Trickle Clowns


Trickle down economics used to be a theory. I say “used to be” because it’s been debunked.

The theory was that lowering taxes on the richest would stimulate the economy. All those savings for the rich would gradually “trickle down” to the poor and middle class. The rich would be all like, “What do we do with all this increased income? I know….let’s invest it in our employees and community, and not spend it on swanky Manhattan penthouses, yachts, and robot dogs.” It’s a theory that was made into an economic policy. The only problem with it as an economic policy is that it relied on greedy rich assholes not being greedy rich assholes. Did the rich hire more people and increase salaries? No. They bought robot dogs.

Ronald Reagan was the first president to implement this policy but it didn’t work. I mean, it did work in that it made rich assholes even richer assholes, but it never trickled down unless the trickle was yellow. But, leave it to Republicans to double down on the trickle down. George W. Bush relied on it with major tax cuts for the rich…while paying for two wars, and Donald Trump gave major tax cuts to the rich arguing it would trickle down. It’s also a shell game when they do these tax cuts because they always lower them for the middle class at the same time…while giving the larger cuts to the rich. In Donald Trump’s case, to himself.

Republicans rely on you being too distracted and stupid from your extra $300 not to notice the rich’s extra $300 million. And in most cases, they’re right. You, as in all of us, are too stupid. I was once talking to the graphic artist at my last newspaper about us having to pay for Bush’s two wars, and his reply was, “So what? I got $300.”

It’s been over 40 years and it’s been proven trickle down economics doesn’t work. Take Jeff Bezos for example. That guy is worth close to $190 billion (with a “B”), yet his tax rate is less than one percent (with a “1”). Warren Buffett has argued for years that taxes on the rich should increase, but between 2014 to 2018, he paid right under $24 million (with an “M”) in taxes on a wealth of over $24 billion (with a “B”).

The typical middle class taxpayer pays a higher rate than billionaires like Bezos, Buffett, Elon Musk, and Michael Bloomberg. A report by ProPublica has revealed these billionaires pay very little in taxes, and sometimes none at all (none, with a “zero”).

The thing is, the United States taxes income, not wealth. Some people, like Senator Elizabeth Warren want to change that. I’m with her. Let’s tax the rich’s wealth. Let’s tax those Manhattan penthouses for mistresses. Let’s tax those yachts. Let’s tax those robot dogs. There should even be a tax for naming your snooty daughter “Ivanka.” If you give me time, I can come up with a list of names that should be taxed. We can start with “Ivanka, Tiffany, and Barron.” We should also increases taxes for boob jobs, face lifts, and rhinoplasty (with an “R”).

Much of the rich’s wealth are in things like shares in companies they run, vacation homes, yachts and other investments, which are not considered “taxable income” unless those assets are sold and a gain is realized. For example, when Derek Jeter sold his penthouse in Trump World Tower for $16 million after buying it for $13 million (both with “Ms”), there would be a tax on that (he was trying to sell it for $20 million, but it took two years to dump it. Even though it had a great view of Manhattan overlooking the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, and One World Tower, it was still in Trump World Tower). Even then, there are loopholes in the tax code that can limit or erase all tax liability. If you are a billionaire, you pay for the best tax accountants.

President Biden wants to increase taxes on everyone with an “income” over $453,000 a year by two percent. If you’re a couple making $800,000, then you might pay an additional $5,200 a year in taxes That’s a joke, yet Republicans are fighting it. It would reverse the deductions Trump gave to the rich, including himself. But what will raising the income tax by two percent on the 25 richest Americans, who pay less than 16 percent, do other than make them chortle through their teeth? Maybe buy smaller robot dogs? Republicans act as though that two percent increase is aggressive. I’m surprised one of them hasn’t compared it to the Holocaust yet. But in all honesty, it’s still rewarding the rich for being rich.

If you’re rich, congratulations. I’m sure you worked hard to get there. OK, some of you worked hard to get there. OK, maybe fewer than some. A lot of you inherited what you have. And a whole bunch of you screwed people over to get where you are. Donald Trump, for example, did both. This is a guy who inherited his fortune, and refused to pay people building his towers and casinos. Some years, he only paid $700 in income tax…if any at all. If you make $50,000 a year, hell, $30,000, good luck getting away with only paying $700…legally. And I promise that you feel the pinch of paying $700 a lot more than Donald Trump does.

Senator Warren wants to raise taxes on the rich by two percent also…but not on income. She wants to place a two percent tax on wealth over $50 million (with an “M”). This would include stocks, gifts, homes, yachts, apartments for mistresses, towers that have to be bailed out by Saudis, stock in Grey Poupon, robot dogs (I’m not over robot dogs yet), etc. We can call it the “Asshole tax” (with an “A”).

The rich will always be able to find loopholes. They could spread their property out through their children, who may not be worth $50 million yet. And, those kids would still be tax deductions. Can a robot dog own an apartment? Can you deduct a robot dog? I bet one of these rich jerks has tried.

Over the past few decades, the income gap has increased. The rich have gotten richer while the poor and middle class have not. Wages have remained stagnant. And even when they do increase salaries, they pass it to the consumers who will have to pay 36 cents more for a burrito at Chipotle (I don’t get why everyone love Chipotle? What’s up with that? The food’s dull and boring. They can’t even make a decent taco). When companies raise salaries, they don’t plan for it to cut into their profits or wealth. They plan for you to pay it. It’s why some places charge you for ranch dipping sauce. Don’t believe me? Go to Little Caesars. Their pizza pizza can be a rip-off rip-off.

Republicans have always championed the rich and demonized the poor. Even Ronald Reagan went after welfare recipients, often fictionalizing them and describing one as a “welfare queen” (guess what color she was), while we spend double of social welfare on corporate welfare. We want to piss test people trying to feed their children but we’re not making corporate executives being paid millions of dollars, while their companies are collecting welfare, pee in cups. Hell, if an executive can increase the welfare his company receives, it’s probably another bonus where he can buy a new yacht…that won’t be taxed. Senator Warren…put it in your bill that they have to pee in cups.

If we are depending on this nation to prosper only from the generosity of the rich, we’re fucked….with a capital “F.”

Hopefully, after this column and cartoon is published, no rich asshole sends his robot dog to bite me.

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  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Triclke down, my arse!! … “The theory was that lowering taxes on the richest would stimulate the economy. All those savings for the rich would gradually “trickle down” to the poor and middle class. The rich would be all like, “What do we do with all this increased income? I know….let’s invest it in our employees and community, and not spend it on swanky Manhattan penthouses, yachts, and robot dogs.” It’s a theory that was made into an economic policy.”


  2. Trickle down economics is not a theory of the right wing, it’s a Brandon from the left wing of right-wing capitalism. And it’s inaccurate, a deliberate distortion. That’s not our view of how I economics should work, it’s the snide opinion of what Democrats think our view amounts to. So you were criticizing a caricature the Democrats made, not the actual economic platform of Republicans. A swing and a miss.


    1. If I swing at you I won’t miss, and I won’t be using a caricature 9f a bat. No idea who you are, Jack, but if you think trickle down theory works for anyone but the wealthy, I will happily trickle on you once you are down after my bat puts you on the ground.
      By the way, I am a pacifist, but a poor one, Take that how you want to.


      1. Can’t get across the border yet, unfortunately. But I sure Clay has a reader somewhere near you who will fulfill my wishes for me.
        Well, if I was a Reublucan I know someone would do it for me. They enjoy beating on anyone, even for no reason at all.
        Non-Republucans, most of them would not do as I described above, even though they know you deserve it. They mostly have hearts.


  3. For more details . . . and be sure you listen to this, Mr. Sutter . . .

    Debating the man behind the napkin that broke America. Arthur Laffer is the intellectual godfather of Reaganomics. On a napkin, he invented the tax-cutting dogma that broke the American opportunity structure.

    That’s Rich: How U.S. Billionaires Avoided Paying Any Income Taxes | The Mehdi Hasan Show


    1. Don’t try to teach facts to Sutter. He doesn’t care about that silly nonsense. He’s a strange tRumper troll that feels the need to own the libs in these parts. Although, oddly enough, not all of us are libs.


  4. I want to see ALL the billionaires and multi-millionaires have to give 10% of their wealth every year to a world disaster relief fund to help people all over the world recover and rebuild from every disaster that occurs, not just natural, but also man-made, as in the recent Israeli-Palestine conflict where people have been left homeless, their dwellings totally destroyed, and even the infrastructure demolished.
    Such a fund would have to be run by a group of people containing no fund contributors, people who are not interested in money, but in making sure everyone can have a safe home to live in, healthy food to eat, clean potable water to drink, proper clothing to wear to suit their climates, free health care for everyone who cannot afford to buy their own hospitals, and access to employment that does not pay slave-wages in return for their work.
    That is what this world needs, and the funds are available from people who would not miss 10% of their fortunes. Having poor or almost-poor people have to donate to disaster relief funds while the wealthy do little or nothing to help is beyond absurdity.


  5. Nan, thanks for doing this. Can I add a few color comments?

    – there have been at least four studies that have demonstrated Trickle Down Economic does not work
    – one of those studies was done by nonpartisan Congressional Research Service in 2012 and per The New York Times, Senator Mitch McConnell had the report buried before the Obama’ Romney electin
    – Kansas tried this approach in the last ten years and had to abandon it as it about bankrupted the state
    – North Carolina claims to have done it, but they added taxes and fees that increased taxes for some, so calling it Trickle Down is a misnomer
    – The theory was called the “Horse and Sparrow” theory back around the 1890s and 1900s, meaning if you feed the horse, what he excretes will feed the sparrows.
    – Finally, the obvious should be said – who would be dumb enough to believe if you give money to a rich person that he will spend it and make sure it gets in others’ hands? A reason the tax law change of 2018 was less than effective as hoped is companies did not spend the money – they bought back their stock to prop up earnings per share* and make it easier for executives to get short and long term bonuses.


    * Note when companies do not know how to grow the earnings numerator, they buy back shares to lower the outstanding shares denominator. Buying back shares tends to be a sign of weakness


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