The Rich Get Richer …

In a recent tweet, Donald Trump claimed, “I will keep fighting for the American people!”  Donald is not particularly literate, and thus his words often need some translation.  In this case, the translation only requires the addition of a single word:  wealthy.  “I will keep fighting for the wealthy American people!”  And by default, the rest of us can go to hell.  If you’ve been awake for the past 18 months and kept your eye on the ball, this will come as no surprise.  The 40% or so who still think Donald Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread will, no doubt, continue to ignore the writing on the wall.

You will remember that last year Congress passed a tax bill that included tax cuts for the wealthy, but did very little for the average wage earner.  And the wealthy were happy, for they heard the ‘ka-ching’ of still more money hitting their bank accounts, so they donated some of that money to republican candidates so the republican candidates could buy more air time on national television to stay in office and ultimately give those wealthy people even more advantages.  It’s a vicious circle.

But apparently the glow of their tax cuts wore off, and now they want even more.  And guess what?  Trump and his minions want to give it to them!  Now, members of Congress are cognizant of the fact that there is an election in less than 100 days, and they don’t want to rock any boats right now by giving the wealthy more money, for they understand that the rest of us also get to vote on November 6th.  So, Trump & Co have found a way to do their reverse Robin Hood act without the blessings of Congress, and certainly without the blessings of We The People!

From The Washington Post

The Treasury Department is considering a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans through a change that would not need approval from Congress, officials said, a move that would follow a package of tax cuts last year that also benefited the super-rich.

The agency is studying whether to allow investment income, known as capital gains, to be adjusted for inflation in a way that shields more of it from taxation. Most capital gains are paid by wealthier Americans, who disproportionately hold large portfolios of investments.

A brief explanation of capital gains …

When you sell stock, you likely realize either a capital gain or loss, which is the difference between the amount for which you sold it and the amount you initially paid for it.  If you paid $1,000 for 25 shares of XYZ stock in the year 2000, and you just sold it for $900, you have a capital loss of $100.  Conversely, if you sold that same stock for $1,100, you have a capital gain of $100 which is subject to income taxes.

MnuchinBut what Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury Department, is suggesting is that the basis, or what you paid for that stock, should be adjusted for inflation in the calculation of capital gains.  Thus, it could be argued that the $1,000 you paid in 2000, adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to $1,100, thus wiping out your capital gain and BINGO — you now owe no taxes on that gain!  Now, when you consider that for the wealthy those capital gains may be in the millions of dollars, well you can only imagine how much they would save in taxes.  You and I won’t benefit more than a few dollars, if that, but people like Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, and a host of others, stand to save hundreds of thousands in taxes.

The wealthiest 1% of American households own 40% of the country’s wealth.  That share is higher than it has been at any point since at least 1962, according to a study by economist Edward N. Wolff.  Meanwhile, you and I struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table, keep the 10-year-old car running for another year, and cut corners wherever we can.

Trump’s policies and the December donor tax cuts have already plunged the nation into deeper debt and increased the deficit.  This move further reduces the income without doing a single thing to reduce expenses.  And it can all be done without Congressional approval.  If you ever had any doubt whether Trump had the good of the nation and its people in mind, this should convince you.

Oh … and would you be interested in knowing Steve Mnuchin’s net worth?  $400 million.  Personally, if this is what Donald Trump means when he says he will “keep fighting for Americans”, I wish he would just stop fighting.  The wealthy, under Trump, are having a field day, but eventually, as those of us whose brains have not been replaced with dollar signs know, eventually the party comes to an end.  Debts come due and there are very real consequences when there is no money in the treasury to pay those debts.  And what about the rising poverty rates in this nation?  How do you explain to a poor person that you are cutting their food stamps because the rich people are paying less taxes and, well, sorry but there just isn’t enough money for you to feed your children?

That “great economy”, that rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that he keeps bragging about?  Guess what, folks … it doesn’t mean a damn thing for the average citizen in the U.S.  Sure, unemployment is low, but wages haven’t risen.  Many lower income people still have to work 2 or even 3 jobs just to buy food and keep a roof over their heads!  But by all means, let us make the wealthy even wealthier.

39 thoughts on “The Rich Get Richer …

  1. Another great piece Jill. I like how you explained capital gains. These guys just can’t help themselves…when is enough, enough? Would you mind if I reblogged this Jill?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jeff! No, enough is never enough for them. Interestingly, when they end up killing off the rest of us because they refuse to help pay for food, healthcare and the basics, I wonder who will build their fine homes, manufacture their fancy cars, and grow the food they so like to eat? I would be honoured if you re-blogged my work. Please feel free any time! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, there are several things wrong with this. First, the President does not have the authority to alter tax code by himself. The IRS and DOL can make regulations, but this should not be done by this regal ego.

    Second, I have grown weary of Trump sycophants saying he is doing what he said. There are a number of problems with this defense, but specific to this issue, I do not recall him saying I am going to promote tax law change that benefits the wealthiest people in the United States and inflate our debt problem. Why people thought this egomaniacal man who has used the common man would become their savior is beyond me and is the greatest con job since Ponzi. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are quite right that he cannot do it … at least I don’t think he can … by executive order, but let’s face it, he has placed people in his cabinet who bow to his wishes, people with few morals or ethics.

      It’s all about spin … he spins the tax breaks for the wealthy by telling his followers the BIG LIE … that of ‘trickle down’ economics. Biggest fallacy, but still, if he says it, his followers believe it. So, he must be keeping his promise, right? Now, I’m curious just how long they will keep waiting to see the benefit of that trickling down before they realize they have been sold downriver?


      • Jill, spin is alive and well. I had a strident conversation with a staffer for a Freedom Caucus Congressman. In his view, the CBO is often wrong and so their projections the tax law will increase the debt should not be heeded. Growth will pay for the tax increase.

        I could not get him off this. I said the math will not work to reduce our debt unless we tackle spending cuts and revenue increases. I asked him if he knew who Maya McGuiness is (head of the Committee for a Responsible Budget). He did. I said I am saying what she is saying.

        There is so much BS in politics that equates to truth in their minds. This is why it is so hard to get things done. Keith


  3. Once again, I knew when I read about this in the morning news…Jill will be all over this, after some of the sheer rage passes. I, however, remain enraged! I am not usually prone to profanity flying through my lips. But, “WTF” silently typed seems a bit more acceptable, albeit not quite ladylike. If Trump and company continue to fight for the American people, we are doomed! An excellent post, Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You read my mind so well! I think I might need to hire you as my scout, since you already know what topics I will seize on! But to the point, yes, I am still enraged and am hoping somebody talks Trump out of this one, but I’m not counting on it. You have much more restraint than I do, dear Ellen. Typing WTF is perfectly acceptable! You should hear me when I go on a tangent, which I only do about three times a day. Why, even our little Boo (cat) has learned the f-bomb!!! I kid you not!

      By the way … off topic, but I forgot to mention it in my other response … there is a movie coming out on Friday called Christopher Robin! The premise is that Christopher Robin is now all grown up, but returns to the Hundred Acre Wood where he meets up, once again, with all the gang! I saw the trailer and think it will be well worth watching!


  4. The country was never in better shape than right after WW II when the wealthy paid their fair share of the taxes. The trickle-down theory of Reagan started us in this downward spiral. And the current clown-president simply doesn’t have a clue.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, I just can’t handle any more “winning”. I read that article this morning and I’m certain the entire neighborhood heard the thunderous “WTF” coming out of my kitchen. Anyone who continues to think the ” fake media” is putting an undeserved spin on trump and his minions/morons is simply not living in this universe. They have become absolutely overt in their design for WE, THE PEOPLE. As the elite dine on steak and lobster, I’m opening a can of beans for supper. ( I love beans, but steak and lobster would be nice for a change)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hear you! All this ‘winning’ is wearing me out! Hah! My neighbors likely just shake their heads and say, “the crazy lady must be reading the news again!” I dined on homemade chicken/veggie/rice soup and leftover homemade bread tonight, and you know what? I bet that it tasted every bit as good as that steak and lobster the DeVos’ and Trumps ate! I wonder how much they will enjoy their new tax breaks when the bottom drops out of the market and their investment portfolios take a hit? What galls me the most is that some people who are being hurt by the tariffs, the wealthy tax cuts and other recent policies still stand firmly in his corner. I keep asking the question: What does it take to make them see???

      Liked by 1 person

        • You’re right … it is inevitable, I think, that the bottom will drop out of the market at some point, though I cannot predict when. And yes, my friend, you’ll share your beans and I’ll share my soup, because that’s how we are … we care too much about others to turn our backs.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. You’d think that the more you have the more satisfaction you’d derive from it, but no, it seems the more you have just means the more you want. There is no satisfaction in knowing you have more than you could spend in a lifetime. You could of course share it but your family would insist it was only with them and then they want to increase their shares to more than they could spend. Rare are the ones who set up charitable trusts.
    I have no problem with the man who starts a company and works hard at it becoming rich, but it should never be at the expense of the workers who helped him get there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree that ‘more’ isn’t the key to happiness. More of anything does seem to lead to an insatiable desire to have still more … and more. The answer, it seems to me, is to ensure your financial security such that you won’t lose your home, will always have food on the table, and then give the rest away to those who truly need it. A few of the wealthy come close to doing this, ie., Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, but the majority hold tighter to their vast wealth than we peons do to our meager possessions. It is a sad statement on humanity.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sickening, isn’t it. I truly understand how revolutions start and why people fight them. November means more and more every day. I’m a tad more hopeful about it than I was a few months ago, but I’m still very worried. AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! (sorry) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Truly sickening. I was involved in a ‘discussion’ on Facebook earlier this evening … and one of the group asked what happens if the republicans still hold a majority after the mid-terms. My answer was: We either accept living under a dictatorship, we start a revolution and overthrow the evil regime, or we move to Canada. Like you, I am a tad more hopeful, but there are still some things that really bother me and I don’t trust that it will be a fair election. Don’t apologize … I’ve been screaming for weeks now … 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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