How The Capital Created By American Families is Redistributed to Plutocratic Corporations

Add It Up: The Average American Family Pays $6,000 a Year in Subsidies to Big Business

That’s over and above our payments to the big companies for energy and food and housing and health care and all our tech devices. It’s $6,000 that no family would have to pay if we truly lived in a competitive but well-regulated free-market economy.

The $6,000 figure is an average, which means that low-income families are paying less. But it also means that families (households) making over $72,000 are paying more than $6,000 to the corporations.

1. $870 for Direct Subsidies and Grants to Companies

The Cato Institute estimates that the U.S. federal government spends $100 billion a year on corporate welfare. That’s an average of $870 for each one of America’s 115 million families. Cato notes that this includes “cash payments to farmers and research funds to high-tech companies, as well as indirect subsidies, such as funding for overseas promotion of specific U.S. products and industries…It does not include tax preferences or trade restrictions.”

It does include payments to 374 individuals on the plush Upper East Side of New York City, and others who own farms, including Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Ted Turner. Wealthy heir Mark Rockefeller received $342,000 to NOT farm, to allow his Idaho land to return to its natural state.

It also includes fossil fuel subsidies, which could be anywhere from $10 billion to $41 billion per year for research and development. Yet this may be substantially underestimated. The IMF reports U.S. fossil fuel subsidies of $502 billion, which would be almost $4,400 per U.S. family by taking into account “the effects of energy consumption on global warming [and] on public health through the adverse effects on local pollution.” According to Grist, even this is an underestimate.

2. $696 for Business Incentives at the State, County, and City Levels

The subsidies mentioned above are federal subsidies. A New York Times investigation found that states, counties and cities give up over $80 billion each year to companies, with beneficiaries coming from “virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.”

$80 billion a year is $696 for every U.S. family. But the Times notes that “The cost of the awards is certainly far higher.”

3. $722 for Interest Rate Subsidies for Banks

According to the Huffington Post, the “U.S. Government Essentially Gives The Banks 3 Cents Of Every Tax Dollar.” They cite research that calculates a nearly 1 percent benefit to banks when they borrow, through bonds and customer deposits and other liabilities. This amounts to a taxpayer subsidy of $83 billion, or about $722 from every American family.

The wealthiest five banks — JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs — account for three-quarters of the total subsidy. The Huffington Post article notes that without the taxpayer subsidy, those banks would not make a profit. In other words, “the profits they report are essentially transfers from taxpayers to their shareholders.”

4. $350 for Retirement Fund Bank Fees

This was a tough one to calculate. Demos reports that over a lifetime, bank fees can “cost a median-income two-earner family nearly $155,000 and consume nearly one-third of their investment returns.” Fees are well over one percent a year.

However, the Economic Policy Institute notes that the average middle-quintile retirement account is $34,981. A conservative one percent annual management fee translates to about $350 per family. This, again, is an average; many families have no retirement account. But many families pay much more than 1% in annual fees.

5. $1,268 for Overpriced Medications

According to Dean Baker, “government granted patent monopolies raise the price of prescription drugs by close to $270 billion a year compared to the free market price.” This represents an astonishing annual cost of over $2,000 to an average American family.

OECD figures on pharmaceutical expenditures reveal that Americans spend almost twice the OECD average on drugs, an additional $460 per capita. This translates to $1,268 per household.

6. $870 for Corporate Tax Subsidies

We’ve heard a lot about tax avoidance and tax breaks for the super-rich. With regard to corporations alone, the Tax Foundation has concluded that their “special tax provisions” cost taxpayers over $100 billion per year, or $870 per family. Corporate benefits include items such as Graduated Corporate Income, Inventory Property Sales, Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, Accelerated Depreciation, and Deferred taxes.

Once again, it may be even worse. Citizens for Tax Justice cite a Government Accountability Office report that calculated a loss to the Treasury of $181 billion from corporate tax expenditures. That would be almost $1,600 per family.

7. $1,231 for Revenue Losses from Corporate Tax Havens

U.S. PIRG recently reported that the average 2012 taxpayer paid an extra $1,026 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost from offshore tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals. With 138 million taxpayers (1.2 per household), that comes to $1,231 per household.

Much More Than an Insult

Overall, American families are paying an annual $6,000 subsidy to corporations that have doubled their profits and cut their taxes in half in ten years while cutting 2.9 million jobs in the U.S. and adding almost as many jobs overseas.

This is more than an insult. It’s a devastating attack on the livelihoods of tens of millions of American families. And Congress just lets it happen.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License by
Paul Buchheit   

Paul is a bright guy and maybe this time they have some solid numbers, but i generally do not trust any statistics from CATO. They are a Right-leaning libertarian think tank.

Conservatives are going to play the coming fight over the debt ceiling a few ways. One is that it is Obama’s fault for not compromising – and we all know that conservatives define compromise as giving them everything they want or they’ll throw another temper tantrumn. One other angle is that they really do not want a shut0-down, but Democrats are giving them no choice, that would also be a lie since the conservative money machine wants a shut-down, The Money Behind the Shutdown Crisis

Good ammunition in those arguments with Obamascare cons who swear the world is about to end, Obamacare explained. With maps! The curve the ACA was designed to bend is already bending

What Conservatives Believe Versus The Real Economy

Morning Meadow wallpaper

Morning Meadow wallpaper

Even before I started this blog and the Bush-Cheney administration watching conservatives try to be populists was like watching ninety-nine clowns on acid try to fit into a VW Beetle. Something has changed about such mind boggling efforts on the part of the conservative movement. The disconnect between what they say, what they believe and reality has never been greater. Conservatives can try to be on the side of the working class and complain about the pace of job creation under President Obama, even though that goes against the conservative mantra that markets are perfect and will decide how many jobs will be created. Let’s assume that have the trolls on the internet who claim to be conservative small business owners, are actually what they claim. They complain about the lack of growth, or put another way the lack of demand. Yet they shift blame to Obama, not the market, not the salary level of the average worker who cannot afford anything other than the basic necessities. The base, the tea smoking immigrant hating nativists at the bottom seem blind to the fact that hiring is slow, but executive pay and corporate profits at at historic highs. The tea smoker base cannot seem to put two and two together; the corporate elite that crashed the economy with the help of the anti-regulation wave that started under Saint Ronnie Raygun is still stronger than ever because the same tea smoking base don’t want no more stink’n regulations that might help put some of the money the plutocrats are stealing from the economy back in the tea smoker’s pockets: Some Filthy Facts about the Rich

The 400 richest Americans made $200 billion in just one year. That’s equivalent to the combined total of the federal food stamp, education, and housing budgets.First of all, who are they? Mostly the 1%. But the top 2-5% have also done quite well, increasing their inflation-adjusted wealth by 75 percent from 1983 to 2009 while average wealth went down for 80 percent of American households. The rest of the top 20% have been prosperous, realizing a 32 percent gain in inflation-adjusted wealth since 1983. The facts to follow are primarily about the richest 1%, with occasional dips into the groups scrambling to make it to the top.

1. Accumulating almost all the wealth

As evidence of the extremes between the very rich and the rest of us, the average household net worth for the top 1% in 2009 was almost $14 million, while the average household net worth for the bottom 47% was almost ZERO. For nearly half of America, average debt is about the same as average asset ownership.

The extremes are just as filthy at the global level. The richest 300 persons on earth (about a third of them in the U.S.) have more money than the poorest 3 billion people. Out of all developed and undeveloped countries with at least a quarter-million adults, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon.

2. Creating their own wealth

In another alarming testament to wealth at the top, the richest 10% own almost 90 percent of stocks excluding pensions. Consider what that means. The stock market has historically risen three times faster than the GDP itself. Since the recession, as the U.S. economy has “recovered,” 62 percent of the gain was due to growth in the stock market, which surged as much in four years as it did during the “greatest bull market in history” from 1996 to 2000.

Many stock owners see a couple thousand dollars added to their fortunes every time they go online.

But that’s not enough for the very rich. Thanks in good part to the derivatives market, the world’s wealth has doubled in ten years, from $113 trillion to $223 trillion, and is expected to reach $330 trillion by 2017. The financial industry has figured out how to double or triple its buying power while most of the world has proportionately less.

3. Taking ALL the income gains

If the richest 1% had taken the same percentage of total U.S. income in 2006 as they did in 1980, they would have taken a trillion dollars less out of the economy. Instead they tripled their share of post-tax income. And then they captured ALL the income gains in the first two years of the post-recession recovery.

4. Donating a smaller share than the poorest Americans

Two dependable sources provide pretty much the same information. Barclays reported that those with earnings in the top 20% donated on average 1.3 percent of their income, whereas those in the bottom 20% donated 3.2 percent. And according to the New York Times, the nonprofit Independent Sector found that households earning less than $25,000 a year gave away an average of 4.2 percent of their incomes, while those with earnings of more than $75,000 gave away 2.7 percent.

5. Making enough to feed 800 million people

India just approved a program to spend $4 billion a year to feed 800 million people. Half of Indian children under 5 are malnourished.

In 2012, three members of the Walton family each made over $4 billion just from stocks and other investments. So did Charles Koch, and David Koch, and Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg, and Jeff Bezos.

It’s not the obligation of any one of these individuals to feed the world. The disgrace is in the fact that our unregulated capitalist system allows such outrageous extremes to exist.

Here’s more to provoke outrage. The 400 richest Americans made $200 billion in just one year. That’s equivalent to the combined total of the federal food stamp, education, and housing budgets.

6. Taking two-thirds of a trillion dollars in subsidies

Even all that is not enough for the very rich. About two-thirds of nearly $1 trillion in individual “tax expenditures” (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes) goes to the top quintile of taxpayers. An astounding 75 percent of dividend and capital gain subsidies go to the richest 1%.

And that doesn’t include business subsidies, like the $16.8 billion per year in agricultural benefits paid out to big companies and to wealthy individuals who happen to have farms in their portfolios. The filthiest fact, in terms of detestable extremes, is that much of Congress wants to cut the $4.35 a day food benefit to hungry Americans, almost half of them children, so that money can keep flowing to the top.
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Written by Paul Buchheit.  

The Corporate Elite Are Redistributing Income To Themselves and Giving Americans The Shaft

Panorama View of Cumberland, Maryland 1906

Panorama View of Cumberland, Maryland 1906.  

Located on the Potomac River in the western part of the state, Cumberland was an important transportation hub early in the nation’s history.

In 1906 Teddy Roosevelt, the “trust buster” was president ( he would never get the tea bagger vote). It was the year of the Great San Francisco earthquake, the year Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was published and Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act ( something else that conservatives would defeat if up for a vote today).

Fighting Back Against Wretched Wages

OFTEN relegated to the background, America’s low-wage workers have been making considerable noise lately by deploying an unusual weapon — one-day strikes — to make their message heard: they’re sick and tired of earning just $8, $9, $10 an hour.

Their anger has been stoked by what they see as a glaring disconnect: their wages have flatlined, while median pay for chief executives at the nation’s top corporations jumped 16 percent last year, averaging a princely $15.1 million, according to Equilar, an executive compensation analysis firm.

Conservatives, most libertarians and some centrist Democrats have been saying for years that the reason we have to keep wages low is to be competitive – competitive to whom, Asia. That is and has been a race to the bottom for half of the U.S. The truth is slight more complicated, but not so much so that even your kool-aid drinking conservative neighbors can understand. By shipping jobs overseas and using that leverage to put downward pressure on wages, all the while taking away much of organized labor’s power, corporate dreams have come true. Corporate America is making record profits – that means they could be paying people a living wage and keeping jobs in the U.S. rather than do that, these corporations are putting massive sums of money in executive pockets and shareholders. Sure some of the middle-class gets some of that via their mutual funds – but most Americans do not benefit from this capital redistribution from workers to the wealthy. This is a good recent example of how the very wealthy are redistributing capital to themselves, A Pension Deficit Disorder: The Massive CEO Retirement Funds and Underfunded Worker Pensions at Firms Pushing Social Security Cuts

A major player in the national debt debate, the “Fix the Debt” campaign, is arguing that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are necessary to avoid economic disaster. Meanwhile, the corporations leading this campaign are contributing to Americans’ retirement insecurity by funneling enormous sums into their CEO retirement accounts while underfunding their employee pension funds.

Key findings:

* The 71 Fix the Debt CEOs who lead publicly held companies have amassed an average of $9 million in their company retirement funds. A dozen have more than $20 million in their accounts. If each of them converted their assets to an annuity when they turned 65, they would receive a monthly check for at least $110,000 for life.
* The Fix the Debt CEO with the largest pension fund is Honeywell’s David Cote, a long-time advocate of Social Security cuts. His $78 million nest egg is enough to provide a $428,000 check every month after he turns 65.
* Forty-one of the 71 companies offer employee pension funds. Of these, only two have sufficient assets in their funds to meet expected obligations. The rest have combined deficits of $103 billion, or about $2.5 billion on average. General Electric has the largest deficit in its worker pension fund, with $22 billion.

Although they have not remedied their own internal pension fund debts, the Fix the Debt CEOs say they have the solution for our national debt problems, which would include cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

In some cases, the Fix the Debt member corporations could eliminate their pension fund deficits with cash they currently have on hand. GE, for example, has more than $85 billion in liquid assets, according to their most recent 10-K report — enough to easily wipe out their $22 billion pension deficit. But rather than fixing their own internal debts, these CEOs have embarked on an aggressive effort to persuade policymakers and the public that savings from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are essential to addressing the country‘s financial challenges. While these CEOs have offered few details on how they would cut costs with these reforms, it would likely be by limiting access to these programs paid for by all working Americans and by yet again raising the retirement age.

The corporate elite tell the public we have to pay sub-living standard wages or we’ll have to rise prices. What they could do is make reasonable salaries – say in the $85k to $125k range. I just suggested some heresy – hey this is America and corporate executives have to make millions or they won’t work. Fine, quite and lets usher is a new generation of hard working ethical executives they care about workers and America. Some conservatives bloggers have linked to this story – Exclusive: Signs of declining economic security, saying this is the result of Obama’s policies. They cannot put two and two together. Corporate profits at at all time highs and wages at all time lows. These companies could hire, they could pay more, but they are hoarding the money for themselves. Not exactly secret information, so conservatives continue to be the worse informed people on the planet. Read the comments on this post – if we made proof of general economic knowledge a requirement for voting, these people would not be allowed to vote. In one crazy-funny comment, one commenter goes off on how the communists are to blame. There is a very similar cognitive dissonance between what the Conservative base thinks about ” free enterprise” corporate America and what they thought about Bush and Iraq. They could not, and still cannot bring themselves to believe that the Bush administration betrayed America and they can’t believe these flag waving, “free enterprise” talking American businesses have betrayed America for more wealth than they will ever need and certainly never earned.

Conservatism Disregards Women’s Rights and Health

Tricycle Autumn wallpaper

Tricycle Autumn wallpaper

 

This headline almost says it all about the current priorities of the conservative movement: Texas Lawmakers Too Busy Targeting Abortion Providers to Deal With Exploding Fertilizer Plants. I say almost because when they’re not protecting the right of corporations to kill their employees, they’re lying about immigration reform, still stalling financial reform and advocating the foreign policies of the same brand that cost so many lives in Iraq. I’m around quite a few conservatives and in everyday conversation i hear them express regrets about the employment situation ( they have different solutions than I do, but at least we agree there is a problem). Some of the ones that like to go fishing are still complaining about the pollution in our lakes and rivers, but still vote for people who exacerbate those problems. They complain about traffic, but don’t want to pay the higher taxes to build new over passes. Of there complaints, one thing I seldom here is the urgent national need to have more control over women’s personal health care decisions: Scott Walker Quietly Signs Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Into Law / Rick Perry To Have His Comrades Return To Passing That Draconian Abortion Bill, Says: Wendy Davis Should Be ‘Proud’ That Her Mother Didn’t Abort Her. Conservatives get all choked up thinking about the destiny of a clump of cells in someone else’s body, but actual human beings and their well being do not seem to get much sympathy or respect.

Rick Perry and Scott Walker

Rick Perry(R) and Scott Walker(R)

 

Conservative Media, Breitbart and Palin Throw Temper Tantrum on CBO Immigration Reform Facts

Concept High Speed Train wallpaper

Concept High Speed Train wallpaper

It was only a matter of time before Sarah Palin had a public meltdown,

Please take a look at the article linked below to understand how the amnesty bill the Senate passed yesterday is a sad betrayal of working class Americans of every ethnicity who will see their wages lowered and their upward mobility lowered too. And yet we still do not have a secured border. This Senate-approved amnesty bill rewards lawbreakers and won’t solve any problems – as the CBO report notes that millions of more illegal immigrants will continue to flood the U.S. in coming years.

That is the kind of incoherent rambling, mixed with an astounding lack of basic knowledge one would expect to hear from someone who never read a newspaper, a report from a respected economic policy center. Someone who has lived in a cave. But no, it is from someone that was a vice-presidential candidate just six years ago. Working class wages have been stagnant for years without an “amnesty” bills – Corporate profits hit all time high, wages hit all time low. And the middle-class has been losing ground since the 1980s.

I’m not going to do a fact by fact knock down of Palin or Breitbart’s Big Government or Breitbart’s Serial Lies and Distortions. MM has already done that, Conservative Media Misuse CBO Report To Attack Economic Benefits Of Immigration Reform. I just want to get to the effect on employment and wages, which Palin and Breitbart are so shrill about,

CBO: Wages Would Be “Slightly Lower” Over The First Decade But Higher By Next Decade. According to the CBO, the rapid increase in the numbers of workers would temporarily decrease wages but those wages would increase in the second decade of the legislation:

CBO’s central estimates also show that average wages for the entire labor force would be 0.1 percent lower in 2023 and 0.5 percent higher in 2033 under the legislation than under current law. Average wages would be slightly lower than under current law through 2024, primarily because the amount of capital available to workers would not increase as rapidly as the number of workers and because the new workers would be less skilled and have lower wages, on average, than the labor force under current law. However, the rate of return on capital would be higher under the legislation than under current law throughout the next two decades. [Congressional Budget Office, June 2013]

Real GNP Would Rise Overall By 2.4 Percent In 2023 And 4.5 Percent In 2033. According to the CBO report, real Gross National Product (GNP) could increase by as much as 4.8 percent in 2033 but would be greater by 2.4 percent in 2023 and 4.5 percent in 2033…

[  ]…Short-Term Increase In Unemployment Rate Due In Part To Immigration Reform Is Due To Expanding Workforce And Lack Of Occupations Available To Workers. According to the CBO report, the short-term increase in the unemployment rate would be in part due to the arrival of new immigrants who would not be able to fill the jobs demanded. Some workers would be forced to move into new fields in order to restore equilibrium which causes short-term unemployment. [Congressional Budget Office, June 2013]

CBO: Legislation Would Have “No Effect On Unemployment After 2020.” According to the CBO report, the immigration reform bill would have no effect on the unemployment rate after the year 2020. [Congressional Budget Office, June 2013]

One has to wonder why Breitbart links to other posts within it’s own site to back up the same fact free assertions instead of linking to the CBO report. yea but we’re going to be invaded by a wave of for’ners. Well, not really. They might represent a high of 4% of the population by 2033. So we’ll have plenty of time to adjust to the shock. Many of those people, because of immigration preferences will be high skilled workers – doctors, engineers, etc. MM also deals with the conservative lies about impact on Social Security. It is ironic that all of the consequences the Right brings up about this very modest immigration reform package passed by the Senate, that will never be passed into law anyway, are already occurring, but they can all be traced back to our crony corporate culture. Medicaid is strained because corporations like Walmart, McDonalds, Target, Applebees, and many other large companies pay such low wages and scarce health benefits. Yet, these very profitable companies are off-shoring as much as a trillion dollars in profits, Mindblowing Facts About America’s Tax-Dodging Corporations.

One last note. Conservatives especially, but some Democrats as well, have spread the myth of Reagan Democrats. This was supposedly some decisive moment in hsitory where a lot of blue-collar Democrats jumped to Right of center. Palin uses that myth in her FaceBook meltdown. It is myth Sarah, just like Game of Thrones is not real.

Conservative economics has redistributed income to the already wealthy and powerful

Spring Sunset wallpaper

Spring Sunset wallpaper

 

If Companies Are People…

HERE’S an idea: why not tax corporations as if they were natural persons, in accordance with their newly discovered rights of free speech? That move would solve any impending fiscal crisis.

Indeed, we used to do just that. For most of the 1950s, corporate income at large companies was taxed at 52 percent, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. The federal government, meanwhile, collected about a third of its revenues from this source. Today, thanks largely to the “reforms” ushered in by President Ronald Reagan, the ostensible tax rate on corporate income is no higher than 35 percent — and the corporate-tax share of federal revenue has fallen to about 9 percent.

….So, by slashing corporate income taxes and forcing a new reliance on payroll taxes to finance government spending, we have redistributed income to the already wealthy and powerful. Our tax system has actually fostered inequality.

James Pethokoukis writing at the far Right National Review, who is also either an idiot or skipped his arithmetic classes, writes,

The Reagan tax cuts freed the economy from that trap and contributed greatly to a generation-long boom in the U.S., one that also led to a global tax-cutting craze.

Even Saint Ronnie saw that he cut taxes too much and proceeded to sign four tax increases into law. The economy did not pick up real steam again until that tax increaser Bill Clinton was in office for a couple years. Pethokoukis continues

But conservatives need to pick their battles intelligently. It will be exceedingly difficult for the U.S. to maintain the average post–World War II tax burden given the aging of American society and the necessity of remaining a global military superpower. Rates won’t be returning to the Coolidge-era levels that the House GOP continues to push for. Instead, better to push for changes to make the code more pro-investment by reducing corporate tax rates (and eliminating crony-capitalist loopholes) and more pro-family by creating an expanded child tax credit to offset income and payroll taxes.

I really don’t know what Pethokoukis’s problem is. Would it be hard to believe that he is on wing-nut welfare at the American Enterprise Institute, where he is considered an expert on tax and economic policy. Under those pre-Reagan sky high tax years from WW II through the 1970s the U.S. had it’s greatest economic expansion.

U.S. economic growth greatest before Reagan and the far Right tax revolution

Note the sudden dip in the 1980s. That is when economic growth for most Americans really started to level off or go down.

 A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality

The years from the end of World War II into the 1970s were ones of substantial economic growth and broadly shared prosperity.

Incomes grew rapidly and at roughly the same rate up and down the income ladder, roughly doubling in inflation-adjusted terms between the late 1940s and early 1970s.

The income gap between those high up the income ladder and those on the middle and lower rungs — while substantial — did not change much during this period.

Exactly how low do taxes have to go to produce this economic growth that Main Street regular Americans get the benefits. Some of those average Americans are the ones are the ones conservatives get ginned up on cultural issues and gun safety to keep voting against their own best interests. This is a strange finding from Gallup, Fewer Americans Now View Their Income Taxes as Fair

This Tax Day, 55% of Americans regard the income taxes they have to pay as fair, the lowest percentage Gallup has measured since 2001.

One can blame the media and public officials to some degree. Both are supposed to keep the public informed about civic information such as taxes. Though the public has to takes the lion’s share of the blame for not making an effort to stay informed and let themselves be given the impression that their tax rate is unfair. This goes back to the National Review and the attempt to make people believe that if everyone paid five dollars a year in taxes we’d all be driving gold plated Cadillacs. Impressions, the general noise of the conservative media or what someone repeats around the water-cooler aside, the truth is that taxes are very low for everyone, Federal Income Taxes on Middle-Income Families Remain Near Historic Lows

Federal taxes on middle-income Americans are near historic lows,[1] according to the latest available data.  That’s true both for federal income taxes and total federal taxes.[2]

Income taxes:  A family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 5.3 percent of its 2013 income in federal income taxes next year, according to a new analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC).[3]  Average income tax rates for these typical families have been lower during the Bush and Obama Administrations than at any time since the 1950s (see Figure 1).  As discussed below, 2009 and 2010 were particularly low because of the temporary Making Work Pay Tax Credit.
Overall federal taxes:  Overall federal taxes — which include income, payroll, and excise taxes, and imputed corporate taxes — on middle-income households in 2009 were at their lowest levels in decades, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

And those corporations who the far Right keeps saying are suffering from a terrible tax burden, they have it easier than ever, Corporate Taxes As Percentage Of Profits Now Lowest In Decades.

 

Bass and Sax Jazz wallpaper – How Fast Food Corporations Degrade Workers and Capitalism

Bass and Sax Jazz wallpaper

Bass and Sax Jazz wallpaper

 

How America’s Fast Food Industry Makes a Quick Buck

One of the catch phrases used by striking workers was “we cannot survive on seven twenty-five,” a reference to the insulting $7.25 average hourly wage most fast food workers in New York get paid. This paltry sum, which adds up to less than $300 pre tax for a 40-hour week, would not amount to a living wage anywhere in the country, and doesn’t even come close in New York, one of the most expensive of cities in the US to live in. That is the federal minimum wage, however – and it’s not hard to imagine that employees would be paid even less than $7.25 an hour if their bosses could get away with it.

One striking worker, Joseph Barrera, who works for TacoBell, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that when he started working at the chain, at the age of 15, he was paid $7.15 an hour. Six years later, as a supervisor, his pay has increased to $7.25 an hour, a ten cents raise. If you’re finding it hard to imagine how Barrera makes it through the month on such meager wages, that’s because he can’t. He says he often has to skip meals or walk to work because he can’t afford the subway fare and he hasn’t bought clothes in years. He’d like to be able to get married and start a family, but doing so on his full-time supervisor’s salary is impossible.

Treating an employee this badly might be excusable if the company that hired him was struggling for survival, but this is far from the case. Yum Brands Inc, which owns Taco Bell, as well as KFC and Pizza Hut, proudly boasts on its website an EPS growth of 13% in 2012, an increased dividend for shareholders of 18%, and a net income of $1.6bn. Rival fast food companies like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are all doing similarly well: according to Business Wire, fast food is one of the fastest growing industries, thanks to a competitive cost advantage.

If someone was feeding their pet just barely enough to survive most people would be outraged, yet if a similar standard is applied to a working human being, the outrage in some quarters goes the opposite way. Corporate cronies and their apologists star yelling about capitalism and free markets if workers insist on a living wage. Or enough pay to have decent shelter, food, clothing, utilities and other basic needs. M’s Walshe uses New York as her example, but I live in what the U.S. census describes as one of the average median income areas of the country and you cannot live on your own on $10 an hour, much less $7.25. let’s get to the two most common arguments the pro corporate cronyism crowd makes. They’ll lose money or will not be able to compete. It is true that corporate executives, grossly overpaid, would need to take a pay cut, but they would still have massive incomes and their companies would still make ridiculous level profits.

Treating an employee this badly might be excusable if the company that hired him was struggling for survival, but this is far from the case. Yum Brands Inc, which owns Taco Bell, as well as KFC and Pizza Hut, proudly boasts on its website an EPS growth of 13% in 2012, an increased dividend for shareholders of 18%, and a net income of $1.6bn. Rival fast food companies like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are all doing similarly well: according to Business Wire, fast food is one of the fastest growing industries, thanks to a competitive cost advantage.

[  ]…In general, CEOs in the US earn 380 times what their average employee earns. That rather shocking disparity starts to look almost modest, however, when compared with the fast food world. In 2011, the CEO of McDonalds earned over $20m, which means he was paid nearly 1,333 times more than the average crew member or cashier, who earns around $8 an hour or less. Even if those employees were to get their wish of earning $15 an hour, the CEO would still be earning 640 times more than them.

How is it that the CEO of McD earns more than say $200k a year, about what the average top level M.D. General Practitioner makes. And maybe that CEO makes a little more with a bonus tied to, not just profit, but a list of goals that includes employee and customer satisfaction, recycling and contribution to the health and well-being of the communities where they have stores.

This apparently has only happened once before in recent history, the President allowing someone else to make the weekly presidential address, Weekly Address: Sandy Hook Victim’s Mother Calls for Commonsense Gun Responsibility Reforms. Anything that smacks of the mildest form of regulation brings out the gun lunatics. When I say lunatics I’m not talking about someone who owns a gun and is against a complete ban on guns – myself and other Democrats would join in the protest against any such measures. The commenters on that Address are, well in their own words ye shall know them as it were,

JayHog7179
Can anyone name me a piece of legislation being proposed that would have prevented the sick, disturbing tragedy of Sandy Hook?

“No free man shall ever? be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

– Thomas Jefferson

”Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

Glad you asked Mr Hog. First you should have a clue before making a comment which suggests someone is banning the possession of guns. No one has proposed that. Old slaveholder Jefferson’s quote is meaningless when used against a threat to your rights that does not exists. The Ben Franklin quote is misplaced. Gun lunatics would sell all our rights down the river in exchange for completely unregulated gun sales and possession – that would in fact be selling liberty in exchange for some delusional ideal of security. Connecticut just passed some new gun legislation that might well prevent another Newtown or maybe make for fewer casualties,

Here’s what you need to know about the law:

1. It has bipartisan support. Certainly more Democrats than Republicans supported the bill, but the vote in the state House was 105 to 44, with 40 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of Democrats voting for it. Earlier, the Senate voted with only 2 of the 22 Democrats opposing the law. Nearly half of Connecticut Senate Republicans voted for the measure.

2. It expands the state’s assault weapons ban. Connecticut already has an Assault Weapons Ban in place, but the new law will add over 100 new types of guns to the banned list. Among these is the Bushmaster AR-15 gun, which is what the Sandy Hook gunman used in his horrific killing spree. People who already own such weapons will be permitted to keep them, but must comply with new registration standards.

3. Magazine clips will be limited to 10 rounds. Connecticut’s new law will immediately ban the sale of any large-capacity magazine clips that hold more than 10 rounds. Gun owners who’ve already purchased high-capacity clips will be grandfathered in, but they register any extended clips they have, if they plan to keep them. And they can’t bring those bigger clips around with them; the new law requires that any extended magazines still on the market be used only in a private home or at a shooting range.

4. All gun and ammunition sales will require a background check. Effective immediately, every single sale of a gun or of bullets in the state of Connecticut must include a background check. Universal background checks are probably the most widely supported measure in Connecticut’s new gun law; nationally, background checks have 92 percent support.

5. Mental health isn’t left out of the equation. Not every measure in the new law intends to regulate firearms; the bill also includes expanded funding for mental health research, and allows for greater training on mental health issues for Connecticut’s teachers. The bill also creates a council in the state with the express purpose of determining how schools can be more safe, and when mental health records should block someone from being able to purchase a firearm.

If Hog or the other commenters think they must have an assault rifle and a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, might want to see a mental health professional. Just a few more comments from people who imagine themselves under siege (my comments in parenthesis),

kmain0 –   there were bodies? hard for me to say for sure as we can’t even get a? picture of Lanza in full setup entering school through the security gate.

TheGuerillapatriot –  The Bill of Rights forbade Congress from this type of legislation. In other words what the President pursues is lawlessness. I? am so sorry those kids where killed but legislation condemns my entire family to a fate far worse than on of us being hit by lighting or attacked by a madman. ( The Bill of Rights says no such thing. As a matter of fact it says in the 2nd Amendment ” well-regulated militia”).

XmXFLUXmX2 –  This is why we shouldn’t let victims and women dictate? policy. They will drive us right in to the arms of totalitarianism. ( Would that be the same totalitarianism we had from 1994 to 2004 when the Assault Weapons Ban was part of the law).

NormanSteeltheBrony –  MUH FEELINGS MUH FEELINGS! Fuck’s sake. I wish Obama? would stop using emotional propaganda and start using actual facts. ( We all wish for things. I wish you knew what a fact was and had some basic human decency)

snozzcumbers – People like her are the problem with the world, I wish death on her and all people like her.? If logical fallacies are all you can use to advance you agenda then you are bad for the world.

That gives you a fair idea of how a gun lunatic reacts to some modest gun safety legislation.