On this day in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a new tax law to help fund the United States government during the Civil War. Far more than writing a traditional revenue act to address the catastrophic war that had demonstrated its horrors just two weeks earlier at the Battle of Bull Run, Congress deliberately constructed the law to shift ownership of the American government away from the bankers who had previously provided Treasury funds, to the American people.
A progressive tax seems to be the answer to many problems. In the 50s we were a prosperous nation with a growing middle class and a 90% top bracket. Why not go back to what worked? This Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln. They abandoned that a long time ago, and with it they abandoned the American people.
Senate Majority Leader and Whip Kyrsten Sinema certainly held the Senate hostage for $5 billion in drought money and narrowing the carried interest loophole. Not sure why such a tax is of interest to her. Business interests. It was suggested private parties were after her to stop it from going into effect.
By her lonesome this time. Can't blame Manchin. Instead, Democrats added “a new 1 percent excise tax on stock buybacks that will bring in $73 billion, far more than the $14 billion raised by the carried interest provision, according to a Democrat familiar with the deal.”
Ok, that is sweet as it reduces the deficit. MMT proponents would argue, "who cares, we are sovereign."
We need a few more Senators so we can take away Sinema and Machin's temporary title of Senate Majority Leader.
And on this day in 1965 President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.
So much good news for our country this week! Hopefully positivity will gain momentum as we move towards the midterms, despite the obstructive efforts of Republicans.
I write mostly to cement our appreciation, with figures showing real family income growth, of how the state of income inequality in the U.S. has evolved over a 60-year time span. (Source: Economy Policy Institute)
Between 1947-73 (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, & Nixon), real family income growth for the lowest fifth was 116.1%; for the top fifth, it was 84.8%.
Between 1973-2000 (Ford, Carter, Reagan, H. W. Bush, & Clinton), real family income growth for the lowest fifth was 12.1%; for the top fifth, it was 66.9%.
Between 2000-05 (W. Bush), real family income growth for the lowest fifth was -7.8%; for the top fifth, it was -0.9%.
While I don’t imagine any one would question the effects of the last nearly 20 years on this widening inequality gap, what frustrates me is that non-college educated workers presently seem to think that the political right has their interests at heart.
I'm sick of the unnecessary criticism of President Biden. We are not going into a RECESSION. The Repubs want you to believe we are, but compared to Trump, Joe Biden has done a tremendous job.
As an Econ major, I don't want to hear comparisons to the 1800's. We live in a different world, a one world economy very intertwined, or inter connected. International Trade and Finance are nothing like the 1800's. The recent programs Biden has worked out, include REDUCING NATIONAL DEBT. Trump didn't even know what that was. If increasing taxation on people who make 400 thousand plus then maybe these people need one less Lexus or Mercedes sitting in their driveway. We need to work on demand, and teach people how to be good STEWARDS of THEIR PERSONAL FINANCES. Gas prices have gone down dramatically in the last two weeks. We are still catching up from Covid and people need to curb their spending which is keeping inflation high. If major Oil Companies HAVE THE NERVE TO POST RECORD PROFITS, then maybe they can help out by reducing the cost of their products, THEY KNOW WE ARE SO DEPENDENT UPON, or what is known as: IN-ELASTIC DEMAND, and they know it. People will pay at the pump because #1, they need transportation and #2, they won't SLOW DOWN in both MPH Speed, and they could be car pooling, or doing other conservative measures to REDUCE spending on gas which keeps INFLATION HIGH. I take care of my used car and small pick-up work truck. I don't need a new one, because the TV Commercial puts the idea in my head. I conserve my money, and although the stock market has adjusted, I still hold on to stocks, that either I know will come back in value, like Apple and Microsoft, or I am holding onto high dividend yield stocks, and just sitting on my cash until the market settles lower, then I will make very conservative small incremental purchases. I believe Americans have to adjust their spending habits, just like we had to and continue to learn how to live with Covid, and now Monkey Pox. We can't pretend like we had money coming in like before Covid. We can't spend and consume, just like BEFORE COVID. Of course I'm pro President Biden. He has slowly and CONTINUALLY working to promote good programs for both United States and the World. He works at creating Bi-Partisan programs, so everyone will benefit. Ukraine is a very unfortunately expense, for the US and Europe. Regardless, President Biden has moved us and our economy forward while at the same time moving us more in the inevitable direction of sustainable energy resources. We should have listened to Jimmy Carter back in the late 70's but big oil, and their money, (incredible profits; I can't believe their audacity to post their record profits of 13.9 BILLION), which has blocked through the decades R&D toward GREEN Energy. And now look at the cost of rebuilding communities with horrific storms, floods and fires which destroy the earth, not to mention loss of lives. I believe we all need to help out, be better stewards of our money and resources. Become better educated, make education more affordable, do something about our out of control spending. Encourage the un-educated, less fortunate to have smaller families, which puts themselves into debt, and yes, levy taxes on those who can afford to pay them. Create incentives to invest in GREEN ENERGY, improve our infrastructure to be able to withstand the STORMS AND WEATHER WHICH WE KNOW IS HERE TO STAY. And finally get a hold on run-away economic and societal problems. Stop blaming, and become a productive contributor, and come up with solutions by modifying our behaviors and in effect slow down our ridiculous demand for goods and services which we really don't need and can't afford. Look for Candidates who will support these GOOD IDEAS, and GET OUT AND VOTE. Look what WOMEN were able to recently pull off in the state of Kansas, and get Women's Rights on the Ballot. I'm impressed Ladies; you have shown us the power you have. And if we can continue to show that same power and direction in other states, we can make sure Roe v Wade will be back to stay. AND show Clarence Thomas, that he better not even go near LGBTQ Rights; and Clarence, you forgot to attack INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE. Did you and Ginnie purposely forget that one. Sorry for the rant, but People, lets get our Government to do THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, and not move in the direction of a small minority of White Christian Men who want a Utopia all of THEIR OWN MAKING! MAKE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED AND GET OUT AND VOTE FOR CANDIDATES WHO WILL PROMOTE THE WILL OF ALL THE PEOPLE.
Thank you so very much for the background on how income tax came about. I admit I had not a clue but found it so very interesting that “back then” the population wanted to pay more to support the war effort. Would happen now……don’t think so.
I am always amazed (though I shouldn’t be) how you can tie yesterdays to the present. It makes the present so much clearer and makes me a much more informed person. Thank you .
Hope being that this arrived early you are able to have a “early” night.
So many good things happened today. Yet, although the new jobs numbers, lower unemployment and lower gas prices were mentioned on the evening news (CBS & NBC), several minutes were devoted to anchor blathering and citizen interviews about the horrors of inflation. Hmph!
I know that this comment is simplistic and a bit off the wall and not one an economist would make, but where does McConnell think that the money has been coming for flood relief in Kentucky?
This GOP obsession about taxes killing corporations, 'makers and takers'...blah blah. Realize that 35% of US stock market is owned by foreign nationals, up from 3% in 1965. Thus, 35 cents of every dollars paid out in dividends etc. is going overseas and never taxed, instead of to the United States Treasury or the account of an American who MAYBE will pay taxes.
I am fascinated by the idea that the general population in the 1860s understood the effects of a deficit on the security of the nation--because I don't think most citizens today do. What has changed? Of course, borrowing has become a part of life for many, especially low and middle income homeowners. But were other nations more stringent about collecting debt payments (for many different reasons)? Were there fewer national reserves (and what were those reserves at that time?) Is part of the difference the gold standard? Was the press more expository about the issue? Whereas the implication is that patriotism for this new country is at the heart, and remembering that people at that time still had living parents and grandparents who had fought for independence, I think there are volumes that could be written about the interpretations HCR has set forth tonight.
"The introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act caps what has turned out to be a spectacular week for the Biden administration."
The Biden administration needs to broadcast the good news daily!
Some of today's Republicans reacted to the July Jobs Report by saying the data was .....FAKE! They cite, of all things, the fact that many businesses are still seeking help. Is that not an indicator of a labour shortage, rather than of a job shortage?
Manchen got some support for fossil fuels. Sinema got preservation of tax benefit for the already super rich. In exchange, the people got the first serious legislation to fight global warming and a 15% baseline Corporate tax and a tax on corporate stock buybacks. That is classic distribution of pork to grease the passage of critical legislation.
If you want to know what "Republican Economics" are, allow Vice President Alexander Stevens of the Confederate States of America to explain "Southernomics" as he did in his famous "Cornerstone Speech on March 12, 1861:
"Allow me briefly to allude to some of these improvements. The question of building up class interests, or fostering one branch of industry to the prejudice of another under the exercise of the revenue power, which gave us so much trouble under the old constitution, is put at rest forever under the new. We allow the imposition of no duty with a view of giving advantage to one class of persons, in any trade or business, over those of another. All, under our system, stand upon the same broad principles of perfect equality. Honest labor and enterprise are left free and unrestricted in whatever pursuit they may be engaged. This old thorn of the tariff, which was the cause of so much irritation in the old body politic, is removed forever from the new.
"Again, the subject of internal improvements, under the power of Congress to regulate commerce, is put at rest under our system. The power, claimed by construction under the old constitution, was at least a doubtful one; it rested solely upon construction. We of the South, generally apart from considerations of constitutional principles, opposed its exercise upon grounds of its inexpediency and injustice. Notwithstanding this opposition, millions of money, from the common treasury had been drawn for such purposes. Our opposition sprang from no hostility to commerce, or to all necessary aids for facilitating it. With us it was simply a question upon whom the burden should fall. In Georgia, for instance, we have done as much for the cause of internal improvements as any other portion of the country, according to population and means. We have stretched out lines of railroads from the seaboard to the mountains; dug down the hills, and filled up the valleys at a cost of not less than $25,000,000. All this was done to open an outlet for our products of the interior, and those to the west of us, to reach the marts of the world. No State was in greater need of such facilities than Georgia, but we did not ask that these works should be made by appropriations out of the common treasury. The cost of the grading, the superstructure, and the equipment of our roads was borne by those who had entered into the enterprise. Nay, more not only the cost of the iron no small item in the aggregate cost was borne in the same way, but we were compelled to pay into the common treasury several millions of dollars for the privilege of importing the iron, after the price was paid for it abroad. What justice was there in taking this money, which our people paid into the common treasury on the importation of our iron, and applying it to the improvement of rivers and harbors elsewhere? The true principle is to subject the commerce of every locality, to whatever burdens may be necessary to facilitate it. If Charleston harbor needs improvement, let the commerce of Charleston bear the burden. If the mouth of the Savannah river has to be cleared out, let the sea-going navigation which is benefited by it, bear the burden. So with the mouths of the Alabama and Mississippi river. Just as the products of the interior, our cotton, wheat, corn, and other articles, have to bear the necessary rates of freight over our railroads to reach the seas. This is again the broad principle of perfect equality and justice, and it is especially set forth and established in our new constitution."
Sounds a lot like what you hear from the Confederate White People's Treason Party today, eh?
All that progress that happened in the Civil War - the fair taxation, the land grant colleges, the homestead act, the transcontinental railroad, were not new ideas. They'd been around awhile. But before 1861, they were always stopped by the South. Remove the 11 traitor states, and progress happens.
I'll bet if you removed the same 11 traitor states (maybe throw in Okielahoma and Missouri), you could have the same kind of progress today. The South brings nothing worthwhile to the union.
Also, if you have any doubts the Civil War was only about slavery, allow VP Stevens to educate you to reality:
More power to those with both ethics and heart! Thank you, Heather, for what you do. It means a lot. I wish you sleep and boundless energy!