Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bernie Sanders targeting the wrong rich folks

Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently said out loud what many liberals think, and the Washington Post applauded him for his courage. What did he say? He said, “Our economic goals have to be redistributing a significant amount of wealth back from the top 1 percent.” This is not merely scary socialism. This is outright communism. 

Let’s examine that statement. He uses the term “redistributing.” That assumes that the wealth was first “distributed.” Wealth isn’t distributed, it’s earned. I know, there are trust-fund babies who inherit money from their parents but those people make up a small portion of the rich. And even if they fell into a potful of daddy’s money, does that mean that everyone else is entitled to it?

According to the Tax Policy Center, the top one percent of wage-earners earned 17 percent of the income in 2014 yet they paid 45.7 percent of the individual income taxes. In other words, they paid 2.7 times their share of income in taxes. The Congressional Budget Office tells us that percentage has been going up since 1979 when the one-percenters earned 8.9 percent of the income and paid 18 percent of the federal income taxes. By 2011, they earned 14.6 percent of the income and paid 25.4 percent of the income taxes. So, during the so-called decade of conspicuous consumption, better known as the ‘80s (or the decade of Reagan’s tax cuts) the rich started paying an even more lopsided share of their wealth in taxes.

Did the rich get a tax cut under Reagan? Sure, but so did everyone else. Those tax cuts unleashed one of the largest peacetime economic expansions in the nation’s history. If you broaden the numbers you’ll find that the top 10 percent of income earners pay about 68 percent of all federal income taxes even though they earn 45 percent of all income. Conversely, the bottom 50 percent pay just 3 percent of income taxes yet they earn 12 percent of the income.

It’s not hard to see that there are plenty in this country who aren’t paying their fair share but it ain’t the rich. In fact, were you to eliminate the uber rich like Bernie Sanders and so many liberals want to do, you’d wipe nearly half of the income taxes coming into the treasury. Not to mention the tens of millions of jobs they create.

But it’s not just the uber rich who liberals want to target. If you make above $134,300 a year you are in the top 20 percent of wage-earners. Your group makes 51.3 percent of the income yet you pay 83.9 percent of the income taxes. This illustrates just how upside down our tax system is. “Fair share” is when everyone pays the same income tax rate. That’s never going to happen in this country because the bottom 40 percent not only pays no income tax, they get money through the Earned Income Tax Credit that they’ve never paid in!

According to a study from UC-Berkeley, the top one percent saw their income grow under Obama by 31.4 percent while the other 99 percent grew by only 0.4 percent. In other words, the uber rich got uber richer under Obama than at any time in recent memory.

Liberal regulations have choked off money to Main Street and funneled that money to Wall Street. What has resulted is a perverse alliance between the rich donor class of the Democrat Party and the lowest segment of wage-earners who get money from the government. It’s the unintended consequence of government meddling. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show.


  1. I don't know if I'd call it "unintended consequences." Seems to me that it's working exactly the way the communist democrats want it to work.

  2. I don't know if I'd call it "unintended consequences." Seems to me that it's working exactly the way the communist democrats want it to work.