It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
.

The ignorance of the oppressed
and the treachery of their leaders.

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The GOP’s new tax law rewards the 1% mightily, and to appease the voting 99%, it includes a few crumbs for the rest. It’s the “crumb theory” at work

If you are a mean-spirited sadist, you can chain, beat and starve a dog all day, but if in the dog’s final hour, you feed him a few tasty crumbs, he will lick your face in appreciation.

People are much the same.

After decades of chastising the idle, Republicans pushed through a tax bill that specifically advantages rich people who don’t work. But they aren’t applying that standard for poor people.

Republicans also plan to make it easier for states to add work requirements for welfare recipients.

The Senate tax bill gives business owners nearly three times more benefits than workers with wages and salaries, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Adam Looney, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The New York Times that it will be the first time that “wage earners are substantially penalized” by the tax code.

The diverging treatment comes from how the tax bill treats the businesses that are structured so that profits are taxed as individual income. Republicans portray these businesses, which are known as “pass-throughs,” as “ma and pa bakeries and family-owned salons.”

In reality, most pass-through income goes to people in the top 1 percent—including the Trump family.

Pass-through owners only automatically pay the 25 percent rate when someone else runs their business. In other words, the wealthiest Americans are rewarded for not working.

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.Image result for begging dog

So you might expect the voting 99% to object when the GOP pushes them further down the income scale.

But then we meet the “crumb theory” — Give the beggers a crumb and they will lick your face in appreciation. 

Consider this squib:

Corporate American workers continue to reap the benefits stemming from a recent corporate tax cut.

Disney, American Airlines, Boeing, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Bank of America and Walmart are just some of the companies that have announced one-off payments to employees late last year and early this year, while dozens of other firms have followed suit.

Apple recently said it will give $2,500 worth of restricted stock units to most of its employees. But why give bonuses rather than simply salary raises?

The Washington Post explains that salary bumps drive up fixed costs for companies; how workers are compensated is also changing, with discretionary bonuses becoming an increasing share of compensation.

Get it? “Reap the benefits” is happy-talk for “accept a few crumbs.”

To mollify any negative feelings you may have, about the 1% amassing endless billions from the new, lower tax rates, some of you will be given small, one-time bonuses.

And there will be other crumbs.

In the two right-hand columns, you will see the tax savings for each income level. If you earn up to $30,000, you’ll save virtually nothing. You may even pay more. At $30,000, the savings begin, but the crumbs truly are small.

A person making $1 million a year receives annual tax savings of 1.5% or $15,000.  But if you make $50,000 a year, your tax rate will be reduced by only 1% or about $500 on average — a crumb to keep you quiet.

While some may justify the rich receiving a higher tax saving because they pay more taxes, there simply is no justification for the rich receiving a higher percentage tax saving. Yet you are expected to thank the GOP for giving you the crumbs.

But the crumb theory doesn’t end there. What little the GOP gives with one hand, it more than takes back with the other.

The exists a block grant called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  But the number of poor people receiving federal cash assistance has plummeted, along with the monthly benefits.

The budget for the program has remained unchanged at $16 billion since 1996; inflation has reduced its actual value by a third since then.

And then there’s this article from the 1/24/18 issue of the Chicago Tribune:

Is a Medicaid work requirement fair?
Earlier this month, Kentucky made Medicaid history: It will now require some of its Medicaid recipients to work or risk losing benefits.

Critics say this 20-hours-per-week rule is a draconian plan to toss people off the rolls.

Kentucky’s plan is flexible: Recipients could meet the requirement through volunteer work, job training, searching for a job, taking classes, or caring for someone elderly or disabled. Pregnant women, full-time students, the medically frail, the homeless and people who aren’t healthy enough to work will be exempt.

About a dozen other states, including Indiana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Maine, have submitted similar proposals to the federal government.

Imposing a work requirement wouldn’t knock the neediest off the rolls. But it could prompt many to get jobs — and thus health coverage via employers.

The work requirement is based on the fiction that the poor are congenitally lazy, and unless forced to labor, they will just loll about in their miserable hovels, waiting to receive crumbs from the federal government.

Therefore they cannot be allowed to receive free money. They must labor for the rich or be punished.

The rich, by contrast, are felt to be entitled to loll about in luxury, supported by the government, because . . . . well, because they’re rich.

And while we’re on the subject of the GOP giving crumbs with one hand, while punishing with the other:

Ryan says Republicans to target welfare, Medicare, Medicaid spending in 2018

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America’s deficit.

“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said. “Frankly, it’s the healthcare entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements — because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”

Ignore, for a moment, the fact that the so-called federal “debt” isn’t really a “debt” and never will be a burden on the federal government or on taxpayers. Ignore, for a moment, that federal deficit spending grows the economy, and benefits everyone, even the rich.

Instead, focus on this reality: After forcing through a tax law that adds $1.5 trillion to the debt, and also massively increased military spending, and demanding billions more to finish a useless border wall, the GOP now has “discovered” that Medicare and Social Security, which primarily benefit the 99%, need to be reduced.

So they will try to cut these valuable programs that aid the 99% and cost the 1% nothing, though these programs do help narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest — something the rich do not want.

In summary, the GOP believes that you can mistreat the 99% “dogs,” but if you toss them a few crumbs, they will lick your face in the elections.

Is the 99% really that stupid? We’ll know this year.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

Progressives think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY