Re: Let’s all place our well-appointed ridicule of Tea Baggers here.
Glibness aside, let’s look at how tax rates have compared to the workings of the economy over the last “century”.
Early 1900’s- The age of the Robber Barons, obscene polarization of wealth, class violence…… but a low top tax rate.
Early 1920’s- There is a surge in taxes for the rich, followed by a boom decade.
Late 1920’s- Taxes for the rich plummet. A huge speculative bubble develops, causing a run on banks, and the great depression.
1930’s and 1940’s- Taxes on the top end gradually increase. The economy gradually recovers.
1950’s and 1960’s- Highest top tax rates ever, reaching 91%. Most sustained economic boom ever, with a rapidly expanding middle class, and general affluence that comes to be taken for granted, despite the repayment of massive wartime debt.
1980’s to the Present- Taxes on the top income brackets drop sharply. Speculative bubbles form in the Savings and Loan industry, in high tech stocks, and then in real estate. A crisis develops as social programs become unfunded, and infrastructure becomes neglected. Class distinctions reappear, polarization of wealth increases.
I’ve been put off drinking tea lately, but today I may have a shot of whisky, depending on the outcome of today’s show.