Once again, the almighty “job creators” have amassed obscene amounts of money while America’s poor continue to suffer under the burden of devastating Republican cuts to social programs. For the second year in a row, America’s 14 richest individuals made more from investments than the entire $80 billion food stamp budget.
AlterNet reports that, since last year, America’s 14 richest people increased their wealth from $507 billion to $589 billion from investment earnings. In other words, this money does not create jobs or help anyone not in some way connected to the financial circle jerk that is Wall Street. “All together the 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a staggering $2.29 trillion, up $270 billion from a year ago,” Forbes wrote.
The investment earnings of the richest 1 percent of Americans — $1.8 trillion — was more in 2013 than the entire budget for Social Security ($860 billion), Medicare (524 billion), and Medicaid (304 billion) COMBINED!
With no wealth tax, financial speculation tax, and limited controls, America’s wealthy will, for the foreseeable future, continue to enjoy the benefits of raking in grotesque amounts of money while giving nothing back to the country that gave them so much.
This is a problem that at least one of America’s richest recognizes. In 2011, Warren Buffett said very publicly that he believed it wrong that the ultra rich are able to pay less, as a share of income, than middle class individuals. Unsurprisingly, his calls for higher taxes on the rich were not widely supported.
The Buffett Rule, named after the billionaire’s suggestions, would have ensured that millionaires pay a tax rate that at least approaches middle class Americans, but it was filibustered by Republicans. The rule received 51 affirmative votes — just nine shy of enough to overcome the GOP obstruction. A 2012 poll revealed that more than 70 percent of Americans support the Buffett Rule.
November is approaching fast, and it is important to remember to vote on every level — including local elections. Remember that local politicians grow up to be big boys who are willing to shut down the government to deprive those in need. Election day is Tuesday November 4th 2014. Vote Straight Blue. Make Them Pay!