Op Ed Commentary
The lead story in Thursday, March 21st USA Today highlighted how “Corporate chiefs pull in $ 50 million or more “. The story went on to mention how these corporate gains were unmatched since the internet IPO craze from the late 90s. These gains spanned the wide spectrum of American industries. Ford motor company’s CEO Alan Mulally had his income gain more than $ 61 million, on top of a compensation package valued at nearly $ 21 million. Tell that to the lowest level Ford workers who cannot afford to pay their mortgages or high rents. Sherwin – Williams CEO Christopher Connor gained income of $ 56.4 million, including his normal compensation valued at $ 11 million. Next time you buy some paint, remember that fact, home repair mavens. Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Steve Ellis and Monty Moran gained nearly $ 47 million and $ 55.5 million respectively in exercising their stock options. That is on top of their individual 2012 compensations of $ 19 million each! The ‘hippy dippys ‘were not immune to the Wall Street/ corporate earnings craze. Starbucks’ Howard Schultz exercised stock options and vested shares that reached over $ 113 million, in addition to a compensation package valued at nearly $$ 29 million. Remember to stop by a Starbucks instead of your local Mom and Pop for a latte tomorrow morning…. You sap!
When Reagan became president in 1980, the top federal income tax bracket for these aforementioned greedy pigs was set at 70%… before of course the accountants sharpened their pencils. As with Mitt Romney, the super rich never pay the top rate. It is always reduced down to usually well under ½ to 2/3 of what they earned. Today, the top bracket is about half of what it was then; thus Romney, the mega millionaire did only pay about 14% to Uncle Sam. Yet, the payroll tax is cemented at just under 8%, which is a strain on both the working stiffs and Mom and Pop employers throughout our great nation. Obama and his Democratic Party hacks would tell you that they have the working stiffs interests at heart. Hogwash! The Democrats, just like their Republican counterparts, are in bed with this corporate empire, The only difference is that the Democrats want a 4% increase in the top bracket and the other side says’ No’. Big deal! In 1960s and 1980s America the super rich got along just fine with top rates of 90% and 70% respectively.
Let us, we the 99 + % of Americans who are not earning millions, demand these two solutions:
- Legislate a 30 times rule for all employers. Translated, the top earner of any business can only earn 30 times what the lowest paid worker at that business earns, including the cashing in of stock options or bonuses… all treated as earnings… period! So at Starbucks good ole hippy dippy Howie Schultz can only earn 30 times what his cleaning crew earns. Let us say Starbucks, being a liberal and caring company, pays the guys and gals who clean up the place a salary of $ 10 and hour. That means that Howie baby can only earn $ 300 an hour. Translated: at 8 hours a day for 52 weeks his earnings come out to $ 624,000 a year. How many of you working stiffs out there would turn that down?
- 50 % FLAT Millionaires tax. I say leave the tax rates as they are. Just add one little tidbit: Tax all income of any sort that is over $ 1 million yearly at a flat rate of 50%… with NO deductions of any sort. Our treasury would have lots and lots of extra revenue to fund needed projects throughout America… and only less than ½ of 1% of us would be paying for it. Noblesse Oblige! Additionally, and most important, with this plan in place Uncle Sam could establish a Payroll Tax Forgiveness plan on the initial $ 20,000 of income, for both the worker and the Mom and Pop employer. Imagine how that savings could translate into true economic stimulus for the employee and the small business owner.
It is Easter and Passover season. Perhaps all my super rich fellow Americans should take some time and actually read what Jesus of Nazareth said in regard to the rich. You cannot escape the many messages he gave out concerning those who had so much and those who did not. Of course, the most famous one was “Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven.” Methinks it is time for those of us who oil this machine of empire to demand real change to our income distribution system. You won’t ever get it from this 2 Party Scam, so stop looking there. The one thing that all empires fear is when enough of the serfs stand together in great numbers. Try it. Get out and stand in your own town, sign in hand at the same time and place… week after week. One person joins you, and then another, and another… and a movement begins, so pure, so peaceful and so RIGHT!
Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on TheSleuthJournal.com, Information Clearing house, Op Ed News, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org