Friday, March 30, 2007

Rich Girl, Poor Scribe

Are you relishing the thought of Paris Hilton going to jail?

Well don’t because she’s not and, according to this piece by David Cay Johnston of the New York Times News Service, she’d be laughing all the way there if she were.

Okay, that’s just a way for us to run a picture of Paris and deke all manner of celebrity swooners into accidentally visiting highwayscribery for a few seconds. But the bottom line is, and it’s no surprise if you’re truly suspicious of Republican Party politics, the gap between rich and poor is getting wider.

Johnston’s review of the newly released tax data showed, “that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.”

If you’re in that top 300,000, we’re not saying you’re some kind of bad person. We’re saying e-mail us, because there are a couple of film and book projects we’d like to chat with you about.

In other words, start the trickle down PLEASE!

For reasons too complicated to go into here (the scribe has a dental appointment), the disparity may even be greater.

Hurt by the charge its tax policies are elitist, the Bush administration dispatched Treasury Department spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin to put out the fire, but she instead added more fuel to it by noting, “the share of income taxes paid by lower income taxpayers will be lower than it would have been without the tax relief, while the share of income taxes for higher-income taxpayers will be higher.”

Now, the scribe is no tax policy wonk, but if the rich will be paying more in taxes and the poor less, that would be because, as the new figures ably attest to, the rich earned more and the poor earned less.

The essential economic theory behind cutting taxes for the rich and letting the middle class pick up the tab for debacles like the war in Iraq is that it will unleash their economic “dynamism;” the results of which will benefit all.

You be the judge (and voter).

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