At some point during the 1970s the tax code in the United States of America was deliberately turned in a complex labyrinth of small typed font, subsections, exemptions, and industry speak double talk. It is not a coincidence that from 1970 until now, the infrastructure of the United States has been in consistent decline. Parallel to this urban decay that all of us have seen that driving through any major metropolitan city has been a rise of gated communities and McMansions, again not a coincidence.
“Between 1946 and 1970, very prosperous years, the highest tax rate for the top earners was never below 70%—even under Dwight Eisenhower, whom no one called a socialist. We have so much deferred maintenance on roads and bridges and tunnels and ports. Money does not have to be raised, and the rich have never been as rich.” Robert Reich in the 10/7/13 issue of TIME magazine.
This is part of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is referring to with their 99% slogan. The income/wealth of the top 1% is more than the rest of the 99% possess in combined. There is no one reason why this is the case, however the fact that marginal tax rate for top earners is 39.6% leads one down a rabbit hole of simple math. If the top wage earners in America are playing 30% less in taxes, then what things can’t local, state, and federal government(s) able to do with that missing tax revenue?
Build bridges, pave roads, renovate schools, not have to privatize stuff because of massive budget short falls. Do you know any old people who talk about the good ole days? They’re referring to the years between WWII ending and Vietnam taking a turn for the worse. During that time part of what made things so good was everything felt new, fresh, safe, etc…a direct contributor to that was that local, state, and federal government(s) had money to pay for anything and everything. Police, post offices, highways, homeless shelters, etc, etc, etc, et f’n c…
Ask yourself, why can’t the rich pay more in taxes? Why haven’t they? Why would the rich rather pay lobbyists and politicians money to keep taxes low, rather than just use that money to pay more in taxes?
Innocent bystanders in public places will keep dying due to collapsing infrastructure until they do. What do you think the breaking point body count is? I have my guesses, but this isn’t a long form piece.