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Friday, December 3, 2010

You tell 'em, Bernie

This guy gets it exactly right.

Comments (18)

Thanks for posting. Unfortunately, many (perhaps majority) of Americans will discount his speech because he is a Socialist.

Why do so many American refuse to believe this distribution of wealth is NOT a problem?

Perhaps it is multi-national corporate fascism: Control of media and political parties by the billionaires. No conspiracy; but rather power/ wealth creating MORE power/ wealth.

Worthy of discussion, eh?

What does the top 1% earned 23% mean? What happened since 1970? Did the bottom 99% not increase their standard of living? What happened to the median income? Did it decline or did it go up? Do you see where I am going with this?

No. The top 1% are the top 1/100 of income earners. The bottom 25% are the bottom 25/100. The top 1/100 earned more than the bottom 25/100.

That is farookin' disgraceful.

Nice speech. But old news. What are you going to do about it?

"That is farookin' disgraceful."

Doesn't that depend on how they earned it? By providing a valuable service? Or by getting government favors? Or by ripping off people? Or Wall Street?

Where do movie and sports stars fit into this? The famous ones are certainly way way up there.


He makes some solid points amid his political posturing. It strikes me as disingenuous to call something "tax cuts for the wealthy" when it means keeping the same rates that have been in place for a decade. But that's the soundbite that is supposed to score the most points (referring to them as tax increases on the wealth does not help the cause).

Whatever the case, Sanders best point is about the federal deficit. Each party references the debt to score political points, but neither has put forward a plan to seriously confront it. Pay-Go was better than nothing, but the Dem's abandon that feeble half-measure whenever the price tag for something is too high (see unemployment extensions).

I am afraid we may be stuck in several political cycles of "chicken or the egg" debates about spending cuts vs. revenue enhancement. This could go on until we run out of credit entirely (that's when you have to run for the hills).

I think the only way to deal with this is to have a binding requirement to balance the federal budget. If Congress can't expand the debt it will have to make tough decisions that will involve concessions by both sides.

I consider myself part of the greater tea party movement and I don't think that keeping the current (Bush) tax rates in place is a higher priority than balancing the budget. However, I would not support making concessions on tax policy until there is a binding balanced budget requirement in place (via constitutional amendment).

No matter what Sander's says about "greedy billionaires buying elections" I don't think they have as much influence in the tea party movement as he portrays. I think a sizable chunk of today's tea party movement (those over 50 years old) previously backed balanced budget efforts in the 80's and 90's.

No matter what Sander's says about "greedy billionaires buying elections" I don't think they have as much influence in the tea party movement as he portrays. I think a sizable chunk of today's tea party movement (those over 50 years old) previously backed balanced budget efforts in the 80's and 90's.

I believe you are exactly right, but that doesn't support the class warfare meme and therefore is not true.

Eyes left!

"greedy billionaires buying elections"

Do you suppose he was talking of George Sorus?


What does Close cognitive dissonance mean to you?

Bernie gets it exactly wrong. The so-called Bush "tax cuts for the rich" actually gave a bigger tax cut to lower income taxpayers (15% to 10%) than for upper income taxpayers (39.6% to 35%). Even middle income tax payers, who saw a 3% reduction in their top marginal rate, saw a bigger percentage drop in their total income tax bill than did those in the top income bracket.

What Bernie doesn't get, is that the wealthy by and large, can choose when they generate income by selling appreciated assets. Lower rates provide an incentive for the wealthy to recognize income and pay the tax. That's the primary reason why the percentage of income tax paid by the top 1% of income earners has increased from 19% in 1980 to 38% in 2008, which is the most recent year for which figures are available.

Does Bernie really want to return to the halcyon days of 1980, when the bottom 75% of income earners paid 52% of the income taxes, as opposed to the less than 14% they paid in 2008?

And then there is Sen. Bob Menedez (D-NJ) who likened the current tax fight with the GOP to negotiating with terrorists.

Stay classy Senator Menedez.

What does Close cognitive dissonance mean to you?

1) The caps lock was on when you hit the "c" in "Close"???

2) You speak in parables??

3) It's the weed talkin'?

Wow Way To Go Bernie , wouldn't it be great if we had a Senator to stand up for the Middle Class ... oh yea he lives in NEW YAKK , with his millionaire lady , but hey , he gave a guest appearance this year , and surely he will visit us again in 5 years or so.
Hey Merk you are the young guy , get in there and throw some elbows. Make them filibuster all damm night , bring them pillows and K Rations , whatever they feed our Troops.


What I meant by those questions is these sorts of statistics do not mean anything by themselves. They say nothing about the real wealth or earnings of any class in the population.

All they do is show relative earnings stratification.

So what if the top 1% earns 23%? What should the earn, 1%? Even if you took that as a bad thing it says nothing about what happened to the other 99%. I have no facts or figures to back this up but my guess would be that most everyone in every class has seen a rise in their standard of living since 1970.

A more honest assessment would have included standard of living increases for all classes as a backdrop to the relative earnings stratification movements since 1970.

I wouldn't know when earnings consolidation would be considered dangerous but 23% percent to the top 1% earners doesn't seem alarming.

If you gave me the same data set I would bet that I could spin those numbers with statistics that paint a different picture.

I have no facts or figures to back this up but my guess would be that most everyone in every class has seen a rise in their standard of living since 1970.

A simple increase in the standard of living seems a pretty sad measure for equality and economic well-being. Shouldn't all people share proportionally in the US's economic gains? The wealth of our country has increased dramatically since the 1970s, but the increase in wealth has been reaped disproportionally by the wealthy.

During the recent recession, the rich have added to their income, while the middle class and poor have lost. The gap between rich and poor is the largest on record.

"The top-earning 20% of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4% of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4% earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released Census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968."

Furthermore, approximately "21 percent of children in the United States will be living below the poverty line in 2010, the highest rate in 20 years..."

Some talk show hosts like to tell us that those in the lower income brackets move up shortly. Further they claim, the stated income does not include the benefits the low income receive.



wineagin: I have no facts or figures to back this up but my guess would be that most everyone in every class has seen a rise in their standard of living since 1970.
Joey: The gap between rich and poor is the largest on record..., approximately "21 percent of children in the United States will be living below the poverty line in 2010, the highest rate in 20 years..."
JK: Are we sure we are asking the right question?

Perhaps we should try to determine what tax rate on the rich (or rates on all people) will result in the fastest/greatest increase of income for those on the bottom? If we really care about those who are less well off, then the criteria should be to do what benefits low income people, not what hurts high income people - they might not be the same thing. (Unless you believe the economy is zero sum game. Which it isn’t!)


Joey you completely missed the point. Speed does not equal velocity.


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