The original claim of the Occupy Whatever Street (OWS) movement, that large banks got a bailout while middle class America struggled as the result of high unemployment, had merit. However, that legitimate grievance was cast aside as the OWS movement was taken over by Big Labor and the Democratic Socialist Party.
Their goal was to divert attention away from the prolific spending of the Obama administration that is threatening our financial future. Thanks to a sympathetic media, they were able to influence public opinion to reflect their view that the rich are not paying enough taxes, and this is creating our budget shortfalls. In reality, we should be looking at Washington and their outlandish self-serving spending of the American taxpayer’s money.
However since most people do not own a calculator with 13 digits or look at IRS data, their fraud has gone largely undetected and unreported. Let’s examine the facts.
The 2011 budget deficit is $1,300,000,000,000 or 1.3 trillion dollars and the accumulated National Debt is $15,000,000,000,000 or 15 trillion dollars.
Using the OWS definition, the top 1% or 1.38 million people (out of 138 million taxpayers) are considered rich. This group earned 17% of all income but paid 37% of all income taxes. Clearly that is not the message being spread by OWS and their supporters.
Their claim that taxing the rich will help to solve the budget deficit is even more preposterous. The top 1% already pays $320 billion in income taxes annually. To eliminate the 2011 Obama budget deficit of $1.3 trillion, they would need to pay 98% of their earnings in taxes. At that tax rate, they will not continue to own and expand their companies, which include hiring more employees. Even a 98% tax rate on the rich does nothing to reduce the remaining National Debt of 13.7 trillion dollars.
Unless there is an awakening in Washington by members of both parties that their spending is the cause of our budget deficits and no amount of taxes on the rich, or even the middle class, will solve the problem, we are destined to repeat the mistakes of Greece, Italy and most of Europe.
Promoting class warfare based upon misrepresenting the facts may help to get politicians elected, but it does nothing to put us on the path to prosperity.