Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Stockholm syndrome? Forget Jill Carroll -- let's look at ourselves.

Here we are, according to a recent report:

The real income of the typical household [fell] five years in a row, despite the fact that the last three of those years -- 2002, 2003, and 2004 -- have been years of economic expansion....

And here are the rich, according to today's New York Times:

Americans with annual incomes of $1 million or more, about one-tenth of 1 percent all taxpayers, reaped 43 percent of all the savings on investment taxes in 2003. The savings for these taxpayers averaged about $41,400 each.

... more than 70 percent of the tax savings on investment income went to the top 2 percent, about 2.6 million taxpayers....

They get huge tax breaks. We get permanently flat wages, increased job insecurity, and shrinking benefits (those of us who get benefits at all) -- not to mention ballooning deficits that are going to drown future generations in debt. And yet we accept this increasing inequality -- in fact, we vote for it every two years, and we'll probably keep voting for it.

After all, we're being "treated well":

Those making less than $50,000 saved an average of $10 more because of the investment tax cuts, for a total of $435 in total income tax cuts, according to the computer model.

Wow -- 36 bucks a month! That should just about cover our higher insurance premiums and increased co-pays (though probably not our increased payments for gas and utilities or the higher payments on our adjustable-rate mortgages).

The Times notes that some people think we should be even more in love with our captors:

Stephen J. Entin, president of the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation, a Washington organization, and other supporters of the cuts said they did not go far enough because the more money the wealthiest had to invest, the more would go to investments that produce jobs. For investment income, Mr. Entin said, "the proper tax rate would be zero."

That's a long-term goal of what's now the mainstream of the Republican Party. And we keep voting for Republicans. So we'll probably get to that zero tax rate on investments fairly soon. And be grateful for the crumbs we get in return.

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