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Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:16 AM

 

Bernie Sanders and the Myth of the 1 Percent

The very rich are richer than people imagine.
By Paul Krugman


A peculiar chapter in the 2020 presidential race ended Monday, when Bernie Sanders, after months of foot-dragging, finally released his tax returns. The odd thing was that the returns appear to be perfectly innocuous. So what was all that about?

The answer seems to be that Sanders got a lot of book royalties after the 2016 campaign, and was afraid that revealing this fact would produce headlines mocking him for now being part of the 1 Percent. Indeed, some journalists did try to make his income an issue.

This line of attack is, however, deeply stupid. Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they’re unlikely to need aren’t being hypocrites; if anything, they’re demonstrating their civic virtue.

But failure to understand what hypocrisy means isn’t the only way our discourse about politics and inequality goes off the rails. The catchphrase “the 1 Percent” has also become a problem, obscuring the nature of class in 21st-century America.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/opinion/bernie-sanders-tax.html
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Bernie Sanders

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bernie Sanders and the Myth of the 1 Percent (Original post)
Voltaire2 Apr 2019 OP
Agschmid Apr 2019 #1
EndGOPPropaganda Apr 2019 #2
BlueFlorida Apr 2019 #22
janterry Apr 2019 #3
riverine Apr 2019 #4
BlueFlorida Apr 2019 #23
BlueMTexpat Apr 2019 #27
Go Vols Apr 2019 #28
Tom Rinaldo Apr 2019 #33
betsuni Apr 2019 #5
oldsoftie Apr 2019 #6
Voltaire2 Apr 2019 #7
riverine Apr 2019 #8
JI7 Apr 2019 #13
oldsoftie Apr 2019 #14
riverine Apr 2019 #15
marylandblue Apr 2019 #16
riverine Apr 2019 #18
marylandblue Apr 2019 #19
oldsoftie Apr 2019 #20
marylandblue Apr 2019 #25
oldsoftie Apr 2019 #11
Voltaire2 Apr 2019 #24
oldsoftie Apr 2019 #29
Hoyt Apr 2019 #9
riverine Apr 2019 #10
Voltaire2 Apr 2019 #21
oldsoftie Apr 2019 #12
marylandblue Apr 2019 #17
Hoyt Apr 2019 #26
oldsoftie Apr 2019 #30
Hoyt Apr 2019 #31
Uncle Joe Apr 2019 #32

Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:18 AM

1. I have no problem with him having money, I'm glad he's done well.

 

I think the point of contention may be if he adjusted his stump speech, but I don’t actually know.
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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:38 AM

2. EXACTLY. The problem is billionaires. Not millionaires

 

Every billionaire is a policy failure.
But all of us ahould aspire to being millionaires if we work hard and get lucky.
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Response to EndGOPPropaganda (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:20 AM

22. Moving the goalposts?

 



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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:48 AM

3. True. It's why we need Warren

 

and her policies leading the democratic party (and its platform)
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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 07:59 AM

4. The Myth is that the 1% is an evil cabal that votes exclusively in their financial interest.

 

Bernie feeds this myth and relies on it for political reasons. He needs the myth as a candidate.

The reality is that the 1% is as fractured as the rest of the country. The Tom Steyers, Warren Buffetts, Bill Gates, and George Soros types are hardly an oligarchy.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to riverine (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:20 AM

23. Very well put. nt

 

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Response to riverine (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:39 AM

27. Exactly.

 

And it is why I distrust and do not support Bernie.







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Response to riverine (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 01:51 PM

28. I'll go with Jimmy and Bernie on this.

 

In a 2015 interview, former President Jimmy Carter stated that the United States is now "an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery", due to the Citizens United ruling, which effectively removed limits on donations to political candidates.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to riverine (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 05:25 PM

33. I don't think they are "as fractured" as the rest odf the country.

 

Especially when it rises to the tens of millions level, still far short of being a billionaire. I agree that the super wealthy are not uniform in their values, and that many individuals who fit that description are admirable human beings. But the bell curve starts taking a hard turn right as overall wealth dramatically increases. Agreed though that no one deserves to be negatively profiled based on a demographic - everyone is an individual.
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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:04 AM

5. Canapes.

 

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:14 AM

6. The other myth is that you can raise enough money by only raising taxes on that 1%. You cant.

 

Or even the 10%. Not gonna happen.
Until someone comes up with a real plan that raises real money, all these programs we want are twisting in the wind. But it wont happen.
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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:19 AM

7. odd that other developed nations can provide their citizens with nice stuff

 

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:37 AM

8. They don't pay their anesthesiologists $400,000 a year.

 

We need to cut health care professionals salaries by at least 50% to get to world parity.

Edit to add: No Single-Payer advocate has the courage to suggest the cuts.
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Response to riverine (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 09:10 AM

13. they work for their money so they deserve it. they put in years

 

of education and a lot of time on the job
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Response to riverine (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 09:15 AM

14. I just had a surgery a few months ago. The anesthesiologist was the cheapest part of my bill.

 

Next cheapest was the surgeon.
The doctors arent where the big costs are, its the hospitals. The hospital got over 1/2 what i paid for my procedure, and it was outpatient.
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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 09:20 AM

15. that is a reasonable cost breakdown - note that the insurers didn't get a lot of that bill

 

I read that the entire profit of the US health insurance industry was only $15 billion last year.
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Response to riverine (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 09:51 AM

16. It's not clear where our healthcare dollars are going, and nobody seems to want to know

 

I've seen very few breakdowns, and those few aren't detailed or well sourced. I think everyone gets a hefty cut and those who get that money don't want you know.
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Response to marylandblue (Reply #16)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:01 AM

18. Hospital costs top the list at over $1 billion

 

Physician services come next at over $600 billion

https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/top-10-healthcare-spending-categories-in-the-united-states

Insurance costs are well down the list in the real world (not in the politician world though)
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Response to riverine (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:09 AM

19. Did you mean $1 trillion for hospitals?

 

But even that breakdown is not enough. Hospitals themselves are paying for staff, drugs, and equipment. So how does that all breakdown? If we cut costs, are hospital execs going to lose out or will they lay off nurses? I suspect they will layoff nurses unless we are smart about it.
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Response to riverine (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:10 AM

20. Well my case isnt a good example re: insurers. I self paid. Negotiated prices with each provider.

 

The hospital was the hardest one to deal with! What was frustrating was that while they could give me a total bill, but couldnt tell me what it was actually FOR, other than "hospital services". Thats just not detailed enough! Finally they did provide a breakdown and thats when they also discounted the price.
The best was the radiologist; i got 80% off the billed price.
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Response to riverine (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:23 AM

25. How much went to insurance administration costs?

 

I bet it's a lot more than $15 billion.
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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:59 AM

11. Not odd at all; they tax ALL their citizens. We dont. They have a sales tax. We dont.

 

Add it up; it matters.
nearly 1/2 our taxpayers pay zero or less than zero income tax. Yes, they pay Medicare & SS, but those are already existing programs.
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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:21 AM

24. Ah so your problem is that we don't tax poor people enough.

 

Interesting. You do know that all the working poor pay the regressive payroll taxes that fund social programs like social security and medicare, right?

Yeah, TAX THE POOR, that ought to be our campaign theme.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #24)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 02:56 PM

29. You dont understand the magnitude of the revenue issue. Just jump to "the poor". Fine

 

Nobody wants to, so we'll continue to go further in debt. YOU tell me what the plan is that actually raises enough money?
By immediately saying i want to tax the poor more, you ignore the fact that many who pay no taxes are not poor at all. Plenty of jobs that are very well paying dont report income to the govt. by W2 or 1099. Its up to the individual. Self report. Real estate. Accountants. Lawyers. Mechanics. Builders. Electricians. AC repair. Auto Mechanics. Painters. Etc etc etc. There are lots more if you cared to look. And lots of them make well over 100k a yr.

I'll say it again, if we always point to European countries and their social programs, how can we ignore how they PAY for them?

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:38 AM

9. Excellent point. Right now, our needs for healthcare, education, Social Security, welfare, deficit

 

reduction, etc., can't be met by just taxing the 1%, 10%, or even the 50%. [I suppose we could take all the wealth from the upper 20% or so, but that would be good for only a year or two at best before the economy tanked.]

That doesn't mean we don't establish or improve those important programs; but, we have to be honest where the funding sources are and develop a comprehensive plan.
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Response to Hoyt (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 08:50 AM

10. Which is why this silly MMT theory is gaining traction.

 

Because taxes can't be raised enough to cover the GND.
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Response to riverine (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:19 AM

21. Oh we've been using MMT for wars and stuff for decades now, have you looked at the debt?

 

It is only social programs that need austerity. Why is that?
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Response to Hoyt (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 09:09 AM

12. I'm glad to see you, with 37k posts, pointing out the OTHER thing everyone misses;

 

that even taking EVERYTHING of the top folks would only last a couple years. Its just like anything else; VOLUME. Europe funds its programs by getting something from everyone & our politicians refuse to take us there. And as i've pointed out in numerous other posts, we have hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars that go untaxed every year because of our current system.
Without a sales tax that money will never get taxed. And that where europe gets a good chunk of their money.
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Response to Hoyt (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 09:55 AM

17. A wealth tax partly solves that problem.

 

Most of the wealth is in the form of assets like real estate and stocks. If you never sell those things you accumulate wealth through increasing prices without any taxable income.
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Response to marylandblue (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 10:32 AM

26. I agree, but it is only part of the solution. For example, I think Elizabeth Warren has proposed a

 

wealth tax -- and it's a good idea.

But, if I remember, it supposedly would raise $100 Billion annually. That is barely 10% of the annual Deficit, much less enough to pay for healthcare, education, debt reduction, etc.

It's a start, but going to have to tax lower quartiles to accomplish anything.
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Response to Hoyt (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 02:57 PM

30. And then you'll get the message of post #24.

 

Thats where we always end up.
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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #30)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 03:10 PM

31. Oh, you haven't been called a "corporatist" yet.

 

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Response to Voltaire2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 05:09 PM

32. Kicked and recommended

 

Thanks for the thread Voltaire.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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