All You Need Know About American Politics
All You Need Know about American Politics
Written December 7, 2010; submitted to the Daily Herald
Published in the Daily Herald December 19, 2010
This is all you really need to know about American politics.
Our income tax system is considered "progressive" because it puts the highest rates on those best able to afford it.
1. Almost all Democratic proposals are progressive.
2. Almost all Republican proposals are regressive.
Regressive proposals are those that give the wealthy disproportionately generous benefits .
A major recent debate has been over extending the Bush tax cuts to (1) only those earning $250,000 or less, or (2) include those earning more than $250,000. The former is progressive and the latter is regressive. This tells you all you need to know about the economic motivations of our two major political parties.
The super rich who fund Republican think tanks have one underlying greedy and selfish goal: to pay the least amount of tax that they can get away with. Since Ronald Reagan took over their lobbyists have seen to it that there have been very large reductions in the different forms of federal taxes that they pay and our budget deficits have skyrocketed.
Their income tax has been reduced by half (from 70% to 35%) and the tax they pay on dividends and capital gains has been reduced by over 75% (from 70% to 15%).
There are 30,000 families in the US with average annual earnings in excess of $35 million (that's super rich in my book). Dividends and capital gains used to be taxed as ordinary income at a rate of 70%. Now they get a low rate of 15%.
Using a current maximum income tax rate of 35%, these super rich get to keep $29.75 million of their $35 million. If we were to tax dividends and income as ordinary income, they would still get to keep $22.75 million. I think I could get by on that.
R. Kent Kirkwood
317 S. Edward Street
Mount Prospect, IL 60056