Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupy Wallstreet. Occupy Some Facts

     It has been two months that we in the fifty three percent who pay the federal income taxes in this country have been inundated by the heated, prepubescent rhetoric from over-privileged and under-appreciative Occupy protesters. While some may say their frustrations and anger are well-founded, the Occupy movement seems to be more about sex, drugs and rock-n-roll than it is about a coherent platform of reform. Their cries about Wall Street bailouts and bonuses do not seem to extend to the Liberal sacred cow of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, where recently executives have been deemed worthy of receiving 100 million dollars in bonuses while requesting billions more in bailouts. This is par for the course for a movement based on emotion and class warfare spewed by the current occupier of the White House. But then radical leftists have always operated under the motto, "Don't let the facts get in the way of a good protest."  Their only consistent message is that somehow the top one percent of wage earners in this country are enslaving the rest of us by providing jobs and business investment.
     The facts about the one percent are missed by the useful idiots in the Occupy movement, and deliberately misreported by the left-wing media. Recent reports in the New York Times have stated that in the last thirty years the top wage earners in this country have benefited at the expense of those on the bottom. These "facts" are misleading because they are based on census data, which tracks groups of people instead of individual taxpayers. According to IRS statistics, which are more accurate than census data, the bottom 20 percent of wage earners have seen their incomes rise 91 percent in the last thirty years. In the same time period, the top 20 percent have seen their incomes rise by only 10 percent. If you break down the statistics even further you will find that the top one percent have actually seen a decrease in their incomes.
     Another fact missed by the clueless Occupiers is that a majority of the people in the one percent are only there for a single year. This is as a result of the sale of assets which temporarily places them in the one percent club. The top one percent is in constant flux, in fact only four percent of the top 20 percent are permanent members of this income quin tile. The same is true about the bottom 20 percent. So to put it more plainly, only eight percent of the population is chronically rich or chronically poor, the rest moves in and out of wealth and poverty or stays somewhere in the middle 60 percent.
     The President, and by extension his puppets in the Occupy movement, are fond of saying that billionaires and millionaires should pay their fair share in taxes. According to IRS data, the top one percent pays a whopping 40 percent of the total federal tax bill. The top five percent pays almost 60 percent. The bottom fifty percent pays only 3 percent. And with 47 percent of wage earners in this country not paying anything in federal income tax, who is it that's not paying their fair share?  In ancient Israel every citizen, rich or poor, paid half a shekel. This provided everyone with the same sense of contribution, in other words, everyone had skin in the game. There's an old saying that when you rob Peter to pay Paul you can always count on the support of Paul. Left-wing politicians have used this truism for years to buy votes and get re-elected. The problem is there seems to be an ever-increasing army of Pauls.
     I have heard some Occupiers state that their goal is a more democratic society. I have a feeling they mean democratic with a large D and not a small d. If it was the latter they would realize that you can't increase democracy by empowering government to confiscate money from producers and give it to non-producers. The only thing you acheive with this policy is shared misery by all citizens.

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