SchwartzReport: Bill Moyers and Michael Winship on Government as a Protection Racket for the 1%

Commerce, Corruption, Government, Law Enforcement
Stephan A. Schwartz
Stephan A. Schwartz

A democracy cannot long survive when its citizens perceive the government to be against their best interests

Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent
BILL MOYERS and MICHAEL WINSHIP – Bill Moyers.com

EXTRACT

PewOur now infamous one percent own more than 35 percent of the nation’s wealth. Meanwhile, the bottom 40 percent of the country is in debt. Just this past Tuesday, the 15th of April – Tax Day – the AFL-CIO reported that last year the chief executive officers of 350 top American corporations were paid 331 times more money than the average US worker. Those executives made an average of $11.7 million dollars compared to the average worker who earned $35,239 dollars.

As that analysis circulated on Tax Day, the economic analyst Robert Reich reminded us that in addition to getting the largest percent of total national income in nearly a century, many in the one percent are paying a lower federal tax rate than a lot of people in the middle class. You may remember that an obliging Congress, of both parties, allows high rollers of finance the privilege of ‘carried interest,” a tax rate below that of their secretaries and clerks.

And at state and local levels, while the poorest fifth of Americans pay an average tax rate of over 11 percent, the richest one percent of the country pay – are you ready for this? – half that rate. Now, neither Nature nor Nature’s God drew up our tax codes; that’s the work of legislators – politicians – and it’s one way they have, as Chief Justice John Roberts might put it, of expressing gratitude to their donors: ‘Oh, Mr. Adelson, we so appreciate your generosity that we cut your estate taxes so you can give $8 billion as a tax-free payment to your heirs, even though down the road the public will have to put up $2.8 billion to compensate for the loss in tax revenue.”