So we start a new year off with a deal-- a deal with compromises that many agree did not have to be made. And if you look closely at the details of the deal you'll find that there are a lot of gifts to corporations and the wealthy. This deal simply delays another huge fiscal cliff by 60 days. We need to start now, working the "tax the rich, level the playing field" meme, so the idea is on the table come March 1.
And if you look under the hood, at the details of the deal, ( Actual PDF of the Bill Congress Passed to Evade the Bogus Fiscal Cliff ) you'll find that there are a lot of gifts, as this quicklink details, Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill, From Goldman Sachs to Disney to NASCAR.
It actually gets worse. While the bill locks in a small rise from 35% to 40% for the estate tax-- for people receiving over $5 million-- thereby rescuing them from the jump to 50% on anything over $1 million that would have automatically kicked in, the middle class gets hit with a 2% payroll tax increase that amounts to close to $1000 on an income of $50,000. Obama and friends didn't manage to extend that break in the bill. And that estate tax $5 million limit-- that's now indexed to inflation. Why couldn't they have done it for the minimum wage while they were at it.
Actually, the payroll tax does have a cut-- at around $113,000. So, people who earn $450,000 are paying a lot lower payroll tax. Since payroll tax goes towards social security, if they'd eliminated the top-out at $113,000, so people paid it on ALL their income, it would probably put social security into the black permanently. Was that ever even put on the table by Obama or the Democrats? When you negotiate, especially from as strong a position as Obama and the Democrats have, you ask for a lot more than you expect to get? Oh. That's right, we're talking about a president who doesn't negotiate, who has trained his opponents to know that he'll crack under pressure.
Salvatore Barbones tell us Who Won in the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Hint-- the people who make $250-$400,000 a year. Those are the ones Obama's weak spine caved to-- doubling the number of wealthy people who escaped higher taxes. And lets not forget-- this tax rise is not that much-- small compared to the taxes people paid under Reagan, Nixon and Carter.
Now, some liberal sites are declaring what a miraculous victory this is for Obama and the democrats in congress. What's that baby say in the stock broker ad-- "what a pant load!"
Obama could have held firm on the $250,000 limit. He could have insisted on tagging minimum wage to inflation as well as the $5 million dynasty break (estate tax.) He could have been talking about ending the dynasty break for millionaires all along, so that the Bush breaks would just not be renewed period.
The sniveling liberals who suck up to any weak, less-than-could-have-been deals that Obama produces will say I expect too much. These are people who would be happy to report that the knife stuck in their backs was only a four inch blade, not a ten inch one. They would smile, they are so unable to see how bad Obama is. They will conveniently forget that Obama f*cking promised that he'd hold at $250,000. Bottom line, it's time to draw a line in the sand. There are progressives and liberals who are going to spend the next four years putting Obama's feet to the fire, as he asked "making him do it" as Roosevelt encouraged voters. And there are clown car, bobble head liberals who will nod their heads every time Obama shafts them while throwing them crumbs. They will rejoice at how wonderful Obama is. They will talk about how great the Dems in congress are, even though their elected leader, Nancy Pelosi was willing to throw Security under the bus with a change in cost indexing to the CPI Index, which would have cost retirees hundreds of billions.
At least Harry Reid was holding out for a longer time for delay of sequestration to come due. Reid literally threw the Obama proposal into a burning fireplace. So Obama handed the negotiations over to Joe Biden who caved to a two month delay. That means the financial cliff will be back with a vengeance come March 1. And Obama won't have the leverage he had last time. Expect a new deal that protects the military and screws social security and medicare-- Pelosi has already shown she'll start with shifting Social Security to the CPI index.
So, not wanting to just grouse and complain about what many of my readers already expected, I have a suggestion.
The big message Obama ran on was leveling the playing field for the middle class, to stop giving breaks to the wealthy. Well, that's exactly what they did with the reinstatement of the estate tax at 40% and $5 million. That meme of leveling the playing field came out of the Occupy Wall Street movement-- the 99% and the 1% meme. So let's jump back on that meme, since it worked, and apply it to the Dynasty tax.
The right took Frank Lunsk's advice and called it the "Death Tax." Well, we should be calling it the dynasty tax, since a strong tax prevents Dynasties. The framing should ask the question, is America a place where dynasties are a part of our character? I say no way.
We need to de-billionairize the US. These uber rich people cannot resist the power their billions gives them access to. The wealth becomes a poison that has already proven it threatens democracy. One way to start whittling away at the parts of the economic system that creates and maintains billionaires is to hit inheritances VERY hard. We should shoot for the stars and ask for ascending tax rates on estates valued at higher amounts, so, an estate worth over $100 million will be taxed at 90% for anything over $100 million, over $500 million at 95% and over $1 billion at 99%.
Put the leveling of the playing field and the tax breaks for the millionaires and the one percent back on the table.