Monday, October 26, 2009

Hoffman Attacked for Being Rich -- Say What?? (Re-Post)


Rich Republicans, Poor Democrats

Two Old Posts That Make the Same Point

The first post is from Rush, the second is a compilation by me and involved an encounter with a guy on the golf-course.

Democrats Get More Money From "Rich"

Another myth about "the rich" has been shattered – namely the conventional wisdom that they are all Republicans – thanks to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. A December 18, 2002 Washington Times editorial reports that donors giving "small and medium amounts" in 2002 overwhelmingly supported the GOP, while "rich or deep-pocketed givers" hugely backed the Democrats!

Those giving $200 to $999: GOP $68 million; Democrats $44 million. Those giving $1,000 to $9,999: GOP $317 million; Democrats $307 million. The "fabulously wealthy" donors of $10,000+ gave $111 million to the GOP – a whopping $29 million less than the $140 million they lavished on the Democrats! Among those who gave $100,000+, the Democrats raised $72 million – more than double the $34 million the GOP took.

"Yeah, Rush, but all those millionaires are Republicans." No, that's not a fact, my friends. The fact is that in the 2002 election cycle, those who gave a million dollars or more poured $36 million into the Democrat coffers, and a paltry $3 million into the pockets of the GOP. Again: millionaire donations went Democrat by a 12:1 margin! The two parties took in about the same amount overall – GOP: $384 million; Democrats: $350 million. Just look at the Hollywood left, and you see where the big money goes.

In addition, the GOP attracted 40% more individual donors! (George W. Bush set an all-time fund-raising record by collecting the most money from one-thousand-dollar donors in the history of presidential politics.) Far more people giving small amounts exist as contributors to the Republican Party - while Democrats skunked the GOP among the super-rich. That's no surprise, since nine of the twelve richest members of the United States Senate are Democrats.

We're going to put this up on our website homepage permanently, right alongside the story that the top 50% of wage earners, those who make more than $26,000 a year, pay over 96% of all income taxes. (The IRS data) This myth that the Republicans are the party of the rich is breathing its last gasps, so we're giving you these figures to help put it out of its misery for good. This is not a political commercial you have to disprove. These are actual results of campaign contributions in just the 2002 cycle, which is why this class-envy garbage isn't getting the traction it used to.

Greedy Religious Conservatives!

(A debate from 2004 I had)

I wanted to isolate a previous discussion and get some of your input on us greedy conservatives. The only reason I bring this up is that while playing golf in Vegas I got into a discussion with one of the caddies about politics and faith. The conversation started out very interestingly though. Democrats/Liberals place a lot of emphasis on feelings in their anti-Bush diatribe. This elderly caddy maybe in his mid-fifties said he wouldnt vote for bush because his wife worked for the phone company making good money for fifteen-years. She lost her job and is now a receptionist for a Veterinarian. He said, I wont vote for that assho#@!& because my wife isn’t making any money!! I pointed out, politely, so as to not make him explode, that it is not Bushs fault that his wife does not have a degree or a specialty that can get them by in these lean times. He realized that his wifes life choices put them in the spot their in, not Bush (with a little coaxing from me of course). So I explained some of the following during our conversation, passerbys stopping and patting me on the back for such a great example of conservatisms values at work.

If you can remember back to the 2000 election here in the U. S. and the blue state, red state scenario of which voted for Gore and which voted for Bush, Im sure you do, even if another country. Once in awhile stats are done to see which part of the country (which states in fact) give more to charity per-capita than other states. Do you know which of the top twenty states gives the most to charity? You got it, Bush country! Every single one of the red states in that top-twenty are the middle-income fly-over states. Guess how many red-states got the lower twenty of giving? Two. Eighteen States that were in the lowest giving ratio to charity were Gore states. This is even more interesting with a few recent poles. Just under 66-percent republicans go to church one-to-two times a week. Just fewer than 66-percent democrats do not even go to church once a week. DRAT those nasty religious / conservatives!

New Stat that I am adding to my arguments by the way:

Only one of the top 25 donors to political 527 groups has given to a conservative organization, shedding further light on the huge disparity between Democrats and Republicans in this new fund-raising area. The top three 527 donors so far in the 2004 election cycle - Hollywood producer Steven Bing, Progressive Corp. chairman Peter Lewis and financier George Soros - have combined to give nearly $24 million to prominent liberal groups. They include Joint Victory Campaign 2004, America Coming Together, and

Dems the richest five senators?

Financial statements revealed the five richest members of the United States Senate are Democrats. The annual disclosure allows senators to represent their net worth inside a broad range.

Presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is far ahead of his colleagues with $163 million, most of it coming from his wife's inheritance of the Heinz fortune. The actual estimate is over $400 million.

Lagging behind is Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) at $111 million. The Wisconsin senator's family owns a department store chain. Sen. John "Jay" Rockefeller (D-WV) comes in third with a personal fortune reported to be $81 million.

Former Goldman Sachs chairman Sen. John Corzine (D-NJ) weighs in at $71 million, with Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) rounding out the top five at $26.3 million. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) breaks the string of Democrat multimillionaires in sixth place at $26.1 million. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bill Frist (R-TN), John Edwards (D-NC), and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) complete the top ten.

Democrats are 10 of the top 15 richest senators.

--RE-POST 2--

From a discussion elsewhere

Okay, let's move on. Another point that needs setting straight is when Jen says "the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer." Again, these bumper-sticker slogans are great if one just wishes to construct false claims for the express purpose of rejecting one political party for another. This phrase may seem right, like one I hear all the time, "the New Testament has been changed over the past 2,000-years," it has a ring of truth to it. . . but just like the political statement that preceded it, when one studies the facts, it just doesn't hold any water.

The Top 50% pay 96.54% of All Income Taxes

(The top 1% pay more than a third: 34.27%)

October 4, 2005

This is the latest data for calendar year 2003 just released in October 2005 by the Internal Revenue Service. The share of total income taxes paid by the top 1% of wage earners rose to 34.27% from 33.71% in 2002. Their income share (not just wages) rose from 16.12% to 16.77%. However, their average tax rate actually dropped from 27.25% down to 24.31%

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*Data covers calendar year 2003, not fiscal year 2003
- and includes all income, not just wages, excluding Social Security

Think of it this way: less than 3-1/2 dollars out of every $100 paid in income taxes in the United States is paid by someone in the bottom 50% of wage earners. Are the top half millionaires? Noooo, more like "thousandaires." The top 50% were those individuals or couples filing jointly who earned $29,019 and up in 2003. (The top 1% earned $295,495-plus.) Americans who want to are continuing to improve their lives, and those who don't want to, aren't. Here are the wage earners in each category and the percentages they pay:

The top 1% pay over a third, 34.27% of all income taxes. (Up from 2003: 33.71%) The top 5% pay 54.36% of all income taxes (Up from 2002: 53.80%). The top 10% pay 65.84% (Up from 2002: 65.73%). The top 25% pay 83.88% (Down from 2002: 83.90%). The top 50% pay 96.54% (Up from 2002: 96.50%). The bottom 50%? They pay a paltry 3.46% of all income taxes (Down from 2002: 3.50%). The top 1% is paying nearly ten times the federal income taxes than the bottom 50%! And who earns what? The top 1% earns 16.77% of all income (2002: 16.12%). The top 5% earns 31.18% of all the income (2002: 30.55%). The top 10% earns 42.36% of all the income (2002: 41.77%); the top 25% earns 64.86% of all the income (2002: 64.37%) , and the top 50% earns 86.01% (2002: 85.77%) of all the income.

The Rich Earned Their Dough, They Didn't Inherit It (Except Ted Kennedy)

The bottom 50% is paying a tiny bit of the taxes, so you can't give them much of a tax cut by definition. Yet these are the people to whom the Democrats claim to want to give tax cuts. Remember this the next time you hear the "tax cuts for the rich" business. Understand that the so-called rich are about the only ones paying taxes anymore.

I had a conversation with a woman who identified herself as Misty on Wednesday. She claimed to be an accountant, yet she seemed unaware of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which now ensures that everyone pays some taxes. AP reports that the AMT, "designed in 1969 to ensure 155 wealthy people paid some tax," will hit "about 2.6 million of us this year and 36 million by 2010." That's because the tax isn't indexed for inflation! If your salary today would've made you mega-rich in '69, that's how you're taxed.

Misty tried the old line that all wealth is inherited. Not true. John Weicher, as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank, wrote in his February 13, 1997 Washington Post Op-Ed, "Most of the rich have earned their wealth... Looking at the Fortune 400, quite a few even of the very richest people came from a standing start, while others inherited a small business and turned it into a giant corporation." What's happening here is not that "the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer." The numbers prove it.


Dear Chris

(from: Dinesh D'Souza, Letters to a Young Conservative, Basic Books; New York: N. Y. [2002], pp. 85-87. (Any bold text is emphasis I added.)

So, you ask, does wanting to get rich make you a bad guy? Of course not. Indeed, I would go further: The rich are in the best position to be the good guys, because only the rich have the resources to really help those who are in need. Still, despite the philanthropic advantages conferred by wealth, I am not at all surprised that your roommate is outraged by your desire to make money. Your roommate apparently believes that rich people are evil because they make money and that the government is good because it takes away some of that money. Not that liberals would put it that way. They would say that the government's job is to promote equality by redistributing resources from the rich to the poor. In my last letter, I tried to argue that this attempt is wrong-headed; here, let me argue that it is unnecessary. Indeed, I intend to show that technological capitalism - not government - is the catalyst for equality. You can consider this letter a kind of extended postscript to my previous critique of Big Government.

Whenever a Republican - be it Reagan or George W. Bush - proposes a tax cut, the liberals say, "This tax cut will mostly help the rich. " Of course tax cuts help the rich the most; the rich in this country pay most of the taxes. I wonder how many Americans know that the top 10 percent of income earners in America pay two-thirds of all income taxes. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of income earners pay less than 5 percent of the income taxes. These statistics, which I got from the Internal Revenue Service, are of obvious relevance in determining who is going to benefit most from virtually any proposal to reduce income tax rates.

Thus if the rich guy makes $250,000 and pays $100,000 in taxes, and the (relatively) poor guy makes $40,000 and pays $5,000 in taxes, a ten percent across-the-board tax cut will cut the rich guy's taxes by $10,000 and the poor guys taxes by $500. This provokes the liberal wail, "But the rich guy is getting twenty times more than the poor guy." One does not have to be a math major to figure out that it is not even possible to cut the poor guy’s taxes by $10,000 because he pays only $5,000 in the first place. Contrary to liberal demagoguery, proportional tax cuts are just because they benefit citizens in proportion to what they have been paying in taxes.

Liberals usually oppose tax cuts and advocate higher taxes for the rich because they are convinced, as the old liberal mantra has it, that "the rich get richer while the poor get poorer." But is this really true? For the past half century, and especially for the past two decades, it has not been true in America. In reality, the rich have grown richer, and the poor have also grown richer, but not at the same pace.

Let me explain. In 1980, when Reagan was elected, America was a much more egalitarian society. According to the Census Bureau, if one earned $55,000 that year, one was in the top 5 percent of earners in the United States. That sounds amazing, but it’s true. Now, taking inflation into account, $55,000 in 1980 equals something like $75,000 today. But today if you want to be in the top 5 percent of income earners, you have to make $155,000.

What this means is that lots of people who use to be in the middle-class, or the lower middle class, have moved up. In moving up, they have increased the economic distance between themselves and the rest of the population. So, inequality is greater. But the exclusive liberal focus on inequality misses the larger picture, which shows that more and more people are moving into the ranks of the affluent class.