I like to say “Top vs Bottom, not Left vs Right”. It informs my view of policy that affects our investments and life over the long run.
I want to explain my view of the Top and their goals. The Bottom is easy, it’s the 95% who are *not* aligned with the Top’s objective of fighting against and ignoring the Constitution’s “promote the general Welfare” goal. A reminder:
To secure these rights, the U.S. Constitution creates a government of the people to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
I bring this up today because…
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) spoke on a right-wing radio show this past Tuesday and suggested that Social Security and Medicare be eliminated as federal entitlement programs and become subject to approval by Congress each year as part of its discretionary spending authority. — Wall Street on Parade
The Marten’s who write the best tell-all of corruption on Wall Street point to the Koch Network often and today introduced the billionaire couple Mr. & Mrs. Uihlein who worked through Senator Ron Johnson for the Top’s long standing objective.
Now where have I seen this desire to eliminate all Social obligations before, hmmm.
Let’s look at Wikimedia on the Koch goals:
David H. Koch was the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980. He advocated the abolition of Social Security, the FBI, the CIA and public schools.
He lost of course so he created a club of like-minded.
Ah yes, the Koch brothers billionaire club. They are very active bunch…
In the Marten’s article you will find these quotes:
“A blockbuster scoop by ProPublica on Wednesday makes crystal clear who Ron Johnson represents: He is the senator for the ultra-wealthy.
“The exposé details how Wisconsin’s Republican senator ensured that his wealthiest donors made out like bandits in the massive 2017 tax bill that GOP leaders marketed as a ‘middle-class tax cut.’
“Thanks to Johnson’s demands, it wound up delivering a huge portion of its billions in savings to just 82 of America’s wealthiest families. And the senator’s top donors — billionaires Diane Hendricks and Dick and Liz Uihlein — were with Michael Bloomberg at the very top of a short list of those who gained the most.
Note when the taxes on the wealthy dropped on this next chart and compare it to the other charts dates (1970-1990).
It is important to understand my view that our economy grew the strongest when the taxes on the wealthy were much, much higher. Massive supply-side propaganda convinced everyone that cutting taxes grows the economy faster. It would today if it is payroll taxes, but those were increased to offset tax cuts on corporations long ago.
There are two reasons why high taxes on the wealthy grew the economy faster: 1) High taxes forced spending on the economy to reduce taxes paid. Because of deductions & expensing, statutory rates did not equal effective rates. The calculus on investment in real business spending was enhanced with high taxes. In the last decade low taxes combined with suppressed interest rates encouraged CEOs to leverage up their corporations for wealth extraction instead of grow.
The second reason is that when a Capitalist’s system (which naturally funnels money up) does not return funds to the demand side at a sufficient level via taxes, the system bogs down like when a heating system’s return air is covered up. This is part of the reason that when total tax rates at the top dropped from over 70% to under middle class taxes the economy kept growing slower.
Note: I view social security as a generational tax and not a retirement plan. The simplest way to fix our Capitalism circulation problem would be to to stop letting incomes over $145,000 avoid payroll taxes and then lower payroll taxes eliminating the large surpluses. The Koch network will never go for this.
The “Koch Network”: As of mid 2018, the chief “lieutenants” of Charles and David Koch have encouraged media to refer to the “Koch network” rather than the “Koch brothers” in their reporting. The network was founded by Charles and David Koch and is made up of “several hundred” (another estimate is about 500) donors who pay a minimum of $100,000 each year, and work to influence American life in a conservative direction. The network has been called “one of the nation’s most influential political forces”, “a shadow political party, complete with its own field offices and national voter database”.
The list of patriotic sounding groups and organizations funded by the Koch Network is mind-blowing. They all promote the Top’s agenda with propaganda that would make the Communist party blush. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is the Koch Network’s primary political advocacy group, it is one of the most influential American conservative organizations. Take a look.
AFP (tax exempted of course) helped transform the Tea Party movement into a political force. It organized significant opposition to global warming regulation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the expansion of Medicaid and economic stimulus.
The AFP is very active at the “grass roots” level. But their policies do not benefit the roots by any means.
They get away with it because our news cycle creates constant distractions. As you know our mainstream news is owned by the billionaires. They were recently hoping another billionaire would take over Twitter.
Simply put the Top’s goals are eliminate all social programs so they don’t have to pay taxes.
Note the highest real GDP and highest net business investment to GDP occurred when taxes were 90% and 70% on the wealthy. We also had more equality. Welcome to the second gilded age.
Never mind eliminating “general Welfare” spending would create depressionary conditions and slow economic growth for a moment. Their goal is to also concentrate wealth and power (already has) and enable minority-ruled state governments to tell us how to live and not tax them.
Hell, they want another constitutional convention to reargue & rewrite the constitution. In the meantime, they ignore the original when it does not suit them.
The other offshoot of the Top is a push for a Christian nationalist government. I will not go there today other to say that our founding fathers bent over backwards to separate the church from the State, not because they were worried about Woke liberals and atheist, but because they were worried about other Christians telling them how they should live and worship – similar to the Church of England which they escaped. Our Supreme Court no longer shares this sentiment nor cares about precedent in law.
It’s getting interesting.
If you want to be thoroughly depressed, you can read some of these articles on the Marten’s website or maybe just these headlines which you will not find on mainstream news media site on the Left or Right…