Financial PlanningNews and PoliticsTaxes

Fast Facts about the US economy

A few rich politicians are touting the “miracle economy” and unfortunately this propaganda is effective in fooling some people. Here is the real story for average Americans:

  1. REAL EARNINGS ARE GOING DOWN FOR MOST PEOPLE. We earn less than we used to when measured as purchasing power. We’ve had the greatest drop in real wages since 2006. While the dollar amount we earn may be more, the cost of living – including the cost of basic items like housing, cars and medical care – rose at a much faster pace.
  2. THE RICH ARE GETTING RICHER FASTER THAN EVER BEFORE. Big companies used tax savings to buy their own stock at a record level in the second quarter of 2018. The tax cut is hugely effective at making rich people richer. In the second quarter of 2018 an astounding $436 Billion was used by big companies to buy their own stock. This is the most direct way to make shareholders richer rather than invest in expanding their businesses or increasing worker wages.
  3. PUBLIC DEBT IS OUT OF CONTROL. Meanwhile the federal government boosted new public debt to a record level this year to achieve tax savings for America’s few richest people. Our nation’s annual debt grew by about a Trillion dollars per year under the Obama administration and is now increasing at more than two Trillion dollars a year under the Trump administration. We are already at a point where simply paying the interest on this debt crowds out most of what government could otherwise pay for. The average debt per taxpayer is over $160,000. The average tax paid per taxpayer is about $10,000. That means that we pay in taxes barely covers the interest expense that our government incurs.
  4. THE INCOME GAP IS WIDENING. The average annual salary of America’s CEOs is over $15,000,000 – about 300 times larger than the average worker – while many of the workers of these largest companies live off food stamps and medical assistance programs paid by taxpayers. By comparison, in 1978 CEO pay was only 30 times greater than their average workers. The gap has widened by tenfold over our lifetime. Rich executives are being highly rewarded for holding workers’ pay down and keeping us in this state of financial stress.

 

The only realistic path to a solution is for voters to become aware of the real facts and reject the propaganda that is promoted by rich politicians. I’m not optimistic that this is possible based on what we’ve seen lately in the recent success of propaganda campaigns. The gullibility of voters has turned out to be our greatest economic weakness.

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