The Real Financial Crisis: Income Disparity and Poverty

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Steve Kornacki, MSNBC host sitting in for Chris Hayes on Sunday’s Up with Chris Hayes, discussed the political posturing on fiscal negotiations with David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winner and distinguished visiting lecturer at the Syracuse University College of Law; Joan Walsh, MSNBC political analyst, editor at large of Salon.com; Laura Flanders, founder of GritTV; Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress; and Avik Roy, former member of Mitt Romney’s health care policy advisory group, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Unlike the usual talk show, where right wing talking points are rarely challenged, Up pushes back and debunks those memes for the hollow myths and out right lies they are. This panel talks head on how income disparity and poverty are the real financial crisis and the insanity of “shared pain.” Topics about taxes on Wall Street transactions, defense cuts and closing loop holes that only benefit the wealthy were mentioned. You won’t hear that on “Meet the Press” or “ABC’s This Week”.

Heather at Crooks and Liars pointed out the conversation in the second video and responses in the third video to Avik Roy arguing how things are different now that when Bill Clinton was president and the nonsense that the rich already pay too much in taxes. The responses from the panel shredded Roy’s talking points. Here are just some of the comments from the panel:

   DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: The average income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans has fallen back to the level of 1966 when Johnson was president, and the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent have gone in today’s dollars from 4 million to 22 million. In 2010, the first year of the recovery, 37 percent of all of the increased income in the entire country went to 15,600 households.

   We have created a privatized system to redistribute upwards and the reason people at the top are sharing a larger share of the income taxes because their incomes are growing at this enormous rate, but their burden is falling. And to suggest we don’t need to raise more revenue by applying it to people who are a success depends on this government, on living in this society, with its rules that make it possible to make that money is just outrageous. It is arguing that we should burden the poor and help the rich.


   LAURA FLANDERS: No, you’re right. we have 50, 5-0 million Americans living in poverty at this point with food stamp help for many of them. We’ve got 9 million Americans over the age of 50 who are food insecure. One in three of us have no savings whatsoever.

   I mean, you talk the Johnson years, in that period, ’65 to ’73 the war on poverty reduced poverty by 43 percent. We know how to do it. It works. That’s what we should be talking about. We are in a crisis where we’re going to see stimulus. We’re going to see stimulus of poverty and hunger in this country and it’s shameful. And again, going back to ’63, you had more than 60 percent of Americans, I think even in1983, 60 percent of Americans had private pension plans. Now, it’s under 20 percent.

   So these elders that you’re talking about, young people with greater unemployment than ever before. I mean, this is the stuff that we want to be talking about after the last election, children and poverty are exploding.

   JOAN WALSH: And also… we need higher tax rates for the tippy top earners because everybody likes to talk about building the middle class or rebuilding the middle class. Well, the top tax rate that the middle class we in the ’40s,’ 50s and ’60s. The top marginal rate was in the 90’s. I’m not saying you should go back to that, but you can’t say at 37 percent.


  1. TMC
  2. terryhallinan

     and give to the worthless workers? :-)

    Thorsten Veblen described it all far better than the mangled mythology of Marxists.  

    Illiterates often mistook Veblen for a Marxist but one might as logically have claimed Kurt Vonnegut write documentaries.

    Best,  Terry

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