By Paul Craig Roberts
March 30, 2009
Obama and his public relations team have made it appear that his trillion dollars in higher taxes will fall only on “the rich.” Obama stresses that his tax increase is only for the richest 5 percent of Americans while the other 95 percent receive a tax cut.
The fact of the matter is that the income differences within the top
5% are far wider than the differences between the lower tax brackets and the “rich” American in the 96th percentile.
For Obama, being “rich” begins with $250,000 in annual income, the bottom rung of the top 5 percent. Compare this “rich” income to that of, for example, Hank Paulson, President George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary when he was the head of Goldman Sachs.
In 2005 Paulson was paid $38.3 million in salary, stock and options. That is 153 times the annual income of the “rich” $250,000 person.
Despite his massive income, Paulson himself was not among the super rich of that year, when a dozen hedge fund operators made $1,000 million. The hedge fund honchos incomes were 26 times greater than Paulson’s and 4,000 times greater than the “rich” man’s or family’s $250,000.
For most Americans, a $250,000 income would be a godsend, but envy can make us blind. A $250,000 income is not one that will support a rich lifestyle. Moreover, many people prefer lesser incomes to the years of education, long work hours and stress of personal liability that are associated with many $250,000 incomes. In truth, those with $250,000 gross incomes have more in common with those at the lower end of the income distribution than with the rich. A $250,000 income is ten times greater than a $25,000 income, not hundreds or thousands of times greater. On an after-tax basis, the difference shrinks to about 6 times.
Book author warns economic ‘rescue’ will turn citizens into ‘wards of state’
Posted: February 27, 2009
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Only a month into Barack Obama’s presidency, an acclaimed is warning that Americans are being slowly corrupted by socialism as Obama’s policies intrude into their economic, social and political lives – a tactic he believes will future votes for the Democratic Party.
“We have a desperate population, and it’s feeling even more desperate than usual,” Dr. Lyle Rossiter told WND. “People are really quite frightened. They’re looking for magic, and they think they are going to find it in this man.”
Rossiter is a forensic psychiatrist and author of “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.” In his book, he explains how the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and the Democratic Party can only be understood as a psychological disorder. He examines how modern liberal collectivism undermines the legal and moral foundations of ordered liberty.
Rossiter warned that Obama, after only six weeks in office, is well on his way to institutionalizing a modern parental state – and his socialist programs will ultimately damage the moral of the American people.
By Steven Thomma and David Lightman |
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama unveiled his first federal budget proposal Thursday, a $3.55 trillion plan for 2010 that would start to alter the course of American government dramatically.
He sought to put his imprint on the coming decade with an agenda that’s sharply different from the past eight years under Republican President George W. Bush, including universal health care, broad tax cuts and a helping hand for the working and middle classes, greater regulation of business and an aggressive plan to limit emissions that cause global warming.
In another dramatic reversal, Obama proposed a massive transfer of the nation’s tax burden, saying that wealthier taxpayers and businesses that benefited unfairly in recent years should pay more to help those who are losing ground at the bottom of the economic ladder. He’d raise taxes on the wealthy — those with family incomes of more than $250,000 — by $955 billion over 10 years, and cut taxes for other families by $770 billion.
Obama also signaled a shift in the way that the United States projects power, calling for expanding the Foreign Service, which sends diplomats around the globe, and doubling foreign aid to other countries. His spending plan anticipates the war in Iraq winding down, even as he sends more troops to Afghanistan.
“The time has come to usher in a new era,” the president said in the budget proposal.
“I don’t think that we can continue on our current course,” he added at the White House. “I’m determined to bring the change that the people voted for last November. And that means cutting what we don’t need to pay for what we do.”
Only weeks into his presidency, Obama offered just broad outlines of what he wants in a 134-page overview. His detailed proposals for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, and nine years beyond, will be released in April.
Still, the overview offered enough detail to fill in the broad brushstrokes that the president has used in recent weeks to talk about what he wants to do. It elated many Democrats in Congress, alarmed Republicans and had analysts agreeing that the Obama era has begun.
“What an exciting day it is for us,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“The era of big government is back, and Democrats are asking you to pay for it,” countered House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Hat tip: Dave Ranallo
Guest contributor for the Liberty Voice
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
Newsweek put it best on their latest issue – “We’re all Socialists Now.” And indeed it’s true now and has been true to some degree since since WWI. After that war and especially after WWII, triumphalism and patriotism in our government swelled to the point of utopia (Anyone up for a “Great Society”?). The confidence in central planning and government was all the rage at the turn of the 20th century as witnessed by the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 and even in Russia with the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Every US administration since that time has increased the size of government represented as either a % of GDP or increase in the Federal Register.
And yes, even Reagan admitted that he was only able to decrease the RATE at which govt increased. It still swelled to outrageous numbers due his exorbitant funding of the military-industrial complex, which Eisenhower warned about during his farewell address.
This trend is troublesome to say the least and has arrived at our doorsteps like a flaming turd burger.
I’m fiscally conservative, socially liberal and a believer in empirical truth. This means my beliefs tick off everyone. Liberals get upset when I say central planning of an economy destroys individual freedom, is exceptionally wasteful and eventually leads to abuses of power by seemingly well-intentioned people. While many conservatives would heartily agree with that last statement, they can’t quite see their own hypocrisy when people like me say you can’t legislate morality or that spreading the message of freedom by gunpoint only generates hate for the U.S. Until both these groups and the rest of us understand that control over millions or, really, numbers greater than one are impermanent illusions, then we’ll continue to debate the same insipid arguments forever.
Let’s just call me an equal opportunity irritant.
Paul Craig Roberts
The American economy has gone away. It is not coming back until free trade myths are buried six feet under.
America’s 20th century economic success was based on two things. Free trade was not one of them. America’s economic success was based on protectionism, which was ensured by the union victory in the Civil War, and on British indebtedness, which destroyed the British pound as world reserve currency. Following World War II, the US dollar took the role as reserve currency, a privilege that allows the US to pay its international bills in its own currency.
World War II and socialism together ensured that the US economy dominated the world at the mid 20th century. The economies of the rest of the world had been destroyed by war or were stifled by socialism.
The ascendant position of the US economy caused the US government to be relaxed about giving away American industries, such as textiles, as bribes to other countries for cooperating with America’s cold war and foreign policies. For example, Turkey’s US textile quotas were increased in exchange for over-flight rights in the Gulf War, making lost US textile jobs an off-budget war expense.
by Jim Quinn
“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”
—Historian and writer James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book “Epic of America.”
Mr. Adams penned these words in the midst of the Great Depression. Then as now, the reason the American Dream is slipping away is due to the actions of politicians running our government and bureaucrats running the Federal Reserve. Those with ability who have earned a better life through their hard work and intelligence should be attaining a higher position in the social order. Instead, our government is rewarding those Americans who have taken unwarranted risks, made brainless decisions, and willingly chose the course of excessive debt to climb the social ladder. As the politicians scurry to “save” capitalism through the use of communist measures, more Americans are becoming disheartened.
Figure it out, people.
CEO’s are making millions while children starve.
You will give your life to work that will leave you exhausted and destitute.
Your money will go to the connected and your work will generate value, but your life will be worthless. After your life is spent working, your children will not have the money to go to college without signing usurious loans. Meanwhile, children are still starving to death, being denied medical care for lack of money. The military is building fighters and bombers for billions. A car costs more than an auto worker makes in two years. No carpenters can afford to build a house. People cannot afford to heat their homes in the winter. Few can afford dentistry or medical care without insurance which denies benefits to anyone needing it. The cycles of inflation, deflation and debt dispossess anyone who works for wages.
Paul Craig Roberts
The prospects of a government rescue for the foundering American automakers dwindled Thursday as Democratic Congressional leaders conceded that they would face potentially insurmountable Republican opposition,” reported the New York Times last Friday.
Wow! The entire country is steamed up over the Republicans bailing out a bunch of financial crooks who have paid themselves fortunes in bonuses for destroying America’s pensions.
Why do Democrats want to protect Republicans from further ignominy by not giving them the opportunity to vote down a bailout for workers? Quick, someone enroll the Democratic Party in Politics 101.
GM’s divisions in Canada and Germany are asking those governments for help. It will be something if Canada and Germany come through for the American automaker and the American government doesn’t.
Conservative talking heads are saying GM is a “failed business model” unworthy of a $25 billion bailout. These are the same talking heads who favored pouring $700 billion into a failed financial model.
Like America, some of the greatest British journalists and analysts also happen to be comedians. Watching The Last Laugh with John Bird (in the guise of investment banker, George Parr) and John Fortune (together known as the Long Johns), the same can certainly be said in Britain as well.
This is a transcript of this insightful comedian team who brilliantly and accurately describe the mindset of the investment banking community in this satirical interview. It was especially insightful considering this was recorded last year.