Jan 31·edited Jan 31Liked by Robert Reich

This is very depressing. Robert since you're an expert, what CAN be done? Lay out a plan and we will all back you up. Give it to your congressional friends... I mean it! You know how it all works, right? If not, when will it ever stop? Something needs to be done!!!! Have at it, please!

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Jan 31Liked by Robert Reich

Very true. We need to tax income over 1,000,000 at 75% and between 400,000 and 1,000,000 at 35% with no deductions allowed. Like a federal minimum tax option. Between 75,000 and 400,000 it can stay at 35%, but allow deductions. At $75,000 or below there should be no Federal income tax for a family of 4, and no tax for individuals making minimum wage (at 15/hour). Payroll taxes still apply, but no upper limit cut off. With this the government would never have to worry about debt and perhaps we could actually act on severe problems like climate change and poverty. The only way this will happen is to get the money out of politics. We are lead not by politicians, but by those who control the media and are highly skilled at propaganda, and big money buys it.

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L. Randall Wray is a Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, NY


"..a lot of progressives think we need to tax the rich in order to spend on the poor. That’s just wrong, we don’t need to tax the rich more to spend more on the poor, because our sovereign government can’t run out of money, it can always spend more on the poor without taxing the rich. You want to tax the rich because they are rich, you don’t tax them in order to give more to the poor. You tax the rich because they’re filthy rich and so you shouldn’t link the two in policy. In the public’s mind we need to do both, but they are separate policies. You set the tax on the rich not to equal spending on the poor. You set the tax on the rich and make it high enough so that they’re not rich. If that’s your goal – get rid of the excessive riches of the rich -you tax enough so they are not excessively rich. It’s an extremely hard thing to do politically. The final thing is rather than trying to do this with taxes, which is hard because once people have income, especially high income, they have an incentive to protect it, the means to protect it, the means to influence policy, and they are extremely powerful. In practice I think in the US, it is actually impossible to take away income from the rich through taxes because they buy off the politicians, they get special exemptions, they never pay high tax rates, they hide their income, they put it overseas, and so on. The only way that will work in a country like the U.S. is to prevent them from earning the income in the first place. You have to do something like set maximum pay for CEOs."

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I have never understood the logic -- if you can call it logic -- of wailing about the National Debt being sooooo high, and then deciding to reduce Federal income by handing out tax breaks measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars.... instead of using that money to pay down the Debt. Instead what We are told is "trickle down economics". BbbbbbbbbbbbSssssssssss.

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While I fully appreciate the clarification regarding how the wealthy both contribute to and also benefit from the nation’s increasing national debt, additionally, I would note, adding insult to injury, that the radical extremist Freedom Caucus and the so-called establishment Republicans alike are intent on further confusing a largely ignorant population by falsely conflating raising the debt ceiling with spending money we don’t have.

Hence, I think it imperative that we flood the White House with letters urging the President to clarify, as often as warranted in prime time, that raising the debt ceiling doesn’t give the government permission to borrow money; it gives government the permission to pay back the money we’ve already borrowed. Further, in my view, the President is obligated to educate the public of the economic calamity that would ensue were the U.S. to default on its national debt.

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How do we get rid of Citizens United? Let's start with that. Cap CEO's and upper management incomes. Why not tax? It was done before. How was it done?

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The inaction, complacency, and ignorance of the electorate play right into their hands . And at the crux of such situations is that the vast majority of Congress, the Executive, and Judicial all have bought and paid for tickets on the gravy train . And they're all sitting in first class . The system of drafting elected officials onto the 1%ers squad has always been the ideal for them . Seeing as

the worship of filthy lucre has replaced the basic virtues, decency, and morals of our nation and people, such situations are ALL just outcroppings thereof . To simplify yet again, until the temptations of wealth and perceived social status stop being dangled in front of pols noses, until the carpets of government are given a good shaking out and ALL monies, both light and dark are removed from our election process, i.e.; Citizens United done away with, along with corporate citizenship and their access to our elected officials, this and all similar situations shall go on and on and on . I'm not talking a Jan 6th type revolution, but a waking up of the average American to see that our system is corrupt, contrived and controlled by the 1%ers, their corporate wrappings and their buying, selling and ownership of this nation and government. Without the occasional revolution democracy dies . Ours is long overdue . WAKE THE HELL UP AMERICA ! !

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I paid mine! 23% to the feds and another 12.8% to California! Holy Moley! Republicans often prance around exhibiting some kind of self-righteous anger at paying their taxes. That's just drama. Who's really angry are Democrats like me who pay my taxes only to end up listening to the grifters, cheaters, dodgers and liars bitch, bitch, bitch. For fair tax policy we need a public culture that will get them to shut up and a public policy that will ensure they pay up!

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Let's not forget that a goodly chunk of our national debt is for Chickenhawk George's unfunded military misadventures in the ME. At least he got to be a War Pres-i-dent.

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This is part of a comment I made to an email from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The figures are an approximation of the actual wealth sloshing around in the US economy, perhaps about 96 trillion dollars. (This doesn't include, as far as I know, the estimated 20 to 30 trillion+ in offshore accounts according to one British university study.) I did a very rough estimate of America's total worth and came up with about a quarter of a quadrillion dollars. This is (sigh) unfortunately in today's inflated money but still a goodly amount! Here is my modest proposal (thanks to Jonathan Swift) which might have some difficulty in Congress:The current national debt is about

31.46 trillion. The top 10% control a bit more than 73 trillion,

leaving about 23 trillion for us in the 90%. I would suggest

a modest graduated tax of 43.9% on the top 10% that would

produce 31.46 trillion and pay off the national debt. This is less

than 1/2 the 90% in the 30's. 40's, and 50's which the rich paid.

These very wealthy folks would still be quite rich but not as much

as before. Of course the country would continue to collect taxes

from them so that we could fund National Healthcare and a Basic

Income safety net for all to have proper housing and medical

assistance. And the (still) rich would have the satisfaction of

being patriotic benefactors!

Tony Heller

Former Adjunct Professor of English (Strictly an amateur Economist!)

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Thank you for this enlightening perspective. I had never heard the debt explained that way. So, not only do the wealthiest not pay their fair share of taxes, they actually take the taxes middle class people pay from the United States of America.

There has been much reporting that Kevin McCarthy is refusing to raise the debt ceiling without concomitant spending reductions due to the irresponsible extremists in his caucus. I can't help wondering whether he, and they, are really bought and paid for by the wealthy plutocratic plunderers, who want to take, take, take from this great country, but give nothing back. Biden is scheduled to meet with him tomorrow. I hope Biden stands strong against him. Your explanation of the debt should be included in Biden's State of the Union address.

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I have suspected that we need to tax the wealthy. It makes sense that those who profit so much on worker's labor should pay a proportionately higher tax. It seems like some of them pay nothing at all.

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The capital of any country is largely the product of the labour invested by the people. Thus, when bankers invest capital in business, they invest the labour of the people in the business, and the profits on that capital should be returned to the people as fruits of their labour, not pocketed by the bankers and a few individuals -- let's name them again the Robber Barons -- who have managed to snaffle an unfair share. Because capital has been a thousand times through the laundromat of the banks and lawyers and billionaires does not wash away the rights of wage slaves and those forcibly enslaved to demand repayment of the full costs of their labour.

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Absolutely Professor Reich. I’m going to tell as many people as I can. This is not only outrageous but demoralizing to Americans that believe in the entity AMERICA. How much can we take as citizens of this country. These wealthy are bleeding this country and profiting by it. I’m going to pray to God help us please!! End this wealthy bloodsucking!! Thank you as usual for your Enlightenment!!

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The funny thing is that in middle America, working class white people have been fed so much disinformation that they actually believe Reaganomics benefits them and the middle class. They keep saying things like we have to take this country back without realizing that the policies of the last 42 years, going back to 1981, are to blame. I am 63 years old and grew up in a small town in the Heartland and I know the way a lot of those people think and talk, although of course not all.

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This horrible gimmick has a history. In the stillborn Weimar Republic, so much capital was destroyed that there was no trustworthy domestic money. The remaining wealth at the top was loaned into the State, but there was little prosperity produced to pay the debt. The Versailles reparations didn’t stop. No capital was confiscated-that might be Communism! or taxation on wealthy-Socialism! So all prosperity, what there was of it, was siphoned off in the dark. Hitler’s brilliant economic plan was to invent the fiction of International Jewry as the hidden destroyer of prosperity. All was solved! Liquidation of the Jews had a cash reward! When life hands you lemons, build Killinghausen! The rich industrialists remaining got off from blame, everyone had an enemy to hate - what a job by the fox and his friends, Joe Goebbels! Except for producing hell among nations, what’s not to like? We try it again.

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