The Trickle Class

Robert Reich trying to explain trickle up, er, why ‘trickle down’ trickles:

The heart of the matter isn’t the collapse in housing prices or even the frenetic rise in oil and food prices. These are contributing to the mess but they are not creating it directly. The basic reality is this: For most Americans, earnings have not kept up with the cost of living. This is not a new phenomenon but it has finally caught up with the pocketbooks of average people. If you look at the earnings of non-government workers, especially the hourly workers who comprise 80 percent of the workforce, you’ll find they are barely higher than they were in the mid-1970s, adjusted for inflation. The income of a man in his 30s is now 12 percent below that of a man his age three decades ago.

So Americans turned to a second way of spending beyond their hourly wages. They worked more hours. The typical American now works more each year than he or she did three decades ago. Americans became veritable workaholics, putting in 350 more hours a year than the average European, more even than the notoriously industrious Japanese.

But, see, the rich pay taxes already? 40% of government tax revenue is provided by the top 1% of income earners. We can’t tax higher. It isn’t fair to tax wealth. They’ll move to… and there’ll be no money left in America whatsoever… not even trickles.

Congressional Budget Office:
The top 1% received 57.5% of all capital.

Internal Revenue Service:
The top 1% earned 21.2% of all income.

Government Accountability Office:
72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

Balancing class is a critical task, not a taboo to be ideologically scorned. The top 1% own more than 40% of our wealth!

Candidate's tax proposals