Friday, September 10, 2021

The Billionaire Shortage

Image by Darkmoon_Art from Pixabay

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted. Reading via monitor/tablet is recommended for maximum enjoyment.  

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Intended for H. sapiens that are — in the words of the late, great bon vivant and polymath, Professor Y. Bear — "Smarter [and cooler] than the av-er-age bear." 

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is." -Oscar Wilde

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

According to a recent editorial in the mouthpiece of capitalist pigs everywhere, The Wall Street Journal. — Bernie Sanders Runs Out of Billionaires — there's a billionaire shortage.

Someone at The WSJ. noticed that according to Forbes's latest billionaires list, the US has 724 billionaires.

{You'd think there'd be more of 'em.}

Long story short, the editorial pointed out that if you add the cost of Uncle Bernie's (chairperson of the Senate Budget Committee) $3,500,000,000,000 budget proposal to Uncle Joe's $1,000,000,000,000 infrastructure plan the total cost is $4,500,000,000,000. 

{So what? It's just money, we can always print more.}

Well, Dana, there are certain economists that claim that's true. You'd think Uncle Bernie would be preaching their gospel given how accurate economist's predictions are. That's why they're all rich. 

But Uncle Bernie's shtick is all about beating up on the evil rich. He's built a moderately successful career (net worth, $3,000,000, salary $174,000/yr.) by doing just that. 

{Moderately successful?} 

As compared to the average Joe/Joan/Joen Bagadonuts I mean. To a billionaire, his net worth is a rounding error. 

{He's really good at running for president though.}

True, but as The WSJ. editorial points out, the billionaire shortage is raining on his perennial parade. 

See, the net worth of the Fortunate 724 is only 4.4 trillion and Uncle Bernie wants to spend 4.5 trillion. So, even if you rounded them all up, confiscated everything they have, and put 'em all to work as community organizers you'd still come up short. 

My favorite quote from the editorial: 

"If Mr. Sanders were to confiscate every asset of every American billionaire — Jeff Bezos’s rockets; Elon Musk’s bitcoin; Larry Ellison’s boats; Oprah Winfrey’s houses; Ted Turner’s ranches; Jay-Z’s car collection... — it still wouldn’t cover the cost of Democrats’ next two legislative plans."

{Wait, wait, wait. He only wants to spend $4,500,000,000,000? Hold on a sec', I'll be right back.}


{Aha! Thought so, the current budget of The Fedrl Gummit is $4,829,000,000,000. Uncle Bernie is a budget cutter!}

No, Uncle Bernie and the progressives are trying to pull a fast one, but it's for our own good. If we were as smart as they are they could be straight with us. 

See, the Congressional Budget Office projects that going forward it'll cost about $4,000,000,000 a year to keep the lights on. This is mandatory spending, the money that must be spent, by law, to fund gummit programs like Medicare and Medicaid. 

Uncle Bernie's wish list is discretionary spending. This is the part of the budget Congress has to vote on every year, but Bernie's wish list is a framework, not an actual budget, that's spread out over the next ten years.

{So what's the big deal? He's gonna pay for it by raising taxes on corporations and people that make more than $400,000 a year, right?}   

Well, setting aside inconvenient truths like we don't have ten-year budgets, any entitlement is virtually impossible to get rid of once it passes, and anything can happen in the next ten years, right now the devil's in the details. 

We won't know who's supposed to pay what till the appropriate bills are passed, and projecting what Uncle Bernie's utopia will actually cost over the course of the next ten years is pure bonkercockie. 

And as to exactly what's on the wish list that's being hammered out by our betters even as you read this, you'll have to wait for the bill(s) to pass to find out. 

{That sounds familiar for some reason...}  


Given the fact that corporations can raise prices or lower dividends to pay increased taxes, 

And, given the fact "the 1%" can limit their tax bills with the assistance of helpful tax lawyers and lobbyists, and/or just going on an extended vacay and stop generating income, 

And, given that currently "the 10%" currently pay about 70% of all income taxes, and the bottom 50% pay about 3.1%

I wonder who's gonna wind up holding the bag?

I don't remember Uncle Joe saying that voting for him was a vote for a European-style social democracy wherein everyone semi-cheerfully pays high taxes — but knowing why, and what they will get in return.

Shouldn't we know exactly what we're signing up for and what we'll get in return? Shouldn't that be up to us?   

{No biggie, it's just money, we can always print more.}

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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