U.S. Posts Biggest Monthly Budget Surplus in Seven Years, A Simple Math Lesson

The boost in receipts narrowed the U.S. budget deficit for the previous 12 months to $460 billion, from $510 billion in March and $499 billion in the prior year. It was the lowest annual deficit since last November and the second lowest since September 2008.

Over the past 12 months, revenues are running 9% above their year-earlier level while spending is running 7% higher.

The figures illustrate how, despite growing unease over income inequality, the taxes that America’s rich are paying on their rising incomes are yielding a windfall for the U.S. Treasury. Payroll taxes rose 6% from a year earlier in April, while other individual taxes, including those on capital gains and self-employment incomes, were up 18%.

via U.S. Posts Biggest Monthly Budget Surplus in Seven Years – WSJ.

So…again…real world results.

If the question is “How do we deal with massive deficits?”, the answer now shown to be a resoundingly good one, “Raise taxes on the wealthy”.

We’ve got quite a bit more room to go on both of these before the problem is solved, as it were, but we know now this is a solid strategy.

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GOP passes massive tax break for millionaires (well, folks with 10 millions) and billionaires. Does not Pay for It

The final tally was 240 to 179, with nearly every GOP lawmaker voting for it and nearly every Democrat voting against it.

When describing Republican tax proposals, it’s not uncommon to talk about policies that disproportionately benefit the very wealthy. GOP proponents will say a bill benefits all taxpayers, but they’ll brush past the fact that the rich benefit most. This, however, is altogether different – today’s bill, called the “Death Tax Repeal Act,” quite literally benefits multi-millionaires and billionaires exclusively.

It’s not an exaggeration to say House Republicans, en masse, voted for a $269 billion giveaway to the top 0.2%. Under the plan, GOP lawmakers, who occasionally pretend to care about “fiscal responsibility,” would simply add the entire $269 billion cost to the deficit, leaving future generations to pay for a massive tax break for the hyper-wealthy.

Wait, it gets worse.

via GOP passes massive tax break for millionaires, billionaires | MSNBC.

Perhaps the most galling, and blatantly hypocritical, aspect of this situation is how blatant and galling it is.

You have GOP folks out there *campaigning* on the issue of income inequality…but they are saying the exact opposite of what the GOP is actually doing.

I mean…this is such a blatant and obvious payback to the GOP’s (small number of) extremely wealthy (and old) donors.

You have this party funded by like 40 billionaires in their 80’s….OF COURSE THEY ARE GOING TO PUSH THIS CRAP.

What’s really confounding is how anyone who isn’t an 80-year old billionaire supports this crap.

That’s the strange part, to me.

Robert Reich: 10 ways to close the inequality gap

We are near or have already reached that tipping point. As French economist Thomas Piketty shows beyond doubt in his “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” we are heading back to levels of inequality not seen since the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. The dysfunctions of our economy and politics are not self-correcting when it comes to inequality.

But a return to the Gilded Age is not inevitable. It is incumbent on us to dedicate ourselves to reversing this diabolical trend. But in order to reform the system, we need a political movement for shared prosperity.

Herewith a short summary of what has happened, how it threatens the foundations of our society, why it has happened, and what we must do to reverse it.

via Robert Reich: 10 ways to close the inequality gap – Salon.com.

So much of this issue has been exacerbated by public policy that ignore the role of public policy that exacerbates this issue.

And to be clear, I’m not one that thinks removing regulations like a minimum wage would *help*.   I’m more along the lines of wondering why we tax income from wealth at a lower rate that income from work.

And the other stuff Reich covers.  Lots of stuff that we can do, but we have to actually do it.