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ErikJ

(6,335 posts)
Thu Jul 19, 2012, 10:20 PM Jul 2012

Hayes: We Are No Longer Able To Tax The Very Rich In Our Country

"Look, the taxes of high -- of extremely wealthy people are bizarre, strange and alienating," MSNBC's Chris Hayes said on "The Last Word" tonight. "And the reason is that they pay people a lot of money to game the system. That's explicitly what it is. And the more of that you see -- literally if you chose someone with Mitt Romney's net worth at random and looked at their tax returns, they would look crazy. You wouldn't be able to understand them. They would have all sort of bizarrely constituted corporations incorporated in the Cayman Islands. They might have a Swiss bank account to bet against the dollar. They would have all these things."

"What's so remarkable to me about the story is that the embarrassment here isn't personal," Hayes observed. "The embarrassment is about what this says about how the entire system functions. This is how the system functions.

We no longer have the ability in this country to really tax people at the top.

And that is the existential statement about the strength of the American state which is: Can you actually tax the wealthiest people in your society? If you can't, if you can't like Greece couldn't, we see how that goes."

"Societies that are in decline or low on the development index have a very hard time extracting money, taxing money from the elites in their society. And that is the direction which we are headed and that is what is represented in the Mitt Romney tax return," he concluded.

"Okay, that is an officially brilliant observation about what's going on here and what's at stake," host Lawrence O'Donnell said.

Video: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/07/19/hayes_we_are_no_longer_able_to_tax_the_very_rich_in_our_country.html

43 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Hayes: We Are No Longer Able To Tax The Very Rich In Our Country (Original Post) ErikJ Jul 2012 OP
This should not fall down the rabbit hole. GoneOffShore Jul 2012 #1
We have the ability to tax them, but not the will. Zalatix Jul 2012 #2
The last time we had huge top tax rate increase was ErikJ Jul 2012 #4
Just read it.... whoah.... 6502 Jul 2012 #21
Ugh...the credit card Lefty Thinker Jul 2012 #23
Real estate is what is behind the full faith and credit of the US dollar. Blanks Jul 2012 #32
Speaking of gold standards - Have you been following the scandal in the UK involving how ecently the truedelphi Jul 2012 #36
Excellent observation! K&R'd. snot Jul 2012 #3
Why don't we call it what it is ----unpatriotic and unAmerican young_at_heart Jul 2012 #5
Yes. Call them for what they are. Economic traitors. AnotherMcIntosh Jul 2012 #19
Really good. K & R freshwest Jul 2012 #6
They have no intention of sharing with (you people) They share, they lose the gentleman's agreement. Tikki Jul 2012 #7
"If you can't, if you can't like Greece couldn't, we see how that goes." SunSeeker Jul 2012 #8
K&R n/t. airplaneman Jul 2012 #9
We need tax treaties. End tax havens like Switzerland & Caymans. limpyhobbler Jul 2012 #10
Good idea, but US respects int'l. organizations only if convenient. closeupready Jul 2012 #26
And why is the TPP truedelphi Jul 2012 #37
K&R Cleita Jul 2012 #11
It should be illegal to hide your money offshore. period. progressivebydesign Jul 2012 #12
++1 Historic NY Jul 2012 #15
Technically, all offshore accounts over $10,000 MUST be reported closeupready Jul 2012 #27
That would be a hobby horse! calimary Jul 2012 #41
Declining societies have elites that refuse to carry their share... midnight Jul 2012 #13
And elites that loot the treasury and resources -stashing them in Swiss banks. ErikJ Jul 2012 #20
K 'n' R hifiguy Jul 2012 #14
K&R me b zola Jul 2012 #16
exactly. n/t RainDog Jul 2012 #17
Spot-on. AzDar Jul 2012 #18
ah bullshit hfojvt Jul 2012 #22
I agree. Blue_In_AK Jul 2012 #25
Yep, them Big Ol' "Job Creators" truedelphi Jul 2012 #38
This too shall pass. Blue_In_AK Jul 2012 #24
Brilliant analysis by Chris Hayes CanonRay Jul 2012 #28
Yes. His comment blew my mind. immoderate Jul 2012 #31
Corruption 101 DallasNE Jul 2012 #29
A wealth tax would solve this problem - if only we could get our legislatures to vote for it! reformist2 Jul 2012 #30
We just need to get rid of all of their tax loopholes and charge them a flat rate that ` avebury Jul 2012 #33
That's one of the things that happened in Rome. lumberjack_jeff Jul 2012 #34
I'm too awed by rich people to consider raising taxes on them. wakemewhenitsover Jul 2012 #35
K&R 99Forever Jul 2012 #39
BFEE Mission Accomplished Octafish Jul 2012 #40
Post removed Post removed Jul 2012 #42
Tax the rich or take a hike. aquart Jul 2012 #43
 

Zalatix

(8,994 posts)
2. We have the ability to tax them, but not the will.
Thu Jul 19, 2012, 10:30 PM
Jul 2012

Build a tax firewall around the country. Money that goes out gets heavily taxed. Then we get to work on going after places like the Cayman Islands.

 

ErikJ

(6,335 posts)
4. The last time we had huge top tax rate increase was
Thu Jul 19, 2012, 10:54 PM
Jul 2012

in 1932 when the US was going into very heavy debt from bailing out all the states going broke from the Great Depression's 25% unemployment. Millions of people were losing their homes from not paying their prop taxes etc. The congress and Hoover wanted to start a national sales tax but there was a huge avalanche of hate mail for that idea. So the only option left was to tax the rich when they raised it from 20% to 63%, the largest peacetime tax increase in US history.
These days we just put it on the credit card and increase our national debt more and more giving the Republicons the excuse to cut social spending which was one of their prime strategies since the 1970s', called the "Two Santa Clause theory". google it if you want more info.
The top rate went from 15% to 70% in 1917 with WW1 and from 63%v gradually up to 94% during WW2.
So unfortunately, it may take another huge national crisis or depression to raise the top tax rate again more than a few percent.

Lefty Thinker

(96 posts)
23. Ugh...the credit card
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 01:37 AM
Jul 2012

metaphor. I have to speak out against this. In 1971, when Nixon (yes, the Republican) took the US off the gold standard, he changed all the rules in ways most economists refuse to recognize. Because the US government has, since then, had the power to create and destroy US dollars as they see fit there is, in fact, no "credit card"...at least not one you and I would recognize. Yes, with government debt there is an obligation to pay the lender, but with what? With money the government has every right (and sometimes a duty) to create. And, as with anything you can create at will, there is no point in keeping a box/tub/vault full of it -- just destroy whatever you receive and create it again when you want to give it to someone else. (This is, of course, done digitally not with physical bills or coins.)

In reality, Modern Monetary Theory proves that government debt is just a way to put a lower bound on the overnight interbank reserve interest rate; no bank is going to lend money to another bank for a lower rate than that at which they can lend to the government. In fact, the net government spending "financed" by the borrowing actually has to happen first to produce the excess reserves soaked up by the Treasuries. The government is not obligated to borrow in order to net spend at all (see Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution about coining money).

The whole "credit card" metaphor is just as broken as the government finances being run like a "family budget." What family does anyone know that can legally print US dollars? These are just 1%er fallacies to confuse the public into supporting the wrong actions of Congress. That's why I hate them so much.

Blanks

(4,835 posts)
32. Real estate is what is behind the full faith and credit of the US dollar.
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:39 AM
Jul 2012

The gold standard is just as stupid as the 'fiat money' concept. Other countries take the dollar because it can be used to purchase real estate in this country.

As long as our country is stable (and doesn't have people running around shooting people in our educational institutions and movie theaters) the dollar is a good stable bit of money.

Any time someone (usually Ron Paul supporters) recommend we go back to the gold (or silver) standard; I just want to scream. If we're going to back the dollar with something it needs to have intrinsic value, and it already is backed by something; our real estate. Unlike gold which is difficult to create; we already have real estate in reserve: Yellowstone, Alaskan Wildlife reserve etc.

Nobody wants to sell them to the Chinese, but they're gonna want something. Hopefully they'll settle for a few skyscrapers and golf courses like the Japanese did.

truedelphi

(32,324 posts)
36. Speaking of gold standards - Have you been following the scandal in the UK involving how ecently the
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 01:37 PM
Jul 2012

Prime Minister sold off the nation's gold so as to help out the Big Financial People, and keep gold prices artificially cheaper.

We should not simply be talking about taxing the rich - but jailing the MotherF___ers.

young_at_heart

(3,752 posts)
5. Why don't we call it what it is ----unpatriotic and unAmerican
Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:00 PM
Jul 2012

These are the words in use by so many Republicans about Democrats, when the truth is THEY are unpatriotic and unAmerican!!!

 

AnotherMcIntosh

(11,064 posts)
19. Yes. Call them for what they are. Economic traitors.
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 12:27 AM
Jul 2012

They believe and they demonstrate that they owe no loyalty to this country.

They are wealthy enough to buy politicians and politicial policies. The politicians who allow themselves to be bought have also shown that they owe their loyalties to the super-rich owners of international corporations rather than this country.

Tikki

(14,517 posts)
7. They have no intention of sharing with (you people) They share, they lose the gentleman's agreement.
Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:17 PM
Jul 2012

I remember the last interview o'smelly had with candidate Barack Obama right before the
election. You could tell bilbot knew our now President was going to prevail in that election.

Nearly every question oh'really asked him was if he was going to raise 'his' taxes.
At first I thought it was a last ditched attempt to bring taxes for all into the interview...but believe me..
or'oily was just concerned about himself, his money, and it really showed.


Tikki

SunSeeker

(51,009 posts)
8. "If you can't, if you can't like Greece couldn't, we see how that goes."
Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:26 PM
Jul 2012

Brilliant observation by Chris Hayes. Yes, that is the lesson of Greece, not "runaway government spending." That and the fact that the banksters get away with murder (of countries).

Makes up for the softball interview he did with that creepy Bain executive, Ed Conard, on Sunday.

limpyhobbler

(8,244 posts)
10. We need tax treaties. End tax havens like Switzerland & Caymans.
Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:33 PM
Jul 2012

Perhaps we can work this into the WTO or the TPP ??

Oh wait I forgot international trade treaties only exist to serve the wealthy, not promote healthy economies. Bummer. I guess we are SOL.

 

closeupready

(29,503 posts)
26. Good idea, but US respects int'l. organizations only if convenient.
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 08:41 AM
Jul 2012

There are numerous examples of where the US completely disregards its treaty obligations.

Further, tax havens exist because the super-rich want them to exist. The existence of tax havens is nothing new. They have been helping the super-rich evade taxes for many decades.

truedelphi

(32,324 posts)
37. And why is the TPP
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 01:40 PM
Jul 2012

A partnership or "agreement" rather than a legally enacted "Act?"

Because an Act would mean that it would need a 62.5% vote approval in the House, which would never happen.

Note that NAFTA stands for North American Trade AGREEMENT.

progressivebydesign

(19,458 posts)
12. It should be illegal to hide your money offshore. period.
Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:38 PM
Jul 2012

And I'm still tripping on Romney taking a 77k loss on his "hobby" business.. the horse.

 

closeupready

(29,503 posts)
27. Technically, all offshore accounts over $10,000 MUST be reported
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 08:42 AM
Jul 2012

with your tax returns each year to the IRS, and to not do so IS a felony.

Remember, that's what they got Al Capone for.

 

ErikJ

(6,335 posts)
20. And elites that loot the treasury and resources -stashing them in Swiss banks.
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 12:42 AM
Jul 2012

Mubarek and Kadafi alone, had stuffed billions in Swiss accounts.

hfojvt

(37,573 posts)
22. ah bullshit
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 12:58 AM
Jul 2012

we can tax the rich, but we don't

because the rich have

1. bought the media to convince us all that we shouldn't
2. bought government at all levels to make sure that they don't, that in fact, they do the opposite

to say that we are not able is just another way of telling us "don't even bother to try".

I say we try, and try, and try again

and if they leave this country to avoid taxes, then I say we tax foreigners at a higher rate than we tax citizens.

Plain and simple - if you make money from the American economy, then you pay to support the American society.

Blue_In_AK

(46,436 posts)
24. This too shall pass.
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 02:14 AM
Jul 2012



Civilizations and nations rise and fall, and sometimes in decline they become "better." For the sake of my children and grandchildren, I have to believe that ultimately good will prevail.

DallasNE

(7,379 posts)
29. Corruption 101
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:00 AM
Jul 2012

Corruption is everywhere you look. And it got a big boost with the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling. It was bad before and it is in full bloom today. No accountabiliby, no oversight and condoned by court rulings. The future does not look bright on this front either as the American people seem oddly content with this arrangement.

avebury

(10,935 posts)
33. We just need to get rid of all of their tax loopholes and charge them a flat rate that `
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:08 AM
Jul 2012

they can't squirm their way out of. I don't care how much they whine that it will hurt job creation because I don't think that reality stands up to that claim.

Response to ErikJ (Original post)

aquart

(69,014 posts)
43. Tax the rich or take a hike.
Fri Jul 20, 2012, 09:09 PM
Jul 2012

Every candidate for every office: "Will you tax the rich? How much?"

I say, 85% from all sources after the first seven million, all soutrces.

Maybe it will make Romney move back to Mexico.

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