Posts tagged US Congress
Posts tagged US Congress
Hint: It’s an entitlement because you paid into it. Therefore, you are entitled to receive a promised benefit since you held up your end of the bargain.
Oh, and last I checked, taxpayers pay the US Congress, and it really doesn’t seem like we’re receiving much of a return on our investment.
(And yes, that’s Paul Ryan’s face)
See this chart? It’s 29 public companies who had more cash on hand than the U.S. Treasury Department as of July 13th. American companies are highlighted in yellow.
According to ThinkProgress:
In the first half of July alone, Treasury cash balances were depleted from from $130 billion to just $39 billion. That means the most powerful nation on earth currently is tied with Google for the amount of cash that it has, and is less flush than Bank of America, JP Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, among others.
Note that several companies received hefty bailouts and paid little to no income tax in 2010. From Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office:
"Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion. Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS. Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department."
This is completely outrageous. ThinkProgress sums it up nicely:
The numbers effectively rebut Republican claims that the government has plenty of money to keep funding essential services while paying down its debt. It also belies GOP claims that companies are in need of lower corporate taxes. American corporations have a record amount of cash — they are just refusing to invest domestically while lobbying for tax breaks.
Several Republican candidates have called for drastically lowering the corporate tax rate, while congressional Republicans are refusing to concede in debt ceiling negotiations that corporate tax loopholes should be closed to give the government more much-needed revenue.
So, who will the US Congress represent? This list, or we the people?
Since the so-called “Great Divergence”* the share of the national income going to the top 0.1 percent increased nearly fourfold. In other words, the top percentile’s income share rose from 22.8 to 23.5 percent. Even within the top percentile, the gains from 2006 to 2007 are extremely concentrated. The top .01% share increased from 5.46% in 2006 to 6.04% in 2007, leaving the 1928 peak of 5.04 percent well behind. (Emmanuel Saez “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States”).
Nearly half of the members United States Congress are millionaires, fifty-five of them have over $10 million, and eight possess over $100 million. Can we really say that our politicians represent the people when over half of them are millionaires? Obviously, half of the population do not fall into the million dollar plus range. So, in that very fundamental sense we are “ruled by the rich”. (Dave Levinthal “Congressional Members’ Personal Wealth Expands Despite Sour National Economy”)
*Timothy Noah, “Why We Can’t Ignore the Growing Income Inequality,” Slate Magazine
Food for thought…