The base Gulfstream G5 starts at roughly $45,000,000.00 million dollars. School lunch costs roughly $1.95. That’s 23,076,923 lunches. And yet there are children that go without because their parents can’t afford $1.95 a day. Across the country politicians try to pass laws, often on behalf of Lobbyists for Corporations, that cut programs at schools, like Free & Reduced Lunches.
I challenge ANY CEO to sell their jet and use the money to pay for school lunches for EVERY child in any state for one year.
What ‘Percent’ Are You? The Numbers Behind the Tax Divide Debate
When it comes to dividing up our class structure, the middle is a good place to start — namely, the 60% of households wedged between the poorest 20% and the richest 20%. These families make between $20,001 and $100,065 a year, and were the group hardest hit by the recession: In 2008, their average income fell by 3.6%, thebiggest single-year dropin history. At the same time, they were also devastated by rising unemployment, mass foreclosures, soaring tuitions and frozen wages. By comparison, households below the 20% line often qualify for social welfare programs, were far less likely to own real estate, and were less affected by massive layoffs. In other words, they had less to lose, and ended up losing less.
On the other end of the spectrum, many of those above the 80% line were shielded from the harsher effects of economic downturns. And over the last 30 years, the top 20% have done quite well: Their share of all wages paid in the U.S. has gone from 50% to 60%. Everyone else has lost ground.
The 53% vs. the 47%
The dividing line between the 99% and the 1% is stark, but some argue there’s a better one: The boundary between those who pay income taxes and those who don’t. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 53% of households pay federal income tax; the rest either break even or get back more in refunds than they pay.
In fact, thesecond-to-lowest20% of the country — households making between $20,001 and $38,043 — get back about 0.4% more income tax than they pay; for families who make less than $20,000, it’s about 6.8%.
Some conservatives — notably on the Tumblr blogWe are the 53%— have taken these numbers to heart, arguing that this means the bottom 47% is getting a free ride. But the 53%/47% division is a bit misleading.
To begin with, almost all households pay state taxes, Medicare tax, Social Security tax, excise taxes, sales taxes, and a raft of other government fees. When this broader, and more accurate, assessment of taxation is used, the 47% doesn’t look to be getting off so easy: Thesecond poorest quintile— the ones that got 0.4% of their income tax back — still paid more 10% of their incomes in various federal taxes.
In fact, when everything is factored in, 86% of the country pays more than it gets back in federal taxes.As for the rest, it’s not the split you might expect: More than half (8% of Americans) are senior citizens receiving Social Security.
And that last 6% — the ones who really pay nothing to the federal government? They are unemployed, disabled, in school, or making very low incomes. But even this small group pays state and local taxes, sales taxes, and other government fees.
Where the Poor Pay More
When it comes to percentage of income, the line is even clearer: For some taxes, the bottom 20% of the Americans pay more than the top 20%. For example, a household on the bottom pays almost 54% more of its income into Social Security than a household on the top. The same goes for excise taxes — fees attached to certain commodities like gasoline and alcohol: As a percentage of income, the poorest 20% pays more than four times as much as the richest 20%.
…if the stories we grew up with were honest.
It really does amaze me that people look surprised upon the youth and young working class adults of today as “entitled” for wanting the very values we were reared on to be implemented in the reality in which we all must live.
But let’s just remember that, as the 53%, I am working SO HARD while those blue collar/poor people work lazy jobs like shoveling, melding, and standing all day at a cash register. But because you got a degree, for which you spent a substantial amount of money on, you get the luxury of a safer, more comfortable office job.
See the reason some people are upset right now is that they feel they were tricked and coerced into taking on a horrible investment - preyed on like crooks prey on the elderly. We’re not just talking houses, but education as well. It used to be that you could work hard a few years and invest a lump sum of money (if you were lucky enough to have it) into a degree so that after that sentence, you could get a more comfortable job. A job where you could sit, indoors, with a computer or other boredom killers. And it used to be that those jobs paid more to cover the cost of that education. That made it a worthwhile investment. But the system has fallen apart because education prices have sky-rocketed since our parents went to school, yet our salaries have stayed at relatively the same stagnant level. We were bred on the mantra, you must get a degree to get a job these days. So we did. And we were told to go to a good school. We had rankings and schools gave out statistics on their 95% post-graduate employment rate within six months. But who the F**K has $15-50,000 PER YEAR just sitting around? So basically we were told, if you want to succeed in life you will take this loan. It all sounded like a must take deal.
Oh, no more jobs? Salary hasn’t risen? Too bad, so sad. You should have known better at 18 years old. You shouldn’t have listened to ALL these professional adults, including your parents. So stop being a whiny brat and get a job. WTF? What rock have you been living under? And to all the people complacent in their austerity - your life is unfair. You shouldn’t have to sweat and stress as hard or harder than another person and live in squalor (or if you’re lucky, relative comfort but one accident or sickness away from squalor), whilst they live in luxury of services, medical care, technologies, educations, experiences YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ACCESS TO. This isn’t about complaining or being whiny. This is about justice and fairness. This isn’t even about taxing. This is about the whole system. How much we pay our workers and charge for education. That would be the “trickle down” we should have seen from the bail-outs. Instead that money disappeared into the bonuses of bankers.
Do people really not see the problem? Without education we won’t see the sorts of progresses we would like to see under capitalism. Because people WILL start to decide against education if, when they look around, they begin to see that education is a bad investment.
THIS is the problem, on a totally mathematical, economic, logical level - not on a bleeding-heart liberal level.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips.” Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
[Mitt Romney] said in the debate, the last debate, that he wanted everyone to be rich. That seems to be the line from the Republican Party, which, of course, is just a complete fantasy. Herman Cain, of course, famously said recently that “If you`re not rich, blame yourself.” This is what really bothers me, this idea that somehow we can all be rich…that is one of the stupidest things I`ve ever heard any politician say. I want everybody to be rich. First of all, if everybody was rich, who would do the things that rich people hire people to do for them? Rich people need poor people to work for them.
And this idea that Herman Cain said “If you`re not rich, blame yourself” — this is what bothers me about rich people. They don`t, first of all, as Elizabeth Warren said, they don`t cotton to the idea they wouldn`t be rich if they didn`t have this great country that provides the roads and the schools and all the other things that allow them to be rich. But also this idea, they never understand - it`s a FLUKE mostly, that what you do is something that made you rich. Yes, if you throw a baseball 100 miles an hour or even what I do — I mean, I`m not humble about some things. But I`m very humble about the fact that telling jokes is something that gets you a lot of money. That is a complete fluke — and so is owning pizza parlors.
Yes, Herman Cain was good at business. Great. He became very rich from it. But what about teachers and cops and firemen? You know those people we always say are our “heroes”. They`re such heroes that we pay them like crap. Well, they do what they do very well. It just doesn`t happen to be something that is ever going to make you rich. So, this idea that if you`re not rich, blame yourself — oh, it really bugs me.