The Senator with the most obscene haircut in 2014 recently complained, again, about the “incredible and obscene” level of wealth inequality in the US. Despite the tired nature of this old saw, Bernie himself is a key player and contributor to this obscenity, and
seems to miss, entirely, the fact that if he wasn’t busily spending trillions we don’t have and will never have, the economy might recover, and more jobs would become available.
BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 4 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today that the “incredible and obscene” level of income and wealth inequality in America has become a danger to our economic and political systems – and must be addressed.
According to a new Forbes magazine tally, the 400 wealthiest Americans are now worth $2.29 trillion. Their combined wealth grew last year by $270 billion – a 13 percent increase. These billionaires now own more wealth than the bottom half of America – more than 150 million people.
Sanders’ fix? Let’s ask Congress to do something! They really know what they’re doing!
“Congress must summon the courage to take on their big money campaign contributors and pass legislation that asks the wealthy to start paying their fair share of taxes and overturns the disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United.”
Well, that was easy. Congress need only do two things and wealth inequality is fixed. As if being unequal in earnings is a bad thing by definition. If I work two jobs and earn 50% more than my neighbor does who works only one job, are we “unequal”?
But still, this is Sanders, and asking Congress to do something – like pass a budget – might be something they’re not equipped to perform. They can pass a 2,000 page monstrosity without reading it, but this wealth inequality thing should be a snap.
Here’s the deal on the “fair share”, Senator, and pay attention this time, because you don’t seem to be getting it: Half the country pays no net income taxes. Of the half that do pay income taxes, the top half of this group pays 97% of all income taxes collected. I agree with Sanders (gasp!): that is unfair, to the people paying virtually all the income tax in this country.
That top half is a lot more than the evil 1%. It includes that vaunted “middle class”, the top end of which can earn over $250,000 per year. These people are not billionaires, swimming in pools filled with gold coins. They are professionals: engineers, lawyers, doctors, managers, IT administrators, contractors, and if these people are married, it’s not that rare to find yourself over that $250K threshold. These are people who work for a living, and the market pays them their “fair share” as determined by supply and demand for their work, not as determined by a Marxist price-setter sitting in a dank sub-basement cave somewhere in DC, where social “justice” is meted out through transfer payments.
If you really want to see an obscenity, how about all the federal spending combined – and we’re setting world records in spending/obscenities in the Congresses that Senator Sanders is a willing participate in – does not effect median household income. At all. In fact, if there’s a correlation between federal spending and incomes, it’s a negative correlation. As federal surpluses increase, household income decreases.
I’m no Marxist theorist, but that seems to be the reverse of the intended effect, no?
Here are a few other obscenities that Sanders seems to ignore, and are directly leading to the results of virtually zero median household income growth:
1. As US debt goes up, real median household income goes down. So Sanders’ solution of more, obscene, and ridiculous federal spending, at record levels of debt, does not fix one damn thing regarding individual income. If, indeed, that is the federal government’s job, and if it could even do that if 535 knuckleheads thought that it should be so.
2. It’s difficult to participate in an economy when the bulk of the job growth is in lower-paying jobs, and the federal gov’t has created safety nets, well, they’re more like safety condos, that make the decision not to work easier than ever before in the history of man. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in their projections for job growth through 2012, of the top ten categories of jobs with the most growth, only 2 of them require any education beyond high school.
3. Obamacare – which Sanders has supported all along, and has long called for the nationalization of health care, like those other successful countries such as the former Soviet Union and Cuba – will reduce employment by 3%, according to the Mercatus center:
Much of the ACA’s tax effect resembles unemployment insurance: both encourage layoffs and discourage people from returning to work. The ACA’s overall impact on employment, however, will arguably be larger than that of any single piece of legislation since World War II.
- The ACA’s employment taxes create strong incentives to work less. The health subsidies’ structure will put millions in a position in which working part time (29 hours or fewer, as defined by the ACA) will yield more disposable income than working their normal full-time schedule.
- The reduction in weekly employment due to these ACA disincentives is estimated to be about 3 percent, or about 4 million fewer full-time-equivalent workers. This is the aggregate result of the law’s employment disincentives, and is nearly double the impact most recently estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.
- Nearly half of American workers will be affected by at least one of the ACA’s employment taxes—and this does not account for the indirect effect on others as the labor market adjusts.
- The ACA will push more women than men into part-time work. Because a greater percentage of women work just above 30 hours per week, it is women who will be more likely to drop to part-time work as defined by the ACA.
4. Oh, and Bernie seems to have no problem getting his nest feathered on the public dime. Bernie’s annual average growth rate in net worth 2004-2012 was 29%. The average American’s growth rate for the same period? -0.94%. So when Bernie’s telling you he’s working for the little guy, remember that in Berniespeak, little guy means “Bernie Sanders”.
In short, the Senator himself, through the policies he’s supported, are exacerbating the wealth inequality he so loudly trumpets as the biggest scourge of our time. It could just be that the biggest problem is not wealth inequality, but wealth transfer, and that the government that Sanders works in is responsible for creating it in the first place. Instead of demonizing companies that actually employ people, perhaps Bernie should start demonizing the catastrophic spending he’s been responsible for all of his years in the US Congress, and start doing what the rest of us have to do, every day – live within our means.