Sunday, September 12, 2010

Catch This Phrase

There are certain catch phrases and words that are used with the intention of pushing all our wrong buttons these days.  Certain groups use them to gain power, others to keep it and still others for personal monetary gain.
Former Mayor of New York City Giuliani has been stuck on a three number phrase for nine years now and he shows no intention of changing.
Republicans love to throw words like Liberal or Socialist around as if they were terrible things.  Wasn’t Republican President Abraham Lincoln a liberal?
The funny thing is many people who benefit from liberal and socialist policies fall for the tactic.
We saw this disconnect when senior citizens gathered to protest against the health reform bill and warned about messing with their Medicare.
We saw this when they rallied with intentionally ignorant politicians claiming that privatizing or ‘personalizing’ Social Security was a good thing.  In other words we should reward Wall Street for their awful greedy behavior by handing them the billions in our retirement funds.  What could go wrong with that?
But there is a subtle fight going on now and it concerns millions of us across America.  The phrase ‘class warfare’ brings to mind a civil unrest and rioting and is meant to put fear into the minds of voters that we are headed for a bad place.
I have absolutely nothing against the wealthy people of our country and naturally wish I could be counted among them.  The American dream has always included the possibility of success for all.
But should my success in and of itself impede someone else from succeeding?
Unfortunately the wealthiest 2% of Americans are doing just that.  They wish to keep their club exclusive.  And they are spending large amounts of money to wine and dine our leaders in Congress and fund advertisements in order to stop a fair tax on their wealth and income.
Clearly the status quo does not offer enough status for them.
I won't call their gifts to Congress bribes but something about a duck walking comes to mind.
Their ads claim that if we tax the wealthy they won’t have enough money to hire more workers. Higher taxes will stop them from spending and thereby hurt the economy.
Yet the poor and middle class are still taxed and in many cases at a higher rate than those in that 2% group.  Ask Warren Buffett to talk about the fairness of taxes and he’ll explain and complain that his secretary pays more, percentage-wise than he does!
Taxing the wealthy is not the be-all and end-all to our countries economic woes but it is also not the hardship they make it out to be.
How much wealth is too much?
That is an absurd question because each of us has a different answer as to what will make us happy.  But I would submit that if you cannot live comfortably on a salary of one million dollars per year there may be something wrong with you.  And even that number is way too high for most.
The world has just come to an agreement on banking regulations that will attempt to reign in some of the bad practices of the near past.  That’s a good first step but more is needed.
Want an example of a disconnect between the wealthy and the rest of us?
Remember the woman who told President Bush she had to work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet?  Remember him saying, “That’s what makes America great?”
I have always fantasized of the day I would owe a million dollars in taxes.  Sadly many of our billionaires do as well.  The difference is they are getting away with it whilst I still only dream.
Again I have no problem with someone striking it rich.  But shouldn’t that person continue to pay taxes at a fair rate?
This is after all a union of states.  It is a union of American states.  It is the United States of America.  We are all part of this great union and we keep it great by pulling our own weight and making sure that we are all taken care of in a united way! (Not a plug for that charity but…)
There is no “I” in team and no room for obscene personal greed in America.
When President Obama was elected to office the world took note.  America finally embraced the fact that all men are created equal and anyone can rise to the top in this country.
He took office at a time when our economy was coming face to face with an abyss of monumental proportions and he immediately made proposals to help us back away from the edge.
Immediately a plan was put into place to obstruct him and, by simple extrapolation us from succeeding.
The wealthiest 2% started backing the opposition.
Any and all of the policies proposed by the Obama administration would cost money!
And every penny was going to come out of the tax roll.  And since the wealthy don’t like paying taxes the catch phrases and ads started up in full bloom.
Look into a pair of billionaire known as the Koch brothers who had to work hard for their fortune.  They got it the old fashioned way - they outlived daddy and inherited it!  They are funding group after group hell bent on stopping taxes for the rich!
If we have class warfare then it is not the poor and middle class who fired the first shot.
We need the wealthy but they in turn need the rest of us.  Unfortunately they are not acting like they realize that fact.  Once they fire or lay off all their workers who’s going to continue to make them rich?  From whom are they going to get more money?
The Bush tax gift is supposed to end this year.  The Republicans wrote that into the bill but now they wish to renege.  We cannot allow that.
A parasite lives off the host but dies if the host dies.
Catch this phrase: America’s middle class is dying and the parasitic 2% are to blame.


Anonymous said...

Well said. There is so much dis information out there that anyone who counts on TV for their 'news', has a distorted view of what is going on.

I see well intentioned good people being swayed to support policy that will benefit only the rich and powerful. Say you won't kill unborn babies and you are their hero.

Cousin Bruce said...

And with every slight bump in a poll the 'opposition' is emboldened to continue the tactic.
I don't know if there is enough time to stop the trend backwards to Republican control of congress but we must keep trying.
And no matter what occurs in November it is clear that we need better education in this country.
And by the way, thanks for the comment.