Friday, August 05, 2011

Trickle Up Economics

The time for small thinking has to be over.
The time for hearing what we can't do because it isn't politically expedient for some goon is over.
The time for saying that what we need is more bad policy to fix the mess is over.
We need change. Radical goddamn change.

Here's an idea:

Give every household with an income of less than $200,000 a raise. Tie it to nothing. Just here's $40,000 over the course of 2012 to spend as you wish. Take income taxes out of it.. So each month, every household with income of less than $200,000 would get an additional paycheck. And then, in 2013 when demand has helped create new jobs and there are more people paying income taxes and more people spending money and the economy is humming again, the payments stop. It's a finite thing from the very beginning.

Take the Goldens, for example, if you do a standard withholding, with deductions for Medicare and Social Security and including state taxes, we would net an additional $2,641.91 per month.

Here's what the breakdown would look like for someone in Georgia:
Monthly Gross Pay $3,333.33
Federal Withholding $330.42
Social Security $140.00
Medicare $48.33
Georgia $172.67

Dude! Do you know what we'd do with that money?

We'd spend it!!! I already have a long list of things we don't spend money on because we don't have money. Let's start with the orthodontist. Don't you think he'd like us to pay our bill? Of course he would! And guess what? After we pay off Nate's teeth, we'd have Sophie right in there getting the wires put on her crooked teeth.

Everybody wins!

We'd get the refrigerator fixed, buy me a laptop, make payments on MathMan's student loans, go to the dentist, buy new eyeglasses for MathMan, pay off our private loans, take a vacation that doesn't include a cat, remember to buy birthday cards, help Chloe with her tuition,buy some clothes for MathMan and me, repair the dented car and perform regular maintenance on it, go to the movies have dinner out, join the local gym again, and I might even take a class or two to help me find a new job.

And that's just off the top of my head. We also need a new mattress, I could use some new running shoes and my undie drawer is looking pretty dismal these days.

And we'd also save. A little. Not a lot. I won't lie.

For those people who would fuss that they aren't included in this scheme, I say you win, man, you win! Your boat will be lifted with this tide, as well. Dr. Orthodontist gets his scratch, for example. Without some kind of radical change, I can assure you that Dr. Ortho is not getting his money and Nathan will die an old man wearing vintage braces.

How do we pay for this? Well, it's a socialist idea to be sure -a transfer of wealth, but isn't it about fucking time that the flow go the other way? We've spent the last ten years transferring the nation's wealth to the very wealthiest and the ship is tipping. We need to balance things or we're going down. So yes, the wealthiest are going to have to pay a little more, but for heaven's sake, they've enjoyed a windfall since President George W. Bush cut their taxes. They can afford it. Trust me.

And when it's all said and done, those with the most also have the most to lose. You'd think they'd be ready to get this economy working again, wouldn't you?


  1. For many years I've said that to make the economy hum, give those on the bottom end of the scale more money, even if it's only $20 a week. But no, they have to keep shoveling the money at those that don't need it and when given it they just sit on it. Or maybe they put it in their mouths and pray for lockjaw!!

  2. As a friend likes to say: "That'd be too much like right." Can you just imagine the screams of outrage if this idea were even hinted at!?

    It appears that the wealthiest are not all that smart; I mean who'da thunk that taking all our money away would slow the economy? They've been consistently short-sighted due to greed.

  3. The plutocrats are in control - worldwide. The rich are very good at what they do. I mean, it's a neat scam getting so many US Americans from the lower and middle income groups into the Tea Party, protesting against tax raises for the super-rich. Talk about turkeys voting for Thanksgiving ...

  4. You reminded me of the movie "Dave" when he brings in his buddy the accountant, who looks at the US budget and says "I don't know who's been doing these books but they are terrible!" And then they proceed to stay up all night and balance the budget.

    I hate that politicians pretend the country's budget is like a family's budget. Any financial adviser will tell you that when money is tight, you must not only to reduce costs, but also look to ways to make more money. Otherwise you will never catch up.

    So why doesn't that apply to the US budget, too?

  5. But you'd be DISINCENTIVIZED to make your OWN MONEY! You'll be even richer someday if they DON'T give you the money! You must not want it enough.*

    *This is not a serious comment.

  6. This makes so much more sense than what "our elected leaders" want to do. When our economy is driven by people buying things, it only makes sense to put money in the hands of the people who do the buying.

    Three years ago I was so excited for the change coming to our country. I knew there would be some who would never accept President Obama as their president. I had no idea they would want to destroy the country in order to make sure he didn't succeed.

  7. ABSOLUTELY!!!! Give rich people tax breaks, etc. and they sit on the money. Give everybody else breaks (including the one time pay-out you're talking about) and guess what, they SPEND IT! It makes perfect sense.

    Once when I was in college and Wisconsin had a budget surplus, they did just that. It was not much, but it was a windfall, and I spent it locally. Stimulated the economy, don't you know.

    If we had universal health care, we would also have more money in our pockets to stimulate the local economy. It makes nothing but sense!!

    Thanks for a great post, Lisa.

    Hey, and the next time you come to visit? Leave the damned cat at home, OK?

  8. I like your thinking, girl. As always.


  9. This is brilliant. Just BRILLIANT.

  10. I love this idea. Practical, and with set guidelines. Sadly, it's probably too well thought out and detailed to be allowed. We're looking at draining/closing our 401K's in order to pay our debts. It's sad, because we're both employed - and make decent money when the economy is stable.

    We crunched the numbers over the weekend and found something pretty sad: We'd make more if I lost my job.

  11. Nixon sort of did with the Earned Income Tax Credit. The whole idea behind that was to incentivize work (the only way you can get it is if you have earned income, i.e., a job). It also pumps money into the economy instead of taking it out. Sadly, one of the things today's Reptilians want to do is eliminate the EITC because they perversely view it as a form of welfare rather than as a thank you for being willing to work at a shitty, low-paying job.


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