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Paul Ryan is a Little Confused About "Class" Structure in America

Raise taxes on the 1% of millionaires, or stick it to the rest of the 99% of us?

President Obama has proposed a $447 billion stimulus plan that includes rehiring thousands of teachers, police officers and firefighters, and tax relief for employees and employers. Senate Democrats want to pay for the plan through a 5.6 percent surtax on those making more than $1 million per year. Leading economists say the stimulus plan could produce up to 1 million jobs.

And what does Representative Paul Ryan think about raising taxes on the uber-wealthy to help the majority middle class: “These tax increases don’t put a dent in the deficit, but they do a lot of damage to the economy,” he said at the Washington Ideas Forum. Paul Ryan has also called the act of raising taxes on millionaires "class warfare".

Really, Paul? Putting a 5.6% surtax on millionaires will do a lot of damage to the economy?

Well, let's look at the facts:

  • Only 235,413 US citizens (1%) earned $1 million or more in 2009
  • 1,470 millionaires paid NO taxes in 2009
  • 261 members (49%) of congress are millionaires
  • The average income for American taxpayers fell to $54,283 -- a drop of $3,516, or about 6.1 percent
  • According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, 512,000 government jobs at the federal, state and local level in the past 18 months have been lost.
  • During the same time frame, nearly 2.4 million private-sector jobs were created.

Now that we have seen the facts, I think Paul Ryan and the GOP need to recognize that the American middle class (98% of us) have taken a larger hit recently than we are proposing millionaires take next year. Raising taxes slightly on 235,413 millionaires to help bring back 500,000 middle class government jobs (and probably more) seems more than fair.

So what exactly is Paul Ryan's big plan to "fix" the economic situation? He still wants to take away the guarantee of Medicare and send grandma and grandpa a coupon worth up to, say $8,000 so that they can hop in their wheelchairs and go insurance shopping themselves.

Go ahead and take your 81 year old mother who has alzheimers, diabetes or cancer, or any other pre-existing condition insurance shopping and see how for that $8,000 goes.

And what about the tens of thousands of Wisconsin teachers, nurses, social workers, and other public employees who were forced to give up at least 5.6% of their take-home pay to help "balance the budget"? When a teacher claims it is unfair to make them contribute 5.6% more they are called a "thug" or "greedy". When a millionaire is asked to contribute 5.6% more it is called "class warfare".

If asking millionaires to pitch in the same amount as teachers and social workers is starting a class warfare in America, then my family has been drafted onto the front lines. In fact, on my little block alone in the Village of Greendale there are at least 5 other families who have seen someone drafted into Paul Ryan's "class warfare".

If this is class warfare, what side would you fight for? Does your home, car and living-style resemble that of a millionaire, or a "union thug"?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Patriot October 20, 2011 at 08:39 PM
@Linda- We agree on one thing anyway and that is yes SS is an entitlement that I have been paying into for the last 31 years. So yes I do feel I am entitled to MY MONEY. Where we disagree is that it has become a huge entitlement for those that have contributed NOTHING!!! Again another one of the great government programs that are failing, full of fraud and abuse!!!
Luvtoroam October 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM
The first stimulus failed miserably. Now we should dump trillions more? Tax loop-holes are created by our Masters in Washington and Madison and it is ridiculous to pretend you wouldn't use all the tools necessary to protect what you have worked for. This Class Warfare is getting pretty old. We have a President that stands up and vilifies people that work hard and EARN their money all the while he wants what others have worked for to give to those that will further his cause. Outrageous! If you feel a business compensates their CEO in a ridiculously high manner then take your business elsewhere. When did America, the land of dreams, become this hateful and greedy place that disdains success? Those of you that don't think we will be like Greece must have missed the government workers marching in Madison. They think they are due more than the taxpayers that support them.
Luvtoroam October 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM
And all the while we are dead broke we have politicians that want to spend money on stupid trolley’s and high speed trains that aren’t really “high speed” that don’t really go where people need to be! We have politicians deciding that the people that have donated to their campaigns or appeal to “their” sense of what would be nice dumping billions in to businesses that have no chance of success! It has got to stop. These clowns sit around writing laws and rules that make them feel good with no real notion of what those actions will be in the real world. These same clowns think they are above all these laws the rest of us little people have to live by! You cannot spend your way out of debt. The rest of us have to live on less and it is time the government is sent on a Crash Diet!!
Nick Poulos October 21, 2011 at 07:12 PM
Lovtoroam: Personally, I don't think any one "disdains success". That said, I do believe that the critical concept of "social contract" between employers and their employees has been forgotten.The god Mammon replaced the Divine. This nation ought not to be a plutocratic oligarchy/ Yet, how else can it be described accurately? Moreover, until we stop the partisan paralysis, the well-documented decline of the United States will continue at an ever-steepening decline. Without investment in this country, in our students, our children, our infrastructure, and ourselves, we will be unable to provide a sustainable future for our children and theirs. I firmly believe that this round of continuing name-calling, finger-pointing, and those other verbal pyrotechnics shooting off daily in our media & from our politicians is distracting us from what is most thought-provoking. This "circus" is neither constructive or a way forward. It continues to conceal through distraction and noise. We need to gather, to listen, and to come together to co-create the shared vision for a sustainable future. Until and unless we can put aside this rancour and frame our national, regional, local, and individual "desired end-state" we are merely dithering; all the while declining further, with more people suffering, going broke and becoming out of breath.
Victor Drover January 05, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Milwaukee Ironworkers hits the nail on the head. The surtax doesn't stimulate the economy. The surtax pays for the stimulus bill that creates the jobs thats stimulate consumer spending that puts PROFIT in businesses pockets.

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