photo: Peter Blanchard/Creative Commons
With all the proposed and actual US budget cuts aimed at gutting the EPA and NOAA's efforts to monitor the state of our climate, it's worth pointing out even if it's perhaps obvious that the record (and growing) levels of income inequality in the United States, as well as the fact that a shocking number of huge corporations pay lower taxes than actual people, that both of these are more than social and economic issues. They are both solidly green issues as well. A new report by the Institute of Policy Studies shows how much money would be raised if reversing tax giveaways to the nation's super rich and made corporations pay their fair share: $4 trillion within a decade.
Share the World's Resources has a good summary of the figures, but consider just these two:
In 1961 Americans earning over $1 million (adjusted for inflation to 2011 dollars) paid 43.1% in taxes; today that's 23.1%.
Corporations paid 47.4% of profits in taxes in 1961. Today that has dropped to 11.1%.
Is it any wonder where the US budget problems--and funding problems for environmental and science programs--comes from.
Oh, let's not forget that US military spending has nearly doubled since 2001, climbing to $698 billion last year. That's 42.8% of all military spending in the world. The second highest spending nation in this area is China, which accounts for 7.3% of global warfare expenditures.