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The Almighty Buck United States Politics

White House Proposes "Wealthy Tax" 2115

Posted by samzenpus
from the ante-up dept.
President Obama is proposing a new tax rate for people making over $1m a year. The new rate is part of a larger plan which seeks to bring in $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue and is sure to meet opposition in congress. From the article: "The core of the president's plan totals just more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. It combines the new taxes with $580 billion in cuts to mandatory benefit programs, including $248 billion from Medicare." GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said, "Class warfare may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics."
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White House Proposes "Wealthy Tax"

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  • Honest Question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:17AM (#37440856)

    Once the wealth accumulates to the top only, how will the economy survive without spending by the middle and lower classes? Won't a lot of business just shutdown because people don't have money to spend?

    • Re:Honest Question (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rufty_tufty (888596) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:29AM (#37441088) Homepage

      I'm more worried that this taxes people on their way to becoming rich.
      I'd rather they taxed those who were already rich and living off their savings/company. I'd rather tax those who are sitting on trust funds than those who are aggressively making lots of money, as they are quite likely to be the wealth creators rather than the fat cats doing nothing but sucking money out of the system.
      Tax wealth not income, otherwise all you do is keep those who are already rich rich and make it harder for those who are up and coming to get somewhere.
      But i doubt you'll get those in power supporting tax on wealth precisely because they know this, it is in their interest to raise the barrier to entry to the upper class.

      • Re:Honest Question (Score:4, Interesting)

        by DontBlameCanada (1325547) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:54AM (#37441532)

        Increased taxes for high income earners are *not* barricades to becoming rich. It's a recognition of the fact that you don't need $1M to survive.

        A family of 4 earning $1M and paying $500k in taxes is still *very* rich. A family of 4 earning $22.5k/year (poverty line) who pays $1k in taxes, is technically *living in poverty* as their net income is below $22.5k. Heck, that family of 4 earning $1M could pay $750K in taxes and still go home with $250k in their pocket.

        Once family income exceeds 10x the poverty line, they rest is just gravy. That money gets spent (if its not just horded, as is common) on trips overseas and fancy foreign vehicles that do very little to contribute to domestic jobs. There is a misconception that the rich are job creators. The real job creators are the middle class that can't afford lavish trips abroad or expensive goods manufactured offshore and instead spend their money closer to home.

        • Re:Honest Question (Score:5, Insightful)

          by whereiswaldo (459052) on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:29AM (#37442450) Journal

          How about a tax scale that accounts for the current unemployment rate? Higher unemployment = higher taxes for corporations and rich, lower unemployment is lower taxes for corporations and the rich. Hell of an incentive to create jobs.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I'm more worried that this taxes people on their way to becoming rich.

        This is about people earning over a million per year.

        Tax wealth not income

        So I pay taxes on what I earn this year every single year afterwards? No, thanks. Property tax is possibly the most unfair there is.

        For the record, I earn about median for the US, a "wealth tax" hits homeowners and renters.

        • "Property tax is possibly the most unfair there is."
          See there I disagree.
          If any tax can be fair then it exists to either provide for common services (such as defence, road and law) or to provide social responsibility for a society (look after the sick, poor and otherwise disadvantaged). In the first case the costs scale with some function of population and land area, if you own a lot of land you need more roads. If you have an expensive property you'll more likely need to call out the police, etc. In the se

      • by rwv (1636355)

        Tax wealth not income, otherwise all you do is keep those who are already rich rich and make it harder for those who are up and coming to get somewhere.

        This exists. It commonly goes by the name "inflation". Businesses typically give their middle-class employees "inflationary" raises each year to retain their continued commitment of loyalty. Governments build inflationary increases into their social welfare programs to maintain a steady support for the lower classes they support. As a result, prices generally go up every year or three so low and middle class people can't actually buy more stuff. As a secondary result, any business owner sitting on a pi

    • Re:Honest Question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:44AM (#37441372) Homepage

      What's happening right now is not unlike many third world countries where the rulers grab millions from foreign aid while the people live on a dollar a day. Most of those have a somewhat working economy, they just live in separate worlds where you buy and sell products and services to other equally poor people. I don't think we're heading for a permanent jobless economy, just one with much bigger class separations again with an overclass that can be even more lavish with servants and luxuries. Because their money work for them, it's still diverging even if they're spending big.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:24AM (#37440980) Homepage

    It is class warfare to increase tax rates in the highest income brackets to a level that is about half that of the 1950s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States#1913_-_2010 [wikipedia.org]. The current tax rate for the highest income brackets is 33%. In the 1950s and 1950s the highest tax rate was 91%. One can also argue that the proposed increased tax rate won't even restore the high tax rate to the same extent, since the historical tax rates were for income of at least $250,000, whereas this will apply to income of at least a million dollars but this would be slightly misleading since adjusting for inflation $250,000 in 1960 dollars is around a 2 million now. But even given that, the general point should be clear: This is far less than the historic tax rate during a time period that is often considered to be one of the most stable and prosperous.

    The other problem with labels like class warfare is how much they miss the point of what actual class warfare is. If one wants to see actual class warfare look at the French Revolution where aristocrats and clergy got executed and this eventually spread to wealthy merchants. Or look at the Russian Revolution and the following years where people were punished and exiled for simply being farmers who owned their own land and equipment. That's class warfare. Voting to increase tax rates to levels well below historical levels is just regular economic policy. One can discuss whether such taxes are a good or bad thing, but it is pretty clear that such discussion isn't going to go very far when people like Ryan are using this sort of ridiculously inflammatory rhetoric.

    • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:44AM (#37441364)
      The other problem with labels like class warfare is how much they miss the point of what actual class warfare is.

      You're giving the phrase too much credit. The term "class warfare" is just an advertising slogan. It's what conservatives say in response to any program which might raise revenues on the upper class. It's not something that can be torn apart and dissected - it's just a phrase meant to evoke a gut response and get people to vote the other way. History means nothing to a slogan.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:05AM (#37441868) Homepage

      The other problem with labels like class warfare is how much they miss the point of what actual class warfare is.

      There's plenty class warfare going on, not just your extremes. Most people vote in interest of themselves and thus by extension their class, it's the wolf class and sheep class deciding what's for dinner. That the rich "shop around" for the biggest incentives and highest tax breaks is class warfare. Raising taxes on the rich saying "you can help pay too" is class warfare. Every time you talk about the burdens and benefits of living in society will run into this. And it's usually not a matter of what's right or wrong it's about power. The masses have strength in numbers, but the rich have strength in lobbyists and moving jobs. It's never going to be an evenly pitched battle because the tools are different, but it absolutely happens. All the time.

    • by anti-pop-frustration (814358) on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:11AM (#37442010) Journal
      Remember kids, raising taxes on the rich is class warfare! But lowering their taxes is "incentivizing job creation" and "stimulating the economy".

      Funny how class warfare is such a one way street to the right. For some reason it's never class warfare when "job creators" lobby federal and state officials to end all the ground gained by organized labor since the industrial revolution.
  • by dr2chase (653338) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:27AM (#37441052) Homepage

    Remember how awful the economy was when Clinton was president? Eight horrible years of peace and prosperity, thank God that's long gone.
    Going back as far as 1950, higher top marginal rates are (weakly) correlated with improved economic growth, not reduced economic growth ( http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/archives/002279.html [utexas.edu] ).

  • by superwiz (655733) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:32AM (#37441158) Journal
    tax you today for and promise to cut spending tomorrow.
  • by TheWoozle (984500) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:33AM (#37441164)

    Yes, that's true. However, I wonder why this comment is usually directed at the working classes, when they are the ones upon whom the warfare is being waged. The rich have been conducting class warfare in the US since the Reagan administration, and they are now beginning to reap what they have sown.

    I now make more than twice what my father earned at the height of his career in the early 80's, but I have less actual purchasing power. Rotten economics indeed.

  • Military spending? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:33AM (#37441168)

    Might it not be better just to cut say military spending in half? Nobody is going to invade the US, without coming home to a glass parking lot anyway, and all that money is just thrown down a hole. Yes military spending is to an extent recycled back into the economy, but surely we can come up with something more constructive to spend it on if one must spend that money?

  • by Pstrobus (149491) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:35AM (#37441220) Homepage

    For the past thirty years we have held up the image of the put upon rich person who would love to invest in the US but can't because of our terrible tax burden. So the tax code has been modified to take the burden off the most wealthy [our top tax rate used to be 50% now it is 35%]. We did this in hopes that the wealthy would let the rest of the economy have more. This has not happened. In fact, the money has become more concentrated at the top while wages have stagnated at the bottom and in the middle. Instead of investing in industry, the Giant Pool of Money at the Top has bought US debt [we don't owe our soul to the Chinese, we owe it to the wealthy] and, because T-bills have had lousy returns for a decade, the money also went to fuel speculative bubbles [including the global housing bubble].

    In this situation, where the top earners [about 5% of the population] have over 85% of the wealth, to whine about horrible confiscatory tax and wave the class warfare banner is beyond absurd. In order to have class war you need to have class, is the GOP saying that we still have class in the democratic United States?

  • by TWX (665546) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:37AM (#37441250)

    ...for a long time now. IIRC, the 250K top tax bracket dates back to almost the beginning of the income tax system, when 250K was legitimately rich, and the earner of 250K would likely be a millionaire due to cash reserves from earning that kind of money for years.

    Nowadays, 250K is still a very, very good income, but inflation has curtailed its spending power significantly. New brackets every so often that account for inflation, or else a periodic adjustment of all brackets for inflation would probably be good for the country.

    As far as those who want to argue that "job creators" in the form the of the wealthy wouldn't create jobs if their personal income were taxed higher, the simple solution would be to offer tax breaks for the demonstrable creation of jobs. This mainly would affect small companies where only a handful of people actually own the companies in question, as they could say, "I didn't take $XX salary because instead I reinvested $XX in the company for salaries for workers" with the ability to produce those figures from the payroll books...

  • by feidaykin (158035) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:39AM (#37441280) Journal
    What's going to be entertaining (in the sense that the sad circus of American politics is entertaining) about this whole thing is to watch the about-face the conservatives will make about how much money it takes to be rich. Recently, various state governments have been going after unions, and you see conservative commentators on the various shows talking about how teachers make enough money, how $30-40k a year is plenty when you consider union benefits, blah blah. Now these same exact people are going to go on the same exact shows and, with a straight face, say how those poor folks making a million a year are just struggling to get by and really need a break in this kind of economy while completely ignoring the fact they've spent a better part of a year telling us a teacher's salary is downright lavish. How does a conservative's head not explode from the cognitive dissonance? Do they actually simultaneously believe these polar opposite stances they take, or are they (like all politicians) simply bought and paid for by their masters and puppet whatever talking points they are fed?

    For those of you who are going to dispute my point, here are some preemptive replies. First, I know that folks on the left do this shit all the time too. I remember Kerry's "flip flopping" helping cost him the 2004 election. But pointing to the other side and saying "See, they do the same reprehensible thing we do" does not actually make it okay. It's still downright disingenuous. My point is simple: How much money does it take to be rich? Because the conservatives in America have two different definitions that depend not on the amount income, but essentially on class. The fact that these same conservatives are the first to scream "Class Warfare!" at this kind of proposal is deliciously ironic and the whole thing would be fucking hilarious if the stakes weren't so high.

    Reality check: to solve the long-term debt crisis, two things need to happen. Taxes need to go up, and spending needs to go down. Either side that says you can do one but not the other is living in some magical fairy-tale land where facts are superseded by what they wish were true.
  • Small business (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:39AM (#37441284)

    The important thing is to spare small businesses from the tax increase. A lot of small businesses are either simple proprietorships/partnerships or LLCs, for which the profits are taxed as an addition to personal income. Proprietors and partners will pay these taxes from the cash on hand of the business, meaning that the business has fewer resources to expand and hire more employees.

    So go ahead and tax the $20M CEOs and such, but try to avoid placing the additional burden on small businesses.

    • by siride (974284)

      This.

      I get the value of economies of scale with large corporations, but with technology in play, it isn't as big of an advantage as it used to be. We really should be investing in small to medium-sized businesses and have very few large corporations. The latter rarely do a good job of creating new technologies or really, new wealth. Up-and-coming businesses come up with the new ideas and generally are more efficient (because they have to be to survive). Of course, large companies have the ability to, sa

  • by justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:44AM (#37441366)

    There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning

  • Cap Gains vs. Income (Score:5, Interesting)

    by necro81 (917438) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:52AM (#37441482) Journal
    The main reason that Warren Buffer, hedge fund managers, and many of the rest of the ultra-wealthy pay so little in income taxes is that most of their "income" is in the form of long-term capital gains: the appreciation of and sale of investments. On that money, they don't pay the maximum income tax rate of 35%, but rather the maximum long-term capital gains tax rate of 15%. (The situation is different for short-term cap gains, which are generally taxed at the ordinary income tax rate.) This is also the case for many CEOs who have compensation packages in the tens of millions of dollars: much of that value is in the form of stock and stock options, not outright salary.

    In that light, creating a new, higher income tax bracket is unlikely to have quite the intended impact that many would like to see: having the ultra-wealthy pay at least as great a percentage of their annual income as taxes as their secretaries, minions, and housekeepers. Much as I prefer a simplified tax code, it seems to me that we may want to instead add this provision: If more than 50% of your adjusted gross income comes from long-term capital gains, then count it as ordinary income, because that's what it is to them.

    Yes, some will find ways around that (and goodness knows the ultra-wealthy have tax planners aplenty), but it seems more equitable than what we have currently. Please don't trouble us with the strawman argument of "If the ultra-wealthy have their investments taxed so heavily, then they won't invest." What else are they going to do with all their extra money? Save it at ~0% interest?
    • by Thelasko (1196535) on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:32AM (#37442536) Journal
      The reason they pay only 15% on capital gains, is because the corporation already paid taxes on profits. [wikipedia.org] Combining the two taxes creates a total tax between 30% and 50% depending on income.
      • by shadow_slicer (607649) on Monday September 19, 2011 @12:37PM (#37443898)

        That's only true for capital gains from dividends. Capital gains from changes in the share price are only taxed at 15%.

        For this reason many companies do not make a profit. Instead they spend the money on either capital items or investments and pay $0 tax. These uses of the money increase the assets of the company, which is then reflected by a corresponding (sometimes even amplified) increase in the share price. If a stockholder then sells enough stock to make up the difference in price, they effectively pay themselves dividends at a total tax rate of 15%.

        Personally, I think the best way to solve this is to make dividends a before-profit outlay for corporations, and then make all capital gains count as income. Of course, good luck getting something like that implemented...

  • by PoochieReds (4973) <(ten.sdereihcoop) (ta) (notyalj)> on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:57AM (#37441640) Homepage

    Note that this is still an income tax -- not a wealth tax. Those who are already wealthy can and will always game this such that they report little income, thereby preserving their wealth. If necessary, they'll just keep their money offshore.

    If he had any sense, he'd offer an amnesty to the wealthy. Allow them to repatriate their funds from overseas at a reduced tax rate so that money comes back to the US. The money the treasury makes on that smaller percentage would still be more than the zero they get from it today.

  • Class warfare (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rasmusbr (2186518) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:58AM (#37441666)

    "Class warfare may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics."

    Hey, that's actually true! Why didn't you shout out during the Bush administration?

    Tax cuts for the rich, huge public deficit, enormous public debt, continued private indebting of the middle class, withering away of the public school system and other government systems that the American middle class and lower classes depend on...

    Terrible acts of class war that lead to terrible economics, especially in the long term when the debt is going to be paid off, or alternatively when the US decides to default.

    So you're right. Of course, if you don't want a class war the first thing to do is to remember to not start one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:59AM (#37441692)

    Number of households in the United States filing tax returns: 140,494,127

    Number of households in the United States filing tax returns with incomes of $1,000,000 or more: 236,883

    Percentage of households in the United States filing tax returns with incomes of $1,000,000 or more: 0.19959471529%

    Percentage of households in the United States filling tax returns with incomes of less than $1,000,000: 99.80040528471%

    Number of people in the US living at or below the poverty line in 2001: 34,570,000

    Number of people in the US living at or below the poverty line in 2010: 46,200,000

    Percentage of US population living at or below the poverty line in 2001: 12.1%

    Percentage of US population living at or below the poverty line in 2010: 15.1%

    Of those living at or below the poverty line in 2010, the percentage that are 18 years old or younger: 35.5%

    Of those living at or below the poverty line in 2010, the number that are 18 years old or younger: 16,401,000

    Total number of people living in the United States, as of September 19, 2011: 312,204,000

    Maximum number of people living in the United States who would be affected by President Obama’s proposal to impose a minimum tax rate on those earning more than $1 million a year : 450,000

    Highest possible percentage of people living in the United States who would be affected by President Obama's proposal to impose a minimum tax rate on those earning more than $1 million a year: 0.144136526118%

    Number of people in the United States who would not be affected by this tax increase: 311,754,000

    Lowest possible percentage of people living in the United States who would not be affected by President Obama's proposal to impose a minimum tax rate on those earning more than $1 million a year: 99.855863473882%

    All stats derived by me from Census.gov using 2010 and 2011 census data, and from IRS.gov data using 2009 data, the most recent year for which reporting, especially Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) information, was available.

    The first person to invoke Census.gov or IRS.gov conspiracy theories will receive my 1st Annual Stannous Fedora Trophy. Please reply with your mailing address, so I'll know where to send this very special award.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:00AM (#37441720) Homepage Journal
    Is my patience.

    Goddamn Republicans beating the same fucking drum they've been beating for 10 years "Lower taxes and remove regulations so corporations can compete!" Ignoring the fact that that's what got us into this mess to begin with.

    And Goddamn Democrats incapable of showing anything resembling leadership. Hook up that vagisil IV drip because they're just a bunch of vaginas.

    Vote them out. Vote them all out. And keep doing it until we find some representatives who are more interested in solving the nation's problems than playing political games with American lives as the pieces.

  • We're in TWO WARS. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:07AM (#37441882)
    It's about time the rich "share the sacrifice". First nation in history to give tax cuts to the rich, during a time of war. And some of you want to whine about class warfare? You're damn right it is, and the rich have been waging it on the rest of us for 30 years.
  • Grover Norquist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tekrat (242117) on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:22AM (#37442270) Homepage Journal

    This bill is dead on arrival that the House, which is Republican controlled. Too many there have signed Grover Norquist's pledge to NEVER raise any taxes of any kind.

    I'm sorry to say this, but the radicals are now in control. Just like the Taliban, they have an extreme ideology and will not compromise or make "common sense" decisions because they carry a radical philosophy.

    As such, there is no longer any 'bargaining" going on. The bill will be flat out struck down or filibustered into oblivion. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but our Congress has passed almost no legislation of any kind since taking office 18 months ago. All they've done is argue.

    This is the Congress that campaigned on a platform of "jobs", came in and immediately wasted two days reading the Constitution, then tried to repeal Obamacare and abortion rights, and since then, hasn't done anything except destroy the nation's credit rating.

    Good luck getting this through.

  • WTF (Score:4, Funny)

    by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@NospAm.ovi.com> on Monday September 19, 2011 @11:27AM (#37442394) Homepage

    Why do people that aren't rich defend people that are? The problem is very simple, just about everyone reading this is not rich. If we would like to live better lives, and build small and medium businesses we need capitol to do this. If the rich have it all, we can't. The only way for our lives to get better is if the rich have less of the money and we have more. It really is just that simple. We can't have more unless the rich have less!

    Now, for those that are not rich defending policies that benefit the rich at your expense? WTF? Do you think the rich will read your post and like you? This is like President Obama pandering to the Republicans. It's just dumb. You aren't one of the club.

    George Carlin said it best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpcd0woY2KY [youtube.com]

  • What?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday September 19, 2011 @12:00PM (#37443168)

    GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said, "Class warfare may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics."

    The GOP has been waging a class war on the middle class for over a decade and guess what, the middle class lost. Since 2000 the median income level has been dropping, while the top 1% of income earners has seen a 20% increase. The shift of income from the middle class to the most wealthy has already taken place. Now the GOP wants to assure the top earners do not lose what they stole from the middle class. It is the height of unmitigated gall for Rep. Ryan to use the "class warfare" meme.

  • GDP v. Gini (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday September 19, 2011 @12:39PM (#37443944) Homepage

    GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said, "Class warfare may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics."

    Class warfare, in the strict sense of guns and bombs, is -- like all civil war -- bad for the economy. Labor resources spending time shooting at each other, and getting shot, is potential productivity lost. Similarly, spending time on arguments that have no basis in reality is a waste of resources. There is evidence, however, that reducing the Gini (a measure of income disparity -- higher Gini means higher disparity) in the United States would increase the GDP growth rate. Here is one example set of data:

    http://beach.traxel.com/img/gdp-gini-4.png [traxel.com]

    America's Gini has been rising steadily since the early 1970's (it started before Reagan, because the tax brackets didn't keep up with the rapid inflation resulting from the oil embargo). Our Gini is now high enough to make our PPP (GDP per capita) an outlier. Most nations with our level of income disparity are third world nations. Only Hong Kong and SIngapore -- hybrid economies which mix successful free market economies with the stark poverty resulting from communism -- are in the first world ballpark and have Ginis as high as ours.

    One possible reason is this: In any economic system there is an optimal market price to pay for any resource. If that economic system overpays for some resource or class of resources, it will operate less efficiently. There may be systemic biases in place which cause us to pay more for the labor (and/or capital lending) of our wealthy than their labor (and/or capital lending) is worth. Of course the chart above is insufficient to show the causal relationship, but it would explain why our PPP (GDP per capita) growth rate has fallen during the same period that our Gini has been increasing (I have more charts that show the temporal relationship, but they are not yet ready for publication).

    If, in fact, the increasing Gini is a cause of falling PPP, then increasing the taxation on upper income brackets would increase the GDP growth rate. If that is the case, and assuming one believes (as I do) that the ideal free market is GDP maximizing, there is only one possible explanation: some degree of progressive taxation actually increases the accuracy of our approximation of the free market, by offsetting a systemic bias.

    Disagree? Good, I'd love to see your empirical evidence. Show me the data.

  • Class warfare? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:04PM (#37444416)
    You want to know about class warfare? That's when you have people who work fulltime (unlike the unlucky 40 million who can't get jobs or are under-employed) having to rely on food stamps to feed their families because otherwise they can't keep a rented roof over their heads. A federal minimum wage of $7.25, which allows employers to pay wages that employess can not live on, and forcing students to take out huge loans in order to try get a basic education that might allow them to exceed the ridiculous minimum wage, now that is class warfare. There is no American Dream anymore for many millions of American citizens, just dreams of making it to the next paycheck without suffering. Trickle-down economics is class warfare.

    I still think the ol' U S of A is the greatest country in the world, and I feel fortunate to have been born here and be doing alright, but I recognize that a lot of things are broken. People here enjoy a lot of freedom, but if we are as civilized as we claim, don't you think we can still do better? If you make a million dollars a year, you should be doing just fine, and you can afford to pay a little bit more to fix America. Stop whining, since with all your tax breaks and loopholes you don't truly pay a higher rate than those of us who only "earn" $30,000 or $60,000. You will need a strong middle class in the future or it won't be long before our nation's time as the world superpower comes to a close, which will be bad for all of us. If we maintain the status quo, with the rich getting richer, the poor staying poor, and the middle class vanishing, your wealth will evaporate in time, floating away overseas, or we'll rise up and take it from you. Rich people have a chance to fix things now before it is too late, if they are not so greedy as to insist on hoarding every last nickel now. The status quo is class warfare, and prolonged class warfare is our road to doom.

    Vote for me. I'll work to keep wealthy people wealthy, by convincing them to invest in our future, which will also benefit all in our society. You can keep the power, if you choose to, but you can't have all of everything.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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