Very few things are certain in life other than life and death. In the middle we work roughly 50 years of our life and pay taxes. That much we know for sure. For the most part we are a tough working people -- dedicated to the task and sweating the day away.
It might be nice to cut to the chase and just hoard together all the money we will make in our lifetime at the beginning -- sort of like a down payment if you will. If you want to do that -- join Wall Street and work for a hedge fund. They make as much money in an hour as John and Jane Doe down the street do in a lifetime of blood, sweat and tears.
Paul Krugman conducted some analysis of IRS data (boring stuff but important nonetheless)
But I was struck by something else: in several years during the last decade the top 400 accounted for more than 10 percent of all capital gains income in America. Just 400 people!
Conservatives often try to sell the notion that reducing the capital gains tax is about helping small business people. But you really want to think of the fact that a significant chunk of that tax break is going to just 400 people.
These are the same people who are hoarding the money and making it hand over fist in a matter of hours -- not days, months or even years -- hours!
All the while they are paying a capital gains tax of 15% instead of income taxes like the rest of us, like John and Jane Doe down the street. Instead of trying to realize we need job programs and better policies for the middle class -- conservative politicians and pundits try to sell us on tax cuts but as Krugman notes above, a large chunk of it will benefit just 400 people in a country of more than 300 million.
We are sold the idea of an American Dream as well as policies that simultaneously benefit those who already live on cloud nine.
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