From Charles Hugh Smith:
There are roughly 127 million people who receive government transfers or benefits. Sixty-one million recipients of Social Security and Medicare and 66 million people receiving welfare (SNAP food stamps, housing credits, Medicaid, etc.) Since there are about 115 million full-time jobs in the U.S., this means there are 1.1 government dependents for every full-time worker in the U.S. (For context, there are 315 million Americans and roughly 142 million jobs. About 38 million of these jobs are part-time that pay less than $10,000 annually. Fifty million wage earners earn less than $15,000 a year, and 61 million earn less than $20,000 annually.)
The Federal government counts a person who is self-employed and earns $100 a year as “employed” and a person who works one hour a week as “employed.” As a result, the only meaningful metric is full-time employment.
He goes on to state that the top 1/2% rule, the bottom 50% pay no income tax and the rest are squeezed with taxes:
Put these structural dynamics together and the endgame becomes clearly visible: Politically, a Tyranny of the Majority comprised of those who draw direct transfers/benefits from the Federal government, is ruled by the top ½ of 1% financial aristocracy who own the majority of income-generating assets. The minority, who pay most of the taxes (the 24.5% between the majority and aristocracy), will see their taxes rise as the aristocracy buys loopholes and exclusions while the bottom 50% pay no income tax.
Financially, the Federal government’s spending has outrun the tax revenues being collected. Structurally, Federal expenditures for entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Veterans Administration, etc.) will rise as Baby Boomers retire en masse over the next 15 years, while tax revenues will stagnate along with earned income.
There is no way to square these circles.
The political foundation of America is starkly unjust. An entrenched financial Aristocracy buys the complicity of the bottom 50% and retirees with Federal transfers – a Tyranny of the Majority. The 24.5% below the Aristocracy who pay most of the Federal taxes are dominated by this alliance. This may be legal, but is it just? Even more critically, is it sustainable?
A worthy yet depressing read.