Saturday, December 11, 2010

What's Good for the Goose

Every time one of our bills goes up or a service upon which we rely is removed the phrase used to explain why includes the words, “due to these difficult economic times.”
But are not the difficult economic times affecting us all?
We the people who are paying taxes for services that heretofore were included are now being told to forget about them.
Our tax dollars are just not going as far anymore.
Starting in January of 2011 if you are involved in a car accident in New York City and you need help in any way shape or form you will receive a bill from the city’s Fire Department for services rendered.  They even have a menu of charges set to go into effect that measures the severity of your injuries and needs.
One possible scenario includes the fire chief standing over you just before the jaws of life are used to extricate your bleeding body from the gnarled wreckage of your vehicle asking you to sign the waiver and promissory note to ‘pay or stay.’
"Let’s see, one broken arm; a bleeding leg; a gash over the right eye and a small fire.  That comes to $1,285 plus tax.  Will that be cash or charge?  Or would you like to fry with that?”
Okay, it’s not to that extreme yet but just what's the point?
I understand that the City and State are in dire straits but aren’t we all?  And aren’t the people who live here paying taxes for these and other services?
Where is this heading and how long before the ridiculous scenario I note above becomes a reality?
If our tax dollars can not cover our day to day needs or even our safety then just why are we paying them at all?
All across America municipalities are starting to do this sort of 'backing out' of services from the public role.
Note that viral video about the man whose house burned to the ground while the firemen watched because he had not yet paid the required $75 bribe.
Despicable events like this will soon become the norm if we sit back and allow the situation to continue.
Insurance companies have been pulling stunts like this for years.  Without a public outcry and push back it will continue and fester until the infection is everywhere.
Homeowners insurance used to cover anything that could go wrong and cause damage to your home.  But the underwriters realized that if they specified certain possible events in the definition of coverage they could effectively make them ‘riders’ and force homeowners to pay extra to keep them. Such was the inception of flood insurance which used to be part of everyone’s policy as a matter of course.  Not anymore!
We wonder where all our tax dollars are actually going.  We rightly complain that there has to be enough to go around especially since so many people have been laid off and the few who get rehired are receiving much less in compensation.  So businesses have to be raking in the profits.
Our individual taxes have not gone down even though we are hurting at every turn.  At best our taxes may stay the same but one must surely expect corporations to make up the difference needed since they just reported their highest profits ever.
But that did not happen because of the loopholes and tax laws and continued kowtowing to the wealthy by the puppets in D.C. and the friendly Supreme Court.
Does anyone like the subsidy being offered to billionaires that allows them to pay taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries?  Even many billionaires have stated the Bush tax gift should expire for those in the top brackets.
Or how about the fact that when these wealthiest of the wealthy pass away their heirs will get obscene amounts of cash bequeathed in the wills and pay taxes on this unearned income at a ridiculously low rate?
The fact that we will have to cut some spending and curtail parts of some services for the masses in order to get our fiscal houses in order is inevitable.  But cutting taxes on the wealthiest among us who are already paying at a lower rate is past absurd and borderline criminal.
Perhaps the middle class should stop paying taxes completely and request a menu of charges from the City, State and Federal governments as to which services we are comfortable with and which we no longer wish to receive.
I personally take my dangerous pollutants to a drop off point for proper disposal and would have no problem also carrying my trash there as well.  So I no longer wish to pay for the garbage removal in my area.  I realize that others still wish to have that service and that’s fine with me.  However I want that portion removed from my taxes.
It sounds absurd, right?
But unfortunately I must make that request ‘due to these hard economic times.’


Life 101 said...

Dude, you need to run for office!

Cousin Bruce said...

I would have replied earlier but I was laughing too hard to see the keyboard.
My rants are passionate and tinged with a bit of my wry sense of humor (I hope) but counting your possible vote I now have around 10!
Thank you for the comment. I'll think it over :-)