Revenue Matters: Tax the Rich and Restore Democracy to Save the Nation by Berkley Bedell is an important work which shows how the United States can do better by taking action on a number of fronts including revenue generation, infrastructure, energy jobs, public education, fairer tax rates, ending overseas conflicts, and a plethora of areas which deal with managing governance more productively.
Bedell shows that the top 20% echelon in this country enjoys 93% of the wealth while the top 1% controls 42% of the wealth. This is a huge imbalance which can be addressed by taxation in order to close budget deficits, rebuild failing infrastructure, and exploit the new energy technologies like solar, wind, geothermal, and others.
Bedell provides examples of how Germany and Austria trimmed unemployment by scaling back workers’ hours with the government making up the difference. This method of dealing with unemployment is more optimal than laying off more workers and paying larger unemployment compensation.
Nowhere is the federal spending more evident than in the contrast between the Clinton Administration surplus of $236 billion and the deficits of two Bush Administrations. These deficits were occasioned by huge increases in military spending precipitating budget deficits of $300 billion and $400 billion dollars.
Bedell would raise revenues from military spending cuts, tax rate adjustments, financial gambling taxes, off shore tax havens, the carbon emissions tax, and others. The most important tax the author does not mention. That is, tax on junk food to raise revenue and provide incentives for people to stay healthy. A health maintenance system which rewards health and taxes excess consumption would deal forthrightly with the Medicare and Medicaid projected shortfalls.
Bedell cites examples of a growing number of millionaires and billionaires who believe that the time has come for the wealthy to share more of the tax burden. Warren Buffet and the Patriotic Millionaires Club have asked for more shared sacrifice to make badly needed repairs to America’s federal budget, its infrastructure, and its people. For instance, Warren Buffet stated: “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about our shared sacrifice.”
Revenue Matters is a well-prepared book which covers the essential elements of the budget deficit together with ample examples of the necessary revenue raising to deal with America’s most pressing needs,Powered by Sidelines