PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Half of America has been deceived into believing that union employees and government workers are the problem in our country. The following five facts all send the same message to voters: Wealthy individuals and corporations, not middle-class wage earners, have taken your money.
(1) $430 billion: The total payroll for federal and state employees in 2010. This is less than the amount of untaxed cash being held overseas by non-financial corporations. Local government payrolls bring the total up to about $1 trillion, still less than the total amount of cash being held by non-financial corporations.
(2) $800 billion: The total earnings of unionized employees in 2011. Even though union members make up about 12% of the workforce, their total pay amounts to just 10% of adjusted gross income as reported to the IRS.
(3) $900 billion: The total salaries of corporate executives and financial industry employees. CEOs and managers and finance workers made more than ALL 16 million unionized employees in the United States. They made almost as much as ALL 17.5 million full-time government workers in the United States.
(4) $1 trillion: The 30-year redistribution of income to the rich. Since 1980 our country's productivity has steadily risen, with total income doubling approximately every 10 years. If the bottom 90% of America had shared in this prosperity at a level consistent with 1980 incomes, they would be making $45,000 a year instead of $35,000. Instead, the richest 1% TRIPLED their share. That's an extra trillion dollars a year.
(5) 22 cents: What corporations are willing to pay to support government. For every dollar of workers' payroll tax paid in the 1950s, corporations paid three dollars in income taxes. Now it's 22 cents. Despite a doubling of corporate profits to $2 trillion in less than ten years, the corporate income tax rate, which for thirty years hovered around the 20-25% level, suddenly dropped to 10% after the recession, and has remained there for three years.
All over the country we're led to believe that cutbacks and taxes on wage earners are required to balance the budget. Big business victimizes average Americans while blaming them for all our problems.