We’ve Been Robbed: CBO Makes It Official

In General Interest by Jonathan Tasini0 Comments

   Well, we didn’t really have to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to tell us this: the rich got richer. But, the timing is good, what with Rick Perry trying his snake oil salesman pitch for a flat tax, which would make the robbery grow, and the continued growth of the Occupy The Country movement.

You can read the very short CBO report here. The upshot:

From 1979 to 2007, real (inflation-adjusted) average household income, measured after government transfers and federal taxes, grew by 62 percent. During that period, the evolution of the nation’s economy and the tax and spending policies of the federal government and state and local governments had varying effects on households at different points in the income distribution: Income after transfers and federal taxes (denoted as after-tax income in the study) for households at the higher end of the income

scale rose much more rapidly than income for households in the middle and at the lower end of the income scale.


As a result of that uneven income growth, the distribution of after-tax household income in the United States was substantially more unequal in 2007 than in 1979: The share of income accruing to higher-income households increased, whereas the share accruing to other households declined. In fact, between 2005 and 2007, the after-tax income received by the 20 percent of the population with the highest income exceeded the aftertax income of the remaining 80 percent.[emphasis added]

   None of this is a surprise, obviously. You can find this in reams of reports, studies, speeches, and books over the past many years. In a book I published in 2008, "The Audacity of Greed", the very first paragraph says:

The United States of America has just lived through the greatest looting of money in its history, a vast robbery that began in the late 1970s and has stretched to the present day. The perpetrators of this grand robbery didn’t just steal a few possessions, or a little bit of cash. Instead, they drained the economy of trillions of dollars, in the process skulking off with a vast fortune that defied imagination while leaving millions of people without jobs, in poverty or without their life savings.

    We know why this happened, though the CBO does not make it clear in the English language:

BOTH major political parties embraced the so-called "free market".

BOTH major political parties embraced and promoted de-regulation–not just of the financial industry (you can thank Bill Clinton for that, by the way) but of the economy as a whole.

BOTH major political parties believed tax cuts for the rich were a good thing.

BOTH major political parties embraced so-called "free trade" (you can thank Bill Clinton AND, for all of you out there who want to ignore reality, Robert Reich, one of the greatest intellectual policy whores in modern times).

BOTH political parties did not care to give strength to the labor movement. Yes, one party–Republicans–has done everything to destroy the labor movement. But, Democrats were largely disinterested in unions–until election time when the party needed labor money and campaign workers to win elections.

BOTH major political parties embraced, and will not let go of, the corruption of electoral politics.

BOTH political parties would rather sit around and talk abouta phony debt crisis and the need for "entitlement reform", rather than go where the money is to solve budget challenges–the pockets of the rich and immoral policies that give us a Robin Hood-in-reverse country.

   This is a major reason why I love the occupations underway everywhere: most of the people there are not shilling for one political party or another.

   They are fighting for the future of their country and, if they stand in the way, politicians be damned

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