Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tax the rich

Our long term debt is certainly our foremost long-term problem. Unfortunately, our appointed debt commission's report, entitled "The Moment of Truth," is an embarassing bow-down to concentrated wealth, and a slap in the face to workaday families. How can cutting taxes for corporations from 35% to 26%, and for the rich from 35% to 23%, reduce our debt?

We've not been told that the child tax credit and earned income credit will be eliminated along with the home mortgage tax deduction. Plus, gas taxes going up by 15 cents, health care benefits taxed, increased co-pays and deductibles that seniors pay for Medicare, and then they'll bludgeon Social Security by cutting benefits, slashing the COLA and raising the retirement age to 69.

We've been told,"Everything is on the table." They lie! Removing the income gap on Social Security taxes; outlawing offshore tax havens; raising the corporate tax rates; taxing foreign currency speculation; banning dynasty trusts; eliminating interest-payment deductions for corporate mergers; stopping the waste and fraud of war profiteers; raising the ridiculously low fines for environmental and safety violations; disallowing corporate tax deductions for lobbying: NOT ON THE TABLE.

Global financial speculators engage in high-rolling, computer driven, multi-trillion dollar casino-style gambling. The vast bulk of Wall Street transactions are purely speculative spins of the wheel---such as gaming: 1) foreign currency exchanges, 2) collateralized debt obligations, 3) credit default swaps, 4)crude oil/natural gas futures, and 5) farm commodity futures. The Wall Street Journal says it amounts to $700 trillion annually.

The five largest financial institutions taxpayers bailed out are 20% bigger today, control $8.6 trillion in speculative assets and are still too big to fail. Their CEOs cannot manage them nor can their regulators provide adequate oversight.

Our banking system must be structured to serve "our" national interest(s), not the insatiable self-interests of our multimillionaire bankers and billionaire speculators. We need a functional restraint on their addiction to frenzied gambling on financial nonsense, helping to stabilize our bubble-generating economy.

Who remembers from 1914 to 1932 when we had a 0.02% tax on the buying and selling of stocks? In 1932, Congress more than doubled it, to help job creation and national recovery during the Depression.

$700. x 0.02% = $1.75 trillion

This annual general coffer sum would quickly retire the debt and promote exponential growth.

The key to dealing with the national debt is that everyone--especially the financial community that has robbed the nation blind--should prepare to sacrifice.

And everything's on the table.

--Bill Arnold

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