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Filmmaker Michael Moore says that the U.S. is awash in cash and that our only problem is the money is in the hands of the wealthy and not ours. He says that we (the average man) are victims of the greatest heist in history and that the portfolios of the “uber-rich” contain the solution to all our fiscal woes.
Well, let’s test Mr. Moore’s thesis. Surely if we tax the wealthy—the rich corporations, the banks, and the fat cat Republicans who are hording all the money—we could cover our $3.7 trillion annual budget, right?
Well, the fact of the matter is this.
Even if we go after the corporate giants like ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart and all the rest of the Fortune 500 companies and confiscate 100% of their combined total profits, we would have only about $391 billion—which would cover only about 10.5% of the Federal budget.
Even if we taxed everyone who makes more than $250,000 at 100% we’d only generate another $1.414 trillion, which would cover less than 5 months’ worth of Federal spending.
Even if we then cut all spending on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, eliminated all foreign aid, nationalized all the homes in Beverly Hills, and took all the wealth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, we’d still fall short of paying our annual bills by about $12 billion.
We could then tax every man, woman, and child in the U.S. about $40 a year and break-even. But even here, there’s a problem: Our “revenue” strategies have effectively eliminated all employers, so where are these folks going to get their $40?
Oh, by the way, with all the major corporations gone, where’s the $3.6 trillion for next year’s budget going to come from?
After eating the goose, I’m not sure there are any golden eggs left for tomorrow.