- In Tom Riley Park in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, there was a very steep dirt and rocky path into the park that led into a community garden within the park.
- Local resident and retired mechanic, Adi Astl, decided to do something about this treacherous situation since several of his neighbors had actually fallen down the steep undeveloped path.
- He and his neighbors collected $550 which he used to buy materials to build wooden stairs that allowed park visitors to safely descend the dangerous path into the garden area in the park.
- Even better, he supervised and paid a homeless resident to build the steps. Everyone wins: safety is enhanced and a down on his luck homeless person receives some money for a job well done.
- Astl says that his neighbors thanked him, strangers visiting the park thanked him and members of the garden club who maintain the garden thanked him for his work.
- And that is where the happiness ends since the local political class decided they could have none of this good will towards men going on on their watch and they tore down the steps, recreating the original dangerous situation.
- The local politicians and bureaucrats claimed that the steps he built were not up to city regulations and had to be torn down and that it was their job to build the right kind of steps.
- Unfortunately, their estimated cost for the project was between $65,000 and $135,000 for a simple flight of steps.
- While the mayor agreed that the city estimate for the steps sounded “completely out of whack with reality,” he still stood by his decision to destroy a private citizen solution to a public safety problem: “We just can’t have people decide to go out to Home Depot and build a staircase in a park because that’s what they would like to have.”
- The economic recovery he claims to have led was by far the weakest economic recovery in at least 80 years.
- The jobs that were created during his Presidency tended to be low paying, menial jobs which accounted for stagnant household wages and earnings during his entire time office.
- The labor participation rate during his recovery was at the lowest levels since the economic disaster known as the Carter administration almost 50 years ago.
- He accomplished all of this trivial success by almost doubling the national debt from about $10 trillion to $20 trillion, weakening the economy for decades to come.
- All of his economic programs, e.g. Cash For Clunkers, Cash For Appliances, etc. were unadulterated failures.
- A record over 94 million American adults were out of the work force by the time he left office.
- The top 1% of earners in this country, the very rich, pay a whopping 39.5% of the Federal income taxes in this country; in other words they pay at a rate that is almost 40 times higher than their incidence in the general population.
- They pay well over half a TRILLION dollars a year in Federal income taxes.
- Those earners in the top 1-5% pay 20.5% of all Federal income taxes, or about five times their incidence in the general population.
- Thus, the top 5% earners in the country pay over 60% of all Federal income taxes.
- Contrast that to the bottom 50% of earners in this country that pay only 2.8% of Federal income taxes, “which is more than 14 times less than the top 1%, even though this group is 50 times as numerous.”
- For the richest 1%, the effective average tax rate is 27.2%, meaning that well over a quarter of their income goes into Federal income taxes.
- For the next group (up to 5%), the effective tax rate is still a high 23.6%.
- Taxpayers with incomes in the top 10% part with just over one-fifth (21.3%) of their earnings.
- Since 45% of American earners make too little to pay any Federal income tax, the effective tax rate for the bottom 50% of earners is just 3.5%, about one eighth the rate of the top 1%.
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