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Posts Tagged ‘Wealth transfer

Ten Years of the Bush Tax Cuts Benefiting the Rich

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June 6, 2011  OurFuture.org   

On June 7, 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, the first of two “Bush tax cuts.” That measure reduced the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, and reduced capital gains and estate taxes. In the 10 years since the first Bush tax cut went into effect:

The richest Americans received the most benefit from the Bush tax cuts.

  • $520,000: The average tax cut received by the top 0.1 percent of Americans, those making more than $3 million a year. That is over 450 times the tax cut received by an average middle-class family.
  • The middle 20 percent of wage earners (making between $40,000 and $70,000) received less than 11 percent of the total Bush -era tax cuts.
  • The bottom 20 percent (making less than $20,000) received only a 1 percent share of the Bush tax cuts; 75 percent of  these low-income families saw no tax benefit at all.
  • The average middle-class family received one-eighth of the tax breaks that a family in the top 20 percent of income earners received while the average working-class family reaped less than one-hundredth of the average tax cut received by a family in the top fifth of earnings.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

The middle class has fallen behind as wealth has been transferred to those at the very top.

  • The top one percent of the population enjoyed 65 percent of the income growth between 2002 and 2007.
  • Median household income in 2009, $49,777, was 5 percent below what it was in 2009, adjusted for inflation.
  • By contrast, the nation’s top 400 taxpayers reported an average adjusted income of $108 million in 2008, 56 percent higher in real terms than in 2009.
  • In 2000, 11.3 percent of the population was in poverty. By 2009, that percentage had increased to 14.3 percent.
  • In 2000, 33.7 percent of the population earned less than $35,000 a year (in 1999 dollars). In 2009, that percentage was up to 36 percent.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau; Internal Revenue Service, Emmanuel Saez, “Striking It Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States”

The Bush tax cuts did not create a jobs bonanza for middle-class workers.

  • Job growth between 2000 and 2007 was the weakest in any business cycle since the 1950s; job growth was only one-third of the rate seen between 1989 and 2000.
  • One in three manufacturing jobs has been lost (from 17.3 million to 12 million) between 2000 and 2008; one in four goods-producing jobs have been lost (from 24.6 million to 18.9 million), and 900,000 construction jobs have been lost since 2001.
  • 8 million: The number of jobs lost during the recession that started in 2008.
  • Three years is the minimum time it is projected to take to gain back the jobs lost in the recession, if the economy grows at a rate of 300,000 new jobs added a month.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic Policy Institute

The Bush tax cuts is at the root of today’s deficit problem.

  • The surplus in the fiscal 2001 federal budget was $127 billion. The 2010 budget had a budget deficit of $1.3 trillion. The long-term national debt more than doubled from $5.6 trillion in 2000 to  $13.6 trillion in 2010, mostly under Bush’s watch.
  • Federal tax receipts in 2010 were 14.9 percent of gross domestic product . In 2000 it was as high as 20 percent.

Source: Department of the Treasury, usgovernmentrevenue.com

Corporations have escaped paying their fair share as a result of the Bush tax cuts and other tax policies.

  • Twelve top corporations paid no taxes or actually received money from the IRS between 2008 and 2010. The list includes Boeing, Verizon, Dupont, Yahoo, IBM, Wells Fargo, American Electric Power, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, General Electric, Honeywell International, and United Technologies.
  • $62.4 billion was reaped in subsidies by these twelve companies over the three-year period, even as they paid no taxes on $171 billion in profits.

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice

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Wall Street Took Your House and Your Retirement, Now They’re After Your Social Security

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AFL-CIO / Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

AlterNet

Wall Street tycoon Pete Peterson wants to bring IMF-style economic insanity to the U.S. The scary part? He might get away with it.

March 5, 2010 |   By Ellen Hodgson Brown

In addition to mandatory private health insurance premiums, we may soon be hit with a “mandatory savings” tax and other belt-tightening measures urged by the president’s new budget task force. These radical austerity measures are not only unnecessary, but will actually make matters worse. The push for “fiscal responsibility” is based on bad economics.

When billionaires pledge a billion dollars to educate people to the evils of something, it is always good to peer closely at what they are up to. Hedge fund magnate Peter G. Peterson was formerly chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and head of the New York Federal Reserve. He is now senior chairman of Blackstone Group, which is in charge of dispersing government funds in the controversial AIG bailout, widely criticized as a government giveaway to banks. Peterson is also founder of the Peter Peterson Foundation, which has adopted the cause of imposing “fiscal responsibility” on Congress. He hired David M. Walker, former head of the Government Accounting Office, to spearhead a massive campaign to reduce the runaway federal debt, which the Peterson/Walker team blames on reckless government and consumer spending. The Foundation funded the movie “I.O.USA.” to amass popular support for their cause, which largely revolves around dismantling Social Security and Medicare benefits as a way to cut costs and return to “fiscal responsibility.”

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An Introspective Look at the Future of America: Systemic Fraud, Corruption and Financial Instability

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by Craig Harris            

Global Research, Jan. 2, 2010

As we close out 2009 and look forward into 2010 and beyond, this has been a year of near financial catastrophe and monumental change, none of which benefited America or ordinary Americans. Late in 2008 and throughout 2009, events have happened in the US which would have been labeled unfathomable just a few short years ago, and yet already these monumental changes are expected to be filed into the memory hole and Americans are expected to believe nothing has changed.

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Saving the Bankers With a Make-Believe War

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civilian casualtiesBy Peter Chamberlin

July 26, 2009 “Information Clearing House

…..The Western media leads popular opinion to sympathize with the struggling corporate raiders, in order to help orchestrate the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. The media portrays the “war of terror” as a great struggle to save civilization, even though true “civilization” (the liberation of every soul through universal human rights) has not yet evolved. The media’s one purpose it to try to encourage the “free world” to sacrifice its children in a senseless struggle to preserve the destructive forces that have made the destruction of the old order inevitable.

Emergency measures, both economic and military, have been forced upon us, to carry on a war that is destroying both freedom and democracy, while maintaining the fiction that the war defends both. The media whips popular opinion into a frenzy to build patriotic blood-lust within the mob and the desire to kill millions of strangers for crimes that our leaders swear they fully intend to commit. The Western media and the Pakistani media, like the governments which they serve, are pushing the people to a fatal war, seeking to outrun the rising mob that wants the leaders’ heads.

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Written by laudyms

July 28, 2009 at 8:44 am