Since 1980 the economy has doubled in size, yet adjusted for inflation, most wages have barely increased. So…Where did all the money go?
Almost all of it went to the super rich. The top 1% used to take home 10% of the nation’s total income, now they take home more than 20%.The super-rich have 40% of the nation’s entire wealth.
With wealth, comes political power-especially power to lower their tax rate. Pre- 1980, the top tax rate was 70%, now it’s less than 35%. Much of the super rich’s income is capital gains on which they pay 15%.
Tax revenues are less than 15% of total revenue creating: the deficit, overcrowded schools, roads sacrificed, limited library hours, firehouses and senior centers closing, cuts in senior and youth programs and much more.
Instead of joining together for jobs and wages, many workers are scared and are competing for jobs and wages. Union vs. non-union, private vs. public, native born vs. immigrant.
The middle class can no longer borrow as before, nor do we have the purchasing power to get the economy growing, which means… the only way to grow a strong economy is to keep a strong middle class. (edited from Robert B. Reich)
So…where can we get $$$? - $4.7 billion?
· Ending subsidies to the big five banks
· Closing hedge fund loopholes
· Cutting NYC contracts to the big six banks
· Demanding the electronic mortgage recording system pay owed fees
· Taxing the super rich
· Taking 1/3 of our $3 billion surplus for services
· Restoring the commuter tax and establishing a progressive one
· Taxing insurance companies as all other businesses are taxed
(Suggestions from the Independent Budget Office, The May 12 Coalition).