There’s some good news!!!! (and then there’s the news we don’t actually care about)

Hey, it’s a party! The richest, shiniest 400 families in America have gotten 5 times richer in the past 15 years!!!!

And OMG BONUS!!!! Their tax rates fell to the lowest rate EVAR!!! Couldn’t you just die??!!!!

Sources: NY Times


Incomes Go Up!


Taxes Go Down!

Total income for our top earners was $138 billion in 2007.  That’s up  $263 million from the previous year. They got an increase of 31%!!!  Yayyyy!!!!  they deserve it.

But how much did the shiny 400 pay in taxes? A mere $23 billion. Isn’t that JUST SUPER?!!!!!!!

Our top 400 Awesome Rich People made more in 2007 than the yearly output of most of the world’s countries; rivaling the GDP of Chile .

If the shiny 400 had paid their 2007 taxes (even at the 1995 rate) the resulting $18.4 billion would have covered California’s entire 2010 budget shortfall. Aren’t you just so proud?

Bill Clinton’s administration started the report back in the day to let us ROOT! ROOT! ROOT! for our rich. But the Grumbledy Meanies in the Bush administration shut it down. Leaving us without any way to know how super and shiny our rich people really, truly are.

And guess what! The wealthiest 1% took 2/3rds of ALL the income generated between 2002 and 2007.  But, ya know what? I think they deserve it.

They took 90% whole percent!!! But they deserve it.

Some Economy Guys named Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez  said income for the top 1 percent grew 10 times faster than that of the bottom 90 percent.

10 TIMES FASTER!!!!!!!!

And don’t we all think that’s just FANTASTIC?!!!

Okay, okay, not be a Debbie Downer, but I did promise that other news (we don’t really care about anyway)

It seems the whiny old states think they might have needed those tax dollars. Pouty Pusses.

Center for Budget and Policy

Those Silly Little Recession Numbers
As states cut back their budgets, governors are targeting public broadcasting along with other educational and arts programs. Some stations could face a total funding loss.

But really who needs that stuff anyway? That’s all just local musicians and news and artists. We don’t need to know what they are doing, as long as the rich can get richer. Right?

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
At least 44 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted budget cuts that will affect services for children, the elderly, the disabled, and families, as well as the quality of education and access to higher education.

Look, I know it’s tough. But if you are old or disabled, you are going to die soon anyway. And frankly that might be a blessing, because you aren’t pretty to look at in that condition either.

But if you are young and uneducated, the rich are always looking for somebody to trim hedges or cut the grass, you’ll get by. Heck, I bet you could get Timmy out of daycare and the SUPER SHINY RICH could put him to work in a trice!!!

Little fingers like Timmy has are just perfect for making those big expensive wool rugs the rich like to hang on their walls. It takes patience though, so tell Timmy to work steady or there will be no gruel for dinner. Wait…… that’s right. The rule is one meal a day.

Bonus!!!! Timmy won’t have to eat gruel for dinner, cause there’s no dinner!!!! Yay!!!!!!

Don’t we just owe the Rich EVERYTHING?

One could just SWOON…..



Dead Bankers Watch and Pistol Packin’ Penny Pinchers

File these under the heading of “Unbelievable, But Not Surprising”

Dead Bankers Watch

This site is following the current (until October)  tally of dead bankers, hedge fund managers, financiers and financial beneficiaries of TARP as funded by tax dollars.

Pistol Packing Penny Pinchers

It seems the senior Goldman folks are stocking up on firearms in order to defend themselves in case there is a populist uprising against the bank.

Okay, give me just a second to think this through…

Some disgruntled taxpayers decided to vent their frustration. The whole idea is a bit tacky and ham-handed. But as far as I can tell they are just blowing off steam; maybe engaging in a little Schadenfreude.

Now I’m not naïve. I’m sure Goldman Sachs has received quite a few death threats from the unwashed peonage, who under threat of incarceration, have always been required to pay their bills. The “help” tends to resent having the security deposit taken out of their pockets after the yacht club’s massive party (that the help was barred from attending) trashes the entire economy.

The Haves and the Have-Nots

The Haves and the Have-Nots

So how do the erstwhile gunslingers from Sachs’ imagine this whole thing is going to go down? Some mano a mano showdown at high noon? Saddle-legged bankers swaggering down a gritty Wall Street, taking on the dirty unwashed?  And in true Sam Peckinpah form, the cowardly bad guys having lost their dental insurance, smile crookedly; shattered yellow teeth glinting in the harsh sun of New York’s concrete jungle.

Hyperbole aside, consider the mindset of someone who would actually buy a gun to protect themselves from the envious and disgruntled poor. Forgive the obvious, but wouldn’t this be the same sort of disconnected and self-aggrandizing reactionary thinking that created the problem in the first place?

I mean, if one wanted to murder a financier, consider the exhaustive primer of imaginative murder porn that arrives free, fresh and bloody from the boob tube on a daily basis. Even if Joe Taxpayer isn’t clever enough to come up with a workable plot on his own, he has a ready supply of clever ways to do the deed with a simple click of the remote. How is a gun going to protect banksters from home-made ricin, GHB in their martinis, access provided by a hired driver or some freight elevator operator who watched his hard-earned 401K shrink into oblivion?

I have nothing against guns. We have 3 in our household; a pistol, a rifle and a 12 gauge. Guns are useful against specific, knowable threats. We keep ours in the event that rabid wildlife threatens me or mine. And given that one of my dogs has already had a bloody run-in with a coyote, we have no doubts about the need for a gun.

Regardless of what Goldman Sachs thinks about the gigantic underclass they have had a hand in creating, impoverishment does not destroy one’s humanity. It does not turn people into rabid animals. So in the end, Goldman Sachs’ gunslingers may not find the threats they face from the wilds of poverty so simple, straightforward or easily remedied.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Top 1% Reaped 2/3rds of Income Gains in Last Economic Expansion

Analysis of  IRS data by  Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.

Two-thirds of the nation’s total income gains from 2002 to 2007 flowed to the top 1 percent of U.S. households, and that top 1 percent held a larger share of income in 2007 than at any time since 1928, according to an analysis of newly released IRS data by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.

During those years, the Piketty-Saez data also show, the inflation-adjusted income of the top 1 percent of households grew more than ten times faster than the income of the bottom 90 percent of households.

The last economic expansion began in November 2001 and ended in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which means the Piketty-Saez data essentially cover that expansion. The last time such a large share of the income gain during an expansion went to the top 1 percent of households — and such a small share went to the bottom 90 percent of households — was in the 1920s.