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Revenue Matters: Tax the rich and restore Democracy to save the nation Paperback – December 1, 2011
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About the Author
After a successful career in business, Berkley Bedell turned his attention to the needs of the nation and the world at large. He served six terms as a member of the U.S. Congress representing Iowa. After retirement he continues to work tirelessly to make the world a better place.
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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 - Tax the Rich and Restore Democracy to Save the Nation
by Berkley Bedell is a well-prepared book which covers the essential
elements of the budget deficit together with ample examples of necessary
revenue raising to deal with America's most pressing needs.
Article first published as Blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-revenue-matters-tax-the/'>Book Review: Revenue Matters: Tax the Rich and Restore Democracy to Save the Nation by Berkley Bedell on Blogcritics.
Bedell's statements should not be construed as one sided. He puts before the reader the amount of money in the country and how it is distributed, he shows graphs and statistics that demonstrate who the Top 1% of the wealthy have 42% of the nation's financial wealth, the Top 5% have 71%, the Top 10 % share 83% the Top 20% share 93% and the Top 40% share 99% of the nation's financial wealth. This is in great contrast to the Bottom 90 % of the nation's people share 18%, the Bottom 80% share 7%, and the Bottom 60% of the nation's populace share only 1% of the financial wealth.
Bedell's concept? Tax the rich to pay their fair share and restore democracy to save the nation. Bedell has not only served in Congress but he is also a successful business man and one of the aspects of the book that makes it credible is his stating that he wants to be taxed according to his wealth and that the cuts in spending avoid cutting the support of the people who are struggling to survive on Social Security and Medicare and instead cut the spending on the military - a factor that has given the military the clout of wage wars in many areas where this country is loathed.
Of course Berkley Bedell is going to be publically chastised by those who have wealth and those who support the misguided Tea Party segment of our government. But at least he is proving the point that if each of us is concerned about the critical situation in which we currently find ourselves, we have the opportunity to speak out and to make changes - now. Grady Harp, December 12