Dear President Obama,
Iam writing to you about why I think you should repeal the Bush era
tax cuts for the top 2% of income earners in america.
The fact is that in 2007 when the market collapsed the top 1% of
americans earned over 23% of all income in the US. It is atonishing
that the top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 90%, while a 2 income
family now has less disposable income than a 1 income family had 30
years ago. (xi) Since 2001 we have lost 42,000 factories and had 5
million manufacturing jobs outsourced to communist/fascist china and
other countries. These Bush tax cuts have not led to knew job growth.
Under clinton when the tax rates on the topp 2% were higher we had a
net increase of 20 million jobs and over a 200 billion dollar surplus
when he left office. During the Bush administration we doubled the
national deficit, (2) due to waging two wars in afghanistan and Iraq,
passing the bush tax cuts, a 400 billion dollar medicare part d
prescription drug plan with no means to pay for it and also the bail
out of wall street. Many americans have a historical disconnect and
believe you are soley responsible for our national debt when Bush must
recieve the majority share of the blame. However, you must stop
kowtowing to the republicans by extending passage of these Bush era
programs. Is it really fair that the top 2% pay a lower tax rate than
teachers, police/fireman/nurses since the majority of the income comes
from capital gains which are now only taxed at 15%? I think not. Also
we should raise the estate tax to clinton levels on estates valued
over 5 million, and 35% on estates valued over 1 million for
individuals. I dont know how the republicans can abandon the
traditional republican values of Theodore roosevelt who was in favor
of the estate tax.
These tax cuts have not led to job growth as trickle down economics
foolishly predicted. Fact is when the tax rates were higher under
clinton we had over 20 million jobs created during his administration.
Under Bush the younger we lost 600,000 private sector jobs, and all
the net job growth was in the public sector, i.e., private contractors
for Orwellian privatized defense and homeland security to name a few.
On the estate tax which republicans have termed the death tax on all
americans really only applies to the top 3/10 of 1% of american
families. 99.7% of american families will not have to pay estate/death
taxes. So this paranoia about over taxation is unfounded. Now
republicans want the estate tax eliminated entirely, and that would
cost the treasury over a trillion dollars in revenue by 2020. The
walton's of sweatshop slavemart/ walmart would have recieved a 30
billion dollar tax break over the next decade.
I disagreed with your decision to implement a payroll tax holiday for
all workers. Lowering payroll taxes from 6.2 to 4.2% will cost the
social security trust fund 120 billion dollars. Social security has a
2.5 trillion dollar surplus now but with the baby boomers set to
retire soon, it will only be able to pay out 100% of benefits until
2037, then the benefit will only be able to pay out 79% of current
benefits. We must save social security and not privatize or raid the
social security trust fund.Raise the payroll taxes.
Fact is we must raise taxes on corporations and end tax subsidies on
those companies that outsource to communist/fascist china. Face it the
Bush tax cuts failed to stimulate the economy. even though corporate
america is sitting on 2 trillion dollars of cash reserves they are
still not hiring, except for Mcdonald's offering 50,000 minimum wage
sweatshop jobs. Under George W. Bush median family income declined by
$2200 dollars, and we lost 6,000,000 jobs, and outsourced 5 million
manufacturing jobs, so the job losses are probably much higher under
bush. these low taxes on the top 2% and corporations did not lead to
job growth rather encouraged rampant speculation leading to the
collapse of the housing market. The repeal of Glass Steagal, in 1999
under clinton also contributed to that malaise. (15)
Fact is under the republican long term plan of which Paul Ryan
provides a glimpse of, is a plan to take us back to the 1920's, when
we had robber barons/oligarchy and no social safety nets, like social
security and medicare and medicaid. Also they want to take us back to
when labor unions where even weaker than they are now so they can turn
us into a banana republic.
So just to reiterate, in 2007 the top 1% earned 23.5% of all income in
america more than the bottom 50%. (20) they dont need tax cuts. The
percentage of income going to the top 1% has nearly tripled since the
1970's. 80% of all new income earned from 1980-2005 has gone to the
top 1%. (21)
so with these Bush tax cuts, since 2001, we have lost 42,000
factories, and we went from 17 million manufacturing jobs to 12
million manufacturing jobs. This is lower than the level of
manufacturing jobs we had in april 1941. Think of the population
growth. we need to add 250,000 jobs a year to keep up with the
increase in population to keep employment rate steady.What did we do
we outsourced / offshoring all those jobs to communist/fascist china
and other repressive authoritarian countries under Bush/Nero.
Under Bush and also during your administration by contiuing Bush era
policies we have been practicising corporate socialism for the rich
and rugged 'free market' capitalism for the remaining 98% majority. In
example of this corporate socialism, was the tax payer funded bailouts
of banks and financial institutions. In 2008 Bank of america got a 45
billion dollar bail out from the treasury and 100's of billions in tax
payer backed loans from the FED. With the Bush tax cuts extended Bof A
CEO Ken Lewis got a 713,000 dollar tax cut. (27) In 2008 Morgan
Stanley (now owned by Bof A) recieved 2 trillion in low interest
loans. We spent 700 billion under TARP bailing out wall street. (28).
In total over 3 trillion was lent out by the Federal Reserve with
little transparency of how it would be used. These financial
institutions have not invested in the economy. some have suggested
that they have been using the FED loans to loan back the government
money at higher rates of interest by purchasing Treasury securities.
Fact is Bank of america, JP Morgan Case, wells fargo, and citigroup
issue 1/2 of all the mortgages in america, and 2/3 of all credit
cards. So it was thought that these corporations were too big to fail
so we bailed them out, and now they have gotten even bigger.
Now regarding corporate welfare we should consider the case of exxon
mobil, who made 19 billion dollars in profit in 2009 but paid no
corporate income taxes, and in fact got a 156 million dollar refund
from the IRS. (45) According to the GAO.gov report issued in 2008, 2
out of 3 large corporations paid no federal income taxes between
1998-2005 even though they had a combined 2.5 trillion in sales. Last
year citizens for tax justice reported last year that 82 fortune 500
companies paid zero income taxes while they earned 102 billion in
profits, with all of the tax loop holes they got a effective tax
rebate of 12.6 billion. (46)
The reality is that Bush tax cuts will net billionaires a million
dollar tax cut and millionaires a 100,000 dollar tax cut. (49) The
majority of these people's income comes from dividends and investments
which are now only taxed at 15%. This is a lower rate than what the
middle class payes. If republicans get their way, this and the estate
tax will be re3pealed entirely. If the estate tax were repealed it
would cost the government 1 trillion dollars in lost revenues by 2020.
So .3% of the population will deprive us of needed revenue to pay down
the national debt and shore up entitlements. Is it fair that warren
Buffet, or David Koch's tax rates are lower than their secretaries. I
do believe we should extend tax cuts for the middle class.
If we raise taxes on the rich we could invest in infrastructural
improvements on our highways and rail lines. Why is it that we only
spend 2.4% of GDP on infrastructure. Europe spends twice that on
infrastructure. we must raise taxes on the rich to clinton levels.
So now currently we have the highest rate of child poverty in all of
the industrialized nations, which stands at over 20%. Yet with the
corporate socialism of the Bush administrations tax cuts for the rich,
the wealthiest 400 families incomes more than doubled, while their
income taxes dropped by almost 50% from 1995 - 2007. Now the average
tax rate they pay is 16%. The top 400 families earned an average of
345 million a year, and they were only taxed at 16.6 %. (76) Taxes are
at their lowest levels for the rich since we have been keeping tax
records.. Under Bush the top 400 families increased their wealth by
more than 380 billion dollars. Together these 400 families are worth a
combined 1.27 trillion dollars. Evidence of more corporate socialism
can be found in the fact that in 2005, 1 out of 4 large corporations
paid no federal income tax on revenue of 1.1 trillion. This is
unconscionable. we need to close the loop holes in the tax code.
So to reiterate, we had a 128 billion dollar annual surplus when
clinton left office at the end of 2000,, when we had the higher tax
rates. Then Bush gets elected and during his term median family income
declined by 2200 dollars with the tax cuts for the rich. The top 400
doubled their income and had their tax rates halved, so that in 2008
middle class income house holds made less in 2008 than what they made
in 1999. At least Bill Gates and warren Buffet agree that we shouldn't
extend these bush tax cuts. This is not class war fare if you are for
the majority. the average salarly in america is around 40,000 dollars.
The average median net worth of households is 67,000 dollars. (95)
Now regarding the market collapse of 2007. This was brought on because
Clinton deregulated the banks by ending Glass Steagal in 1999 at the
end of his term. Bush ran with this and appointed market friendly
incompetent SEC investigators and this encouraged rampant speculation
in the housing market.
We are still feeling the effects from ongoing market speculation from
everything from food to the price of oil per barrell. Goldman sachs,
no friend of the working man, estimates that 30 dollars of the total
price for oil per barrell is due to market speculation. This must be
stopped. why do we give oil companies tax subsidies if they cant
maintain reasonable gas prices. Besides we are giving the Saudi's and
others, 345 billion dollars a year by buying oil from them, so that
they can continue their authoritarian repressive regimes that fuel the
misdirected anger of terrorists and their citizens which results in
terrorist attacks on american soil.
This is also a symptom of our disasterous free trade policies like
NAFTA and permanent Normal Trading Relations with China, which hasn't
led to new job growth, rather it has hastened the demise of our
manufacturing base, all for short term profits for our multinational
corporations. Mexico and especially China do not buy large amounts of
american products. For example,take the case of walmart Asia. Only 1%
of their products sold abroad are made in america, in direct
contravention of Sam Walton's penchant for american made industry.
(112) So during the Bush administration these free trade agreements
caused 8 million former middle class families fell into poverty by the
end of his term. We lost 600,000 private sector jobs and lost 5
million manufacturing jobs which were outsourced/offshored to places
like communist/fascist china.(115) During the Bush administration 3.2
million workers lost their pensions. Now half of all american workers
have no pensions. (116) So it is imperitive that we shore up social
security for the future because these workers will be dependant on it
in the future.
According to a 2010 article in USA Today, from 2000 - 2007 middle
class men had their income decrease by 11.2 %, a reduction of 7700
dollars when adjusted for inflation. (117) Middle class women saw a
4.8 % decline in income during the same period. In January 2009 the
last month of the Bush presidency we lost over 700,000 jobs. During
the last 6 months of the Bush presidency we lost over 3.5 million
jobs. GDP declined by nearly 7 % during the 4th quarter of 2008. 5
trillion dollars of american wealth evaporated due to wall street
rampant speculation and greed.For a free market enthusiast, Bush
missed the mark in that all of the net job creation was in the public
sector probably in the orwellian privatized defense and homeland
security contracting services. Overall median family income in this
period declined by 2200 dollars from 2001 - 2009.
So while he have a medicare part D prescription drug plan that is
costing us 400 billion dollars we are giving millionaires and
billionaires billions in tax breaks, money that could be used to shore
up these programs.Also we are being price gouged by the pharmaceutical
companies who charge us more for drugs than they charge the VA or DOD
for their healthcare programs. In fact with regional zone pricing,
canada pays 75% less for the same drugs that we pay for, and they can
afford to have universal healthcare. We need to institute some price
controls on the market.
So lets reiterate: the top 1% earned 23.5% of all income in 2007. In
the 1970's the top 1% earned ony 8% of all income. During the 1990's
their share increased to 16% now it is 23.5% (123) Obviously this
income inequality is a threat to democracy and the republic.
Furthermore the top 1/10 of one percent took in 11% of total income in
2007. The causes for this unequal distribution of wealth is that from
1995-2007 effective tax rates were nearly halved during this
period.The Bush tax cuts cost us over 700 billion dollars as of 2010.
(127) Under him the national debt doubled from 5.7 trillion to 10.6
trillion by the time he left office. You your self have run up a 3
trillion dollar debt by remaining in iraq and afghanistan and
extending the Bush tax cuts. Do you wish to taint your legacy.
Here's an example of the tax breaks some of the richest men in america
will get in 2011 by extending these bush tax cuts. Rupert Murdoch of
News Corp (Fox/wallstreet journal) will recieve a 1.3 million dollar
tax cut this year, according to the citizens for tax justice. Jaimie
Dimon, CEO of JP MorganChase whose company got a 29 billion dollar
bailout from the FED, will get a 1.1 million dollar tax cut.The CEO of
Citigroup whose bank got a 50 billion dollar bailout, will get a
785,000 dollar tax cut. Ken Lewis former CEO of Bank of America, whose
company got a 45 billion dollar bailout, will get a 713,000 dollar tax
cut. John Stumpf, CEO of wells fargo will get 318,000 dollar tax cut
for every year we maintain the bush tax cuts. At the same time we were
giving billions to the big banks we couldn't provide a cost of living
increase for seniors and the disabled on social security and the
disabled veterans pensions.
If we raised the estate tax on the top .24% of american families we
could fund a cost of living increase for VA and social security
benefits, among other things. Consider that the Walton family owner of
walmart/slavemart are worth a combined 89 billion. If the estate tax
was repealed entirely they would recieve a 32.7 billion dollar tax
break. (150) So should we reward walmart for providing low wage iobs.
Regarding the social security payroll tax holiday, this plan you have
advanced will not make the program more solvent. This plan costs the
trust fund 120 billion dollars annually, by lowering the rates from
6.2% to 4.2%.
Furthermore, our disasterous trade policies, especially NAFTA and
permanent Normal Trade Relations with China has cost us 5 million
manufacturing jobs since 2001We now have fewer manufacturing jobs than
we had in april of 1941. (171). Our 2009 trade deficit with china was
227 billion dollars. We need to end tax subsidies to corporations who
outsource/offshoring american jobs overseas.
Now regarding our too big to fail financial institutions, these banks
have gotton even bigger since the 2007 - 2008 bailout. Since 2007,
wells fargo has grown 43% larger, JP Morgan Chase has grown 51%, Bank
of America is now 138% larger than they were in 2007, after it merged
with Merrill Lynch and Countrywide.. (184) You should follow the
advice of former FED chair Paul Volker and break up this monopoly.
According to Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF, the
largest 6 banks now have total assets in excess of 63% of US GDP.
(185). 15 years ago these same banks only had combined assets of 17%
of GDP. In the last couple of years, 40% of all profit in the US went
to financial institutions. (193)
Ever since the 1978 US supreme Court Marquette case credit card
companies no longer had interest rates capped, and now are charging
The United States of America is undergoing decline. Some of the blame
for that could be directly attributed to the extensive lobbying of our
nationally elected officials. In 2009 corporate/union lobbying spent
3.47 billion dollars. This is a 240% increase from 1999 lobbying
levels. That's why Exxon Mobil made 19 billion dollars in profit in
2009 and paid no corporate income taxes and in fact got a 156 million
dollar tax refund. Also our judiciary has become compromised by
corporate special interests as evinced by the Citizens United case in
2010. This allows corporations and wealthy individuals to fund
camapaigns without disclosing the source of that funding. (223).
So now we no the real cost of extending the Bush tax cuts, more than
just their 800 billion dollar price tag, its just siphoning off the
wealth of the middle class and funnelling it to the top 2%. We must
raise taxes on the top 2% and use that revenue to pay down the
national debt,, shore up entitlements, and invest in infrastructural
According to Forbes magazine there are 403 billionaires in the US with
a combined net worth of 1.3 trillion. (229). We cant afford to give
these people more tax cuts, and we cant afford to lower social
security payroll taxes. This costs the trust fund 120 billion dollars
annually. According to Bruce Bartlett, former reagan/GHWB adviser the
republicans want to destroy social security by turning it into a
unfunded welfare program. (233-234). Income of 250,000 dollars or more
should not be exempted from social security payroll taxes. How can we
claim to practice deficit reduction policies by giving billionaires
million dollar tax cuts, and millionaires, 100,000 dollar tax cuts.
Just because it is politically expediant to negotiate with republicans
on tax relief, doesnt do service to the interests of the majority in
our nation long term. Those of the extreme right of the republican
party want to repeal the 70 year old social safety net. Dont be a
stooge for the rich.
Inconclusion, the top 1% earning 23.5 % of all income in the US is not
a foundation to build democracy on, rather oligarchy. We need to break
up these big banks and encourage atomistic competition in the market
place. Shall we be reduced to a banana republic. The tax cuts have not
caused the economy to recover or induce the large corporations to hire
more workers, even though they are sitting on 2 trillion dollars in
cash reserves. That's 7.4 % of their total assets, the largest level
of cash reserves since 1959. We need to raise their taxes to clinton
levels. If these corporations continue to outsource,offshoring
american jobs than we should slap tariffs on the products produced by
their foreign subsidaries.
Mr. President, you can lead follow or get out of the way.
Thomas J. Wheat
note this is a summary of Senator Bernie sanders 8 hour filibuster
delivered in the senate on december 10th 2010. It also includes my own
he also published the speech in 2011, titled, "The Speech, a historic
Filibuster on corporate greed and the decline of our Middle class,"
published by Nation Books.
you can buy it here at amazon.com
On Apr 22, 6:42 pm, The Progressive Voice <thomaswheat1...@gmail.com>
"The Progressive Voice" wrote in message
"The Progressive Voice" wrote in message
"The Progressive Voice" wrote in message
So it looks like they stole our money, and now we need to take it
back, by raising taxes on the top 2% and ending the Bush started wars
in iraq and afghanistan. this will generate extra revenue which can be
used to shore up medicare/medicaid and pay down the national debt.
> "The Progressive Voice" wrote in messagenews:125c9960-8d1c-4e01...@u38g2000prd.googlegroups.com...
> > So .3% of the population will deprive us of needed revenue to- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -...
> read more »
Furthermore health care costs for families in terms of annual
premiums, rose from an average of 6438 dollars in 1999, to 13770
dollars in 2010
source: Henry J kaiser family foundation
> > > Now regarding corporate welfare we should consider the case of exxon- Hide quoted text -