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.
Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.
Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: I have two copies of my book in stock, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.
Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to email@example.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.
Watch me draw: