Capitalism

There are less than 1% of Americans who earn over $5 Million per year. They are taxed at the same top rate ( 37%) as those earning approximately $ 600k a year. Sixty years ago the top rate was never under 70%, ditto for the 1970s. Reagan came in and had it lowered to 50% for a few years of the 1980s. It finally went down to around 39% in the 90s and early 2000s, with some lower changes for a few years. It now rests at the aforementioned 37%. Translated: The mega rich are having it pretty damn good!

Monthly residential rents average nationwide at over $ 1300, and over $ 1800 in the 50 metropolitan cities of our nation. Meanwhile, the median income of a two person household ( where most likely both people work) is around $ 60 k a year ( retirees with but Social Security would be lucky to earn a total of $ 40k a year). That is obviously with NO children. Imagine having one or two children and earning that figure. How in the hell can they afford to pay even the low figure of $1300 a month for rent? Do the math: rent, car payment ( or payments if both have to drive to work) and car insurance, food bills, health insurance premiums, energy bills, clothing costs, internet access bundled ( if lucky) with phone bills and cable television ( ours is the obscene figure of $228 monthly), doctor bills not covered by insurance, dental work ( few of us have comprehensive dental insurance) , and of course going to eat out even just minimally, or going to a movie. Vacations would be rare indeed for those earning that $60k a year.

Sadly, too many of my working stiff compadres still seem to be mesmerized by the mega rich. When this writer approaches a fellow working stiff with the aforementioned information, many will repeat the mantra  as if in a trance: ” Well, this is a free country and free market. People should be able to earn as much as they can.” We ALL have been sold this BS since childhood, by who else but our corporate masters. We were told that if anyone works hard they too can become mega rich. Thus, any person who believes that lie just accepts all of the injustices caused by the mega rich as they squirrel away a sizeable portion of America’s wealth.  And are the mega rich who run this country so damn shrewd! They have made sure that working stiffs who become successful athletes and television/film stars are now mega millionaires. Men like quarterback Aaron Rogers earn fortunes ( $ 50 million or so a year), movie stars like George Clooney usually earn $10+ million per movie project as many of their fans just struggle to stay above water financially. Let’s not leave it there. Bank customers of JP Morgan Chase have its CEO, Jamie Dimon earning over $ 31 million per year plus other expensive perks. So, the rulers of America make sure that the politicians in their tight knit club are just like them:

  1. Sen. Rick Scott (R – Florida)


The former governor of Florida was elected to the Senate in 2019.

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida started his career in business, which is where he made the bulk of his wealth. He created one of the largest hospital networks, the Columbia Hospital Corporation.

Scott has an estimated net worth of more than $300 million as of 2022.3

  1. Sen. Mark Warner (D – Virginia)

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia is one of the wealthiest members of the U.S. Senate and in fact of the entire Congress. As of the latest information, from 2018, his net worth is approximately $215 million.4

Born in 1954, Warner grew up in a middle-class family. From as early as his college years, Sen. Warner had political aspirations. At one point during his time as a political science student, he even suggested to his parents that he would one day become president.

The bulk of Warner’s wealth came from Columbia Capital, a venture capital firm he founded shortly after graduating from law school. Under his direction, the firm made several successful early investments in companies in the telecommunication industry, including XM Satellite Radio and Nextel Communications.

  1. Sen. Mitt Romney (R – Utah )

Sen. Romney needs no introduction, having been the unsuccessful Republican candidate for the presidency in 2012. The U.S. senator for Utah is the third-wealthiest senator, with a net worth estimated at $175 million.5

Like most of the wealthiest senators, Romney made his fortune in business before he got started in politics. He co-founded and ran the private investment firm, Bain Capital.

  1. Mike Braun (R – Indiana)

A former Indiana representative in the House, Mike Braun is now the state’s junior senator. Worth an estimated $137 million,5 Braun earned his millions as the CEO of Meyer Distributing, a maker of truck parts and equipment.

Today, he is one of the wealthiest, and also most politically conservative senators.

  1. Sen. John Hoeven (R – North Dakota)

Sen. John Hoeven has served as the senior U.S. senator from North Dakota since 2011. Before that, he was the state’s governor for 10 years. Hoeven’s net worth has been estimated at $47 million.6

Sen. Hoeven worked in banking before he started his political career, and served as the CEO of First Western Bank and the Bank of North Dakota. Sen. Hoeven remains an owner of First Western Bank and sits on its board of directors.

  1. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – California)

California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s estimated net worth was estimated at $88 million.5

Blum Capital, a private equity firm founded in 1975 by her husband, Richard Blum, is the source for most of that wealth.7

  1. Sen. Ron Johnson (R – Wisconsin)

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson started out in the late ’70s as an accountant at PACUR, a Wisconsin-based polyester and plastics manufacturing company owned by his brother-in-law. He moved up through the ranks, and became the company’s CEO by the mid-’80s.

Sen. Johnson has an estimated net worth of $78 million.8

  1. Sen. James E. Risch (R – Idaho)

James Risch has been the junior senator from Idaho since 2009. He was previously the state’s governor.

He has an estimated net worth of $42 million, much of it in farm and ranch land in Idaho.9

  1. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky)

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, currently the minority leader of the U.S. Senate, has an estimated net worth of $34 million as of 2018.10

McConnell has been a senator since 1984. The bulk of his wealth comes from a gift his father bestowed on him in 2008. He and his wife, Elaine Chao, also reported a gift of between $5 million and $25 million from her family in his 2008 disclosure.11 Chao, who is an economist, was a cabinet secretary in the administrations of George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump.

Most of McConnell’s wealth is reported to be held in a Vanguard 500 Index fund.

  1. Steve Daines (R – Montana)

Steve Daines of Montana is estimated to be worth $33 million, rounding out the top 10 wealthiest senators of the 116th Congress. Before becoming a politician, Daines was an executive at Proctor & Gamble, before becoming an executive vice president at cloud services startup RightNow Technologies in 2000. That company went public in 2004, and was acquired by Oracle in 2012, a windfall for Daines.12 That year, Daines first ran for office.

There you have it, and this is only the tip of the wealth iceberg. You turn on the boob tube to watch sports , TV or film, politics or just news talk and you will be facing mega millionaires on that screen. NONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WILL HAVE A CLUE AS TO WHAT YOU OUT THERE ARE GOING THROUGH TO STAY FINANCIALLY AFLOAT!

We need to begin taxing the mega rich, and not like any so called progressive politicians and pundits wish. The Farruggio plan would be a 50% Flat Surtax ( with NO deductions) of all earnings over $ one million per year… period! The mega millionaire pays at the current top rate of 37% for the first million dollars earned, and then the flat surtax kicks in. Think of how much money would be added to our treasury, to perhaps fund many needed projects to help us working stiffs and the indigent.

Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on itstheempirestupid website. He is also frequently posted on Nation of Change and Countercurrents.. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 500 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘ It’s the Empire… Stupid ‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net.


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