In 2010, 80 percent of Americans owned a measly 11 percent of America’s total wealth, while the top one percent held 35percent.
Today, median wage earners’ take-home pay is 9 percent less than in 1999; the average household income is $27,915. Where did we go wrong?
The great war of the ’40s, the Korean conflict of the ’50s, the Vietnam war of the ’60s and ’70s, placed a heavy burden on America’s taxpayers, especially those at the top. A strong, resilient economy and a solid tax base aided America in surviving the constant strife of that time.
In the late ’80s, outsourcing of jobs began stripping America of its manufacturing base. Seeking cheap labor and for the sake of avoiding U.S. taxes, much of corporate America moved its businesses offshore. The prosperity of the ’90s proved to be the calm before the storm.
“It’s the economy, stupid,” Bill Clinton cried out.
The new century brought two decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, costing trillions. Just prior to that, untimely tax cuts reduced treasury revenues for 10 years. America’s intervention as peacemaker over decades of Mideast strife adds to our debt, even today.
The Great Recession of 2007-09 cost America 8.6 million jobs, creating a deadly double-edged sword for the U.S. treasury — less tax revenue coming in; more jobless benefits going out. Corruption cost taxpayers $1.5 trillion to bail out a deregulated Wall Street, while other reckless bank policies robbed America’s investors, crimes for which no one went to jail.
As we ignore the dangers of global warming, nature wreaks havoc on America’s cities and coastlines year after year. It seems like every summer, forest fires rage out of control on the West Coast, adding to our debt.
So today, with the world in chaos, a misguided media schools us on which Republican presidential candidate may best survive an election, light years away.
Should Republican budget chairman Paul Ryan be handed the power, he is prepared to cut taxes for top earners, once again, a job creation stunt that failed only a decade ago.
America can no longer survive the continuing combination of less tax revenue and the expense of saving itself and the world from calamity. We can’t have it both ways.
In spite of holding the advantage of an 80-percent voting block, mysteriously, too many of those who are struggling buy into Republican Party ideology that undermines their very survival.