The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Oligarchs need to pay equitable taxes


September 12, 2019

To The Eagle:

“Working poor” describes the 40.6 million Americans who are 12.7 percent of our total workforce trying to live on minimum wage jobs. It is impossible. The mandated federal minimum wage is worth less today, adjusted for inflation, than it was 50 years ago.

Unemployment statistics rosily report more people working more jobs than ever, but those numbers reflect a more ominous phenomenon. More people are working two or more jobs just to stay above water. Wage rates have stagnated over the last 30 years as the prices of everything from milk to medicine have unceasingly spiraled upward.

Meanwhile, corporate profits in the F.I.R.E. (finance, insurance, real estate) sector of the Wall Street economy have skyrocketed by 600%. These are the economic giants who collect the home mortgage, credit card and auto insurance payments of the “middle class.”

Middle class wage earners have become debt and wage slaves carrying the weight of this twisted economy upon our backs and paying for the privilege through a tax system recently revised by the Trump misadministration to overwhelmingly favor the wealthy and corporations.

According to the 2018 filings of the 560 largest publicly held corporations, the top 60 multinational companies paid nothing, nada, zip in federal taxes on $79 billion of pre-tax income. Add to that; indirect federal subsidies and income sheltered off-shore, the amount of uncollected revenue reaches into the multiple trillions of dollars.

If you were wondering how a future Democratic administration could possible fund national health care and universal affordable education for every student, you don’t even need a pencil and paper to figure it out now. The resources are there. Always have been. They’re just not being shared.

It is well past time for our American oligarchs and their obscenely wealthy associates to contribute to our republic to the full extent of their abilities. They need to share their wealth equitably with the nation whose public policies and structures enabled them to build their wealth in the first place. They need to pay their taxes just like the rest of us.

A new Democratic administration will need to re-structure the economy to enable its workers to share more equitably in the fruits of their labors. We’ve done it before to beneficial effect during the Roosevelt administration of the 30's. Rich people hated him for it.

Karl Marx had it right. Economic equity is only possible when “each gives according to their ability so that each may receive according to their need.”

JB Bouchard

Puget Island


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