Of course, I had no interest in listening to President Trump give a State of the Union speech. I deal in reality, while the president is in an alternative universe.
Nevertheless, I joined with birds of a feather at Busboys and Poets on K Street in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday evening and suffered through 90 minutes of agony. The leader of the pack went off the rails praising himself and pontificating about two years of great success.
It can be argued that the gravest threats we face today are climate chaos and the threat of an accidental nuclear attack. The climate denier in the White House made no mention of the environmental threat to Mother Earth. But he did claim unlike other presidents, he prevented a nuclear war with North Korea.
And he took credit for a booming economy. Actually, we are living in an age with income inequality reaching a historic divide between the wealthy and those struggling to survive. He boasted about the tax cuts helping out the people. In reality, the tax cuts were rigged to benefit the 1% and the corporations. It is criminal that 25 million innocent children live in poverty in this country.
Ludicrous were most of his comments, including the lie that he had to rebuild the military after years of neglect. In reality, military spending has always consumed a major part of the federal discretionary budget. Under Trump’s leadership, some 60% of this budget goes towards the military. This country is number 1 in war, but lags behind so many nations in such fields as education, healthcare, environmental health and ecosystem vitality, the homicide rate and gun violence.
I never expected the Gettysburg Address. The question was how low could he go? His drivel was contrived, jingoistic, narcissistic, at times Nixonian, incoherent, bombastic, farcical and immoderate. His handlers really blew it. They should have had Alec Baldwin deliver the State of the Union. That would have been a night to remember. Kagiso, Max
Study Shows Richest 0.00025% Owns More Wealth Than Bottom 150 Million Americans
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stands with others during a state dinner at the White House on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington, DC. Many 2020 presidential candidates are pushing taxation on the rich to reduce the US's staggering inequality. JABIN BOTSFORD / THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES
February 10, 2019
As survey data continues to show that raising taxes on the wealthy is extremely popular among the U.S. public, new research by inequality expert and University of California, Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman found that the richest 0.00025 percent of the American population now owns more wealth than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 percent.
Zucman, who helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) develop her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” proposal, observed in a working paper that “U.S. wealth concentration seems to have returned to levels last seen during the Roaring Twenties.”
According to Zucman’s research, the richest 0.00025 percent—just 400 Americans—have seen their share of America’s national wealth triple since the 1980s, while the wealth of much of the U.S. population has stagnated or declined.
The 400 richest Americans have tripled their share of the nation’s wealth since the early 1980s and now own more of the country’s riches than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60% of the wealth distribution. https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/08/wealth-concentration-returning-levels-last-seen-during-roaring-twenties-according-new-research/?utm_term=.5ba7d345a34b …
"The 400 richest Americans — the top 0.00025 percent of the population — have tripled their share of the nation’s wealth since the early 1980s, according to a new working paper on wealth inequality by Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman." https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/08/wealth-concentration-returning-levels-last-seen-during-roaring-twenties-according-new-research/?utm_term=.aa40d968903a …
As the Washington Post‘s Christopher Ingraham noted in a breakdown of Zucman’s research, adults in the bottom 60 percent of the wealth distribution “saw their share of the nation’s wealth fall from 5.7 percent in 1987 to 2.1 percent in 2014.”
Consolidation of wealth at the very top, Ingraham observes, “is eroding security from families in the lower and middle classes, who rely on their small stores of wealth to finance their retirement and to smooth over economic shocks like the loss of a job. And it’s consolidating power in the hands of the nation’s billionaires, who are increasingly using their riches to purchase political influence.”
Zucman’s research comes as members of Congress and 2020 presidential candidates are pushing a variety of plans to begin reducing America’s staggering wealth and income inequality by raising taxes on those at the very top.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign on Saturday, has proposed an annual tax of two percent on assets over $50 million.
Last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who is reportedly close to announcing his 2020 candidacy—introduced the For the 99.8% Act, which would establish a 77 percent tax on all estates over $1 billion.
And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has suggested imposing a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent on those who make over $10 million.
Pointing to polling data showing that 76 percent of Americans believe the rich should pay more in taxes, Indivisible’s Chad Bolt concluded: “Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.”
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs