A Piechart’s Worth a Thousand Words

Alex Knapp illustrates the distribution of wealth in this country with a handy piechart:

Alex notes that, “As you can see, this is why the wealthy in this country pay most of the taxes — they have most of the money, by a staggering amount.”

More charts and numbers here.

Good thing the Tea Partiers have gotten themselves over to Wisconsin to help Breitbart counter protest against those greedy unions.

Also, here’s Rachel Maddow interviewing Russ Feingold on the union-busting:

PS – Feingold’s Progressives United is here.

PPS – Via Yglesias a map of collective bargaining across the nation:

See, Wisconsin is just trying to out-crazy Arizona. I don’t think they stand a chance.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






158 replies
  1. 1
    burnspbesq says:

    Alex notes that, “As you can see, this is why the wealthy in this country pay most of the taxes — they have most of the money, by a staggering amount.”

    Wow, that’s remarkably stupid. Does he really not know the difference between income and wealth?

  2. 2

    They’ll start creating U.S. jobs. Any minute now. No, no don’t watch them. If you make our job creating overlords nervous you’ll get a crappy job that pays 1/4 the minimum wage instead of 1/2.

  3. 3
    General Stuck says:

    I see myself, an itty bitty spot of yellow.

  4. 4
    Little Boots says:

    I think my comment got eated. which is sad, cause it was brilliant.

  5. 5
    D. Mason says:

    I would love to see a representation on this chart for “next 1%”… I suspect it would consume the bulk of that 19%.

  6. 6
    Little Boots says:

    all I can say is, hope is never done. a month ago, the people of Egypt thought they were living in a completely sclerotic dictatorship, but they were wrong. It seems like that here, now, but I hope we’re wrong.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Your question, she is rhetorical, no?

  8. 8
    WyldPirate says:

    At the end of this Charles Blow Op-Ed, Empire at the End of Decadence, is a pretty interestig chart put together by the IMF showing how the US is definitely not #1 in a lot of metrics of social well-being when compared to some of our peers in the economically developed world.
    Here is the direct link to the chart

  9. 9
    E.D. Kain says:

    @burnspbesq: He has a second chart which details income and taxes. Read the post.

  10. 10
    gnomedad says:

    For Galt’s sake, 80% of America, show some productivity, willya?

  11. 11
    Mr Furious says:

    Well, since EDK posted it I’m sure that pie chart will be worth at least a thousand incoherent words from matako_clown.

    At least 468 of which will be cudlip, paradigm or anti-empirical.

  12. 12
    Little Boots says:

    soak the rich is the only option when the rich have all the money. let’s stop dicking around. there’s more of us than them. what are we waiting for?

  13. 13
    Bret says:

    Get a haircut, hippie.

  14. 14
    WyldPirate says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Well, when they have douchebag tax lawyers like you, I’m sure many of the wealthy are able to weasel out of paying their fair share of taxes on their income.

    Ditto when you have douchebags in Congress who pass special laws for hedge fund managers to tax their income at the cap gains rate of 15% despite the fact that they are providing a service.

  15. 15
    Little Boots says:

    @Bret:

    Got one. still hate this whole wealth distribution.

  16. 16
    ItAintEazy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No, I think the poor dear is serious.

  17. 17
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    My goodness, who would have thought that we would do so well As to WyldPirate @ 8

  18. 18
    Bill Murray says:

    A similar chart from say 1970ish would be nice too; and as the lawyer spec indicates the same charts for income as opposed to wealth.

    However, since the tea party and MSM have +2 bracers of fact repellance, along with a helm of conventional wisdom, I doubt the charts will do anything but make them want a nice piece f Dutch apple pie a la mode.

  19. 19
    Little Boots says:

    @Bill Murray:

    The People, united … have got to stop being such ridiculous dumb fucks!

  20. 20
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @WyldPirate:

    At the end of this Charles Blow Op-Ed, Empire at the End of Decadence, is a pretty interestig chart put together by the IMF showing how the US is definitely not #1 in a lot of metrics of social well-being when compared to some of our peers in the economically developed world.

    The assumption that we’re still in the “economically developed world” is the only thing I might take issue with there.

  21. 21
    WyldPirate says:

    @Debbie(aussie):
    You Aussies are looking pretty good according to that eval, Debbie.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WyldPirate: I do not have a problem with people taking advantage of tax laws to pay as little as they are legally obligated to pay. I do have a problem with tax laws that allow people to pay less than their fair share.

  23. 23
    PeakVT says:

    I just finished a post explaining why we can’t cut our way to a balanced budget. My writing sucks so just open the graphics in separate tabs, and flip between them.

  24. 24
    WyldPirate says:

    @fasteddie9318:
    Good point., fasteddie.

  25. 25
    Little Boots says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Aussies always look good, the bastards.

  26. 26
    WyldPirate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Yeah, you have a point there OO.

    While I’m at it, I regret calling burnspesq a douchebag. That was wrong on my part and I’m sorry that I did it.

  27. 27
    Little Boots says:

    @WyldPirate:

    define “wrong”

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WyldPirate: All that being said, there are lawyers who do use their knowledge to assist their clients in breaking the law and evading taxes. I do have problem with them as well, both professionally and as a taxpaying citizen.

  29. 29
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Bill Murray: Check out this post at Rortybomb.

  30. 30
    burnspbesq says:

    @WyldPirate:

    While I’m at it, I regret calling burnspesq a douchebag.

    Don’t sweat it. I am fully capable of being a douchebag when necessary to protect my client’s interests. The trick is knowing when to turn it on and off.

  31. 31
    Little Boots says:

    what’s needed is a spark. I hope Madison is that spark. That little spark that gets everybody interested in workers rights off their ass and into the streets, cause this really is going nationwide.

  32. 32
    WyldPirate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Keep on with stuff like that, OO, and I’m going to have flog that Taibbi article yet again tonight. ;)

    @Little Boots:
    “Wrong” in the sense of being an intemperate asshole myself while making a genuine effort to correct that specific personal shortcoming in my character.

    Good enough? ;)

  33. 33
    Little Boots says:

    @burnspbesq:

    are your clients douchebags? are you being a douchebag on behalf of douchebags? Is that a problem for you?

  34. 34
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    There’s a difference between avoidance and evasion.

  35. 35
    BethanyAnne says:

    @burnspbesq: Dunno if he does, but I do. It’s why I want a flat tax… but based on wealth, not income.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Exactly. Avoidance is legal and I take no issue with it. Evasion is not legal and I do take issue with it. I do some tax work (personal and small business, nothing fancy) and explaining the difference between the two is a rather significant portion of the work.

  37. 37
    James E Powell says:

    This information is readily available and verifiable, but I wonder how many Americans are aware of it. It is similar to the information about America’s vast military empire. Or the billions given to corporations.

    One would think that if Democrats wanted to win the next round of national elections, they would make all of this information widely known and understood. Curious that they would rather protect the wealthy than win elections.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This is sort of insider baseball, but in my conversations with Burnsy I have a decent understanding of what kind of tax lawyer he is. And the area of tax law he represents is not like the Ronnie Deutches of the world in that they exploit the loopholes and push the boundaries as far as they can go. We wold probably be on opposite sides of the tax law equation because of what I do for the IRS, but I do have a healthy respect for advocates who do what he does for his clients.

    @burnspbesq: Avoidance is my purview. At the very least I try to get them into a place where they’re no longer avoiding so we don’t have to get to the ugly parts. Evasion can be even more fun, because in that case I have no qualms about using compliance tools I have available. It really is amazing the contortions people will go through in order to avoid a federal tax lien.

  39. 39
    Little Boots says:

    @James E Powell:

    even more curious how many Americans would simply yawn. we truly may be the dumbest fucks in the universe. we absorb this stuff and do nothing. maybe we really think we’re all millionaires in the making, in which case, we really are the dumbest fucks ever.

  40. 40
    burnspbesq says:

    @Little Boots:

    are your clients douchebags?

    The overwhelming majority of corporate tax people are genuinely making a good-faith effort to comply with a frightfully complex body of law, and also juggling often conflicting financial accounting rules.

    are you being a douchebag on behalf of douchebags?

    Generally not. More often than not, it’s the tax authorities that are being douchebags (present company excepted, Yut), applying rules that they get to write in an unprincipled and opportunistic way in order to maximize what they get out of the audit process.

    Is that a problem for you?

    Nope. It’s only money, and it’s not my money. As long as I stay within the ethical rules, I have no exposure, and I sleep like a baby.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano:
    @burnspbesq:

    I intended no slur toward burnspbesq with what I was saying. Based on everything that I have read on this blog, I have no doubt at all that he practices law ethically. I was merely observing that there are a lawyers who do not.

    burnspbesq, if I gave the impression, even for an instant, that I had included you in the unethical category, I regret it.

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    burnspbesq, if I gave the impression, even for an instant, that I had included you in the unethical category, I regret it.

    Don’t sweat it.

  43. 43
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq:

    More often than not, it’s the tax authorities that are being douchebags (present company excepted, Yut)

    No offense taken, though I don’t work audit anyway. :)

  44. 44
    Mark S. says:

    I know I’ve been beating this horse to death, but Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America calls for eliminating taxes on capital gains, interest, dividends, and estates. I don’t think you could find the yellow in that pie if we did that.

    Of course, Very Serious People find Ryan’s ideas intriguing and worthy of discussion.

  45. 45
    Little Boots says:

    what omnes said. attacking you personally, burnspbesq is not fair. it does seem to be a terribly corrupt system, though, and I hope we can change it.

  46. 46
    Bob says:

    Let them eat pie chart.

  47. 47
    Davis X. Machina says:

    It’s as if the Difference Principle had never been thought of.

  48. 48
    Little Boots says:

    @Mark S.:

    this should be uppermost in any Democratic Party pushback. Pump up Ryan and his ridiculous, obnoxious plan for this country. Bring it up, over and over and over again.

  49. 49
    Josh James says:

    I like the new and improved E.D. Kain so much better than the beta version who first appeared here …

  50. 50
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mr Furious: And 200 of which will be memetic selection, clock ticking and civil libertarian.

  51. 51
    jwb says:

    @E.D. Kain: Yes, and the comments to that post, there is some nice commentary on how the right is attempting to leverage the demographics of the boomers to shred the social safety net through generational warfare. That’s a much more convincing case than Sullivan’s argument that we need to shred the safety net now so it will be around later. Yet I find it very interesting that he is also deploying an argument of generational warfare. I’m a firm believe that these sorts of convergences do not occur in politics by chance.

  52. 52
    WyldPirate says:

    @Little Boots:

    even more curious how many Americans would simply yawn. we truly may be the dumbest fucks in the universe. we absorb this stuff and do nothing. maybe we really think we’re all millionaires in the making, in which case, we really are the dumbest fucks ever.

    Interesting you should say this, Little Boots.

    Sad to say that a substantial portion of “us” really are “the dumbest fucks ever”.
    Pew survey–“Middle Class by the numbers.

    From the link:

    41 Percentage of Americans with family incomes of less than $20,000 who say they are middle class.
    __
    33 Percentage of Americans with family incomes of $150,000 or more who say they are middle class.

    There are some more interesting numbers at the link for the curious.

    H/T to Gin and Tacos for the Pew survey link.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: I won’t then. Cheers.

  54. 54
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mark S.:

    Of course, Very Serious People find Ryan’s ideas intriguing and worthy of discussion.

    Very Serious People would.

    Xenophanes the pre-Socratic used to say that if cattle and horses had hands, and could fashion images of their gods, lo and behold, they would have hooves and horns.

    What bothers me are their toadies, the coat-holders and door-openers. Selling out is one thing, but selling out and telling me it’s all about First Principles, and Immutable Moral Truths, is another thing altogether.

  55. 55
    Zoogz says:

    Enjoy how the chart says “2007”. From what I understand, the yellow should expand to about 95% of the graph by 2011 because of all the unemployment benefits the not-at-all-concerned-about-debt Democrats extended to the young bucks and other moochers. Of course, this was due to them (Democrats AND moochers) breaking the economy by taking out millions of loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  56. 56
    Yutsano says:

    @Zoogz: Heh. Try harder. And back up your shit with links or else get out of here with your easily refuted garbage.

  57. 57
    James E Powell says:

    @Little Boots:

    Sadly, I suspect that you may be right. But we will never know because no one in any position of authority is going to spread that information in the same way they spread, say, the typical right-wing Outrage of the Week.

    And also too there seems to be no limit to the destructive right-wing policies that the Real American working class will support when the Democrat in the White House is black.

  58. 58
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @burnspbesq: Isn’t that the case for all of us with clients? Even those who can barely spell tax?
    @Omnes Omnibus: Avoidance is appropriate; evasion is illegal. I have the same issues you do with those who helps clients manage the latter. And I never got the impression you considered mr. burns to be anywhere near that category. And I’m tuned to see ethics slurs if they’re there.

  59. 59
    WyldPirate says:

    @PeakVT:
    Good post PeakVT. I enjoyed reading it.

    I think what you were getting at was on the right track, but I think we need to revert back to the top marginal rates in place when Reagan came into office as will as shitcanning most of the corporate and individual loopholes.

    Doing these things, along with driving a stake in the heart of the medical insurance industry via a single-payer system, and cutting the defense budget by two-thirds would go a long way towards getting us back on track.

  60. 60
    Pooh says:

    Perhaps we should flip Ryan’s framing around on him – since he thinks capital gains, dividends, etc. Shouldn’t be taxed, it follows that he doesn’t believe that people worked for that money. Real America that!

  61. 61
    Little Boots says:

    @James E Powell:

    they make it so easy. can they at least make it difficult once in a while, at least? This week, I’ve been hearing from people who voted for our pissant governor Scott Walker, and what is saddest is the number of dumbass reasons: he seemed nice; he seemed sincere (really?); I figured everyone was equally bad, so why not try the new guy; I just assumed he couldn’t be as bad as everyone said.

    Jesus Fuck, I get buyers’ remorse, but what the fuck were most people doing buying in the first place? You may as well throw darts at posters, most of these people. And now they get it, which is great, but jesus fuck.

  62. 62
    jwb says:

    @Little Boots: Since most state legislatures are in session this spring and looking to make pretty draconian cuts, I think there is a possibility that the protests might spread, especially if it looks like the protests are having effects. That’s still an open question with the protests in Wisconsin, but I’m hopeful since at least they are attracting attention. Next week is going to be key. How long do the unions stay out? If they go back to work, how do they maintain the energy of mobilization? I think these questions are really dicey.

  63. 63
    burnspbesq says:

    @Little Boots:

    My law school tax prof, Mike Graetz, wrote a book called “100 Million Unnecessary Returns,” which I strongly recommend to anyone interested in tax reform.

  64. 64
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Little Boots: Gotta say, I agree with you. I know it can be difficult to be informed, but the voters have to take a shred of responsibility. Walker wasn’t hiding his message–no, he was damn blatant about what he hoped to achieve (except, perhaps, for the union-busting bit). “I’d like to have a beer with him” is NOT a good reason to vote for someone.

  65. 65
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @jwb: We’re gonna have a planned protest in Ohio Tuesday 2/22 (Kay has a post about it), so it will at least spread here.

  66. 66
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I hope you are grateful to the FSM every single damn day that Dayton managed to prevail. I shudder to think of the condition you guys would be in after the dual sock of T-Paw and Emmet.

  67. 67
    Little Boots says:

    @jwb:

    honestly I think it’s more about how long the Democratic state senators stay gone. right now nothing can happen, but if just one weakens, it’s all done, at least legally. then we get into an illegal strike, and then who knows? but for now, it is about the willpower of 14 state senators.

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q): Good to hear. Are you going? Are you a Columbusite?

  69. 69
    Davis X. Machina says:

    In a way, unions are, or were, part of the solution. You belong to a union, someone who’s interested in politics, who knows a little about the budget, someoney presumably not primarily worrying about who they’d like to have a beer with, is sitting down with candidates seeking an endorsement, leaving you free to raise your kids, download porn, watch Law and Order reruns…

    No one says you have to vote for the endorsee, but the process puts a workers’ thumb on the scale, to match the one put there by the bosses. It doesn’t keep you from cutting your own throat, but it at least tries to hide the razors.

  70. 70
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He’s a Dookie, so don’t regret anything you said, true or not.

  71. 71
    burnspbesq says:

    OT, but I’m watching a replay of the Hopkins – Towson lax game on espn3, and I have to ask: was it as cold in Baltimore today as it looks on TV?

  72. 72
    Little Boots says:

    @burnspbesq:

    thanks. I do want to understand that better. it’s such a big problem, but it really does come down to this ridiculous system we have developed of money worship. we have got to find a better way.

  73. 73
    El Cid says:

    On the distribution of wealth & income. From Domhoff. Charts & tables there.

    Wealth.

    In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%.

    Inheritance.

    According to a study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, only 1.6% of Americans receive $100,000 or more in inheritance. Another 1.1% receive $50,000 to $100,000. On the other hand, 91.9% receive nothing (Kotlikoff & Gokhale, 2000). Thus, the attempt by ultra-conservatives to eliminate inheritance taxes — which they always call “death taxes” for P.R. reasons — would take a huge bite out of government revenues (an estimated $1 trillion between 2012 and 2022) for the benefit of the heirs of the mere 0.6% of Americans whose death would lead to the payment of any estate taxes whatsoever (Citizens for Tax Justice, 2010b).

    Income.

    The income distribution…is not as concentrated as the wealth distribution, but the top 1% of income earners did receive 17% of all income in the year 2003 and 21.3% in 2006. That’s up from 12.8% for the top 1% in 1982, which is quite a jump, and it parallels what is happening with the wealth distribution. This is further support for the inference that the power of the corporate community and the upper class have been increasing in recent decades…
    __
    As of 2007, income inequality in the United States was at an all-time high for the past 95 years, with the top 0.01% — that’s one-hundredth of one percent — receiving 6% of all U.S. wages, which is double what it was for that tiny slice in 2000; the top 10% received 49.7%, the highest since 1917 (Saez, 2009). However, in an analysis of 2008 tax returns for the top 0.2% — that is, those whose income tax returns reported $1,000,000 or more in income (mostly from individuals, but nearly a third from couples) — it was found that they received 13% of all income, down slightly from 16.1% in 2007 due to the decline in payoffs from financial assets (Norris, 2010).
    __
    And the rate of increase is even higher for the very richest of the rich: the top 400 income earners in the United States. According to another analysis by Johnston (2010a), the average income of the top 400 tripled during the Clinton Administration and doubled during the first seven years of the Bush Administration.
    __
    So by 2007, the top 400 averaged $344.8 million per person, up 31% from an average of $263.3 million just one year earlier. (For another recent revealing study by Johnston, read “Is Our Tax System Helping Us Create Wealth?”).
    __
    How are these huge gains possible for the top 400? It’s due to cuts in the tax rates on capital gains and dividends, which were down to a mere 15% in 2007 thanks to the tax cuts proposed by the Bush Administration and passed by Congress in 2003.
    __
    Since almost 75% of the income for the top 400 comes from capital gains and dividends, it’s not hard to see why tax cuts on income sources available to only a tiny percent of Americans mattered greatly for the high-earning few.
    __
    Overall, the effective tax rate on high incomes fell by 7% during the Clinton presidency and 6% in the Bush era, so the top 400 had a tax rate of 20% or less in 2007, far lower than the marginal tax rate of 35% that the highest income earners (over $372,650) supposedly pay.

    Global wealth distribution.

    Thanks to a 2006 study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research — using statistics for the year 2000 — we now have information on the wealth distribution for the world as a whole, which can be compared to the United States and other well-off countries. The authors of the report admit that the quality of the information available on many countries is very spotty and probably off by several percentage points, but they compensate for this problem with very sophisticated statistical methods and the use of different sets of data. With those caveats in mind, we can still safely say that the top 10% of the world’s adults control about 85% of global household wealth — defined very broadly as all assets (not just financial assets), minus debts. That compares with a figure of 69.8% for the top 10% for the United States. The only industrialized democracy with a higher concentration of wealth in the top 10% than the United States is Switzerland at 71.3%.

    Concentration of wealth over US history.

    Numerous studies show that the wealth distribution has been extremely concentrated throughout American history, with the top 1% already owning 40-50% in large port cities like Boston, New York, and Charleston in the 19th century.
    __
    It was very stable over the course of the 20th century, although there were small declines in the aftermath of the New Deal and World II, when most people were working and could save a little money. There were progressive income tax rates, too, which took some money from the rich to help with government services.
    __
    Then there was a further decline, or flattening, in the 1970s, but this time in good part due to a fall in stock prices, meaning that the rich lost some of the value in their stocks.
    __
    By the late 1980s, however, the wealth distribution was almost as concentrated as it had been in 1929, when the top 1% had 44.2% of all wealth. It has continued to edge up since that time, with a slight decline from 1998 to 2001, before the economy crashed in the late 2000s and little people got pushed down again.

    Relative tax burden.

    When all taxes (not just income taxes) are taken into account, the lowest 20% of earners (who average about $12,400 per year), paid 16.0% of their income to taxes in 2009; and the next 20% (about $25,000/year), paid 20.5% in taxes. So if we only examine these first two steps, the tax system looks like it is going to be progressive.
    __
    And it keeps looking progressive as we move further up the ladder: the middle 20% (about $33,400/year) give 25.3% of their income to various forms of taxation, and the next 20% (about $66,000/year) pay 28.5%. So taxes are progressive for the bottom 80%. But if we break the top 20% down into smaller chunks, we find that progressivity starts to slow down, then it stops, and then it slips backwards for the top 1%.
    __
    Specifically, the next 10% (about $100,000/year) pay 30.2% of their income as taxes; the next 5% ($141,000/year) dole out 31.2% of their earnings for taxes; and the next 4% ($245,000/year) pay 31.6% to taxes. You’ll note that the progressivity is slowing down. As for the top 1% — those who take in $1.3 million per year on average — they pay 30.8% of their income to taxes, which is a little less than what the 9% just below them pay, and only a tiny bit more than what the segment between the 80th and 90th percentile pays.

    Lots of other context & comparisons at the web page. Links to source material too.

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: This of course tells nothing about what happened today, but tomorrow is expected in low 40’s. Brisk but not too horrid considering what they had.

  75. 75
    Little Boots says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    And they Organize. That is a huge part of this. Wisconsin has pretty weak party structure, per se, so for Democrats, unions take up a lot of the slack, organizing the lit drops and the phone banks and a whole lot of other things. to kill the unions is, quite intentionally on the part of Scott Walker, to kill the opposition party.

  76. 76
    dww44 says:

    O/T I know, but I have been resorting to Firefox to read this blog, because in my other browser, something to do with BJ makes it inaccessible. The site literally won’t appear. However, I cannot stand the font in Firefox. Not only while on BJ, but also at any website I happen to visit. The font is not sharp and clear. It’s like there aren’t enough pixels in the print or something. Isn’t there a way to change the font? Or will that not do any good? My font is different over on the other side.

    I’ve given up on whatever the heck’s the matter with any browser based on Internet Explorer, vis-a-vis viewing problems with Balloon-Juice.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I know it can be difficult to be informed, but the voters have to take a shred of responsibility. Walker wasn’t hiding his message—

    I saw a sign along those lines from the Madison protest: “Middle Class: Do you get it now? They’re not on your side!”

    Then again, as I think about the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the attempts to redefine rape, etc., the national party does lie about its agenda. I don’t think the national GOP has put the “pro-life” agenda front and center since Reagan. GW Bush had two platform speeches wrt abortion, one for friendlies and one for speeches where national media was present.

  78. 78
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Probably and no, but I’m coordinating some carpools from here, so I’ll feel like I’m participating even if I don’t get there.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J. Michael Neal: That is one way of looking at things. Duke has never benefited or harmed me, so I am indifferent,

  80. 80
    jwb says:

    @Little Boots: The senators will stay gone only so far as the politics make it advantageous for them to stay gone. What’s making it advantageous to stay gone at the moment is the size and energy of the protest. The moment that starts to wane, the pressure for the senators to return will assert itself. At the same time, I can’t imagine that the teachers, police, firefighters and other workers want to be gone from their jobs much longer, no matter how much they believe in the protest. But without those bodies in the street, how do you maintain the energy? That’s the conundrum, and without a new source for bodies or a decision to call a general strike (which may well be illegal), I don’t see how you maintain the energy of the protest. So I’m just praying that those bodies keep appearing, however they manage it.

  81. 81
    Little Boots says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    but that’s what kills me, Jim. why the hell does anyone think that gang of clowns actually cares about the deficit, or the middle class, or wages, or anything that matters? What in George W. Bush’s 8 year free for all gave anyone the idea that he or his party cared about anything except starting wars, shrieking about gay people and abortion, loving guns and gun nuts, being an asshole on civil rights, running up the deficit, and drowning black people? seriously, how much did you really have to pay attention to get that these people do not give a fuck about anything but their rich friends? that is what kills me.

  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WyldPirate: This is the number from that Pew survey that surprises me:

    53 Percentage of all Americans who identify themselves as middle class.

    I thought it was closer to 80 or even 90% that self-ID’d as middle class, and the poor know they’re poor.

  83. 83
    jwb says:

    @Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q): Yes, I’ve been interested to hear about this, and I hope you all have great success. A good sized protest and movement in Ohio will also take some of the pressure off of Wisconsin, and so help them keep their movement going. Let’s hope this starts rolling around the country.

  84. 84
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Agreed on your latter points. They didn’t actively push the anti-human rights agenda, true. The rest, though, he wasn’t too shy about saying.

    Snow. We are supposed to get tons of it. That will make me happy.

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    @jwb: People said the same things about the protests in Egypt…and the bodies kept coming. They essentially coordinated so they would come in and fade out in shifts, so that way those that could not stay the whole time could indeed depart when necessary. Right now there is not much economic activity in Madison proper. The biggest fallout will be over the sustained teacher sick-out, as alternative child care arrangements can only be held so far.

  86. 86
    Little Boots says:

    @jwb:

    that is a good point. they had an opportunity to do something about this when they were in power, and they dragged ass like democrats so often do. they do need somebody to prop them up, and right now these demonstrations are doing that.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q): I lived there for years, so if you aren’t familiar with it and want some lunch or dinner recommendations I can offer a few options.

  88. 88
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Little Boots: I am loathe to mention his name again, but it did occur to me today during the various Sullivan threads how comical it is for Sully to get all fanboy about Mitch Daniels because of his alleged seriousness about the deficit. The gomer was George W Bush’s budget director, FFS! And Sullivan is one of the people who creates the conventional wisdom that trickles down to those low-info voters.

  89. 89
    J. Michael Neal says:

    My personal approach would be to:

    1) Bring tax rates back to Clinton era levels;
    2) Do away with the tax distinction between investment income (capital gains, dividends, what have you) and wage income;
    3) Phase out the tax deduction for interest expense. Not just the mortgage tax deduction, but all interest expense for corporations. I think privileging debt financing over equity has had some pernicious effects on corporate structure.

    Once that’s done, I’d look into a deal for a revenue neutral trade of eliminating the corporate income tax for raising high income marginal rates. I think that the arguments that it’s unfair to tax at both the corporate and individual level are ridiculous, but as a practical matter, it would probably be more efficient to only tax at the individual level, in part because it would eliminate most of the deductions and loopholes in the tax code.

  90. 90
    jwb says:

    @Yutsano: Yes, I sincerely hope those bodies keep appearing. We sorely need those bodies to keep appearing, and I’m so thankful for those bodies that have so far appeared. But I have to think this coming week is going to be hard, perhaps the hardest, because there is a very large logistical problem to be solved, and it will have to be solved in very short order for the protest to continue.

  91. 91
    RalfW says:

    @El Cid: I glazed over after the inheritance stuff, but I do wonder if the rich (as in, not me) are miscalculating. There is a point above which I think the working class will not tolerate being the have-nots vis. the haves.

    And out will come the pitchforks. The relative stability of our country for a good part of the last century was because income distribution was decent enough that the rich weren’t seen as pulling away at 135 mph in a Lamborghini.

    But now the rich are pulling away at 500 knots in a NetJets Challenger 600, and there really may be class warfare.

  92. 92
    Little Boots says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Yeah, Sully pisses me off on a whole different level, because he obviously can educate himself whenever he wants to about so many subjects, but just chooses not to about anything that threatens any stupid Thatcherite bullshit.

  93. 93
    Yutsano says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I’d add one capper: an onerous estate tax. Like 50% or even higher above, say, $3 million. It’s time to end the constant chain of oligarchic wealth that is eating up so many resources in the sustaining of said wealth.

    @jwb: We can only hope this will all work out. It might be time for those participating to decide what is more important: creature comforts or social change. Protests are by definition not easy, and sustained protests can be even more straining. The more outside support they can get the easier it will be to sustain the numbers.

  94. 94
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Yutsano: I wouldn’t use the protests in Egypt as much of a hopeful analogy. They may have chased Mubarak out, but the fundamental problem remains. If anything, the army is increasing it’s stranglehold on the economy, and I doubt that they’re going to end up seceding much political power either. At best, it’ll be like Pakistan or Turkey, where they allow the civilians to have power under the condition that they don’t do anything the generals don’t like, under threat (and sometimes the actuality) of a coup.

    I’m just not very optimistic about Egypt actually improving.

  95. 95
    PeakVT says:

    @WyldPirate: Thanks. I am all for raising the top marginal rate, btw. I wasn’t trying to specify an exact mix of revenue sources, just point out that there are plenty of ways to raise money without jacking up income taxes on people in the middle.

  96. 96

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Then again, as I think about the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the attempts to redefine rape, etc., the national party does lie about its agenda. I don’t think the national GOP has put the “pro-life” agenda front and center since Reagan. GW Bush had two platform speeches wrt abortion, one for friendlies and one for speeches where national media was present.

    Heehee…One of the best laughs I’ve ever had was watching the backhaul of an anti-choice rally taking place at Lafayette Park in DC- ya know, right across the street from the White House- and then-President GHW Bush making a statement to the crowd via speakerphone. From the White House. Because the First Lady refused to attend.

    Bar Bush might be mostly a disgustingly venal woman otherwise, but she’s always been on the right side of the reproductive rights argument.

  97. 97
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Yutsano: I’ll put the estate tax issue on the back burner. My first goal is to just adjust tax levels to deal with the budget deficit so that we get that argument, and the threat of ridiculous spending cuts, off the table. After that, I’d also prefer to go to an inheritance tax rather than an estate tax. I think that that would be both fairer, and probably easier to administer.

  98. 98
    Yutsano says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Well I wasn’t commenting on the actual politics of Egypt inasmuch as I was noting how the protests were specifically handled. What will emerge there has yet to be seen. All we can hope is that it will meet the needs of the Egyptian people.

    @J. Michael Neal: Fair enough. I just figure if you’re going to start reforming parts you might as well enact a whole shebang. Me likey omnibus bills.

  99. 99
    Davis X. Machina says:

    There is a point above which I think the working class will not tolerate being the have-nots vis. the haves.

    You’ll never see it reached in our lifetimes. The US is the Saudi Arabia of false consciousness — world’s largest producer, world’s largest proven reserves.

    So long as the arts, entertainment and recreation sector of the economy is four times the size of the education sector, no one’s going to have their throats cut in the night by the peasants.

    The best minds in this country don’t go into FIRE, they go into the bright-shiny-things industry.

  100. 100
    Little Boots says:

    tax the people with the money. again we are in the majority, by definition. why does that never register, electorally. the rich are and always will be a minority.

  101. 101
    Little Boots says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    well said, unfortunately.

  102. 102
    jwb says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Yes, I could see this happening, and that’s why I think it was a strategic mistake to fixate on Mubarak rather than the political structure, though that reduction was practically inevitable. On the other hand, I don’t think the dice have been cast yet in Egypt, and I’m fairly certain that the military is not of one mind. I also wonder if the military leaders recognize that they are incapable of effectively governing the country given the various pressures they would inevitably face.

  103. 103
    gbear says:

    Oh fuck.

    RT @MotherJones BREAKING: Sources in Madison say riot police have been ordered to clear protesters from capital building at 2 am

  104. 104
    MikeJ says:

    @gbear: So we’ll see if American cops care as much about human rights as the Egyptian army.

  105. 105
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Rawls on the Found Love Principle

    ETA: Tell me that funky disco high hat doesn’t benefit even the least member of society

  106. 106
    Maude says:

    @dww44:
    I am using K-Meleon. I have no problems with any sites. It doesn’t have a lot of fancy stuff, but it works. It’s not based on IE.

  107. 107
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @gbear: The KGB always picked people up between 2 AM and 3 AM. Least resistance then…

    Somebody’s authoritah wasn’t being respected… Sunday’s not a legislative work day, and Monday’s a holiday, so the need to do this now has approximately nothing to do with protesters making it difficult for the legislature to do the people’s business.

  108. 108
    gbear says:

    @MikeJ: It’s two hours notice. There is time for plans to be made. I hope to gawd that it stays peaceful in the building and in the streets.

    What is Walker going to do? Ring the capitol with fencing and razor wire?

  109. 109
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @gbear: Jeeeeebuz Christ. Nice. Very nice. This is just sick and wrong.

    E.D. twitted this video. It really speaks to the frustration many have been voicing here.

  110. 110
    Little Boots says:

    there is some weird rule (isn’t there always?) about when you can close the capitol, depending on how many people are inside. Last night a bunch of us had to go into the capitol to prevent that. Not there tonight, but I’m guessing they’re on alert to shut it down if it falls below a certain number of occupants. Not that it really matters, I’m guessing, it’s all about the symbolism.

  111. 111

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The KGB always picked people up between 2 AM and 3 AM.

    Yeah, but that’s when they’d snatch ’em out of their homes. People attending a sit-in tend not to shock as easily as those who are in bed sleeping.

  112. 112
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Yutsano:

    I’d add one capper: an onerous estate tax. Like 50% or even higher above, say, $3 million.

    Funny, one of my best mates’ father also worked for the IRS and said much the same thing.

  113. 113
    Little Boots says:

    good night, juicers. there’s supposed to be bad weather tomorrow, so I don’t know how the demonstrations will go. we’ll see. but no vote, so this thing definitely is not over.

  114. 114
    Yutsano says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): To avoid potential brushings with the Hatch Act, I will say that the estate tax idea is my own personal opinion and has no bearing on my duties or the opinion of the Internal Revenue Service. But it’s nice to know I’m not alone there.

  115. 115

    I believe that what it would take to get through to the WI leg & Gov is for every union member (public & private) to walk out. Not just the public sector, either that or for wealthy property to start burning (not good, but also gets their attention).

    See France for how that goes. Wealth & GOP give a shit about those people in the street, paralysis OTH they do give a shit about.

  116. 116

    Geeze EDK, now you’ve done it, put numbers and shit up. No conservative will be able to deal with that. Eomotions, dude – no numbers unless you make them up as you go.

  117. 117
    Jennifer says:

    Yutsano, if you’re still around, a question:

    Suppose you know that someone, say a former business partner who tried to screw you, evaded taxes for at least 2 out of the past 10 years and failed to file returns in any of the past 10 years. Now suppose you’ve reported said former business partner to the IRS, but since said former business partner frequently changes jobs because she’s too lazy to get off her ass and go to work, and moves frequently because she’s financially irresponsible (hello! doesn’t file returns or pay taxes) and landlords will evict you after a few months of failing to pay the rent…well, how can you help the IRS catch up with said tax evader, and does the IRS even bother going after what is essentially small potatoes even if a report of evasion is made?

    Just curious.

  118. 118
    jwb says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Actually, they do care that there are people in the streets, but only to the extent that they fear that those people might disrupt business and/or torch the property. But you can tell they care because the pundits feel it necessary to use far more aggressive rhetoric than they have to.

  119. 119
    Yutsano says:

    @Jennifer: There are methods of location tied to her social security number (I’m not at liberty to discuss details) and any time she is employed in any capacity or opens a bank account that information is reported to us. If it gets serious enough a revenue officer can go after her, but that has an income limit. People like to think they can evade us forever, but we have methods of location that are pretty effective. In fact, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. We just have a limited number of resources, but we do eventually catch up with people.

    PS if you have current information about their whereabouts by all means keep reporting. We try to go after every lead we get.

  120. 120
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Little Boots: Good night, LB. Sleep tight and good luck in the morrow.

    @jwb: Plus, it looks bad. Optics, you know.

  121. 121

    @jwb:
    As I said, either wealth on fire or paralysis – their profits at risk. Kids not at school-so what?

  122. 122
    frosty says:

    @burnspbesq: Not so cold, it was above freezing, probably in the 40s, but windy as all get out.

    They played LAX in February? That’s pushing the season a bit.

  123. 123

    @asiangrrlMN: We just got a bit over a foot of snow at just above freezing – this is going to be a mess because it will freeze hard tonight.

  124. 124
    Jennifer says:

    Yutsano – well, that’s good news. I was wondering if I should keep feeding the IRS information about her ever-changing employment or address…but if they decide to go after her, sounds like they can get that info faster and easier than I can provide, but I suppose anything I can do to help is appreciated!

    Just one more question: typically, when someone reports a tax cheat, how long does it take the IRS to start looking into it? I’m sure there’s no one answer for that, but even a time frame window?

  125. 125
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Oh, damn. I don’t like the freezing snow/ice thing. That’s really dangerous. I hope yours doesn’t freeze! We are supposed to get anywhere from 3 inches to a foot and a half. Snort.

  126. 126
    Yutsano says:

    @Jennifer: There is a huge automated system that does about 90% of my work for me. I handle the details computers can’t deal with, such as human contact. I can’t give you an exact time frame as that can vary by the case, but we do try to respond. Trust me, I’ve resolved $250 cases that we’ve pursued just as aggressively as the $250,000 ones.

  127. 127
    Jennifer says:

    Yutsano – great, thanks for the info. I kicked this person out of the business when she tried to go to the bank and remove the money that was on deposit for our payroll and sales tax payments (fortunately I had changed the signature card on the account, so the bank called as soon as she showed up) for her personal use. I included that little detail in my letter to the IRS, as I thought it might help underline her disregard for abiding the law. Then I cut off her cell phone and changed the locks on the office. Then went through a couple of months wrangling with her attorney, who the dumb bitch had convinced was going to get a big payout, because the only reason I locked her out of the business was to “keep all the money for myself” (this was the first year of the business; thanks to her sitting around on her ass there was no profit though thanks to me kicking her ass out, I did break even after expenses). Long story short, she made my life a living hell for 2 months with all her crazy bullshit, but when it was all over, she got nothing, and because she had been sitting on her ass for 2 months with no money coming in while she waited for her “settlement”, she got evicted and her car was repossessed.

    I figured that after all the crap she put me through, reporting her to the IRS was the least I could do to repay the favor!

  128. 128
    jwb says:

    @Chuck Butcher: No, the powers care in this case. The media is too curious about it for it to be the case that they do not to care. Or perhaps “care” is too strong; it may simply be that they don’t understand it. But they are interested. And that in itself is an intriguing turn.

  129. 129

    @asiangrrlMN:
    It is now (11PM) 27F so it’s frozen, it was mid to upper 30s while falling so the streets only got about 4″ accumulation due to melt, shaded streets much more but that melt is under snow and 27F and falling fast means crappy conditions. Was mid 50s a couple days ago – way unseasonable. If it is below 25F it generally doesn’t snow down here in the valley (3500ft) but up in the mtns (7-10K ft). It takes a massive storm system for it to snow down here when it’s really cold – has done it, oooeee.

  130. 130
    Yutsano says:

    @Jennifer:

    I kicked this person out of the business when she tried to go to the bank and remove the money that was on deposit for our payroll and sales tax payments (fortunately I had changed the signature card on the account, so the bank called as soon as she showed up) for her personal use.

    WHEW! You dodged a major bullet there. When something like that occurs, regardless of how innocent you are as a party, you can be assessed with what’s called a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty. That means a nice visit from a revenue officer who will turn your financial world upside down and a demand for repayment plus interest and penalties for each quarter that the money is missing. Not pleasant. And ANY party who was authorized to sign a check for the company is jointly and severably liable. It is NOT something you want hanging over your head ever.

  131. 131

    @jwb:
    Their interest is limited to how to sell it to their fellow travelers not to be bothered by it. In Egypt it scared the shit out of the govt, in WI it annoys them that they have the temerity. They will care when there is a tangible damage to their interests and that ain’t the fucking media or the low info idjits in their base.

    I am not cynical but I also know labor history and the history of protest in this nation.

  132. 132
    Jennifer says:

    @Yutsano: Yep. As I told her dumbassed attorney, when he said “you can’t just lock her out of the business,” I said “oh yeah? I already have. And if I hadn’t, the IRS would have locked BOTH of us out, because after your client stole and frittered away the tax funds, they would have come out and put the locks on the doors.”

    Like I said, I had already figured out that her next move, after failing to shake me down for mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money, would be to try to steal from the company, so I headed her off at the pass.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @Jennifer: And they love just nipping at the payroll tax as if they think no one in the government is paying attention. They think wrong. And the penalty is a big ouch. But it’s meant to be.

  134. 134
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Day-um. Well, stay safe and stay warm.

  135. 135
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Jennifer: Oof! Bad partner. Sole proprietorship, dog. It’s the only way to go.

  136. 136
    jwb says:

    @Chuck Butcher: And yet they are interested. That’s the key. Temerity soon transforms into something else because it assumes the appearance of power, and if the protests can get through this next week and maintain their energy, the powers that be will ratchet up a level from mere irritation. Just watch. If we are having a conversation about large demonstrations in Wisconsin this time next week, we’ll be noticing how much shriller the coverage is, how many more GOP politicians are weighing in on the issue, and how Koch, Inc is working overtime to restart the teabagging movement that they’ve spent the past two months desperately trying to shut down. But all of that is contingent on getting through this week with the energy of the demonstrations intact.

  137. 137
    Jennifer says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): Tell me about it.

    The old company has been shut down; I kept all the inventory and physical assets, re-organized as a single member LLC, and just relaunched Jan. 21.

    Good news is: pretty much everyone we were doing business with at the time knew about the upheaval, because dumb bitch called them with crazy tales about how I was trying to rip everyone off, etc etc etc…but since I kept control of the checkbook and inventory, and because I called them first to tell them that we were in the process of “separating our business interests” but that I planned to continue in business either under the same or another name, and that I would be assuming all liabilities of the former business if there were any outstanding – but most of all because I was calling them on a regular basis, delivering to the customers as promised and on-time, and paying the vendors promptly as promised…they all figured out that she was a crazy bitch, and in the end, I didn’t lose any vendors OR customers. If anything, they’re more committed to continuing to do business with me because they know I delivered even under really difficult circumstances. I mean, at one point, DB got the bank account SHUT DOWN, because she kept making complaints about the fact that I was paying money to people we OWED it to. Finally the bank had enough and said “we’re closing the account and returning all the checks” (and they returned stuff even that had cleared already – didn’t know they could do that) so I had to call vendors and say, “hey, that check you just deposited? It’s going to get returned, and here’s why. When it comes back, please note that it’s a “refer to maker”, not “insufficient funds.” I’ll have a cashier’s check for you within the week, just as soon as our funds are cleared in the new account we had to set up.”

    Anyway, given that 4 out of my 7 suppliers have told me “if you need a reference with anyone, have them call me,” I figure it turned out as well as it could have under the circumstances.

    Let this be a cautionary tale for all of you: NEVER GO INTO A PARTNERSHIP.

  138. 138
  139. 139
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Jennifer: Wow. Such perseverance. I don’t know if I would have had the patience to wade through all that.

    I’ve been in a partnership that, comparatively, went swimmingly. That said, I agree with you 100% NEVER GO INTO A PARTNERSHIP

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    @J. Michael Neal:
    Plus if I’m not mistaken a lot of corps (especially bigger ones) pay little or no tax so eliminating it would not be that costly.

  141. 141

    @burnspbesq: One must never go full douche bag.

  142. 142

    @Davis X. Machina: And suddenly I feel like watching V for Vendetta.

  143. 143
    kdaug says:

    @Zoogz: Fresh troll, everyone! Hot off the steamer! Get ’em while they’re warm!

  144. 144
    Shalimar says:

    @kdaug: Fresh, but not very good at it. No one is that ignorant and stupid. He might as well have said he has a pet unicorn to help him find virgins to deflower. It’s just as likely to be true as the crap he spewed. Give him time, I guess.

  145. 145
    burnspbesq says:

    @WyldPirate:

    “Ditto when you have douchebags in Congress who pass special laws for hedge fund managers to tax their income at the cap gains rate of 15% despite the fact that they are providing a service.”

    Look, treating carried interest as capital gain is completely outrageous, but there is no such “special law.” It’s a completely straight-forward application of long-settled fundamental principles of partnership tax law.

    Partnerships are pass-through entities. Partners report their distributive share of partnership income. The character of items of partnership income is determined at the partnership level, and that character stays the same when the income is allocated to the partners. That has been the rule since at least 1954.

    When a partnership earns capital gain, the partners are allocated shares of capital gain.

    You win this argument on policy grounds: all compensation for the performance of services should be ordinary income, and carried interest is unquestionably compensation for services performed for the partnership by the managers. There is nothing to be gained by lying about what the law is.

  146. 146
    burnspbesq says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    As long as you confine yourself to fooling around with the income tax, you’re never going to balance the budget. That only happens if you add a VAT.

  147. 147
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jennifer:

    If you know where this person lives, cc the US Attorney’s office for that district on anything you send to the IRS. An offhand “hey, when are you referring this case” comment from am AUSA to a manager in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division might be what it takes to light a fire under the IRS.

  148. 148
    Jeffro says:

    That pie chart would make a great t-shirt symbol, all by itself

  149. 149
    matoko_chan says:

    But you helped the teabaggers get there, Kain.
    You helped build the distributed jesusland that is destroying our country.
    You helped build it at Culture 11, at TAS, and at the League.
    Now your old team is going to lose forever, and you wanna switch sides.
    I want blood.
    Give me reparations for 3 years of unmitigated spin.

  150. 150
    Bill Arnold says:

    @RalfW:

    And out will come the pitchforks.

    This being America, it could quickly escalate to sniper rifles and improvised explosively formed penetrators. Class warfare in America could get extremely ugly.

  151. 151
    Turgid Jacobian says:

    @burnspbesq: Oh, yeah, because wealth never generates income. Asshole.

  152. 152
  153. 153
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Shorter m-c:

    “Sputter, splut, gargle, gloop … arrrrghhgh CUDLIP!”

  154. 154
    blogreeder says:

    @El Cid:

    The authors of the report admit that the quality of the information available on many countries is very spotty and probably off by several percentage points, but they compensate for this problem with very sophisticated statistical methods and the use of different sets of data.

    In other words, they’re making shit up.

  155. 155
    xcentric news says:

    @burnspbesq

    difference between avoidance and evasion eh?
    what? like an overt act? awareness?
    just more legalese for you people to play with to avoid the truth.
    and i guess offshore accounts, beneficial owners, intermediaries, exploitation of tax treaties, etc etc would fall under “avoidance” right?

    wage inequality, along with the inequality of administrative rights, in this country is just plain sickening.

    why cant I, a flesh and blood individual, have a qualified intermediary account that reports income on my behalf and is withheld at a lower rate than that which is directly taken out of my paycheck?

    O, thats right, because im not some crooked hedgefund with a room full of corporate monekeys in suits, AKA, corporate tax dept.

    the only reason these people have so much of the “wealth” and earn 98% of the “income” is because of politics, not hard work or moral character.
    money=politics

  156. 156
    Four Housecats of the Apocalypse says:

    @burnspbesq: Correct! There is a big difference between wealth and income. Some wise conservative investments made during my working years has placed me among the top 5% in regards to wealth. However, I must now spread that wealth out over the next 25 to 30 years to supplement my Social Security during my retirement years. If I were to be taxed on my wealth I would have to pay one Hell of a lot in taxes whereas being taxed on my actual annual income I pay zero.

  157. 157
    Jeff says:

    I don’t think the wealthy actually pay most of the taxes, do they? They may pay most of the INCOME taxes, But I’d like to see how that actually compares to the total of sales, property, and payroll taxes, which everyone has to pay.

  158. 158
    Louise says:

    If the wealthy can only eliminate that band of yellow, this country will be the most prosperous one *evah*! Then you will see the beauty of the GOPlutocratic system! The yellow band has had all of its wealth extracted; there is really no reason to keep them around, since they will just make trouble.

    As the commenter on Barron’s posted: “What this world needs is another good plague.” http://online.barrons.com/arti.....mment15928 Just get rid of all the extra Common Fodder Units!

Comments are closed.