Our federal government doesn’t need revenue. Taxes serve as a gas pedal or brake for an economy. They drive the need for currency. They stave off inflation and can be used to break up pooled concentrations of wealth that are destructive to a functioning democracy and economy. So what’s the fuss about marginal income tax rates and “fair share”? Why the chatter about how will the government get money to fund its operations?
First we must decouple the idea that spending and taxing are linked. Taxes are not a financing operation at the federal level. In fact, taxes are destroyed upon receipt. You see, the dollar is nothing more than a tax credit. A unit of measure. Just like a run in a baseball game.
All government spending is new money. Every cent. From social security to government contracts. All new money. Accounts are merely debited & credited. Marked up or marked down. Congress issues instructions to the Fed who makes deposits in the Treasuries accounts & spending ensues.
Second, wealth inequality destroys a functioning society. You can easily see how the issue began in earnest in the 1970s and went absolutely crazy in the 1980s, as government spending on the people withered and deregulation became the norm. Programs were cut, taxes on the wealthy dropped precipitously, and the wealth gap grew exponentially almost overnight. The wealthy had access to the halls of power and money purchased favors and corruption reigned supreme. It still does and continues to worsen. Money has been deemed speech and corporations deemed people. We have a non-functioning plutocracy that serves wealth and capital and destroys the average citizen.
By having an outsized voice in our “democracy” and outsized access to real resources, legal services, political favors and a toxic carbon footprint, the wealthy have taken on a largely parasitic role within our society. They deplete resources and rob us all of our voices. We all lack access to those in power who now, almost exclusively, cater to their largest donors and think tanks that serve the corporate desires for profit, cheap labor and easy, favorable market conditions.
Removing some of that power by raising marginal tax rates is not about “PAYING FOR” programs. It is about mitigating income inequality, which has very little to do with “fairness” about tax rates & more to do with fairness of access to Democracy & the natural resources of our nation. To being able to effectively petition their representatives as one voice, one vote. Clearly that is not the case today and raising marginal rates provides a meaningful pathway to rebalancing Democracy, not balancing the budget.
Third idea is the real resources of our global community. It has been widely reported that the world’s eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%. Think about that. Seriously pause and consider that 8 people can buy and sell entire countries and all the underlying natural resources contained within while people are still attempting to secure food, shelter and basic human rights like healthcare.
With the most recent IPCC report on climate change showing 11 (more like 7) years before significant disasters become commonplace, we must take radical steps to curb carbon emissions and by extension, that related back to marginal income tax rates. Sadly, this doesn’t necessarily address rents, wealth accumulation and other means of hiding wealth to avoid taxation. Sounds like “taxation is theft” unless you understand that keystrokes and digits should not be so amassed to allow plunder of the natural resources of our planet.
Ayn Rand once wrote: “There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.” And in her fierce objectivist, rugged individualist approach to society and economics, poured gas on an already smouldering bomb of self-seeking & selfish elitism. Paul Ryan & many right-wing libertarians subscribe to this petulant mindset that makes saving lives so impossibly difficult.
You see, it isn’t whether we can save lives… it’s that they just don’t care to do so.
So remember when you hear of marginal tax rates and “fair share” we are not talking in anyway, shape or form about “paying for programs”. We are talking about healing our democracy, our planet from destruction.
Originally published on January 11, 2021 by @sdgrumbine as a twitter thread.