A Call for Tax Justice

Articles

Articles Summary

The intent of this series of articles is to dispel some political and economic myths that have been propagated by the wealthier members of the United States. One set of myths is designed to enable them to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The second set of myths attempts to justify their push to eliminate government regulations in favor of what they deem 'free market capitalism' - a euphemism for corporate greed.

The first article in the series, 'How Progressive is the US Tax System?', dispels the notion that the wealthy have a heavy tax burden. The second article, 'A Brief History of Progressive Taxation', illustrates how our progressive tax system was established, at least in part, to mitigate capitalism's inherent boom-bust cycle. It accomplishes this in two ways. First progressive taxation drains off excess funds that drive the speculation driven 'boom' that inevitably results in recession and depression – the 'bust'. The generated taxes are then employed to provide a social safety net for deserving members of our society. This income acts to fuel the economy during the 'bust' cycle.

The third article, 'Applauding the Medicare Surcharge: A Step towards Tax Justice', examines a taxation trend regarding Unearned Income. Unearned Income, e.g. rents, stocks and dividends, has always been the province of the wealthy. This form of income was exempt from taxation when the US was formed. It took a Constitutional Amendment to enable the federal government to tax it as they do Earned Income. However this same Unearned Income was exempted from Medicare Taxes until Obama's Affordable Care Act. This act levied a small tax on Earned Income to expand Medicare for deserving members of our society. Unearned Income is still exempted from the Social Security Tax Base.

The fourth article, 'Why America can and should afford Social Security', explores the many misconceptions surrounding this social safety net. Besides retirees, the Social Security System also funds the Disabled, Orphans and Widows, i.e. anyone who is not reasonably expected to work. However the working class pays a disproportionate share of this fund. Besides paying a smaller share of their Earned Income, the wealthy pay nothing on their Unearned Income towards the assistance of deserving members of our society. The solution is obvious for the supposed Social Security shortfall in revenue. Remove the Cap on Earned Income and include Unearned Income in the Social Security Tax Base.

The fifth article, 'An Early History of Deregulation & the Beginning of Laissez Faire', examines the beginnings of the philosophy of deregulation and free market capitalism. It began with a Ponzi scam that almost bankrupt the French government. To get back on their feet, the French king instituted a policy of deregulation that led in part to the French revolution. The fledging United States, after experimenting with economic freedom that almost led to their demise, set up a strong central government that could tax and regulate business.

The sixth article, 'Political Models, A Brief History: Empire vs. Tribe', explores the historical development of two different political models. The Tribal Model is based in compassion and caring for all members of the community. In contrast, the Empire-building Model is based in militarism and the quest for power. This imperialist intent results in the notion that the lower classes are expendable. The United States was founded on the Tribal Model, where all humans have equal political rights. However militaristic Empire-builders are attempting to assume control. It is our duty as citizens to resist this nefarious trend.

The ensuing table of contents contains links to the articles and their sections.

1. How Progressive is the US Tax System?

2. A Brief History of Progressive Taxation

3. Applauding the Medicare Surcharge: A Step towards Tax Justice

4. Why America can and should afford Social Security

5. An Early History of Deregulation & the Beginning of Laissez Faire

6. Political Models, A Brief History: Empire vs. Tribe