohnRNC, knows North Carolina perfectly. Both houses of the state legislature are large Republican majorities and availed themselves of the opportunity presented by the 2010 US Census to make their majority permanent. The former Republican mayor of Charlotte, NC, Pat McCrory, is well on his way to putting North Carolina at the bottom of the educational ladder and royally screwing the city he was once mayor of. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest his armpits, and yours.

      • atc333 says:

        When an individual has to call others names rather than discuss the issues being debated, he displays only his ignorance.

  3. Paul Zahn says:

    And it is the top 5% that pay 75% of all the taxes to run this Bloated Government. Meanwhile large percentages of Americans and Illegals that use most of our services pay little or no income taxes. Talk about inequality?

    • WhutHeSaid says:

      No, that wouldn’t be equality. Most taxes that Americans face are regressive, and those taxes eat up a far larger percentage of the less wealthy Americans’ income than that of the wealthier Americans. True equality would be snatching away enough money from the wealthy so that they too face hunger like many Americans, so be careful what you wish for.

      • matt says:

        Tell those hungry people to get off their asses and work! There are way to many lazy people in this country who are irresponsible. It is no ones fault but them. This is the land of opportunity. Every american citizen is supposed to go to school and get an education to prepare them for life. If the people don’t want to put the work in and want to drag this country down with them, let them be hungry!

        • WhutHeSaid says:

          Just because you are an ungrateful deadbeat who slurped up public benefits all your life doesn’t mean that anyone is going to listen to your tripe. I doubt if you know what hard work is. I want you to send me back my tax dollars that you so ungratefully slurped up over the years so that I can reinvest in a real person.

        • RobertCHastings says:

          You stupid prick! Over the past thirty years, since the Reagan presidency, the wealthy have siphoned off $30T (as in trillion) in wealth from the poor and middle classes. If you need verification of this, simply find what the spread was between how much CEO’s made in 1980 versus the pay of their subordinates compared to that spread today. It ain’t the same, numb nuts. And the tax burden for the wealthy is in fact lower than it was in the 1960’s, much lower. And all those corporations bitching about how high our corporate tax rates are and that it stifles growth need to look at themselves in the mirror. GE made billions in profits last year and, like many other international corporations operating in the US, didn’t pay a penny. The overall composite corporate rate in the US is probably in the vicinity of 5%, not the published 35%, simply corporations, unlike us, get too many checkoffs and loopholes that the middle class simply cannot take advantage of.

    • Jim Myers says:

      The so called “Flat Tax” would still have “Stealth” deductions for the extremely wealthy.


      The extremely wealthy will soon tire of paying “More” taxes than they think they should.

      Any politician who was not on board with giving them “Incentives” would find their re-election funds quickly evaporate, while their opposition would suddenly find massive “donations” to their campaigns.

    • matt says:

      Thank You. I finally find a good comment! You are right a flat tax would be fair.

      • WhutHeSaid says:

        No it wouldn’t — it would increase the burden on people in the lower income brackets and favor greedy deadbeats like you.

    • RobertCHastings says:

      Time to reform the tax system by eliminating ALL the loopholes and putting in a simple progressive system. We need to stop protecting the wealth grabbers and start protecting the country builders, the middle class.

    • atc333 says:

      Actually, it is time to go back to a real progressive tax, with rates all the way up to what they once were, considering the poor top 10% now have accumulated almost 90% of all the wealth of America, and the top 2% now own over 46% of it, up from only 8% back in 1969.

      No one is worth millions a year in salary, yet they get it, as the entrepreneurs in entertainment, sports, to name a few have discovered they can pay it, and simply charge the public. With so much money to burn, and low taxes compared to years ago, no wonder we have seen such a radical redistribution of wealth in this Nation.

      Just as the Right Wing likes to point out, Corporations only pass on their taxes to the buying public, so therefor, as the reasoning goes, Corporate America should not have to pay any higher taxes. Yet the same is true for the outlandish salaries of CEO, sports figures, entertainment figures, and many others, we the people end up paying in in the form of higher prices for everything we use, movie tickets, Sports, entertainment, you name it, we pay.and pay, and pay. When taxes were truly progressive, you did not see salaries of 5, 10, 20 million a year for sports figures, as the Fed simply taxed it and yes, redistributed it, in the form of better services and infrastructure for all. Wages were more rational, and the gross disparity of incomes we see today did not exist to the extent we see today.

      Yes, the GOP does have a lot to answer for, once they get around to acknowledging just how badly they have distorted our Nation’s economy and distribution of wealth. .

  4. David Turrentine says:

    Ronald Reagan’s dream for America was that we would become the most powerful banana republic in the world. It looks like we are well on the way.

  5. Robert P. Robertson says:

    The economic situation in France in the late 18th century and in Russia in the early 20th century was the same as we’re facing here in America today. The worn out, parochial cliche of “the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer” applies here. This desire for wealth stretches across the board because in every poor man is a rich man trying to escape. Yet, the desire for indescribable wealth is the cause of many of the historical revolutions in world history. It is the aim of the wealthy to reduce everyone, the lower, middle class, and even the upper class, into the realm of the wage slave. Why? Because the wealthy use “other” people’s money to acquire their wealth. They use our money. Only the most inventive, like a Bill Gates, earned his wealth. The lottery also has caused many to become wealthy instantly, thereby removing the transition into wealth that makes them liable for robber barons and sychophants to remove that wealth from them. However, many of the wealthy are ruthless, nasty demons who would take candy from a baby and climb upon them for more. Once in the single digit percentile, they cannibalize one another to stay there. They don’t honestly earn their wealth, they connive, ruin lives, and use other people for their wealth. Without the 99%, their wealth would dry up almost instantly. They use our labor, our tax dollars, our consumer dollars for their wealth. They understand that a fool is born every second, and like any good con-man, they use our innate desire for wealth to separate us from our money. Republicans have always been the representatives for the wealthy. The wealthy use them from the Republican desire to become wealthy, and Republicans would accept their crumbs to work to keep us all beneath them. Our problem has always been that we glorify these people. We fawn and humble ourselves before wealth. They are no different than any of us unless they have evolved the ability to metabolically convert their shit into energy so that they won’t have to sit on a toilet. But even that parochially equation is true when we consider that a rich man likes to eat, but he don’t like to shit. We need to understand that without us, they would be nothing, and they should be made to pay their fair share to help the country to move forward. They have so much money, they could do it and won’t even feel it. But if you take $5.00 from the check of a working mother or father, or take a dime from the check of somebody of SS, SSI, and Medicare, it would cause a reverbrating effect to their ability to stay above water.

    • midway54 says:

      Look out for rightwing propagandists and their dupes and yahoos on the attack. They will not tolerate dissent and criticism irrespective of historical facts against the plutocracy, because, as they have been taught, it is un-American and at worst to some, outright treason.

    • middleclasstaxpayer says:

      The ONLY one taking money from Social Security right now is Obama ($760 Billion so far) in order to fund obamacare….where are you residing, on the moon?? And NO ONE said those who receive SS benefits are not entitled to them…we all paid into SS & we all deserve to receive the benefits. I am not rich, just tired of liberals attempting to turn the many against the few. It didn’t work in Germany during WWII and it won’t work now. Get a (real) life!

  6. While the politicians have us arguing about gay marriage, abortion, illegal immigration, and legalizing marijuana, this is what is really going on behind the scenes. The super rich own the media which is why you don’t hear about this in the “news” and they own the politicians, both democrat and republican, makes no difference.

  7. Rob Rowen says:

    and still almost half of the voting public supports the party that is taking their future’s and patting them on the azz as they do it. This shows just how ignorant much of the nation truly is, and how easily manipulated they really are. Until we (the masses) realize that our social differences are independent of our survivability, we will continue to fall deeper into despair as a people.

  8. Pamby50 says:

    The other day I heard the song Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford. The song is appropriate today. Sixteen tons, what do you get. Another day older & deeper in debt. I owe my soul to the company store. The corporations & the banks are the company store. The corporations can take the jobs to cheap labor markets. The banks run the credit side. I don’t see this changing till we get rid of corporate & wall street/bank greed.

  9. RobertCHastings says:

    Do you think you could, just possibly, please, use something other than a BLOG as your authority? Blogs are under no ethical or legal obligation to print the truth or to deal in facts.

  10. guest user says:

    So what? Of course, there is no such thing as perfect and there will always be some level of corruption at all levels in ANY system, but the bottom line is that in a capitalist, free-market society, which is the only system that enables the existence of the American Dream, you are responsible for where you are on that graph and you are in complete control of changing that position if you so desire.

    I.E., free market capitalism assumes you are smart enough to make choices for yourself and you know better than anybody what is the right choice for you; and our government exists only to provide the basic framework of rules that protects your individual liberties and aims to prevent corruption as best as possible in such a limited manner as to preserve as much of your individual liberty.

    The leftist alternative to free market capitalism as mentioned in your video is socialism. And if your assumption is that people are too dumb or incapable to make proper choices for themselves for whatever reason, then a socialist government happily takes away your individual liberties and makes all your choices for you and you have no say so in the matter. There is no American Dream in this scenario, but a dictatorial nightmare.

    Communist socialism is a leftist extreme along with dictatorships, theocracies, etc. The extreme on the opposite end is anarchy – no rule of law or of any kind, survival of the fittest like in the animal kingdom. The middle ground solution is free market capitalism which institutes a basic framework of limited government rules to keep businesses in check with as much individual liberty as humanly possible. Which system would you support – leftist, anarchy or free market capitalism?

  11. VERB says:

    Why are so many jealous of the rich? They pay more taxes than all the rest of us put together. If you put the brains and sometimes sweat equity into your business and become very successful, do you want someone to take it from you? Where does it stop? If you make 4 times what I do, should you give me some? We have an obsession in this country with Robin Hood.

  12. paul says:

    In response to Terrence North above: Seriously, you believe the wealth inequality
    is due to the poor making poor choices? That is perhaps the least well informed comment i have read in years. Moreover, are you suggesting that the poor choices made by the less fortunate ones of our society are justification for the abusive immoral aggregation of wealth among such a select few. Pathetic is the nicest word i can find to express what i think of your position. But Im sure the rich appreciate you playing the role of shill for their excessive conspicuous consumption. Everyone makes poor choices, but the implications for those poor choices made by the poor are profound because the system is so diabolically skewed against them. You’re obviously in the
    twilight of your years. And perhaps even more so than you, i’ve worked my way up, literally from a janitor to the highest
    levels of the legal profession, so don’t lecture me on the value of hard
    work. you’re obviously in the twilight of your years. I feel sadness that all those years has not afforded you a greater degree of empathy and a more balanced
    perspective on our the evils of our society. What is perhaps even greater justification for regret is that you will pass
    on such false reasoning to those who may look up to you.

  13. Jon says:

    Wow what a liberal cesspool of a site.

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