Obama, It Is Class Warfare

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By Arthur Piccolo

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 7, 2011:

Better that we have this WAR now rather than later.

Now it will be civil and waged with dialogue, votes and legislation. But if we wait and the disparities and abuses continue to grow it may turn a whole lot messier and violent.

The American Dream is in retreat but if it completely collapses in the minds of too many Americans that spells real Trouble. Fact is America is on a downward spiral and it is not you and me causing it. It is the excesses of the rich and powerful. A greedy bunch that is never satisfied and wants more from the rest of us no matter how much they take from our nation and all of us.

Of course our weak and pathetic excuse for a President doesn’t get it. Or doesn’t want to do so. He has failed us on every front domestic and foreign. Call Obama the Empty Promise President.

Now that he is in Campaign Mode. When isn’t he? He thinks he is throwing us some Red Meat with his carefully calculated thrusts on the Super Rich who he then attends campaign dinners with where the cost of a seat at the table is $38,500 toward his announced goal of a BILLION dollar campaign re-election fund. Well where is he going to get the largest campaign fund in human history? Not from the struggling middle class or the unemployed. Certainly not this time after we all got burned. And not from all those increasingly and bitterly disappointed with Obama.

So how ironic is it when Obama pleads with the wealthy to pay just a little more tax the Republicans bash him for waging class WARFARE. Obama’s rejoinder. No I’m not its just math he says. A weak reply from a weak President. No surprises there.

How about responding that’s right. It is CLASS warfare. All the Americans with CLASS against the class-less greedy super-rich. If Class Warfare is a definition for fairness and a prosperous future for all of us then Class Warfare it is President Obama.

Want a very good “definition” of Class Warfare? Try this quote from the current issue of the Economist which can just as easily be found many other places ….

“The most striking feature of rising wage dispersion is not the wider gap between the skilled and unskilled but the bigger slice that goes to a tiny elite. The share of income claimed by the top 0.1% of earners increased from 2% in 1970 to 8% by 2007, according to research by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics. “

Repeat …

“The share of income claimed by the top 0.1% of earners increased from 2% in 1970 to 8% by 2007, according to research by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics.”

That’s right the top 1/10th of 1% of Americans “earn” 8% by now probably more than 8% of all income and they are complaining. It is Fat City for the richest Americans. LUXURY goods are the one booming part of the economy. The rich can’t find enough expensive stuff to buy from apartments, to airplanes, yachts, jewelry, and on and on. And of course they “buy” lots of our elected officials all the time.

So Obama asks them PLEASE just pay a tiny bit more tax and what is the Republicans reply. “Obama is waging class warfare.” But I am being too generous to the Super Rich. Income is but a secondary indication of wealth and power. Most of the wealth the rich get does not come from multi-million dollar salaries but from so called capital gains. Their holdings of stocks and other forms of equity. Here is a far better gauge of wealth in America from a report published by Professor Domhoff at the University of
California titled “Who Rules America.”

“In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2010).”

Look a these tables from the report ….

The only group losing income and wealth almost all of us the 80 percent of Americans who have seen steady decreases since 1983. So how is it the rich who are making more than ever are over-taxed but the rest of us who aren’t rich aren’t over taxed?

It’s not a riddle it’s a lie the rich pay too much tax. This is all stuff you know and President Obama knows but it obviously needs repeating again and again.

Instead President Obama pleads with the rich to be generous and agree to pay a little more tax and just for a little while we get out of this mess. He doesn’t want a real and permanent tax increase yet again on Thursday Obama called for nothing more than a temporary “surtax” to pay for his American Jobs Act.

Actually far better than permanent higher taxes on the rich who benefit the most from living in America we need to immediately eliminate the current Tax Code written for and by the rich and their many friends in Congress.

And we need to end the mindless – unless you are rich of course – difference between labor income and so called capital gains. The tax rate for income earned by actually doing something is far higher than the capital gains tax of 15% no matter how much you “earn” (sic) from investments, selling expensive real estate, stock dividends, works of art, bond returns, etc. All of which of course goes to the rich who pay 15% if even that on most of their income.

But President Obama will have none of this. At most he makes these vague statements about tax fairness that mean nothing at all as he heads for his next campaign dinner with the Super Rich.

Again using 2007 figures, the top 1% of Americans own 35% of net worth in America and the top 1% own an even more whopping 43% of financial wealth in America. In other words when you minus home ownership which is the only – if it still is – so called wealth the 80% of Americans own. Keep in mind these are pre 2008 figures before the housing collapse. More to the point 1% of Americans own 43% or more of wealth in America AFTER paying whatever taxes they pay yet supposedly it is Class Warfare to propose they pay more otherwise known as their FAIR share.

Preposterous, except it is true.

Conclusion. Obama must go.

We need a REAL Democratic candidate for President who speaks for the 80 percent of us, not the Super Rich who Barack Obama dines with while throwing the rest of us rhetorical crumbs and telling us that he is with us not them.


Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.