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Book Review: Revenue Matters: Tax the Rich and Restore Democracy to Save the Nation by Berkley Bedell

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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,

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.