These Two Things Are Related

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1. From an Op-Ed earlier this week in the New York Times by Steven Rattner titled “The Rich Get Even Richer”:


In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 — $288 billion — went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income. That delivered an average single-year pay increase of 11.6 percent to each of these households.

Still more astonishing was the extent to which the super rich got rich faster than the merely rich. In 2010, 37 percent of these additional earnings went to just the top 0.01 percent, a teaspoon-size collection of about 15,000 households with average incomes of $23.8 million. These fortunate few saw their incomes rise by 21.5 percent.

2. Across the country, from the Los Angeles Times on the same day:

California voters strongly support Gov. Jerry Brown‘s new proposal to increase the sales tax and raise levies on upper incomes to help raise money for schools and balance the state’s budget, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they supported the governor’s measure, which he hopes to place on the November ballot. It would hike the state sales tax by a quarter-cent per dollar for the next four years and create a graduated surcharge on incomes of more than $250,000 that would last seven years. A third of respondents opposed the measure.

…The poll shows that taxing high earners is overwhelmingly popular.

Despite carnival barking coming out of the GOP presidential primary circus, voters across the country get it. Middle-class workers have seen their incomes flatline or fall–if they have a job at all–while the ultra-rich continue to gobble up more and more wealth and large corporations stockpile record profits.

At the same time, people are seeing their local public schools crumbling and have no idea if basic senior care will be there when they need it. They likely get that raising taxes on the rich isn’t the solution to all of these problems, but it’s at least a step in the direction toward a fairer tax system.

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