Raiding the Bank

Reihan Salam questions Paul Krugman’s assertion that our tax system isn’t all that progressive as conservatives might think. Salam writes:

But when the 60 percent of Americans are net recipients of federal benefits, is it at least possible that some are not desperately poor?

That’s a pointless question and a false dichotomy if I ever saw one. There are many different levels of poverty. A lower middle class family is no more capable of sending their children to college than someone below the poverty level due cut offs and limits on eligibility of those federal benefits.

The proper question that should be posed: What do the wealthy and their sympathizers prefer, paying the vast majority of taxes in this country or feel the wrath of the dejected public that wouldn’t be net recipients of federal benefits when they raid their mansions and bank accounts?

The United States is already far beyond a simple plutocracy (rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth); people are already seeing that what we truly have is a plutarchy (plutocracy and oligarchy [rule by a small elite segment of society]). While too stupid to realize it, the Tea Party movement is just the tip of the iceberg against this plutarchy.

The wealthy should pay the vast majority of taxes when, in fact, the wars we wage are for their benefit. I’m not speaking simply of actual military industry wars, I’m talking about everything we do in this country—every battle we wage, domestically and internationally.

Where Salam is completely incorrect is that 60 percent of Americans are recipients of federal benefits. It’s a complete fabrication. You want to know why?

Federal benefits are not limited to numbers with dollar sign prefixes. The military action we take across the world benefit American corporations more than they do the little people; the international trade rules we go by benefit American corporations more than they do the little people. Those are just two examples. The vast majority of taxes are paid by the wealthy but the vast majority of the wealthy are net recipients of the largest federal benefits of all:

  1. Protection of wealth through legislative means.
  2. Protection of wealth through policing.

The wealthy paying as much in taxes as they do pay for the social safety net that keeps the vast majority of the population healthy and complacent. As soon as the risk of living every day under the shadow of the wealthy, due to lack of reasonable access to health care and upward mobility, goes up, so does the risk of being wealthy.


One thought on “Raiding the Bank

  1. Pingback: A Stupid Tea Party

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