The 99% vs. the 1% in Eight Minutes

Kyle Curtis Facebook

So John Boehner says that the country is "broke?" However, he doesn't explain how or why that is so. Instead, this eight-minute video from the Story of Stuff Project with funding provided by the Tides Foundation offers such an explanation.

(Little wonder that the Tides Foundation had Glenn Beck so hot and bothered, who scrawled so much hyperbolic paranoia about it on his chalkboard that a well-armed right-wing lunatic planned on rampaging through its headquarters, guns a-blazin'.)

  • (Show?)


    Check this out:

    Go to the bottom, where it says "Total National Assets", that is the value of every single thing in America.

    Below that you'll see, "US Unfunded Liabilities". That is the liability of every single debt of America.

    Accounting 101 moment: Assets = Liabilities + Equity

    or (rounded to the nearest Trillion):

    $78,000,000,000,000 =$116,000,000,000,000 + Equity


    Equity = -($38,000,000,000,000)

    We're broke.


    Look to the left of the "US Unfunded Liabilities", you'll see it's components: Social Security, Medicare, and Bush's Prescription Drug Liability.

    The social "safety net" is to blame.


    • (Show?)

      Great. Remove the cap on social security so that everyone pays this tax on 100% of their income. Boom. Instant solvency.

      And I'm glad the trillions we've spent on unnecessary wars this past decade aren't liabilities. Whew. That's a relief.

      • (Show?)

        Agree or disagree with past expenditures, those are what accountants call "sunk costs." The question is what will we do in the future. However you define wealthy, You cannot tax the "wealthy" enough to pay for the planned expenditures, even if the Government taxed every penny they make.

        But it sure is good demagoguery to act like that would solve the problem.

        • (Show?)

          I beg to differ Ken. With today's announced republican plan to raise the costs of Medicare on " the wealthy" (the republican term), we now know that to the republicans $85,000/ year is "wealthy". At least for receiving Medicare.

          Of course, the republicans may simply be trying to garner support for cutting Medicare by saying they are cutting benefits for "the wealthy" when in fact they are really trying to once again shift the cost of balancing the budget onto the middle and upper midle class so they can releive the pressure to raise tax rates on people with million dollar per year income.


      • (Show?)


        See my reply below to Jason Lang.

        Take care and, God bless.


    • (Show?)

      This is silly. Long term government liabilities have nothing to do with private assets, or publicly held assets for that matter, and subtracting one from the other is meaningless. It's like subtracting 72 from the letter B.

      But, like much false rhetoric, it will convince some people.

    • (Show?)

      Social net is to blame. Ah. And the $705 billion we spent for the military is blameless. And the FED handing out $7 trillion, above and beyond TARP, without any oversight... that doesn't affect things compared to that nasty old 'safety net'.

      ...of course, maybe it's a tax issue. 1000 of the largest US companies didn't pay a single dime in taxes. And not because they are unprofitable.

      ...78 of them paid 0% OR LESS...

      So, sorry, Mr. Ludt. While I personally feel that blaming generally wastes time that could be used in solving problems, I can't see how a program that puts money into lots of people's hands so they can in turn, give that money to lots more people and stimulate the economy, I can't see how that is at fault here.

      • (Show?)

        Jason, "blaming" isn't the same as "prioritizing". You are absolutely correct regarding other spending, it's a part of the problem as well.

        Maybe you didn't get a more subtle point though -- with liabilities this high, we have negative equity, this means we can tax everything 100% (literally give ownership of absolutely everything in America to the Federal Government to use to pay the present value of the liability and we'd STILL be in debt.

        Those programs don't put money in peoples hands. Our Federal Reserve bank is monetizing the debt to pay for them so, while it feels like money is being put into people's hands, the federal reserve is merely engaging in a massive counterfeiting operation and inflating our currency. The current stock market inflation is one reflection of this policy.

        • (Show?)

          But they do put money in people's hands. Take Medicare. By reducing load on individuals, you are freeing up their other assets to buy things, like say a television or toothpaste or some fruit. Things which make stores money who turn around and pay employees.

          Money that goes to the military only partly goes to families. Most of it goes to hardware (which is primarily composed of out of country parts anymore).

          Nobody is arguing to pay everything off all at once (your 100% tax strawman). But it is possible to tighten our belts, and the primary targets of waste poor use of resources is not the social safety net programs.

  • (Show?)

    This video does a great job of showing, in brief but in surprisingly specific terms, the current wealth transfer from the 99% to the 1%, and then how the 1% uses the wealth to pay for its own government that is--according to the two corporate parties--a govt of, for, and by, the 99%. OWS is doing the right thing by making sure that it cannot be co-opted by them. The video is worth spreading around to friends.


connect with blueoregon