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Robin Hood Policies Needed Now More Than Ever

Conservatives mock President Obama's tax proposals as Robin Hood tax policy, but Oxfam's study proves him right.
Robin Hood Policies Needed Now More Than Ever

President Obama's pre-SOTU announcement proposing Wall Street tax increases and middle class tax cuts has the chattering tea party abuzz with the usual tropes. Robin Hood, they sneer. Redistribution!

See, we told you all along he was a dirty commie.

From Politico to lesser-known but equally derisive sites, conservatives plan to kill the plan in the hearts of Americans by simply refusing to believe there is any reason for redistributive tax policy.

Except there is. And it's not just in this country, but a global problem. Oxfam just released a study projecting that by 2016, over half of the world's wealth will be held by the richest 1 percent.

The numbers are even more astounding than what we've seen before.

The 80 wealthiest people in the world altogether own $1.9 trillion, the report found, nearly the same amount shared by the 3.5 billion people who occupy the bottom half of the world’s income scale. (Last year, it took 85 billionaires to equal that figure.) And the richest 1 percent of the population, who number in the millions, control nearly half of the world’s total wealth, a share that is also increasing.

Oh, and when you hear the whines and moans from Wall Street and the insurance industry, consider this:

Investors with interests in finance, insurance and health saw the biggest windfalls, Oxfam said. Using data from Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires, it said those listed as having interests in the pharmaceutical and health care industries saw their net worth jump by 47 percent. The charity credited those individuals’ rapidly growing fortunes in part to multimillion-dollar lobbying campaigns to protect and enhance their interests.

Golly, ya think? And they're not going to let go of even one penny of their wealth voluntarily. So yes, Robin Hood is exactly what's called for in this situation.

Before you decide that this is a lost cause, I suggest that now is the time to make as much noise as possible. There is absolutely nothing to lose and everything to force the Republican-led Congress into actually dealing with tax policy for everyone instead of the billionaires' reps who frequent their offices on a daily basis.

Robin Hood? Bring it.

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