"Professor Frodo, don't you think that tax cuts benefit the economy?," asked the youthful questioner of the visiting scholar from the Shire.
"Yes, and sometimes No," responded the pipe-smoking visiting scholar from the Shire.
"Well my Father says that extending tax cuts allows business to invest in their employees, create efficiencies, and improves productivity. That, he says, benefits American business, and that is all of us. What do you say to that?'" smirked the weasel-lipped legacy student from Texas.
"Well, your Father is certainly correct, sometimes," theorized the visiting scholar from the Shire.
"Jorge," said Frodo, "let me give you a little hard data from Bloomberg.com which you can extrapolate for yourself. In fact, I'll give you the data, and a brief interpretative statement, and your assignment will be to analyze it and to propose a proper course of action by the Executive Branch. We'll pretend that you are the President of the United States."
Snickers and uproarious laughter from the fellow membership of Skull and Bones fills the lecture hall. One unattributed comment is heard from the rear, "Right, Jorge will be President and gets a DUI while on his way to the Inaugural." More laughter, louder.
Professor Frodo frowns and the snickers die down.
"Jorge, the first two charts I'm putting on the blackboard reflect the percentage of total income earned by the "Top 20%" and the "Bottom 60%" income earners of the American populations in 1985 and in 2005."
Top 20% Bottom 60%
1985 45.6 29.9
2005 50.4 26.6
"Now, add in the following for the ratio of CEO annual earnings as compared to the annual earnings of the average American worker in the years 1976, 1993, and in 2005."
CEO Earnings Compared to Average Worker
1976 36 times greater
1993 131 times greater
2005 369 times greater
"Jorge, Bloomberg.com utilizes these statistics to support the hypothesis that there is a growing gap between rich and poor in America. In fact, the actual quote from this financial news source is 'serious national concern.'"
"Now, do you still feel that extending tax cuts, which predominantly benefit the "Top 20%", is without danger to the stability of the country? Could it not be argued that the rich are getting richer, and that the poor are getting poorer? What would you do if you were President of the United States?"
Every head in the lecture hall turned to the seat occupied by the young man from Texas.
He snored softly.