Maria Bartiromo is interviewing the president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the world's largest labor unions. Maria is touting a couple of her favorite themes: class warfare and taxes.
1. The look on Maria's face tells it all as Ms Henry answers the question about class warfare. "No, really? Oh, wow", as if to say, "I can't believe someone would could not see class warfare." Her disgust is obvious. Bartiromo's implication is in reference to the Occupy Wall Street crowd. My take: Yes there is class warfare in this country and the rich are only side waging it. Why else would we see bailouts for bankers and not homeowners? The average Wall Street salary is $362,950 per year while the average nurse makes $73,000.
The wealthy have their media outlets carrying water for them, convincing the working class to disarm themselves in the class war. The result is that we see nothing wrong with CEO's making an unprecedented almost 400X the average worker's salary; we see no ill effects with the highest 1% accumulating 30% of the nation's wealth, the most since the gilded age. Maria wants the union president to apologize for negotiating fair wages and working conditions. Please. Nobody in this discussion is begrudging the wealthy and high income earners their fortune, but to beat up a union leader and imply she is waging class warfare is absurd and untrue.
Now we have a leveraged buy-out specialist within a hair's breadth of the presidency.
2. Ms Henry notes that "we all pay taxes" and Maria clarified that she meant "income taxes, and not everybody pays income taxes." Under Maria's definition Mitt Romney would be part of the "47% who don't pay taxes" since his taxes were capital gains on the carried interest loophole and not income taxes.
Every employed worker has 12% of their compensation contributed to payroll taxes and since this money is put directly into the general revenue fund it is treated no differently than income tax. Bartiromo's argument would be valid if payroll taxes were sequestered as a true pension and health care fund, i.e., Al Gore's lockbox that was so damn funny back in 2000. There is no lockbox; our social security and Medicare was spent in Iraq and on TARP. Our pension goes to fund wars and roads and corporate welfare for Exxon just like all other revenue; therefore, Bartiromo is making a false differentiation between payroll tax and income tax.
Bartiromo knows this and she is using this interview with a union boss to purposely deceive the viewers and spew her venom towards working people. Her disdain is unveiled. This shrill demeanor is not new for CNBC, the home of Rick Santelli's teaparty rants.
Bill Griffiths sits and watches the trainwreck, wishing like hell he had not come out of retirement.