Scotties Toy Box

December 20, 2019

You have more income and wealth inequality today than at any time since the 1920s

Filed under: Cartoons, Criminal, Economics, Fascism, Greed, History, Memes, News, Political, Questions — Scottie @ 05:52


““We are living in a nation increasingly becoming an oligarchy, where you have a handful of billionaires who spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections and politicians. You have more income and wealth inequality today than at any time since the 1920s. We are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee healthcare for all people, which is why we need Medicare for All. We are facing an existential crisis of climate change. The issue is not old or young, male or female. The issue is working people standing up, taking on the billionaire class, and creating a government and economy that works for all- not just the 1%. ””

— Bernie Sanders, dem debate, 12.19.19


  1. Scottie, we should fix the system. Just taking wealth from some people and giving it to other people via force won’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 4, 2020 @ 11:42

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Not sure I am following you. No one has proposed taking wealth from anyone to give to anyone else. The proposals are to return the tax burden back on those that have the most ability to pay and use that tax revenue to pay for things that benefit the whole country more equitably and evenly. At no point is force a thing unless an individual is a tax cheat who gets prosecuted and sentenced for a crime. Then maybe force would come into play as who likes to sit in jail?

      I agree we should fix the system. It has been ransacked for decades. I like the tax structure that we have had in this country during its boom times which taxed both income and wealth, and marginal wealth taxes were very high. Also business taxes use to be much higher. During these times all of the country benefited and the economy was great. Unrestrained capitalism and wealth inequality actually destroys economies because the masses can not buy. Wealthy people to not support an economy, it is the mass buy and selling of goods and services which means the lower incomes need to be able to buy those goods and services. Money parked in a bank doesn’t create an economy.

      So what system would you implement? How would you fix the economy to work for as many people as possible while giving a safety net to the lower incomes? Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — April 4, 2020 @ 12:21

      • Scottie, many things could be done. I prefer to tax consumption over productivity. Having said that, I could also support the universal basic income for people on the lower end of the economic scale. Just my thoughts. The only trade-off is that the people who benefit use that for food and other basic necessities.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 4, 2020 @ 13:45

        • Hello ragnarsbhut. Interesting idea, I have not heard of the combo before. I have a problem with consumption taxes as they are regressive, meaning they hit the lower incomes much harder than the upper incomes. I do think that on upper end luxury items a consumption tax is fine, but often those have loopholes and ways to avoid while the taxes on the things lower incomes use are often very high, like the ones on alcohol. At some point taxes on the things lower incomes use and like became a way to change behavior of the workers, while there is no attempt to monitor or change the behavior of the upper incomes. It really becomes a class society with one class feeling they should dictate to the other.

          I do think it is going to become necessary to have a ubi. A livable one. Where those on it can have some basic luxuries and are not expected to eat cat food and have no entertainment.

          It is clear that life should be about more than working one self to death until we die. That is not life, it is servitude. Yang is correct that there will not be enough jobs to give everyone a 40 hour work for a living job. People will work a day or two and job share. Three people may have the same job. Some people will simply not have a job. People have to be taught to be productive when not employed and that their identities do not come from their job. It is doable and sustainable, but we have to change the mindset of unrestrained capitalism and full out greed. The poor are not poor due to a character flaw, they are poor due to the way the system is set up. That system has to change.

          It is true the lower income use any monies they get and that puts it back into the economy. The wealthy can park the money so it doesn’t circulate doing no good for anything but bragging rights.

          Mark Cuban had a really great TED talk on why he as a billionaire couldn’t keep an economy going but millions of lower income people could. He said there was only so many clothes, appliances, things alone could buy but that many people could buy many things. If you are interested please look it up.

          I do like the idea of a UBI and a consumption tax that would start at a certain high level. But I do think we still need a progressive income and wealth tax. Hugs


          Comment by Scottie — April 4, 2020 @ 16:12

          • Scottie, what parts can you agree with in my idea?

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 4, 2020 @ 16:26

            • Hello ragnarsbhut. I apologize if I was not clear. I agree with both the UBI and a progressive consumption luxury tax. Such as on things that only 20 to 30% of the population can afford. Say like on very expensive Yachts. Things that are really only for the upper incomes and yes they can afford to pay the taxes for the items. Hugs


              Comment by Scottie — April 4, 2020 @ 17:27

  2. Scottie, the UBI proposal sounds good to me if it means that we can get rid of the present welfare state. I would be fine with that as long as people who benefit did not use that to buy drugs or alcohol. Someone who wants to get into that should do it with that person’s own money. Outside of what people pay into Medicare and Social Security, they should not be obligated to subsidize other people’s demands for free stuff.


    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 6, 2020 @ 13:27

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. A lot to unpack here so let me go over it a bit at a time. First the idea of the welfare state. Have you looked at the numbers? Heck even in the last big stimulus bill only 20% went to the lower incomes and people who needed it. Businesses and corporations get most of it about 80%. In fact in every tax cut most of the money from the treasury goes to the wealthy. So the true welfare queens are business and the wealthy supported by the lower incomes. That is just the facts of the numbers. Heck the oil and gas industry was getting 20 billion a year from the US government in subsidies and now tRump wants to give them even more? Yet we must make the poor person getting $40 dollar a month to feed their child do drug testing. Plus we think we can limit what food choices they make like they are buy the most expensive stuff. The ones needing these restrictive requirements, these drug tests, are the wealthy sucking off the teat of the government.

      Forbes, yes the news source for the wealthy, reported that 99% of the money in the program was not used fraudulently. How many CEOs can we say that of. Rick Scott was leading a healthcare company that was convicted of the largest medicare fraud in history. The company had to pay $840 million in criminal fines, civil damages and penalties. Yet Scott walked away with over $330 million in bonuses along with other money. He ran for governor of Florida and then after he ran for and won a Senate seat. He is a taker so should he be drug tested and have his food items limited?

      I can see you think all money in the US treasury is your money. You gave it to that program and that person so you get to regulate their behavior. That is wrong but let’s examine how much money goes to people desperately in need. The quote is long but worth the read.

      But how much does SNAP cost?
      SNAP costs the federal government $68 billion in 2017.[4] This represents less than 2% of the federal budget ($4.2 trillion in 2017), and an average cost of around $1,600 per year per participant. Of course, actual benefits individuals receive vary greatly, and the average benefit of $1.30 per person per meal per day is by no means universal – many people receive much less.

      Because SNAP benefits are spent within the United States and cannot be saved, that investment brings economic growth along with it. In testimony before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee in 2012, Mark Zandi, founder of Moody’s, calculated that every $1.00 spent on SNAP brought about $1.71 in economic benefits.[5]

      To put this in perspective – 141,204,625 Americans paid income taxes in 2015[6]. Because of our progressive tax rate, the top 5% of taxpayers (the 7 million wealthiest Americans, those earning over $350,000 a year) cover 60% of the program’s cost. This means that SNAP cost the remaining 95% of taxpayers just $200 a year. That $200 a year led to $342 in economic growth.

      But what about Food Stamps fraud?
      Critics of the SNAP program put a lot of effort into the idea that fraud is rampant. Usually they claim that benefits are being sold, or that, in the words of one Missouri state senator, people are “purchasing filet mignons and crab legs.”[7]

      An analysis done by Forbes Magazine, however, showed that this kind of fraud is highly uncommon, putting the rate of fraud in SNAP, based on government figures, at 0.9%.

      For a government program, that is as close to nothing as you’re going to get, and compared to other government programs it is an exemplary level of integrity. Take defense for instance: An internal Pentagon report identified $25 billion a year that could be saved by the Department of Defense simply by eliminating waste.[8]

      Part of the reason that fraud is so low is that the government has been extremely thorough in prosecuting both stores and individuals who even attempt fraud. But the way SNAP works is part of it too – benefits come on electronic EBT cards with individual pin numbers, which are a real disincentive to even trying to sell benefits.

      When you add it all up it becomes clear that attacking SNAP and cutting back on food benefits for low-income families is not about creating value for taxpayers or eliminating government waste or fraud – it’s not even about promoting economic growth. Instead it’s just another step in the war on the poor that prevents families from escaping poverty.

      Let’s talk UBI. The problem with Yang’s UBI platform is it gives far less than people could live on a month, and his program required every other SSDI and SSI to be removed. No one can live on $1000 a month today. In order for a UBI to work it must be a livable income. To give people less than that only puts their care back on others who may not be able to handle the need.

      Again friend I don’t understand your free stuff reference. No one in this country or any other is totally self sufficient nor has any person of wealthy made all that themselves. That free stuff you talk about is simply letting the taxpaying dollars go to helping the largest part of the population instead of being diverted to the top income levels of the wealthy.

      History proves this. The period of this country’s history where it did the best for everyone, the wealthy and the lower incomes, was when the tax base was built on those that could best afford it. Think of the boom years of this country, then corporations shouldered the majority of the tax revenue, and the wealthy had very high marginal wealth taxes which at one point were as high as 91%. Wealthy people did not flee the country , and corporation were making money hand over fist. But the greatest thing about that tax system was it gave rise to the middle class and the wonderful improvements of our country. Such as the interstate highway system among others. Plus did you know most state colleges were free or nearly free for people in the state.

      The fact is many of the advantages our parents and grandparents had came from taxing the wealthy and the corporations. It made everything work. Then sadly greed took over. In the 1980’s Republicans in power slashed the tax burden on the ones best able to pay it, and shifted it to those least able to pay it. That has continued to today. It has lead to crumbling bridges and roads people can not drive on, it has lead to substandard schools, it has lead to the very people we need in the future to be crushed by student loan debt they can not pay. It has also nearly destroyed homeownership as a way to move up the economic ladder, as wages have stagnated since the 1970’s while costs have soared to unheard of heights.

      This is the cost of unrestrained capitalism. Left without restraint it will destroy itself, and everything it required to survive. It is the nature of the beast. Capitalism works best for everyone with rules, regulations and taxes imposed on the business and wealthy. We can see this not only in the history of the last 200 years, but the current history of the scandinavian countries. The countries with the best levels of income, peoples happiness , and of healthcare are those that mix capitalism with Social Democracy.

      Well I have put a lot of information in here. Sorry but I have had this conversation before many times, just recently with Dylan. There is a lot of misunderstandings and franky hyped up hysteria of public assistance that is just wrong. If there is anything I did not cover well or you want to talk about specifics, please let me know. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Scottie — April 6, 2020 @ 17:02

      • Scottie, here is a video for you: The young woman that Neil Cavuto had on was talking about wanting free public college, student loan debt cancellation, as well as a $15.00 an hour minimum wage. If one wants free college, get that as a reward for service to one’s country. We have become a society of snowflakes where people have never been allowed to fall on their butts and pick themselves up and learn from their mistakes. The same people who decry the issue of family heirs inheriting massive wealth from preceding generations on the basis that they are getting “free” stuff are also demanding “free” stuff for themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 6, 2020 @ 17:23

        • I’m not Scottie, but I wonder if you’d be willing to provide information on your monthly income. Something tells me it’s much more than the “snowflakes.”

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Nan — April 6, 2020 @ 17:29

          • Nan, personal income is a private matter. I will plead the 5th.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 6, 2020 @ 18:08

            • No problem. It’s just that I’ve found the ones who complain the loudest about the people who need government assistance (often simply to survive) generally have adequate income to live comfortably. Further, just because a person might make $15/hour, they aren’t putting $120 in their pocket at the end of the week.

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Nan — April 6, 2020 @ 18:18

          • Hello Nan. If I may, I think I know where they got that idea. I know you dislike videos but the woman who claimed to be a spokesperson for the group ( a group I can not find any other mention of that doesn’t come back to fox news and Cavuto ) was weirdly uninformed and dim witted. She was a caricature. She was hardly able to string sentences together and used the work “like” a lot. She clearly did not understand the points brought up by Cavuto and seem desperately trying to make the point some people have a lot more than others and for some reason that was bad. To tell the truth if it had been any more over the top I would suspect it of being an SNL skit. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 11:48

            • Scottie, it is my judgement that any person who demands free stuff and yet says that someone getting the same thing via an inheritance is undeserving of that is a hypocrite. Just my thoughts. Nan, the problem with “free” college is that it is an oxymoron. College tuition needs to be paid for somehow. Why not make the people who want to go pay for it?

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 14:48

              • Scottie, I meant to say is a hypocrite. Can you edit that part and put the word is in there?

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 14:50

                • Hello ragnarsbhut. I would gladly but I don’t see where to to do so. You spelled it the same both times? Hugs


                  Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 16:24

                  • Scottie, I meant to say is that it is my judgement that any person who demands free stuff and yet says that someone getting the same thing via an inheritance is undeserving of that is a hypocrite.” The word I forgot was is.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 16:41

                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. OK let me go back and find it and insert the word is. Hugs


                      Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 16:46

                    • Scottie, much appreciated. Typos can be profoundly irritating.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 16:50

                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Yes and we all make them. But I find that most of the time people read right past them without realising them and still get the correct message. There have been studies in this and it seems our brains can read ahead and also hold what was behind and fill in where needed. Google it, there is a really funny paragraph on line where the first time you read it you never notice the mistakes, and then after they point them out they are glaring to you. Hugs


                      Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 17:38

                    • Scottie, this is true.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 17:46

              • Hello ragnarsbhut. This is because of the way your viewing it. I did try to explain this to you in my response, bet let me try again.

                What you want to call free stuff is really taxpayer supported stuff. There now we know who pays for it. It is not free, it is paid for. Paid for by the taxpayers.

                ragnarsbhut you really can not see the difference? Let me help.

                Difference between taxpayer paid for stuff and inherited income.

                Taxpayer money is money that have been earned and then taxed as income delivering it to the government coffers.

                Inherited money is money someone else earns and slips under the table to you as income that is not taxed. Denying the government your taxed income. It is also called cheating. The Republicans have tried their best to kill it as they are the biggest benefactors even calling it a death tax which is makes you stupid if you buy it. It simply is another way the wealthy have tried to rig the system to keep them and their families more wealthy but to get the poor people to agree with them.

                Now ragnarsbhut, I did explain the free college talking point before in my reply to your earlier comment, it seems you have yet to read, but let me try again. Right now everyone paying taxes is getting different amounts for their tax paid. The wealthy are raking in big amounts of the taxpayers money in different programs that support the defence industrial complex, tax breaks, tax cuts, flat out subsites like the 20 billion a year given to the oil and gas industry. Think of what the government could do for the people, the masses, the lower incomes with just that one 20 billion a year going to wealthy fuckers who do not need it.

                ragnarsbhut are you starting to see how the game has been rigged, how we the people have turned into we the serfs who support those with a lot more money than we ever will have?

                So you want to make everyone who goes to college pay for it. That shows me you haven’t read my reply, very disappointing. As I wrote then the benefits of higher educations has made the best advances in our country’s history. Side note, societies that stop advancing education decline and die, that is history.

                Under your pay it yourself plan we can save huge amounts in the budget simply by stopping corporate welfare. Do you have any idea of how much of the tax dollars get shifted to wealthy corporations?

                Here is a sad amount from just one of the dozens of sites that came up.

                Corporate Welfare
                Corporate welfare is one manifestation of the special‐​interest spending problem. The budget contains many subsidies that aid some businesses at the expense of taxpayers and the overall economy. The government spends about $100 billion annually on corporate welfare, according to a 2012 Cato study. That amount includes direct grants and loans to companies, as well as indirect aid for industries.

                Here are some of the corporate welfare programs in the federal budget:
                • Farm subsidies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spends about $25 billion a year on an array of subsidies for farm businesses. Roughly a million farmers receive the subsidies, but the payments are tilted toward the largest producers. The largest 15 percent of farm businesses receive more than 85 percent of the subsidies. USDA data show that the average income of farm households was $134,164 in 2014, which was 77 percent higher than the average of all U.S. households.
                • Rural subsidies. The USDA subsidizes rural businesses through the Rural Housing Service, the Rural Utilities Service, and the Rural Business‐​Cooperative Service. The programs, which cost about $6 billion a year, subsidize financial institutions, housing developers, utilities, and many other types of businesses — from car washes to clam harvesters.
                • Energy subsidies. The Department of Energy spends more than $4 billion a year on subsidies for conventional and renewable energy. The subsidies include loans and grants to energy companies, and indirect business support such as industry research.
                • Small business subsidies. The Small Business Administration provides subsidized loans and loan guarantees to businesses, which costs taxpayers about $1 billion a year. Other federal agencies favor small businesses through preferential procurement rules and other methods.
                • Export subsidies. The federal government provides aid to exporters through the Department of Commerce, the Foreign Military Financing program, and the Export‐​Import Bank. The latter agency provides loan guarantees and other aid to some of the nation’s largest corporations, such as Boeing and General Electric.
                • Aviation subsidies. The federal government spends billions of dollars a year on the operation of the air traffic control system and grants to commercial airports. But reforms in Canada and Great Britain show that airports and air traffic control can be separated from the government and self‐​funded.
                • Earned income tax credit (EITC). The $70 billion EITC is usually thought of as a subsidy for low‐​income workers, but the program also subsidizes businesses. The EITC is designed to increase labor supply, but to the extent that it does, it reduces market wages for low‐​income workers. In effect, the program allows businesses to hire workers at a lower cost, with federal taxpayers picking up part of the wage bill.

                This chapter focuses on spending for corporate welfare, but the government also subsidizes businesses through other means. International trade restrictions protect certain businesses at the expense of consumers and businesses that use imported goods. And in numerous industries, regulations protect established firms from competition by creating barriers to entry.

                Another example of corporate welfare through regulation is the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires that transportation fuels contain biofuel, primarily corn‐​based ethanol. The standard is a subsidy to corn farmers and the renewable fuels industry. It costs motorists about $10 billion a year, raises food prices, and does not benefit the environment.

                I have a bunch more open pages but instead of me posting the why don’t you google corporate welfare. It will open your eyes where the money in theis wealthy country really is going. Hugs


                Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 16:22

                • Scottie, most of the people who want free stuff do not understand its long-term costs. Either to their families or to society. Let me ask you a few questions: 1: On what basis does the government have any grounds to tell someone who inherits wealth that they have very little, if any, rights to it? 2: If someone gives you a gift of your favorite cookies, who has more right to those cookies-you or the government?


                  Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 16:38

                  • Hello ragnarsbhut. Stop. I think we are done as you do not seem to be even reading what I reply to you. We covered what is meant by free stuff. The wealthy want you to think anything out of the treasury for the lower incomes is “free stuff”, but anything out of the treasury for the wealthy and the big corporations is great and earned. Your being played.

                    Please answer the very long researched reples or we are done talking about this.


                    Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 16:45

                    • Scottie, I have read every comment, so you cannot accuse me of doing otherwise. I have heard promises of freebies from people like Elizabeth Warren. This is not done to actually give these people free things. All it does is lure them into a state of perpetual dependency. Where is the incentive to work if every want and need is provided for us?


                      Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 16:50

                    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Until you address the replies I made to you I can fairly assume you did not read my replies and the effort is being wasted on you. When you leave a comment I try hard to reply in the most clear informative way I can. To have you simply repeat in following comments something I have address and you have not followed up with by trying to refute it, is a clear sign you either are not bothering to read my replies or you simply don’t care and want to go on pushing your point.

                      If this is about pushing your point with no care if it is correct or not tell me and I will stop using my time in this endeavor.

                      See again you prove my point. Promises of freebies. You have not even bothered to read the plans laid out and how they work. Again you equate anything out of the US treasury for the people, for the less than wealthy as a freebie. But right now the largest burden to put the money into that treasury is the very same people you claim are wanting freebies. I have shown you how it is the lower incomes that shoulder the biggest burden of the current tax system and how the wealthiest are raking in the money from it. Refute the figures I presented please. Or quit saying the people are asking for freebies, when the wealthy are doing their best to suck the treasury dry.

                      The current dependency is the wealthy. Right now the US has just made into law a 500 million leveraged X10 fund for large businesses to be bailed out and be given no interest no payback loans. The airlines made record profits and got this:

                      On Thursday, Southwest Airlines reported a $1.4 billion benefit due to tax reform legislation. JetBlue and Alaska Airlines reported fourth-quarter tax benefits of $502 million and $274 million, respectively. United Airlines also saw its tax expense in the fourth quarter of 2017 fall 95.9% in part because of a $192 million tax benefit.

                      The end effect of these one-time tax benefits on fourth quarter and 2017 annual earnings are significant.

                      Southwest’s Q4 net income skyrocketed 261.7% to $1.89 billion while the airline’s annual net income is up 55.4% to $3.49 billion.

                      JetBlue’s Q4 profits surged 291.2% to $672 million with the New York-based carrier’s annual profits up 51.2% to $1.15 billion.

                      Concurrently, Alaska Airlines’ Q4 profits jumped 221.9% to $367 million and its annual net income up 26.3% to $1 billion. Alaska’s figures also include Horizon Air and Virgin America, acquired for $2.6 billion in 2016.

                      The $1.5 trillion Trump tax plan, which passed in early December, has reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. In addition, the plan changes the way the US government taxes companies that operate internationally.


                      At the same damn time over the last two years they were raising fees. Now they want a huge 500 trillion ( yes do the math it comes to that ) bail out for a bad economy. So tell me again who wants the freebies? Who wants everything for nothing? Who is in the state of dependence? Really I think you need to either expand your reading material or try other arguments. Hugs

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 17:34

        • Hello ragnarsbhut. This will be my second attempt to answer you. After working about two hours on this I hit the wrong button and lost everything. So let me start again.

          Hello ragnarsbhut. I am watching the video. Rather than watch the whole video and then go back through it, for time sake I will answer each issue as they are raised. Already at less than three minutes into this I can see both inaccuracies and that this girl was not a good spokesman for the movement. That leads me to wonder why she was chosen to be on the show rather than someone who was more knowledgeable about the financing. The information on how to finance these things are well documented and vetted by top economist in both the Warren and Sanders plans and explained by Robert Reich in a video on YouTube. I will address the three issues of the $15 minimum wage, student loan debt, and free collage at the end of my reply.

          In fact my google search of the Million Student March brings me back to Fox news and Cavuto specifically. Even other news sources on the subject link back to Cavuto’s interviews with two “leaders” of the movement. I wonder if this is like the group On Million Moms which is no such thing.

          But after a weekend where we watched a popular American brand, The Hallmark Channel, temporarily duped into believing that the organization’s constant bark was really an effective bite, it is time to move past the jokes and state the obvious about this organization: it is basically One Meddling Mom with an agenda, and no company should be giving her the credence she so desperately craves.

          Her name is Monica Cole. In the decade that I have been aware of One Million Moms, she is quite literally the only staff member I have ever heard anyone name. She is the one and only person who appears on their petitions, as well as the one and only person who speaks for them to the media. She is the mom. Her. Solo. One person, supposedly representing one million.

          Keely Mullen is ridiculously unprepared, unable to address the basic questions, and lets Cavuto misstate well documented facts so much that I suspect this is a plant. It is so off that it is weird. I can see why you got some bad information and felt she / her group just wanted free stuff.

          Cavuto keeps mentioning the tax rate on the wealthy. But he should be talking about the effective tax rate, as it is a business show.

          In 2005 and 2015 the effective tax rates fell even more. In 2015 the average effective tax rates for the top 1 percent were about 26 percent. Not only that, but taxpayers with higher incomes had lower effective tax rates: in 2015 the top 1 percent had an effective tax rate of about 26 percent while the top 0.01 percent paid an effective tax rate of about 24 percent on average.

          Let me address what is meant by taxing the wealthy, or a wealth tax. It is a marginal tax rate in which the higher tax kicks in after a person’s income goes over a certain level. So, say we have a 91% marginal tax on the wealthy. Let’s say we have that set to kick in at $500,000. That means all a person earns up to $500,000 is taxed at a lower rate. All income over that is taxed at the higher 91%, so that would start with the $500,001 dollar earned. Cavuto is very misleading on this in the video. The myth that there would be a mass leaving of wealthy people from the US is not supported by data nor by history. Plus, other countries worth living in have higher taxes also.

          Cavuto then really misleads the issue by asking Mullen if she and her friends were willing to pay more. This makes it seem like something unfair is asked of the wealthy, so others do not have to pay for what they want. What is being asked is moving the tax burden back on to those most able to pay it without a lifestyle loss. If Bill Gates must pay a higher marginal tax rate his lifestyle will not change one bit, he will still be extremely wealthy with all the perks. However, the tax burden has been shifted on to the lower incomes and they can not afford to pay it without a lifestyle change. In their case as things increase in costs, as their taxes go up, they must give up things, they have to cut back, they have to “tighten their belts”. It is been shown in our history and right now in other countries that a progressive tax is beneficial to the country. It raises the economy for everyone, it also pays for the needs that further the basic good of the society. For example, most of the roads and bridges in the US are subpar and crumbling. The reason is there is simply not enough money in the local government coffers to pay for it. Again because of the shifted tax burden on to those least able to support it.
          Cavuto them mentions Greece and the economic troubles there as an example of why taxing the wealthy and paying for free collage ruins a country. He fails to mention all the Scandinavian countries that do tax the wealthy and corporations far more, and use that revenue for social projects and needs. Free educations, universal healthcare, infrastructure, and many other social safety net programs. It works, but you have to be willing to restrain greed, you have to be willing to restrain capitalism and balance it with the public good.

          Greece had many other financial issues that dealt them the blow to their economy. The Greek crisis started in late 2009, triggered by the turmoil of the world-wide Great Recession, structural weaknesses in the Greek economy, and lack of monetary policy flexibility as a member of the Eurozone. Then to win a reprieve on their loans they were forced to accept a far too steep austerity package. As the United Kingdom found out, austerity programs that drastically reduce income and services to the lower economic levels of society do more harm than good to fix an economy. Economic growth and sustainability come from the people being able to buy and sell services and goods. The people must be able to buy. If they have no money they can not buy, therefore no one can sell. To compare Greece to the US is so misleading as to be dishonest. Greece did not have the base infrastructure to increase their tax revenue sufficiently when needed plus the lack of willingness to put higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Also you have to understand that the US has a far large tax base, far more wealth, higher GDP, a vastly larger number of wealthy living here to increase taxes on. The situations are far too different to even be compared.

          At this point Mullen’s shows has no clue what she is endorsing and no idea of what Cavuto is talking about.

          Cavuto is just plain wrong when he makes the claim taxing the wealthy wouldn’t keep Medicare afloat for three years. Studies have shown that not only the Medicare we have now but the increased Medicare for all, plus other social programs can be supported by raising taxes on the wealthy including wealthy businesses. The Heritage Foundation did a study of their own saying Medicare For All would cost 30 trillion over 10 years. Holy crap that sounds like a lot of money. That is a trillion a year. However, the current system would cost 34 trillion over 10 years which is more than Medicare For All according to their own study. Plus for a contrast in 2017 the US added about 2 trillion to the debt to give a lot of money to the wealthy with no benefit for anyone else or even the economy. Our economy was doing great, it did not need a boost, but the greedy people wanted more. Then this year we again did that but this time 80% went to the wealthy and 20% went to help lower incomes in this bad time. That is 4 trillion dollars in just two years mostly to give the wealthy more money, don’t you think they are taking so much that it will destroy the country’s economy even before this pandemic? It is time for them to pay their fair share instead of taking as much as they can and shifting the burden to the lower incomes. If you want to know the details look at Warren’s tax plans, they have been vetted and they can work. If you want short, informative, easy to listen YouTube videos on the economy and what has happened to get us to this point, and how to improve it check out Robert Reich’s channel. It is a great source of information.

          Ok ragnarsbhut, enough with the video. Let talk about the three things she mentioned, a $15 dollar per hour minimum wage, free collage, and eliminating student debt.

          $15 dollar minimum wage is not only doable it is lower than what is really needed.

          The “Fight for $15” movement started in 2012 (equivalent to $16.7 in 2019), in response to workers’ inability to cover their costs on such a low salary, as well as the stressful work conditions of many of the service jobs which pay the minimum wage.

          People cannot afford to live at the low wages some of the wealthiest companies pay. Again, what makes an economy work, people buying what others are selling, and they can not do that if they do not have a livable wage. This forces the taxpayer, again the lower incomes, to pay for food and shelter assistance to make up for the low wages. That is the public subsidising big wealthy business, or corporate welfare. The idea that a higher wage will damage the country or raise the cost of goods too high is again another myth. The last time this was studied in detail it seems was in 2015 but then the price increase on a Big Mack was $.17. Yes 17 cents. Other countries have far higher minimum wages and it doesn’t harm their economies, why should it ours.

          Many other countries offer free or nearly free advanced education. Education benefits a country, it enriches it. People with more education can help a country grow and prosper. Way back in 1986 I was leaving the Army while stationed in Germany. The German government had a program that I could stay in the country, they would pay all costs for me to become a RN including living costs, and all I had to do was work in country for 6 years. These programs work and help a country get needed professions. For decades in the US state colleges were free or little cost. Elizabeth Warren talks of going to college for $50 a semester. Again it was seen as a benefit to the public good. We have free public education from K-12, why not add another 4 years? At some point certain groups who were against the masses being educated started to push the idea that higher learning was bad, and the people getting it should pay more because they might earn more. All levels of education have been under attack in this country for 40 years. Education, schools used to be highly funded and a priority in local budgets. Yes there unfortunately were problems with funding between white and black schools. But it was a system providing not just the US but the world with leading highly educated people. The people who got us to the moon and back. People who discovered cures and found new scientific principles, and made breakthroughs in medical knowledge. We need those people back, to get them we need accessible higher education.

          Which leads to forgiving student loans. Student loans are a big money scam now. Not just the fraudulent one where a non-accredited school promises the world to a student if they take out a government backed loan and the school defaults or doesn’t provide what they promised, yet the student still is stuck with high rate loans to pay back all so someone can make a profit. Our Secretary of Education is invested in several of these loan companies and has been cited in contempt of court for not agreeing to relief for these students. But even when the loans are legit they are so crushing that those who get higher degrees have to sacrifice other aspects of quality of life to pay the costs. That hurts the economy as again if people can not buy, no one can sell. It a bad situation every way you look at it except one. If you point is to make money no matter what, if your goal is greed, then yes student loans are a good thing. But in all other ways they harm a country and drives down the number of people having higher educations. Maybe that is the point also.

          People keep getting propaganda from the wealthy that anything that limits their greed or reduces their profits is harmful and bad. That is a lie. Just look at what other countries can do, what they accomplish for their people and you realize that the people here in the US have been sold a story line that is not true. It is said that this country is the wealthiest on earth. Then why can this country not do for the people what other countries manage to do. Other countries have a higher standard of living, universal healthcare, free or nearly cost free advanced education, longer paid vacation, more paid holidays, better social safety nets, much longer paid family leave, much longer paid sick leave, and so much more. Why can they do it and we cannot. Greed mostly. The push to move wealth from all sectors of society and government to the upper top wealthy of the country.

          Well this has gotten a lot longer than I planned and took most of my morning. Read it over and get back to me. I would hope my work was worth you reading and replying. Hugs


          Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 11:42

  3. Scottie, people whining about the costs of college education just do that to garner sympathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 14:51

    • Hello ragnarsbhut, have you read any of the replies I sent back to you? If not do so, if you are in disagreement with them explain why. Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 16:26

      • Scottie, I have read your replies. These people are not providing legitimate arguments that validate their demands. Unless they are paid to go on live television and make these demands, I do not think they would be taken seriously otherwise.


        Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 16:44

        • Hello ragnarsbhut. I know I am tired and pushed to get things done right now, but this made less sense than anything you have said so far? First you have not responded to nor refuted any of the points I made in any of my replies, other than the one you wanted me to correct the word “is”. So you may have read them, but it is discourteous and disingenuous to keep going without addressing them.

          I am trying to figure out your comment because it makes no sense.

          Lets try this, you are trying to say the woman in the orginal video is not providing a legitimate argument in favor of her position unless she was paid to go on the show?

          Hey great now you are getting part of what I wrote to you. The entire set up made no sense. Read my reply, I picked it apart minute by minute. This was a scam by Cavuto on the gullible viewers. Hugs


          Comment by Scottie — April 7, 2020 @ 17:09

  4. Scottie, here is a link for you: The woman in this video is a classic example of a person who wants freebies.


    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 7, 2020 @ 20:22

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. Did you bother to read my break down on the first Cavuto video you sent. I did spend a lot of time on it. I am not willing to go chasing any more of these videos unless you are willing to address the points I made. Thanks. Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — April 8, 2020 @ 04:23

      • Scottie, I agree with your point about Neil Cavuto misleading the issue. Here is a question for you: If the top tax rate under Dwight D. Eisenhower was 91%, what will it take to convince people that a millionaire would not have all of their money being taxed? The being willing to pay more point is stipulated. Yes, I did read what you wrote, then I read it again. Regarding the issue of wages in general and the minimum wage in particular, I believe that people should be paid according to their merits, not what the law says. I disagree with you on the notion that student loans are a scam. Why? Because people who sign up for them know what they got themselves into when the dotted every I and crossed every T.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 8, 2020 @ 10:25

        • Hello ragnarsbhut. I tried to break out your questions / comment and my answers so people following along could understand us better.

          If the top tax rate under Dwight D. Eisenhower was 91%, what will it take to convince people that a millionaire would not have all of their money being taxed?

          That is simply and easy. The laws will specify what income is taxed at what level, just as it does now. Income tax laws are not new, however if you do your own taxes you know they are maddeningly complex.

          The being willing to pay more point is stipulated.

          I think you are asking if they would be willing to pay more. Some of the wealthy including the wealthiest people in the US have been pushing for higher tax rates on themselves and those at their income levels. Warren Buffett famously used the fact he pays less in taxes than his secretary. But the tax revenue of the US shouldn’t depend on the generosity of a few Individuals. We all benefit from the country, we all need to pay our fair share as we can afford to do so.

          Regarding the issue of wages in general and the minimum wage in particular, I believe that people should be paid according to their merits, not what the law says.

          History proves your view incorrect. Left without laws employers often mistreated and took advance of their workers, often leading to death. Children as young as five were worked incredibly long hours, often killed doing dangerous tasks, people were forced to work 80 hours a week or more, no days off, no breaks, and still could barely afford to feed, clothe, or house themselves or their families. Yet the wealthy that were causing this misery lived extremely luxurious lives.
          Labor laws took care of most of the abuses, and more laws were added to address problems as needed. Which again led to one of the most prosperous times in our country, where employees worked but had time off and the family could live comfortably off one income. Sadly, greed is hard to stamp out. Employers tried to pay as little as possible, cut workers’ salaries or simply did not increase them. This has lead to the push for a living wage.

          First let’s get rid of the myth about this crashing the economy and causing prices to soar, mass unemployment, and the closing of businesses. This is propaganda that has no biases in fact.

          Other developed countries have much higher standards of living because the workers can afford to buy things, have homes, goods, and services. Their economies benefit from that. In the US the workers have lost that ability due to artificially low wages and so the economy has suffered and shrunk over the years. Wall street does well, but that is not an indicator of the economy but how the wealthy are feeling. Notice now it is again riding high on the idea that the government will shoot companies free money, but 10 million plus unemployed can not buy food or pay rent.
          Paying workers less than a living wage leaves it up to the government, local, state, and federal to fill the gap. That is corporate welfare, paying for the workers needs so the wealthy business can pocket more profit. It costs all the lower income taxpayers, such as you and me. As for what an employee is worth, right now the store clerks and check out people are hailed as heroes, but not too long ago people were arguing they did not deserve a $15 minimum wage, not to mention a living wage. See a living wage is one that allows workers to not only have the needs of life such as food and housing, but also the perks of living as in some social luxuries. Life is more than a struggle to survive or should be in an advanced country. People on the lower economic rungs are still people. They are not slave nor robots.

          With a living wage, business owners would experience higher sales, lower employee turnover, and increased productivity. A living wage is good for workers, good for businesses, and good for taxpayers

          I disagree with you on the notion that student loans are a scam. Why? Because people who sign up for them know what they got themselves into when the dotted every I and crossed every T.

          Not all student loans are scams, but all are simply too expensive these days. Did you know student loans can not be discharged in a bankruptcy? Do read all the terms and conditions, all the legal boilerplate all the time? Even when it is explained by people not trying to rip you off it is hard to understand and follow. For example, car insurance. If you buy a 100/300 policy you would think that you were covered up to those amounts if you did not read the fine print. You will find you are only covered for a certain amount per person among one misleading item. For example, you have two people in a car that has an accident. You got the hospital and they do tests. Say they do a cat scan for 16,000. No problem as you have 100,000 in coverage. Wrong. The actual coverage is 10 grand a person. So you are stuck with 6 grand per person that was cat scanned bill.

          Student loan scams got so bad the government passed a law granting people scammed loan forgiveness programs. It is run by the education department, and it is why Betsy Devos was held in contempt. She was not allowing the program to work, nor forgiving any student loans even after ordered to by a judge. The reason it seems is she is invested in a couple of those loan companies.

          I was going to break down some of the scams but dang when I googled it the number of scams and the hardship inflicted on the people was overwhelming. If you are interested in the most common scams you can google the subject. I already mentioned before about schools who presented as or pretended to be accredited or give false promise and when a student takes out an expensive loan the education never comes through or the promises false. The student without the promised degree is still stuck with the loan, the fake school got the money, and the lender is after the student to pay off. That was a very common scam the last decade, not some much the last two years.
          But the real problem is that higher education should not cost so much for the student. There is no reason it should. Again I addressed this in my reply on free education part. So I will end this here.
          Have a good day. Be well. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Scottie — April 8, 2020 @ 12:08

  5. Scottie, I read begining to end on each post before I comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 9, 2020 @ 23:34

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. I am glad you do. I do put a lot of effort into my replies. The reason I asked if you read my reply breaking down the first video is you asked me to review a second video which covered a lot of the same ground without even acknowledging anything in my reply. It looked as if you were just throwing another video out there to make your points, which again, I had already covered. Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — April 10, 2020 @ 04:40

      • Scottie, inequality is inherent in nature.


        Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 10, 2020 @ 09:45

        • Hello ragnarsbhut. That is a nonsequiteur and irrelevant. Care to explain and expound on it? Hugs


          Comment by Scottie — April 10, 2020 @ 16:42

          • Scottie, income inequality is an example. We could only be equal if we were all at a 0% income level.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 11, 2020 @ 11:07

            • Hello ragnarsbhut. No your example is not in line with your statement I questioned. You said:

              inequality is inherent in nature

              No where in nature is there an income level. You are mistaking equal opportunity with equal outcome. No one is saying everyone should have the same outcome. However we are fighting for and a decent society provides equal opportunity for all members to get ahead. The US doesn’t do that. In fact it never has, but the opportunity gap was much closer in the last century. Blacks and POC have never had an equal opportunity and the poor or lower incomes do not either. In the US opportunity is mostly for the wealthy. Hugs


              Comment by Scottie — April 11, 2020 @ 17:02

  6. Scottie, all of your points are stipulated. The problem as I see it is in the hypocrisy of people who whine about people who inherit wealth free of tax and yet these people whine about wanting free college, free health care, et cetera.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 17, 2020 @ 09:55

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. The problem is your phrasing. It is not fee healthcare, it is not college, and so on. It is in fact getting something for your tax dollars. Right now in the US people have been indoctrinated by the wealthy that any tax dollars that helps lower incomes are welfare, unearned, people being lazy. Yet also that any tax money diverted to the wealthy is wonderful and stimulates the economy. Wealthy are called job creators when they are given tax money subsidy, but lower incomes given tax money are called takers. Do you see the propaganda that has been indoctrinated into the US population. Why is it whining to demand the wealthy pay their fair share of the tax. If you got a large gift from me over 12 grand you would have to pay tax on it. But a wealthy kid of a wealthy parent can inherit millions without any tax. The offspring did not earn the money, the parent did. It should be taxed. Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — April 17, 2020 @ 14:38

      • Scottie, the difference between taxing income and taxing inheritance/estates is that income is taxed once. The double taxation argument would apply if you invest money and take the capital gains, in which case the gains are taxed. Here is an example of my own: I give you a gift of your favorite coffee, tea, et cetera at my expense. On what grounds does the government have the right to take 50% of what I gave you as a gift and redistribute that to people that the gift was not intended for?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 17, 2020 @ 14:45

        • Hello ragnarsbhut. Go back to the example I used. The IRS allows annual gift tax exclusion amount ($15,000 in 2019), over that the person getting it is taxed. Now that money was taxed already, but the IRS sees it as new income to the receiver. Why is it any different for a person to receive a large multi million dollar inheritance which is new income, and not have to pay tax on that? Again what the wealthy has pushed for years anything for lower incomes is taxable and that not to do so would be theft from the government, but anything wealthy people do shouldn’t be taxed as that is for the good of the nation. Total propaganda. If it is good for the lower incomes to pay taxes, it is a good thing for the wealthy.


          Comment by Scottie — April 18, 2020 @ 07:36

          • Scottie, you make valid points. However, you never directly addressed my example of whether or not the government has the right to half of something that I gave you in that scenario.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 18, 2020 @ 09:27

            • Hello ragnarsbhut. I did not address it because the example was not correct for the issue we are talking about. The issue was that the inherited wealth was already taxed. My answer was that so was the gifted money at a much lower amount that is being taxed. The question of is the government worth half or any of your income / supply is about taxation it self, another topic. One that the SCOTUS says is legal. Hugs


              Comment by Scottie — April 18, 2020 @ 13:03

  7. Scottie, I oppose the inheritance/estate/death tax, whatever we want to call it on multiple grounds. Inherited wealth comes at no cost to society.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 19, 2020 @ 12:34

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. But you are wrong on that. Inherited wealth increases the movement of the money in an economy to the upper wealthy. Many studies have show, even recent history has show, that moving money out of the economy to the upper incomes destroys the economies of the country, worsens the condition of the average people in the country, and weakens the country in general. We have so many failed states in recent history that proves this. Russia after the USSR was doing great, then the oligarchs started bleeding the country of all wealth and now life expectancy for the people is way down, life is a constant struggle, housing is horrible, and so on. Inherited wealth is very harmful to a population for that alone, but it also set us a them vs us class situation which has really taken over in the US.

      I remember posting where the Hilton family boy on a plane was rude and drunk, telling everyone there that he could buy each of them because of how wealthy he was, when the police came and took him off he was laughing saying his father would make it all go away. And that is what happened, his dad made it all go a way. I suggest you look up the affluent defense to see just how pervasive wealth privilege has gotten in the US. Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — April 19, 2020 @ 13:58

      • Scottie, between 1 branch of the family inheriting the wealth of the previous branch and giving it to the government, I prefer that it be generational. Wealth gets misspent and misused anyway, so why not let that be to a family’s discretion?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 19, 2020 @ 14:04

        • Hello ragnarsbhut. The misconception is that it is giving all of the wealthy to the government. Or also that it would effect you and your family. Both are misdirection and wrong. Most people will never raise to the level of wealth needed to kick in the inheritance tax. That is why the wealthy people’s attacks on it are so disingenuous. This is an issue only the most wealthiest face and yet they convinced the poor it was a death tax that would effect them. Also it is only a small portion that should be given to help the government run for all of us. Look the government needs revenue to work for us as it is designed to do. Every attack on taking that revenue away is an attempt to kill and sabotage the government. The same government that keeps us safe and protects our rights, also protects our country and the natural resources in it. The very same government that keeps the wealthy from running rough shod over everyone else. It was the government that gave us the workers rights we have, also give credit to unions. But if the government was not there there would be no restrictions on what an employer could demand from an employee. That is another reason the wealthy want to deny the government any money at all, especially theirs. Do you really think most of the really wealthy give one bit of care about anyone else not wealthy? Ron was a butler and these people toss around $500 dollar tips like it is a $20 in front of each other but they don’t care if you die, nor what it will take for them to get their money from your very bones. This estate tax is just another attempt to starve the government and kill any protections for anyone in the country not among their wealthy kind. Hugs


          Comment by Scottie — April 19, 2020 @ 14:55

          • Scottie, outside of what the government needs to be functional, why does it need or need or deserve more money from us?

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 19, 2020 @ 15:09

            • Hello ragnarsbhut. That is a great question. First what defines the government being functional. Remember Grover Norquist, the ever hateful guy about having the government do anything for anyone not wealthy. Do you remember what he is quoted for? “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub” is what he is famous for. So really it depends on who you are and what you want government to do for you.

              As to what money the government needs really is determined by what is expected of it. Right now our government is for the wealthy supported by the lower incomes. It did not use to be that way. We need to return the country to when the country worked better to uplift everyone, not just keep the wealthy ever more wealthy. Hugs


              Comment by Scottie — April 19, 2020 @ 18:36

              • Scottie, I know that this is a controversial issue from a tax standpoint, however, what are your views on the estate tax?


                Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 19, 2020 @ 18:39

                • Hello ragnarsbhut. ??? I thought I had answered that in several comments? If I was not clear let me know and I will respond in the morning. Hugs


                  Comment by Scottie — April 19, 2020 @ 19:06

  8. Scottie, my apologies. I meant to ask you what your thoughts were if an estate was sold before any people who are subjected to the estate tax had died. Should the estate terminology apply or just taxing it as regular income?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 19, 2020 @ 19:19

    • Hello ragnarsbhut. It has been 16 years since I sold my last home, and I know the real estate laws are complex involving if you roll the capital gained over into a new home in a certain amount of time and such. But if I understand your question then yes the sale would be taxed. I would think it shouldn’t matter if the owners are alive or dead, there is a sales tax due on the sale. Hugs


      Comment by Scottie — April 20, 2020 @ 05:48

  9. Scottie, that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ragnarsbhut — April 24, 2020 @ 10:24

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