[Marxism] Widening the wealth gap in the tilted economy
bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Mon Feb 16 16:15:29 MST 2004
Just as the States are reeling from a round of budget cuts, President Bush
is proposing a new federal tax break for multi-millionaires worth nearly $1
trillion over the next 20 years. A new study shows how repealing the Estate
Tax on multi-millionaires will reduce the federal funds that would otherwise
be available to help states provide vital public services.
Only the richest 2 percent of our nation's families currently pay any estate
tax at all. These are people with estates larger than $1 million for an
individual or $2 million for a couple.
Nearly half of all estate taxes are paid by the wealthiest 0.1% of the
American population - a few thousand families each year. Repealing the
estate tax would result in multi-million dollar tax cuts to the heirs of
America's millionaires and billionaires, concentrating wealth and political
power in fewer hands.
Elimination of the estate tax will reduce federal revenue by $982 billion
over the next 20 years, a serious blow to the Treasury at a time of unknown
challenges. This revenue loss will be made up by raising taxes on lower and
middle-income taxpayers and/or by cutting services to the same group.
"The wealth gaps between races and income levels had shrunk slightly from
1992 to 1995 but had also risen by double digits in the 1998 report."
According to Business Week, the average U.S. CEO earns 326 times as much as
his average factory worker, a ratio much higher than Japan's or Germany's,
whose CEOs earn no more than forty times as much as the average factory
worker. I am one of the privileged ones, part of that elite one percent. But
these facts don't make me happy- they scare me. As the gap between the top
five percent and bottom fifty percent grows, so does fear, polarization,
insecurity, and suffering. Its hard to see friends and others suffer from
inadequate health care, low-paying jobs, poor housing, and other
manifestations of a frayed and fragmented society that increasingly seems to
breed despair and violence.
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