Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Class warfare

I'm not an Obama supporter.  Neither am I a supporter of the current crop of GOP candidates running for president.  I think they're all assholes, if truth be told.  I'm just a middle-class guy trying to support a family of four on my community college teaching salary (and having trouble paying my current property tax bill which I'll end up paying with my income tax refund.  Sigh).

So after Obama's State of the Union address, the Republicans immediately came out with the predictable cries of "Class Warfare" because he had the temerity to suggest that tax rates should be a bit higher for people who earn more in one day than the yearly median household income in the United States.

Am I exaggerating?  Not at all.  The Romney's earned 21.7 million in 2010 (source), mostly from capital gains and dividends.  That's an average income of ($21,700,000/365) = $59,452 per DAY.  The real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445 per year, $10,000 less than the Romney's earn in one day, according to the Census Bureau (source).  The Census Bureau also reports that the nation's official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, and the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010 (things have gotten worse, not better, for many Americans).

So people who earn all that dough must pay a lot in taxes, right?  Don't be ridiculous!  Romney's 2010 effective tax rate was 13.9%.  Guess what?  If you're an average working stiff making more than $8,375 (single) or $16,750 (jointly filing with spouse), then your tax rate is 15% or more (source).  Yes, yes, there are lots of complications (because we have a tax code that reads like it was written by monkeys), but the bottom line is that when billionaires like Warren Buffet are embarassed about how little wealthy people pay in taxes (source), something's fucking wrong.

So, the way I see it, wealthy people have pulled out their gilded dicks and have been pissing on the heads of poor and working class people in this country for quite some time now.  When the poor and working class look up and say "Hey asshole, stop pissing on me!", the rich accuse us of fomenting class warfare.  I guess it's only class warfare when we fight back.

Back to science-related posts tomorrow...


  1. It is hard not to agree with this.

  2. and idiotically, a large bunch of the poor will yell "kill Communism" and vote for the rich guys' lapdogs. The rest votes for the guy who promises to help them, then shafts their constitutional rights. OUCH!

  3. (I'm not thrilled by Obama or any of the current Republican candidates either, but let's give a true picture of taxation on the average family.)

    For 2012 a family with 2 children would have to earn over $27,100 (using the standard deduction and 4 exemptions) before they would even have to file a return let alone owe any taxes. The tax rate on earned income for married filing jointly on the next 0-$17,400 is 10% on the amount between $17,400 and $70,700 the rate is 15%. That's not counting the Earned Income Tax Credit (fully refundable) or other allowances which could result in zero tax due (any withholding would be fully refunded). For the most part in these brackets, the tax on any qualified dividends or capitol gains they had would be ZERO vs Romney's 15% (at 13.9% he paid roughly 3 million in taxes). Rates on dividends and capitol gains are lower then earned income because there are significant risks - you could loose your entire investment (like owners of GM stock did when Obama took the company from them and gave a large portion of it to the unions free of charge). Statistics are that 40% or more of tax filers owe zero taxes - that's a significant tax break for a large segment of the population! So the tax burden on the average family is really not all that bad - on an earned income of $44,500 the effective tax rate would be only 3.9% (again before any EITC or other allowances which could eliminate any tax due).

  4. Well said!

    The growing awareness about the extreme income inequality and the very wealthy's grip on our political system indicate that some form of class war is all but inevitable. I am developing a set of ground rules for a possible class war that would guide it in a peaceful and productive direction. The Rules for the Class War begin at this post: I am open to hearing everyone's comments and suggestions.