Pages

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Greater Inequality Than in Mexico?



"Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 
The Apostle Paul, II Corinthians 8:13
According to the Huffington Post, economic disparity in the U.S. now exceeds that of many of our Central and South American neighbors.

Economist Tyler Cowen, in his new book, Average Is Over, predicts we'll be facing more of the same--or worse, with an ever increasing number of the very wealthy exerting ever more political and economic power in America while an even larger percentage will be living at or near the poverty level. An increasingly global, technological society, he says, favors those with bright ideas and superior computer skills, folks who will inevitably rise to the top while the rest of us will have to get used to living on less, no matter how hard we work.

This represents a major shift from even 40 or 50 years ago, one he predicts will result in present retirees mostly holding on to their benefits but young people benefiting from a smaller and smaller share of the nation's wealth. A current example is that of many inner city schools (like Philadelphia) opening up this fall without guidance counselors, athletic programs or music or art classes, in spite of an economy that is producing more wealth than ever.

Is this something we must accept as inevitable? I hope not, although it wasn't encouraging to have Congress vote last week to cut $40 million from the Food Stamp Program while leaving intact many of the generous farm subsidies that often benefit corporate farmers--when the two have normally been a part of the same legislative package. At the same time, no one is seeing any cuts in Congressional pay, in spite of the sequester.

Some politicians who identify themselves as Christians claim the only way the poor should be helped is by voluntary contributions. To use tax dollars to help them is “theft” and “using other people’s money,” they argue. Oddly, they don’t seem to think that using tax dollars for crop subsidies, energy subsidies, surveillance apparatus or weapons systems constitute theft. The hypocrisy is clear. - See more at: http://www.redletterchristians.org/hating-poor-loving-jesus/#sthash.sCrFmZdR.dpuf
Some politicians who identify themselves as Christians claim the only way the poor should be helped is by voluntary contributions. To use tax dollars to help them is “theft” and “using other people’s money,” they argue. Oddly, they don’t seem to think that using tax dollars for crop subsidies, energy subsidies, surveillance apparatus or weapons systems constitute theft. The hypocrisy is clear. - See more at: http://www.redletterchristians.org/hating-poor-loving-jesus/#sthash.ZAfNVvnD.dpuf
Some politicians who identify themselves as Christians claim the only way the poor should be helped is by voluntary contributions. To use tax dollars to help them is “theft” and “using other people’s money,” they argue. Yet they seem to have no problem with using tax dollars for crop subsidies, energy subsidies or weapons systems.

Meanwhile, according  to the Tax Policy Center, nearly 1.2 million taxpayers in the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the U.S. will owe no income tax at all in 2013, thanks in large part to tax breaks that help them reduce their tax liability to zero.

Here are two of their key findings:
  • Corporate tax breaks will total $108 billion in FY2013 – more than 1.5 times what the U.S. government spends on education funding. Between 2007 and 2013, the revenue lost from U.S. corporations deferring taxes on income earned abroad rose 200%, going from $14 billion to $42 billion.
  • All tax breaks for individuals will exceed $1 trillion this year, with about 17% of the biggest individual tax breaks going to the top 1% of earners. In fact, many individual tax breaks disproportionately benefit wealthy households.
Is there something wrong with this picture?
Post a Comment