The political system may be different from Orwell's time, but the corruption and propaganda remain. We all have to 'sacrifice' to balance the budget. As Time Magazine wailed: "Do the nation's leaders have the courage to cut health entitlements or Social Security?" And the horses say, "We will work harder."
But the wealthiest individuals and corporations are not paying their taxes. They say they are. The richest Americans complain that they're paying most of the federal income taxes, and that's true. But since 1980 their AFTER-TAX share of America's income has TRIPLED. That's a trillion dollars a year in extra income for the wealthiest 1%. Their federal income tax rate has gone DOWN during that time, from 34% to 23%.
If they're paying most of the federal income tax it's because they make almost all the money.
Here are the facts about corporate tax rates. Over the past 50 years the marginal rates for top corporations have steadily fallen, from over 50% to 35%. But according to the U.S. Office of Management, the corporate share of total tax revenue has dropped from about 20% in the 1960s to under 9% in 2010. Average Americans have made up most of the difference.
What the very rich won't admit is that they benefit the most from government-funded research, national security, infrastructure, property rights, and a financial industry tailored to their pleasure and profit. They insist that anyone can share in the prosperity, if only, like the horses, they keep working harder.