Take The Banks To Court

A million people is all ya need

More words of wisdom
Paying for the Deficit‏
Where is the revenue coming from to help reduce the tidal waves of red ink during the massive deficit spending by Washington to bolster Wall Street greed, stimulate the economy and rescue homeowners?

The scale of federal deficit is witnessed by the new frequency with which the dollar word “trillions” is used in the news media. An adjustment of major proportions is needed. It was only ten years ago when economists projected out the Clinton’s budgetary surpluses as “as far as the eye can see.” They were scurrying to figure out how this surprising surplus was going to affect the U.S. Treasury bond market. How quaint!

So, who is going to have to pay more into the Treasury? Not the oil and gas industry whose advertised protests against removing unjustified tax breaks are saturating the radio and television stations. Not the real estate or defense industries. Certainly not the financial industry.

How about the very wealthy? Well Barack Obama is letting George W. “red-ink” Bush’s tax cuts expire. So people earning over $250,000 a year will pay more. Mr. Obama plans to give 95% of the taxpayers some tax relief. Granted the Federal Reserve is printing money big time now, in order to spend it fast.

The right-wing, commercially-funded Think-Tank establishment wants tax cuts across the board. And the Cato Institute’s fellows are also defending foreign tax havens! But most corporatists still want an even bigger military budget which already devours fifty percent of the entire federal government’s discretionary budget. Their faith is that future economic growth will dissipate deficits whose purpose ironically is to promote growth

On Capitol Hill—better described as Withering Heights during the past decade—there is little interest or fortitude to confront the revenue question.Who or what can you tax more to make a difference on the massive deficits?

For starters, close the “tax gap” which is defined as the difference between taxes owed and taxes actually paid. This amount is estimated to be $290 billion every year by the IRS. Several thousand more IRS tax collectors will pay for themselves many times over and help preserve some public sense of fairness by those Americans who regularly do pay their taxes.

This figure of $290 billion does not include the huge tax shelters and offshore tax havens harboring trillions of dollars from U.S. corporations and very wealthy Americans who do not wish to share onshore tax responsibilities. Some members of Congress, notably Senator Byron Dorgan, want legislation to bring back some revenues from these tax escapees.

Another huge source of revenue, with very little if any fallout on the average taxpayer, would be a Wall Street sales tax on speculative derivatives (not stocks or bonds). With an estimated $500 trillion traded in such bets on bets or bets on debts last year, a 1/10th of 1% sales tax could bring in $500 billion yearly.

Consumers pay sales taxes in most states of 5 to 7 percent on necessities, while Wall Street’s casino gamblers buy trillions of dollars in derivatives and pay no sales tax. Unfair! Also such a transaction tax will help tamp down wild and destabilizing speculation, which has already pushed our economy to its knees.

A carbon tax would be another important source of revenue to keep the deficit lower and provide incentives to shift faster to energy efficiency and renewable energy such as various kinds of solar and geothermal.

There are other activities that our society as a whole would rather see diminished that can be subjected to increasing taxes. These could include the addictive and gambling industries and anti-social behavior such as corporate crime and fraud. Note that companies do not hesitate imposing “penalties” on consumers for far lesser infractions of their private, one-sided, fine print credit card and other form contracts.

Of course another $300 billion could come to the Treasury if Congress just restored the tax rates on corporate profits that were paid in the relatively prosperous nineteen sixties.

Then there is the reasonable argument that if taxes on “unearned income”—that is dividends and capital gains on investments—should never be lower than the tax on “earned income” by human labor. Well, today, taxes on the former—capital gains and dividends—can be half the rate as income taxes on work. Bringing them closer together could raise more revenue or bring down worker taxes in the process.

With huge deficits coming on like fiscal tornados for future repayment, Congress and President Obama have to face the music and stop dodging the question as to when they are going to be paid for and by whom?

Otherwise bankrupt corporate capitalism may be on its way to bankrupting its savior—Washington socialism!
Ralph Nader

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3 Comments

Filed under business, congress, great Ideas, justice, media, News, politics, psychology, science and technology, social epistemology, SPREAD IT!, take back your country

3 responses to “Take The Banks To Court

  1. A FINANCIAL REVOLUTION PART VIII

    A Modern day “Boston Tea Party”, Americans all over America are in disbelief over American politicians’ inability to understand basic concepts. “For the people by the people” our framers mantra has somehow gotten lost in America’s ever yielding quest for capital. American people can you hear… “Last week there were protests and demonstrations “tea parties” by taxpayers in cities all around the country who are beginning to object in increasing numbers to runaway government spending, taxes, bailouts and our growing national debt.”

    The United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity—has to go back to the philosophies of why our country was created, to re-establish the rules of our Constitution for the sake of preserving what is most important for the long term survival of the United States of America, the people. Welcome to the United States of China, India, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The wizards of Government and Wall Street, through their greed and corrupt practices, have given us the people very few options: risk destitution (living in tent cities)–homelessness, starvation, and a lifetime of misery or save ourselves. We’ve chosen to save. To save, save, save ourselves. NO MORE TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. This is what the internet is all about! Citizens of America: read this and keep it circulating, then mass email it to the White House. Add your voice, comment or statement; this is our petition that will supersede our government’s bad policies and their policy pushing teams—the lobbyist. Our actions, unity, & collective will, are going to force change. “Our protests are called tea parties American people keeping throwing them–for it is, for the people, by the people, and, we are too big to fail.” “It is time for us to take back our country and restore the focus on humanity not money or lending, stage more Tea Parties”.

    It’s a shame that once again the US has a President who only looks after the interests of the middle and upper class and ignores the poor and homeless people. The President’s response to the question in regard to this tragedy “our own citizens living in tent cities” was really lame, detached and evasive. At his little press conference thing the other night whatever it really was…

    They, WALL STREET & THE GOVERNMENT, take our money, use it, and then lend it back to us so we can pay the banks back with interest on our money we originally lent to them. While, banks make a hefty profit on it, with the aid of the White House and congress giving them their full support to continue onto the fleecing of the people, us. We, the people have been all day suckers, up until now. And don’t forget they do their dirty deeds in back rooms behind closed doors and under the cloak of darkness were all dirty deeds are usually done. This used to be the country where each succeeding generation could look forward to a better quality of life than their parents enjoyed. Selling the American Dream concept becomes a trap used by banks and other financial gurus to enslave as many of our people as possible. OBAMA if some investors can buy MY mortgage for pennies on the dollar, why the heck can’t I?

  2. Gary

    When will the insanity, wrought by greed stop? Wall Street contributes (buys) politicians in Washington so that policies are virtually guaranteed to be made that will pay back those that contributed.

    Congress provides the funds with which they are bought.

  3. when the people say enough

    it’s your country take it back – join up with local and national groups

    did you know banks gave politicians TARP money?

    this should be huge news/ nothing yet

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