Open Letter to the 53%
"Those of us who pay for those of you who whine about all of that... or that... or whatever."
It seems your movement has formed in rebuttal to the 99% movement. Your name derives from the percentage of Americans who are in a taxable income bracket. (I am a public safety professional and homeowner, and am in that taxable 53%.) Your position appears to be that you are carrying the poor, who do not contribute, nor wish to contribute, to society. You resent being asked to solve their problems. Your premise is that you do not agree to finance those lower down on the socioeconomic ladder than yourselves.
The 99% crowd derives its name from the fact that 1% of the population owns 50% of the money in the American economy. They believe the middle class is nearing extinction due to rampant greed on the part of the wealthiest 1%. Their premise is that they do not wish to finance those at the very top of the socioeconomic ladder.
Nobody disputes that 1% of the population owns 50% of the money, or that 47% of the population falls below the federal income tax bracket. Everyone seems to agree that times are very hard for middle and working-class Americans. There doesn't appear to be any debate about the distribution of income, only where the blame should be laid, and who should be asked to contribute more.
For those of us old enough to remember Reagan's candidacy, trickle-down economics was an agreement; we would cut taxes on the wealthiest, who would then re-invest in the community, i.e., the money would trickle back down. Since the 1980s, 80% of all income has gone to the wealthiest 1%. Bill Maher offered a pizza analogy: It's like 100 people pitch in on a pizza with 100 slices. Then when they open the box, the first guy takes 80 pieces.
The math on the 53% is more complicated; while the poorest 47% don't meet the minimums for federal income taxation, they do still pay property, payroll, and sales taxes. Being below the minimum income tax rate does not automatically imply unemployment or receipt of government benefits. Most Wal-Mart and fast food employees remain below the minimum tax rate, and are not eligible for healthcare benefits though they work one or more jobs. Many military families qualify for food stamps.Continued on the next page