REPUBLICANS “SPREAD THE WEALTH” TO THE RICH

Thursday night’s debate triggered an incessant nattering about Obama’s use of the phrase “spread the wealth.” I find it interesting how Republicans distort the phrase and how conveniently they overlook the fact that when tax breaks are given to the wealthiest in this country by Republicans, they are, themselves, spreading the wealth.

The problem is that the spreading on the part of the Republicans is to the top of the food chain – to the 10% who already own 71% of the wealth in this country. On the other hand, the bottom 40% own less than 1% of the nation’s wealth. A Congressional Budget Office report found families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts.

Home of Paul Allen – Co-founder of Microsoft

Photo Credit: Forbes

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The study, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, also shows that tax rates for middle-income earners edged up in 2004, the most recent year for which data was available, while rates for people at the very top continued to decline.

Based on an exhaustive analysis of tax records and census data, the study reinforced the sense that, while Mr. Bush’s tax cuts reduced rates for people at every income level, they offered the biggest benefits by far to people at the very top — especially the top 1 percent of income earners.

Economists and tax analysts have long known that the biggest dollar value of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts goes to people at the very top income levels. One reason is that two of his signature measures, tax cuts on investment income and a steady reduction of estate taxes, overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest households.

The Tax Policy Center reports that the long-term effect of the 2001-2006 tax cuts on the distribution of income – note that the Center calls the tax cuts “distribution” – will depend on how they are paid for, but their immediate effect has been skewed in favor of those with high incomes.

In 2006, for example, the tax cuts were equivalent to 2.5 percent of after-tax income for the middle quintile of the income distribution compared with 4.1 percent of income for those in the top quintile. Households in the bottom quintile received a benefit of 0.3 percent of income.

For taxpayers in the top one percent, the benefits are scheduled to increase even more as additional cuts — primarily to the estate tax — phase in between now and 2010. Compared to pre-EGTRRA law, taxpayers in the top one percent will enjoy a 5.4 percent increase in after-tax income in 2006 and a 6.7 percent increase in 2010.

So, let’s get this straight – Republicans spread the wealth. The only difference is the hypocrisy of what Republicans call the spread of wealth. When Republicans spread the wealth through tax cuts and other measures that benefit the top 5% of the wealthy, they cleverly call it capitalism; when Democrats do the same thing to benefit the middle and lower classes, Republicans jump on their soap boxes and call it socialism.

Now let’s take a guess at which word will strike more fear into the heart of Americans? Nowhere to run – nowhere to hide. Republicans continue to use fear tactics.

Remember this clip where George Bush comments about his “elite” base?

Too bad many Americans are so afraid of the word socialism that they are ready to believe the lies told by John McCain and his crowd. Socialism spreads wealth, and so does capitalism. And, frankly, I am tired of the middle class getting the end of the knife that is doing the spreading.

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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18 Responses to REPUBLICANS “SPREAD THE WEALTH” TO THE RICH

  1. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    Charlotte,

    I will agree with your overall statement when you consider what you say near the end. That you are tired of being the knife blade spreading the wealth and I could not agree more.

    If you have read my posts you will not see one place where I think continuing the current income tax levels for the rich. I do not support extending them.

    However, to use social program of moving just cash is much more disturbing to me. Because it is just one new program of garbage to me.

    On my site I stepped through the tax return of someone making $20,000 with two children. I invite you to read through it.

    That is the problem we throw money at programs with no measure of success and keep doing it. We are one of the few countries in the world to do such.

    If Obama was worried about the bottom then just cut the 10% bottom rate to 0%. Move the bottom bracket up higher. Keep the money in their hands every week over sending them a big check on April 16th.

    On Collin Powell…. Here is a guy who lied about and then attempted to stonewall the My Lai Massacre investigation when he was in the Army. In the 80’s he told Larry King those kinds of things happen in war…. My ass!

    Then he lied about the WMDs in Iraq. I think many people here in the US, the UN, and world believed because he said it…. Today he says others where at fault for the false information. Considering his background he would have been able to push for second or third confirmation of the information. Yes, I agree we may not even be at war today if he would have pushed harder. He now says we did not have the troops there to make the plan work…. Dah, he had been the head of the Joint Chiefs and knows full well often the size of a force is limited by the President and his staff…. He could have quit….

    Now I urge you search Collin Powell and find the venture capitol company he now is on the board as a special member. They are a venture capitol fund company. They are going after “Green” investment as they did in the DOT COM. They made billions back then.

    Obama has already stated he is going to provides “0” capitol gains on companies doing “Green” business for the next two years. That means these companies need to be already running and up to speed to sale off in the next two years with a capitol gain. Think of the billions they could make on doing an IPO of one of their venture capitol companies they own, with no capitol gains.

    Obama has also stated he will give grants and additional tax breaks for start up companies doing “GREEN!”
    This turns like a perfect plan for the company Powell represents….

    Hay, I am for green as it is a must for economic and environmental reasons. But there is no doubt this “endorsement” has more to do Powell’s company then you and me.

    As for Warren Buffet…. He just purchased insurance for his 4 billion dollar investment in Israel. Insurance that Obama will not muck it up.

    What is interesting both guys said they would not campaign for Obama or be doing anything past saying they supported him….

    Sadly as you and I both know, follow the money and you often find the truth….

  2. preservetherepublic says:

    How many people would be happy if their child had a teacher who lowered their child’s grade for no reason and gave their points to another student so they could pass? Let’s say they have a teacher named Mr. Obama who lowered their child’s A+ to a B- and then raised another child’s grade from a D- to a C+. Would that be fair even if the D- child worked harder than the A+ child? The A+ child woulf be penalized for success and the D- student still wouldn’t know how to succeed. We have to teach people how to succeed. Throwing money to them won’t help them for long if at all.

    I don’t know about you, but I never got a job from a poor person. The top income tier already pays the vast majority of the tax bill. How much more should they carry? I have a business that is on the border of passing the Obama threshold. I didn’t get there with a gov’t handout and I certainly don’t want to have to give one to anyone else. It is more effecive to cut taxes on the top tier because they create the jobs. We can’t afford for corporations to move overseas because taxes are lower than in the U.S. That is what will happen.

    The biggest problem I have with Obama is that he is promising a tax cut for 95% of Americans. That sounds great except that near 35% of Americans don’t pay taxes. That means that 35% of Americans will be getting a welfare check. I appreciate that people want to help the poor and middle class, but this isn’t the way to do it.

  3. To those of you who are posting the Kevin Knuth fake site, your comments are being removed. I don’t know what your point is, but I am not going to perpetuate your scam.

  4. J.Q.

    I guess I don’t see a tax cut as a social program. That is what Obama has said he would do for 95% of us.

    I have a hard time seeing how tax breaks for the rich are considered just hunky dory and tax breaks for the rest of us are considered socialism.

  5. Preservetherepublic:

    Tax breaks are not taking money from the wealthy and giving it to the poor. This whole rob from the rich and give to the poor is a red herring.

    Tax breaks are given all the time – mostly to the top 5%-10% of taxpayers.

    As to your example of using grades, let’s reverse your example – suppose the teacher thought that another student deserved a higher grade so that student could lead the class better. The teacher then proceeded to pull points from other students to give the soon-to-be leader a better incentive.

    Pulling the points from other students then lowered their grades even though they worked hard to get their original grades. The newly-anointed leader did a pretty good job, so the teacher continued to pull points from the other students. Pretty soon the points were concentrated at the top and the other students – try as hard as they might – just couldn’t keep up and were failing.

    The top tier pays the most in taxes because they own the most wealth, but their tax rates continue to decline while the middle class’s continue to increase. Comparing the percentage of taxes paid to the tax rate level is comparing apples to oranges.

  6. preservetherepublic says:

    That is not so. The National Center for Policy Analysis reported that Bush has actually done the opposite. You can find the report at http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=prnw.20080121.DC12012&show_article=1&catnum=3. They found that the Bush tax cuts did the following three things:

    “– The top 1 percent of income earners pay more than one in every three dollars the IRS collects in taxes. From 1986 to 2004, the total share of the income tax burden paid by the top 1 percent of earners grew from 25.8 percent to 36.9 percent, while the total share of the tax burden paid by the bottom half of earners fell from 6.5 percent to only 3.3 percent.

    — During the same period, the percentage of income the top 1 percent of tax filers paid in federal income taxes rose from 18.3 percent to 19.6 percent. By contrast, the percentage of income the bottom fifth of tax filers paid in federal income taxes dropped from 0.4 percent to zero.

    — The income share of the top 1 percent rose 7.7 percentage points, from 11.3 percent to 19 percent, while their income tax burden rose even more, by 11 percentage points, from 26 percent to 37 percent.”

    The top tiers have seen a reduction in their after tax income. The bottom tiers have seen a raise. Obama is actually more like Bush than McCain. We need a Libertarian in office actually. They are the only ones who get it. However, Barr was a poor choice. Obama is going to raise taxes on businesses making over $250,000. That is going to cause unemployment to rise. You can’t create jobs from the bottom up. Ask Europe with it’s 12% unemployment rate. We don’t need to follow their example.

  7. All you have to do is go to the Congressional Budget office and read its report.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/washington/08tax.html

    Sorry, call it what you want, but I think there is something fundamentally wrong when the richest 1% of households owns almost 40% of the wealth, and the top 20% owns over 80% of the wealth.

  8. preservetherepublic says:

    So, individually do you believe that most people who achieve wealth have done nothing to deserve it? There are so many people in this country who have gone from rags to riches (I am on my way) for me to believe that there isn’t opportunity for anyone to do it. I grew up very poor and was below the poverty line myself just a few years ago. I started my own web business off of nothing and climbed my way out of it. However, I only say that I was poor by American standards. Even our homeless have it good compared to most countries in the world, especially ones with socialist governments. We can’t all be rich, but we all have the opportunity to succeed and fail. Show me a successful rich person and I will show you someone who has failed 1,000 times before doing something right. We quit teaching persistance in this country. Instead, we teach a victim mentality. When I was poor, it was my own fault. I could have blamed in on my parents that I was born in poverty, but it would have been my own fault for remaining there if I hadn’t done something to get out of poverty. I never felt like anybody owed me anything. I was envious of what other people had, but I never felt entitled to what they had. We like to take the examples of a few people who stepped on people to get where they are. Most “rich” people got there onestly through hard work and a little luck too. Why do we have to punish people for being successful? Why do we have to demonize them?

    Answer me one more question. Have you ever got a job from a poor person?

  9. Judith says:

    Preservetherepublic,

    Do you think you could have achieved the success you have without the structure of our country? Do the copyright protections help you? Do laws that guarantee the right to free speech and other freedoms help you to succeed? Does the fact that you were able to compete even thought you were once in the lower income group–not allowed in many countries. Were you able to get a good deucation? Do communication and transportation avenues contribute? Are you protected by our military strength? How much do you owe to our country for all YOU have been able to do?

    My uncle, a millionaire, often said he was glad to pay taxes, for it meant he made a lot of money! And he fought in World War II to be able to have the freedoms necessary!

    As for poor people providing jobs–you are a good example of one, you received an education provided for the poor and the rich in America. And many jobs created are in the penal system for people who do not believe they can succeed.

  10. john b. kalb says:

    Charlotte: The 95% that will get a “tax cut” includes 40 % that pay NO Income tax! As a retired person, I am in this 40% group. I WILL NOT SEE A CENT IN A TAX CUT except when Obama follows the lead of our present House & Senate and works out a “give-away” like the $600 that my wife and I received in the stupid give-away this year! My kids, my grandkids AND YOUR four sons, their mates plus your five granddaughters and four grandsons will be paying for this with compound interest!!!! Washington gets all their dollars from the taxpayers of our country – and they are mortgageing the future of our country – KILLING THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGG!!

  11. Preserve:

    I didn’t say that they hadn’t done anything to deserve it. We are talking about tax cuts which benefit the wealthy more than any other class in our society.

    How is it you think that giving 95% of the taxpayers is punishing the rich? I believe the middle to low income have been punished because we don’t own a business. I work 50-55 hours a week, but I don’t own a business. Are you saying that I don’t deserve a tax cut so that I can also afford a little more?

    Logically, if the middle class gets a tax break, won’t that lead to more money coming in? And more money coming in means that perhaps more money will be spent in the economy?

    Simple fairness. Owning a business is a great experience – my family owned a grocery business for 30 years, so I know the trials and tribulations of having a business.

    Just because someone starts a business doesn’t mean that he or she or they are entitled to tax cuts.

    As to getting a job from a poor person, I guess it depends on what you mean by poor. My parents were poor – the family joke was that the wolf was at the door. When I was little I was scared to death, especially at night because I thought there really was a wolf at the door. I later learned that was their way of saying they were broke – poor.

    But Mom and Dad employed a small workforce at our family grocery store, so I think you need to define your notion of poor. We lived from week to week, yet we gave credit to those who couldn’t afford to buy groceries until the next pay check.

    We had just enough to get by. So I have been on both sides of the fence – owning a family business and working for others.

    I guess I still don’t understand how giving tax breaks to the wealthy is considered capitalism yet giving tax breaks to the middle class is considered socialism.

  12. John:

    They are also saddling future generations by bailing out the giants on Wall Street. We bail out Wall Street, we partially nationalize some of the banks, we spend $10 billion a month in Iraq, yet it is wrong to give a tax break to the middle and low income classes?

    I may not get anything either or very little at the least.

    It is time for the middle class to stop getting smacked down and take some initiative and demand that it receive something for its hard work.

  13. Ice ironman says:

    lkj;klj

  14. Ice ironman says:

    The eat the rich, republicans suck, bush evil, everyone is entitled to a home, healthcare is a right, death penalty bad, abortion good, Obama is a savior, Palin eats baby whales for desert after the main course of helicopter shot wolf, racist republican agenda, GO BIG GOVT, Pay people to live in this country,
    I could actually feel myself dumbing down in these conversations. Look to history to see where the country will go. No arguing needed.
    How did Hawaii’s healthcare for all work out?
    Where do companies go when taxed more?
    Where do rich people hide their money when taxes go even higher?
    What happens when everyone gets a house?
    What happens when the govt is in charge of education?
    What happens when the govt is in charge of social security?
    What happens when the govt acts as a quazi company owner (Mac mae)?

    Arguing is useless at this point. If people can’t be intellectually honest, and look from the other side what is the point? We will just have to play this election.

    I can tell you one thing, if this economy goes south and I lose my job, I’m not going to Joe Six-packs house to look for employment. No, I’m going to the richest people I know and beg them to “spread” their wealth to me through odd jobs and hard work.
    I figured out it isn’t about democrat or Republican, it’s about what America is about and stands for. Both parties have sold us out and we sit around arguing about how Sarah hates wildlife. I’m pretty sure Mtv is going to air a new show called “Pimp my County” starring dems vs repubs. They argue about using a hatchet of scalpel, BS, we need a bulldozer. What is funny is that if Obama gets in, he can’t do the healthcare thing. All of that money went to buying homes for everyone.

  15. Clint:

    The bailout didn’t go to buying homes for everyone. The bailout went to the Wall Street corporations and their wonderful CEOs, etc. who didn’t manage themselves.

    By the way, only 5% of home are in foreclosure. I will ask this again – why did 5% of home mortgage failures lead to a bailout?

    Stupid. The Wall Street firms should have been allowed to fail. And I will say this again, no one bails out the little business owner when he or she fails.

    And, you are right, Obama won’t be able to do a lot for this country – no one will because Wall Street sucked the life out of everything. Bush ruined the finances of this country and now the bailout has ruined the foreseeable future.

  16. Judith says:

    I was once part of a wonderful quilting guild. Part of each meeting was sharing of quilts we had made. One lady made beautiful queen and king sized quilts. She often had a new one to share, to comments of “How beautiful,” and “What good quilting skills you have.” One time she got the question of what she did with all of her remarkable quilts. Her reply, “I keep them all in my closet. My family will just have to wait until I die to fight over them.” My immediate thought was–HOW SAD!”

    In today’s JG, 62-year-old Thomas Jacoby of Woodbridge, Ohio is quoted, “I make over $250,000 a year, between my wife and I. I don’t want to share it with anybody.” HOW SAD!

    The columnist, Ruth Marcus, then quotes Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing “Government is fundamentally about sharing for the common good. Taxes are the price of a civilized society.”

  17. Ice ironman says:

    I see you cant get over the repub vs dem thing. I have, I realize that banks loaned money they never intended to service- they just passed the note to gse mac and mae. But thats ok, you keep telling yourself that bush did all of this and greed wall street. Honesty is needed here for answers so this crap doesnt happen again.
    The bailout is covering what is coming.
    I like your attitude on on 5% being forclosed. One month ago this would have been bushs evilness coming out now its ONLY 5%. 5% will grow to 10%. Barney Frank said in July that mac and mae were just fine. How do you explain this, notice I didnt say Barney Frank (D).

  18. Clint:

    If you have been following my comments, you would have picked up on the fact that I have never favored the bailout. I haven’t changed my position on that. I also never said anything about Bush and his evilness – but if you want to put it that way, fine.

    I have said before, I don’t understand why 5% in failed mortgages has led to all of a sudden a collapse of the system. Something doesn’t smell right.

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