The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tax Policy, The GOP, And You.... Part II




On April 15th (Tax Day) Fox News managers and producers broadcast a segment that smacks the face and psyche of Americans who understand and abhor income inequity born of GOP economic policy since the early 1980s.  Take a look at Ed Schultz's "Vulture Chart."  Do you notice the red (upper income) trend line took off in the early 1980s? 

Now, for Fox New's Hemmer and Varney.  Hemmer actually comments the about down sides of taxes (granted non of us care for taxes), and regulation. The host is big with mantra and talking points, but he should consider use of the word "regulation" as we consider our recent history of unregulated capitalism. 

http://mediamatters.org/embed/.....


The segment speaks without any opaqueness about the Fox News audience.  

Income inequality is (excuse the colloquial phrase) "as serious as contracting cancer." Those of us who earn significantly less than the nation's top income earners are literally relegated to equally significantly shorter life-spans. Talking Points Memo published a piece today, with "death charts" illustrating the stark reality of "income privilege" Vs. the the less expanded life span. 

The stark reality....

The Curry County Democrats
A Giant Statistical Round-Up of the Income Inequality Crisis in 16 Charts
The Atlantic, Derek Thompson
To understand the full story, you have to look at capital income — from assets like housing and stocks and bonds. This is where income growth for the top 1% has positively exploded, taking income inequality to record highs.


The chart, one of 16 in the Atlantic piece, provides an irrefutable illustration of income inequality. The also takes GOP and conservative mantra to the point of comical manipulation. The only problem with the comedic blabbering from the Right: People are not  paying attention. When we fail to pay attention to our growing oligarchy and growing income inequality, it simply grows and metastasizes. 

Growing income inequality should rightfully, lead to higher income tax burden for people at the top of the income strata. Conversely, middle income Americans and lower income Americans should rightfully pay lower federal taxes. We do have a progressive tax structure! 

It is interesting to watch how right-wing media runs interference for people who provide potential for contributions and funding, and does so without regard for people who earn less and are earning less on an ever-increasing basis.

While the Wall Street Journal recently published the following graphic, SLATE very adroitly dealt with the graphic message. Thus placing interpretation of the graphic along-side Right-wing false interpretation of data reality.

Excerpt (read carefully)
There is nothing wrong with having that debate—most liberals, I think, welcome it. There is something very wrong, however, with how the Journal presents America’s shifting tax burden, which it traces in the graph below. The chart is supposed to tell us that the entire top 20 percent of households—the group shown in red, which includes “couples with two children making more than $150,000,” as writer John McKinnon puts it—is now responsible for paying a vastly larger share of all federal taxes than it was at the start of the Reagan era. It’s not just the ultra-rich who are doing the heavy lifting. It’s the upper-middle class, too.
That is only true if you lump together the top 1 percent with the next 19 percent of taxpayers. Break them apart (as I’ve done below, using the same data sets as the Journal), and it’s clear that the only cohort responsible for a notably larger share of the country’s tax bill is the top 1 percent. (The graph includes a break where it shifts from Congressional Budget Office data, which ends in 2010, to figures from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center).


taxes_top_20_percent
If you only look at federal income tax liability—so no payroll taxes or corporate taxes—then the entire top 10 percent has seen its share of the burden grow quite a bit. But that brings us to the bigger point: Income inequality is rising. And as long as we have progressive taxation, that means the rich will naturally pay a larger share of the tax tab. The Journal, to its credit, acknowledges this. What it fails to point out is that, according to both the Congressional Budget Office and Tax Policy Center, only one group is paying a higher average tax rate than it did during the Bush era. Again, that’s the top 1 percent.
Right-wing media knows its viewers and ultimately knows who pay their "freight."  

MSNBC's Alex Wagner, Ezra Klein and Janell Ross, The National Journal, discussed the American tax experience. 
http://on.msnbc.com/1hGF8Yw


The average American knows the wealthy have a form of conferred privilege. They have such singularly due to their wealth and opportunity inherent in wealth.  We also know the average American has enough tax knowledge to know that wealthy pay the progressive tax and they know the progressive rates mean we pay less.  Ah yes, the voting public and the non-voting public have some knowledge of the progressive tax, the public has no information feeds that provide easy to find relational perspectives.

Also on Tax Day Media Matters published a piece among pieces that addressed the information void and the lack of information dissemination via network news (ABC, NBC, CBS). 
Relationship Between Income Tax Rates And Income Inequality


If as indicated by both Gallup and Pew Research, Americans get their news from television, and the three major networks didn't provide coverage of the relationship between taxes and income inequality over the course of the past year, one should ask why? The rational person should think in terms of how can public opinion focus on issues critical to matters of importance to the non-wealthy, if media shone such issues.  

Now, do you think media inadvertently avoids issues of growing income disparity?  Surely, you wouldn't be so naive.

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