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“…Between 1979 and 2007, the last year before the Great Recession, median family income rose by 35 percent, while incomes for those at the 99th percentile rose by 278 percent. .”

My sister and I have decided to basically take a huge risk and try and create something out of nothing.  It’s the American way, to go out on a limb, risk all, and try to make a living.  We could stand a decent chance, if the taxes on what we want to do, wouldn’t be so high.  Or, if we stood a fighting chance by having the ultra wealthy, who can plow us over, were required to pay the same percentage.  Once upon a time, in this nation, they did, but not any more.  It’s not fair, we are told.  They are the creators, the producers, the glorious men who have created fortunes, primarily out of thin air, on paper, lying, cheating, clawing, destroying and manipulating their way to the top.  If we say anything, we’re sore-headed socialists, the losers in life.

In England, during the 15th Century, the average person, re Piers Plowman, basically had a diet without meat, because he was “poor”.  What fascinates The Pink Flamingo is the fact that the poor man’s diet is today’s vegetarian feast.

“...It is difficult to be sure what poorer people ate since the records do not give us a lot of help.  It seems likely that few were actually starving, particularly in the country where poaching rabbits and illicitly picking fruit and berries was always a possibility.  The really poor in the country or the town probably ate bread made from bean flour and wheat sievings, vegetables cooked without meat, and drank water.  The basic diet of the better-off peasant was probably grain, that is oats and barley, mostly in the form of bread and ale.  They would have had some meat, perhaps in the form of bacon, hedgerow fruits, eggs and vegetables in the form of beans, onions and leeks.  These would largely be cooked into soup and stews which uses less fuel that roasting.  Into the soup herbs such as parsley might be added.  Peas and beans were an important part of the diet.  These would probably be grown in the peasant’s garden as would cherries, apples, pears and plums.  Poaching was not unknown and fish and even deer were taken sometimes by poachers.

We do have a few clues as to what the poorer man ate in the form of descriptions in contemporary poems.  Piers Plowman in the poem of that name, not a wealthy man, is described as having in his house two green (that is fresh) cheeses, some curds and cream, an oat cake and two loaves of bran and beans, also leeks and cabbage.  He complained that he had no money to buy pullets or eggs so the vegetarian diet was not his by choice.  Shepherds in the Chester Mystery Cycle certainly ate bacon, butter and smoked ham.  Indeed they seem to have had a large and varied diet but this may be because they were being fed as part of their wages.  Food as part of wages was not uncommon, particularly on manors where peasants were required to provide help.  During the ploughing or on the days they helped to get in the harvest the lord always fed the workers in some way, providing bread and ale during the day or giving them a meal afterwards….”

This is terribly important because those who were living terribly impoverished lives, in England, during the late middle ages, actually had access to better food, and a better diet (unless they were in London) than today’s welfare leach, who must rely on food stamps for their family.  The middle class is being forced to cut back because of the rising cost of food.

Alternet

We are told that the ultra wealthy are wonderful, goodly people who will help the poor once they are kicked off of food stamps and forced to work for a living, below minimum wage if possible.  They are the leaches, the 47%, the takers – right?  Evidently the mega rich are not the givers, that’s for sure.  It’s the Randian way.

Raw Story

There is a big lie being told by the far right punditry and the Mitt Romney bunch.  They say we must not tax the big corporations and ultra wealthy because they are the ones providing all the new jobs, and spending the money to keep the country growing.

Wrong….!

Then, if anyone says anything to the contrary of Mitt Romney’s “capitalist” lie, we’re called socialist, marxist, and bullied into either submission or excommunicated from conservative ranks.  Like Romney said, he and his bunch don’t need any fact checking.  Right now, people like Mitt Romney are hiding at least $8 trillion in untaxed US dollars over-seas. This is money they once paid taxes on, but the fine print of the Bush Tax Cuts, which GWB did not know what there, changed what was once illegal to something now legal. The reason Mitt Romney is the darling of the Wall Street set is because he will protect their tax shelters, and further impoverish this nation.

Just think, if these people were required to pay the same 35% rate small business owners were required to pay, we could cut our national debt by at least 25% – at one time.

Who’s the patriot and who isn’t?

This is about breaking the 99.9% to protect the 0.1%.  Sorry, but that’s not democracy, that’s plutocracy.

Common Dreams

Why do we need a middle class?

“…•    A strong middle class promotes the development of human capital and a well-
educated population.
•    A strong middle class creates a stable source of demand for goods and services.
•    A strong middle class incubates the next generation of entrepreneurs.
•    A strong middle class supports inclusive political and economic institutions,
which underpin economic growth.

American Progress

Unfortunately, in this country, we are no longer a nation of the middle class.

“…Based on IRS figures, the richest 1% nearly tripled its share of America’s after-tax income from 1980 to 2006. That’s an extra trillion dollars a year. Then, in the first year after the 2008 recession, they took 93% of all the new income.

Wealth is even more skewed. The richest 10% own 83% of financial wealth, which they’ve skillfully arranged to be taxed at just 15%, ostensibly because they pump that money back into job-creating ventures. More on that misconception later.

Conservatives claim that wealth inequality has remained steady for the richest Americans. But data from Edward Wolff shows that the excess wealth was simply redistributed among the rest of the top 5%, who saw their share of America’s net worth increase by 18 percent from 1983 to 2007. It was also noted by Sam Pizzigati that much of the top-level wealth was socked away tax-free overseas,…”

You want to know how stupid we are?  As a group, conservatives have fallen for the Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Koch Brothers, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved canard that we must have the ultra wealthy to keep taxes flowing, and to provide jobs.  It’s a big fat hairy lie.

“..While corporate profits have doubled to $1.9 trillion in less than ten years, the corporate income tax rate, which for thirty years hovered around the 20-25% level, suddenly dropped to 10% after the recession. The biggest firms basically said “We’re not paying.”

That’s a half-trillion dollars a year unpaid by the very companies who have successfully convinced much of America that their tax rates are too high….”

We are a nation of plutocrats, determined to protect what they have, gain more, and prevent anyone else from creating wealth, but themselves and their little clique.

“...In 1965, U.S. corporate income taxes were 4.0 percent of our GDP, compared to 2.3 percent of GDP in other OECD countries.  But by 2009, U.S. corporate taxes had  fallen to only 1.3 percent of our GDP, while corporate income taxes of the other OECD nations collectively stood at 2.4 percent.  Many countries experienced unusually low corporate tax receipts in the last couple years due to the recession. But even when U.S. corporate taxes recently peaked in 2007 at 3.2 percent of GDP, the average for the other OECD nations was well ahead, at 3.8 percent of GDP.  In 2009, only Iceland had lower corporate
taxes as a share of GDP than the U.S. …”

CTJ

Taxes in this country are at a thirty year low – for the ultra wealthy.

“...According to a new study released today by the New American Foundation, the number of entrepreneurs per capita has dropped by 53% since 1977. And since 1991, the number of Americans who are self-employed has dropped by more than 20%. In other words, Americans who use to be able to start their own businesses are increasingly being forced to join the ranks of the working poor. That’s because our nation has forgotten how to foster an entrepreneurial class over the last thirty years. With massive tax cuts for the wealthy and for transnational corporations – the rich are getting richer and the big corporations are getting bigger. It doesn’t help that we no longer enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and have jumped head-first into so-called Free Trade either, which has given way to giant transnational corporations that small business upstarts simply can’t compete with. Not only that, we’ve destroyed the social safety net in the country, which used to give Americans a chance to take risks and try new jobs because they had a net of security to fall in if they failed. Today if they fail, they’re condemned to indefinite poverty – so no one can afford to take risks to start small businesses….”

Bloomberg

“…“Income inequality of the scale we have today is destroying our democracy,” retired American Airlines CEO Bob Crandall said in an interview. Crandall, 76, says he became so frustrated at what he sees as selfishness among his peers that he started writing a blog on his Lenovo laptop. “Anyone else willing?” he titled his first entry in August 2011, which argued that people should pay higher taxes….”

So, here’s the thing.  Why should the 1% get 93% of the income growth in this country.  The great irony of all of this is that the 1% are the real leaches of society.  They are not paying their way, but rather, living off the toll, the sweat, and the trauma of the other 99%.  It is like these are the days of Prince John, and they are the fat of the land, the cronies of the prince, forcing everyone who is not part of their little social set to give up EVERYTHING to keep them fat and happy.

Because of tax inequity the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  It’s not socialism here, but tax equity.  Once upon a time it was the hallmark of every GOP platform.  Now, it is socialism.  Why should a small business person, the kind of person who creates a good 80% of the new jobs in this country, the people really taking a risk, pay 35% in income taxes, and the mega rich skate by paying just a small percent, maybe 13%, if that much?

What to know why we have a deficit problem?  It’s the mega rich who aren’t paying for the upkeep of this nation.

Think Progress

Jonahaan Turley wrote:

“...“Many corporate leaders have noted that other OECD countries have lowered their corporate tax rates in recent years, but fail to mention that these countries have also closed corporate tax loopholes while the U.S. has expanded them. As a result, the U.S. collects less corporate taxes as a share of GDP than all but one of the 26 OECD countries for which data are available.” Citizens for Tax Justice

These same corporations make Billions and pay a lower effective tax rate than the poor of this country.  “Corporations even pay less than low-wage American workers. On their 2011 profits of $1.97 trillion, corporations paid $181 billion in federal income taxes (9%) and $40 billion in state income taxes (2%), for a total income tax burden of 11%. The poorest 20% of American citizens pay 17.4% in federal, state, and local taxes.”  Common Dreams

The numbers tell us that it is not the wealthy and big corporations that create jobs, but the middle class.  According to that same Common Dreams article linked above, “A recent study found that less than 1 percent of all entrepreneurs came from very rich or very poor backgrounds. They come from the middle class.  That deserves repeating. Entrepreneurs come from the middle class.  Not surprisingly, then, since the middle class has been depleted by the steady accumulation of wealth at the top, the number of entrepreneurs per capita has decreased 53% since 1977, and the number of self-employed Americans has decreased 20% since 1991.”

If the numbers tells us that jobs are not being created when the tax cuts for the wealthy and for large corporations are continued or even increased as has been suggested by the Right, then why should we believe those calls for continued lower taxes on the wealthy? …”

Damn, if Paul Krugman isn’t right, and Rush Limbaugh, Mitt Romney, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, Glenn Beck, FOX Tabloid News, and a whole bunch of conservative pundits aren’t a bunch of big fat liars.

TMP Headline’

“...“We’ve got to make it easier for small businesses,” Romney said. “Big business is doing fine in many places — they get the loans they need, they can deal with all the regulation.”…

“They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses,” Romney added. “But small business is getting crushed.”

The irony here, obviously, is that Romney’s acknowledging that big businesses have succeeded financially, despite the bad economy, because they use the same sort of tax avoidance strategies that have made his own tax returns such a political liability. But his tax plan would actually be a big boon to large, incumbent businesses. Romney’s proposing to transition the country to a territorial tax system, under which companies would pay no U.S. taxes on foreign earnings.

As liberal economist Dean Baker explains, that would only end tax havening in as much as big businesses wouldn’t need havens to avoid the IRS — and it would create an incentive for them to set up shop in any cheap, low-tax countries that would welcome them.

“These comments from Romney are kind of mind-boggling,” Baker said. “The story with much private equity, and it seems also with Bain, is that they know the tricks on gaming the tax code. They often buy businesses who don’t and therefore can get extra profit. I wouldn’t think that Romney would want to call attention to the way that he made his fortune, but either he doesn’t see anything shameful in it, or he doesn’t think anyone would make the connection.”

Romney’s comment made it sound like he wants to create an even playing field for big and small businesses. But his plan would make it easier for big businesses to avoid U.S. taxation than it already is….”

What about the middle class?

“...Real income for middle-income households rose by roughly 30% from 1983 to 2005, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The political left likes to blame the ebbing of union power. But nongovernment unionization fell dramatically in the 1980s and ’90s, and incomes rose.

So what does explain falling real incomes? Slow growth, yes, but another culprit has been rising prices—especially for food, gasoline, medical procedures and college tuition—that have eroded worker purchasing power. The Federal Reserve claims this is no problem because “core inflation” has been relatively contained. But core inflation excludes food and energy prices, which are two of the biggest components of consumer budgets….”

Paul Krugman addressed the delusion of the far right:

NY Times

Earlier on Wednesday, The Pink Flamingo heard yet another person harp on “shared sacrifice”.  We must, the theory is, all “sacrifice” to control this country’s debt.  That’s nice.  Let’s all share that sacrifice, please.  You know, it’s a good idea.  The problem here is the fact that the 99% of us are doing all the sacrifice, while the much admired capitalists, those at the top, are not required to sacrifice.

Why is that?

Are the mega rich more important than the rest of us?

“Shared Sacrifice” works both ways, as in tax equality.  Why should one individual pay 15% and another pay 39%?  Doesn’t make much sense, does it?  Seems to The Pink Flamingo that we need a little shared sacrifice, with EVERYONE paying the same percentage rate with the same access to the same deductions.  That’s fair.

Maybe corporations should be treated as people.  Since they legally can’t be married, then they get to pay the 39% that we singles do.  Yep, corporations should be people!  Single, over-taxed people.  No more 5% for GE, Apple, etc.  Make ‘em pay what single people pay.  You know, I like it.

Why are only We the Little People required to “sacrifice” but the mega rich are not.  What happened to the idea that this country was about equality, fairness, where everyone has a fair shake?  Oh, wait, that is not longer popular.  Sentiment like that is now considered socialist.  Conservative and capitalist is all about defending the 1%, period.

If one doesn’t defend the 1% you are evil.  You want to bring down the country, prevent the creation of new jobs, and just plain old Un American!  If any of us dare call down the far right, demand they treat everyone the same, then there’s something wrong with us.

Mitt Romney and his supporters wax apoplectic when discussing taxes. If anyone dares challenge the fact that the billionaires must be protected with lower tax rates – because they are, we are told, the producers, then we are socialists, the 47%, the leaches, the real underbelly of society.

Taxes are wrong when We the Little People are the ones supporting the 1%, who pay practically nothing.

If you think The Pink Flamingo is against wealth, you are out of your mind. What I am against is tax inequity. I am against anyone who is not paying the same as anyone else.  There should be a minimum where people who make below a certain amount should not pay taxes.  Then, EVERYONE else gets the same deductions, pays the same rate.

We can’t do that, because that is raising taxes on the rich, singling them out to pay more than their fair share.  And – that is what is destroying this nation.  They are not paying anything near their equitable share.  If they were, the Mitt Romneys, the Koch Brothers, etc. etc. ad nauseum, would be paying the same thing that everyone else is.  If they don’t, we are going to lose our country.  We will all become their serfs.  When this happens, and people get sick and tired of it, that’s when the country is destroyed.

Once upon a time, this nation was founded on the ideals that everyone was created equal – in every way.  Forget that.  The vile irony of it all, is the very individuals who worship at the altar of the founding fathers, turning them into gods, are the very ones who refuse to even comprehend what equal means.

You want shared sacrifice.  Fine.  Let Mitt Romney pay the same rate every other small business person pays.  It’s a start.  And, if he’s elected, it isn’t going to happen.

 

 

 

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  • unknown jane

    A Catholic blogger uses a term I’ve grown to love: The Thing that Now Calls Itself Conservatism.
    He rarely if ever uses “conservative” or “republican” anymore, and I’ve noticed that he qualifies “capitalism” now too (which is very correct — because what we have is corporatism, which is shaping up to be a form of economic fascist socialism rather than actual free market capitalism).

    I think he is on to something. I’ve always said that any “liberal” who doesn’t espouse actual liberalism (as it is defined — which is close to what our founders envision) should not be allowed to smear the noble term (nor hide behind it, nor wrap themselves up in it).

    Unfortunately, it was a mistake not to also do that with the term “conservative” — these people are not; they are socialists/fascists just as much as those ersatz liberals are. They just want it to take a slightly different form and (most especially) reward a different group, but they are the same underneath their sheep’s clothing.

    And if you are a person of faith, then the only solace you have is “Revenge is mine, and I will repay them in due time, that their foot may slip”.
    They will eventually slip, but unfortunately they will take many innocent lives with them — it would be better if we as a people could stop them in their tracks, but I don’t know if that’s possible anymore.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    I like the idea of using “Corporatism”, instead of Capitalism!

    SJR

  • unknown jane

    Well, that’s courtesy of some of the libertarians — I don’t agree with them on all things, but that one I think they pegged it.
    What we are seeing isn’t capitalism — it’s corporate fascist socialism. And irony of ironies, these fellows hero de jure, Ayn Rand, would likely hate their guts on that score: deranged nutcase that she was, even she grasped the concept of capitalism must needs be tied to the actual manufacture of something of tangible value to society, and that the worker should be given his due recompense for his work — and if not, then he was not the leech, but leeched upon (the complete clustermuck she then made of the concept of the social contract and individual rights/dignity of man not withstanding: the sad fact is that even crazy Ayn was perhaps more humane and realistic in her outlook than these fellows…which is quite a telling indictment of them in my opinion).

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    That’s exactly what it is, corporate fascist socialism!

    SJR

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