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Bothered By? And Living in Poverty & Fear & Hunger

Unrepresentative Policy of the Week: Americans are Bothered By Our Tax Code In his recent “State of the Union” address before Congress, Biden laid out an agenda which would change how the US government relates to its people: Expanding public schooling to universal preschool and two years of college, guaranteed paid sick leave, democracy reform, and large-scale infrastructure spending to name a few. All of these proposals are of course the kind of Joe Biden half-measure we’ve come to expect, but after so many years of abusive and incompetent government, even these basics seem a revelation. Dealing with politicians like Biden, and the corporate Democrats does, of course, come with policy implications and restraints. Most notably it this case, their desire to pay for all of this spending as we go, often through raising taxes. There is an argument to be made, that spending on things like infrastructure and education are investments in our society, which will pay for themselves many times over. In this conception, the US government could simply print more money to pay for these investments, knowing they would pay for themselves in the long run. But as we said before, Biden et. al. believe in paying for their spending as they go, so here we are. If taxes must be raised, whose taxes? How politically costly would it be to use the wealth of corporations and the donor class who’ve benefitted so richly during good times and bad, instead of making the middle-class and poor foot the bill again? What Bothers Americans About the Federal Tax System? Bothered by: Some corporations don’t pay fair share: 81% (59% greatly) Some wealthy people don’t pay their fair share: 80% (59% greatly) This recent poll shows that there is little public cost in going after corporations and the wealthy. The American people are disturbed by how little those at the top are paying, and would likely welcome significant raises to their taxes. In fact, even if Biden wasn’t committed to paying for his policy proposals with increased revenue, it would still be a good idea, both politically and economically to raise taxes, just to decrease the run-away wealth inequality plaguing our society. Unfortunately, recent history suggests that even the most modest efforts in this direction are met with fierce opposition. And so we can expect that while Biden will give lofty speeches, he won’t be vigorously pursuing raising taxes on corporations significantly. After all, just look at the measly 4% tax rate increase (to 25%) he has now settled for! As the opener suggested, the Biden administration is one that can be pushed, if enough organizing and pressure are brought to bear. It’s clear that the American people want everyone to pay their fair share, and they are very concerned those at the top aren’t doing so. To fight the type of concentrated money being threatened by the increased taxes, it’s going to take more than political power, we will also need economic power. So join us every Tuesday, as we grow our power, until we create an economic cudgel that can beat back the oligarchs, and get a country that works for all of us! Don't Shop on Tuesdays!

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