How the tax system benefits the super rich

01/28/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday) | Listen to this entire show:

Welcome to WMNF’s Radioactivity program. I’m Rob Lorei. Our guest today, David Cay Johnston was for 14 years the tax reporter for the New York Times. He has been documenting the ways he says our tax code has been recalibrated to take from the poor, the middle class and even the relatively affluent and given to large corporations and the super rich. He calls it “socialism for the rich.”

In an article entitled Fiscal Therapy in this month’s Mother Jones magazine, he writes how President Barack Obama could make the tax code more fair, get the economy back on its feet, give most taxpayers a break and save money on college tuitions. Johnston says, it won’t cost you a penny.

David, as you know there’s a debate in Congress these days about how to get the economy going again. There are some who want to spend money on infrastructure projects, aiding states, helping people who face foreclosure. And there are some in Washington who argue that giving tax breaks is the way to stimulate the economy. The two example people seem to use are FDR- with his massive public works programs and (let’s go back to the 1980’s)-- Ronald Reagan’s ideas of giving tax breaks as a way to stimulate the economy. What was the result of Reaganomics?

For more information, visit DavidCayJohnston.com.

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Vaseline Time

I read Mr Johnston's two books mentioned on the show and it is quite frustrating to see how the "system" benefits the very wealthy at the expense of everyone else. If all the tax loopholes are not snapped shut then we know that any measures to help our economy are just lip service and window dressing. I'm afraid that will be the case.When have the super wealthy ever had to suck it up? Let me think...... NEVER! Capitalism as we have known it is finished. There is only so much domination and destruction people and the planet can take.Change is inevitable. Mankind, with our foolish consumption, has become a cancer on this planet.We have a choice that will require a radical change in our habits and patterns. Either we enter an age of unprecedented cooperation or we are in for a "flood" of misery.Lets at the very least build a bigger boat.