As with income, consumption represents only a trivial percentage of the total wealth of billionaires, while representing a much, much larger percentage of the total wealth for the Little People. And consumption taxes have much less "progressive" tax structures -- meaning those on the very bottom (the poor and senior citizens) are hit especially hard.
There can be no possible rebuttal to this analysis. The poor have nothing left to tax. The rich want a flat tax. Our governments must have more money. There is only one policy that can simultaneously deal with all three of those parameters.
When we think of "class warfare," we have been conditioned to view this in simplistic terms as the Rich (in a broad, general sense) vs. the Poor (i.e. non-wealthy). What we see today is that this is a totally false paradigm. As I noted in a previous commentary (
Don't Blame The Millionaires
), the moderately wealthy have never been a part of this class-war scenario.
Like the Little People (and with occasional exceptions), the moderately wealthy simply go through their lives seeking to better their own circumstances -- without any predatory/parasitic impulses toward their neighbors. Not so with the Top 1%.
These rapacious predators are entirely malevolent. While they are best epitomized by the Wall Street crime syndicate, they infest every niche of our economies (and our lives). The "fronts" for these Predator Billionaires are corporate oligopolies with names like
They are called "public corporations" but there is nothing "public" about them. By themselves, the Top 1% own roughly 50% of these mega-predators. Broaden that to the top-20%, and that figure rises to
90% ownership of all corporations
. The Little People (i.e. the public) own virtually nothing of these corporations.
Here we see the only way in which the Top 1% and the Lesser Wealthy can be considered to be on the "same team": they are both owners in these mega-corporations. Here we see the real purpose behind Buffett's "millionaires tax." The billionaires have decided they can no longer afford to have the millionaires on their team.
Start squeezing the millionaires with a millionaires-tax, and slowly but steadily their share of the Corporate Pie will get smaller and smaller -- while the billionaires' 50% share gets larger and larger. The Little People have already been sucked-dry by the Vampire Billionaires. Now they want to go for the throats of the millionaires . . . .
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.