On the News With Thom Hartmann:
You need to know this. The biggest threat to the entire global economy is ... the Republican Party. Those aren't my words – those are the words of Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan who called out what he calls are "cranks and crazies" that have taken over the Republican Party. Speaking at a business forum today, Swann said, "Let's be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world's biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the Republican Party." Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard supported her deputy's statements, saying, "What happens in the U.S. economy matters to the world economy and it matters to us. Wayne Swann was making that very common sense point." Our mainstream media today is trying its best to turn this election into a horserace. But to the rest of the world, the Republican Party is a joke. And even more than that, the Republican Party is dangerous – pushing an economic philosophy that is already turning Europe into an economic wasteland – and if enacted here would be the deathblow to the entire global economy. But that's not to say that the Republican Party is economically suicidal. They know their agenda will enrich the lives of a very small group of wealthy elite who belong to transnational corporations – the top 1%. The truth is, if voters actually went to the polls and voted for their own economic interests, then Mitt Romney wouldn't get 53% of the vote, for 51%, or even 47%. He'd get 1%.
In screwed news ... when Mitt Romney criticized 47% of the nation for not paying their fair share in taxes – he got his numbers wrong. He should have criticized the top 1%. A new study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy shows that in all 50 states, the richest 1% percent are taxed at lower rates than low-income residents. As the report states, "nearly every state and local tax system takes a much greater share of income from middle- and low-income families than from the wealthy." For example, in Florida the top 1% pays an average tax rate of just 2.1% while the bottom 20% pay over 13% in taxes. In Texas, the top 1% pays 3% in taxes, while the bottom 20% pays more than 12% in taxes. Not only is this accelerating wealth inequality, but it's also a big reason why states are facing budget deficits. As the report further says, "It's no wonder that so many states with regressive tax structures are facing long-term structural budget deficits. They're continually imposing higher taxes on people without much money." Reaganomics – 32-years after it was put in place – it today a complete failure. If we're going to save the American middle class and fix our debt problem at the same time – then we must tax the rich.