It’s been a week of BIG losses for Americans. First, they lost $4 billion in a Senate vote that will continue the yearly subsidy to oil companies. The vote had 51-47 mostly Democratic votes to abolish the subsidy, but that was not the 60 needed to overcome a threatened Republican filibuster. Who won in this? Senate Republicans receive on average a million dollars of support each from the oil companies. Also, since the top 1% of Americans hold about 38% of all stocks, they win the $4 billion dollars in the profits of oil companies. The top 5 US oil companies made $137 billion in profits in 2011. I should balance this, somewhat. The top 1% also pay 37% of the US taxes. And much of the rest of stock profits are gained by the retirement funds of Americans who have them.
Today, the Americans who bought MEGAmillion lottery tickets are going to lose a part of the $1.5 billion that they spent on them. They are not going to lose all of it, since about a third or more is going to be spent on education in their states, there is a 25% federal tax on the winnings, and some states (but not California) also tax the winnings. But what about the winners you ask? Except for betting pools, the winners will be the lucky 0.000001% of gamblers. As I said, the other 99.999999% of Americans will lose about $400 million dollars in total to the few new superwealthy. So this loss is about a tenth of the loss in oil subsidies. Yet I didn’t see pictures of people lined up around the block to protest the oil subsidy losses.