Saturday, January 25, 2014

TAX FAIRNESS IS NOT CLASS WARFARE

SHOCKER #1: EVERYONE IN AMERICA WHO PAYS INCOME TAXES PAYS THEM AT THE SAME RATE AS WARREN BUFFET!!

SHOCKER #2: OUR TAXES MUST GO UP OR AMERICA IS DOOMED TO A LONG BUT AVOIDABLE RECESSION!!

Wait a second, did you just say we pay the same amount as Warren Buffet and you want us to pay HIGHER taxes???
Are you out of your mind???

America has a graduated tax rate system so your taxes are figured out by a simple scale that increases ONLY for the higher amounts you earn.
Now when I say simple I merely mean the final tax rate percentage.  I am of course not counting all the sadly legal loopholes that aide and abet the wealthiest among us to negate most if not all of their fair share of America's tax burden.
Again and simply stated no matter who you are when you figure out your FINAL & ADJUSTED INCOME your taxes will be the same as anyone else with that same figure!
One main problem with our tax system, other than those loopholes that allow THE MOST PROFITABLE CORPORATION EVER to avoid paying a penny in income taxes (you know who you are Exxon) is that the top rates were not raised when President Bush and his cronies refused to fund his and Cheney's vendetta against the wrong nation for the 911 attacks.
Bush's brain conceived Bush's war as a way to get oil and help Cheney and many Republican friendly corporations make fortunes. BUT the wars were never funded with higher taxes.
This was unheard of in the past and has caused our economy to falter and nearly break for millions of lower income families not to mention all the lives lost as a result of Bush's folly.
But since we do not have the luxury afforded Marty in Back to the Future II and cannot return to before let's try to move on and fix things from THIS reality.
It's not too late to stop killing the Middle Class and poor by throwing them under the bus or ignoring them completely.
Taking away their ability to earn a living by allowing the wealthiest business owners to pay them far less than they deserve for their hard and loyal work is not only unfair it borders on criminal!
And to make matters worse those same business owners continue to get tax breaks from the Republican Party.  This causes the Federal Government to step in and try to save the lives of those put upon by this treatment with food stamp programs and financial aid.  And then to make this bad situation worse than imaginable the Republicans then blame the poor for being poor and demand the aid be cut off!
One guesses they want that aid money to fund more tax breaks for their 'job creating' friends in big business.
The easy fix to this mounting problem is to get more money into the coffers of the United States.
This can be done by raising the top tax brackets in a gradual manner until an equilibrium can be reached somewhere between the all out greed of the wealthiest and their funded friends in Congress and the needs of the vast majority of suffering TAX-PAYING, VOTING citizens of America.
Most of us would then still be paying THE SAME TAX RATE AS WARREN BUFFETT up to what we make but the Warren Buffetts of America would be paying a higher amount of taxes ONLY ON THE MONEY THEY MAKE OVER THAT!
For some reason too many people do not understand that raising the top tax rate does not adversely affect the poor and lower middle class.  In fact it helps them greatly by putting more of the burden of running America on the shoulders of those who can MOST afford it without flinching; those who made their fortunes as a result of America's climate and wonderful work force.
An extra $1,000 in taxes per year for 90% of us is followed by belt tightening and lower spending.
An extra $1,000 in taxes for wealthiest among us would be as annoying as swatting a fly, if even noticed.
I am not saying let's make them pay because they won't notice it, I am saying make them pay because THEY OWE IT TO THE  COUNTRY THAT ALLOWED THEM TO BECOME SO WEALTHY WITHOUT PAYING UP UNTIL NOW!!!
We cannot stop corporations from rewarding their own bad behavior by giving themselves more of the money they have kept or stolen from the government with lies and fraud but we sure as hell must start taxing those ill-gotten funds!
Case in point, J P Morgan Chase has had to pay BILLIONS in fines for frauds and God-awful behavior in the past decade as they have aided in the destruction of the middle class.  Mr. Jamie Dimon, the head of J P Morgan Chase just had his 2013 bonus doubled to $20,000,000.  For a job well done???
My proposal will naturally be ignored by those at the top and the members of Congress who have ignored the plight of the middle class and poor ever since President Obama took office but it is still worth noting.
IT'S NOT CLASS WARFARE - IT'S CLASS AND TAX FAIRNESS!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3 ECLECTIC YET MODEST PROPOSALS

Proposals for individuals and consumers:


1 – These days most shoppers check out the calorie count of any food they buy.
Some do it to make sure they aren’t taking in too many calories.  Others just make believe they know what they are looking at to impress other shoppers who blindly place anything colorful in their shopping carts.
But calorie counts are important and should be understandable and standardized so as to aid consumer value and worth.
For example a jar of Kalamata olives states that a serving will cost you 22 calories toward your daily intake.  But you then have to find out what the distributor considers a serving. In this case that turns out to be a mere 2 olives.
This is slightly more than the ‘betcha can’t eat just one’ company ad but trust me, nobody is going to just eat two of these tiny tasty morsels of Greek goodness.
In order to be fair across the full spectrum of edibles we should have a standard such as 100 calories just as coffee and other products now show ‘per pound’ pricing.
You may wish to buy an inexpensive can of coffee, sorry Starbucks, but when you visit the store you find cans of varying size and price with totally different amounts inside. One can contains 10.5 ounces while another 14!
Or you may visit a large box store such as Costco and find various brands on sale for 32.5 or 48 ounces.
And to make matters more confusing, the cans might even be the same size.
But the one thing all stores do, since it became a law, is to show the ‘per pound’ price so you can make an informed decision.
You will then note that the 48 ounce can at $9.99 is actually cheaper than the 32.5 ounce can for nearly $2½ less at $7.50! (Do the math yourself please – this post is long enough already!)
The same should be available to consumers, especially calorie conscious ones when it comes to buying food.
So in the case of those pesky but tasty olives noted above there would be another single piece of information provided on the label, the “100 calorie serving size.”
To wit: 100 Calories equals 9 olives.
Now you can eat those nine olives along with that tiny but popular bag of chips and a can of Pepsi One and only intake 201 calories!
Bon app├ętit!




2 – Finding expiration dates on food products should not require you to hire Sherlock Holmes.
Have you ever spent an inordinate amount of time searching the label on a can or a plastic bag for the suggested last date of sale?
Do you think the dates are placed in various places so as to make them easier for you to find?
Gallons of milk generally show the date near the top of the container and most consumers can find it quickly; pre-packaged plastic bags of lettuce or salads, not so much.
Have you ever opened a container of milk only to be hot with an odor reminiscent of that found in a coroner’s office?  It is not pleasant.
We should have uniformity for that most important date on all containers of perishables.
For example if the bag has a ‘zip top’ top the date must be clearly visible just below the tear zone and on the right side of the front of the package.
If the product is sold in a can the date must appear on the bottom so that when it is open the date is still available should the consumer not finish the contents in one sitting.
Of course if the contents are moved then all bets are off.
And any freshly baked bread sold in those open paper bags must show the date clearly near the opening lest the consumer be obliged to handle the product and move it around and over and touch it in many places to find the purposely hidden date which invariably is yesterday!


Still Good




3 – Finally since America is hell bent on turning our society into that of care givers or web-surfing consumers we must find a way to get money into the hands of the public so that they can still buy the products made by giant corporations in their overseas plants.
We know that the wealthiest among us find any governmental assistance to be anathema so the only solution is to pay people for either their work or their personal information or both!
The way things are now we get paid a salary or a commission or some form of payment for that which we do for a company.
But the thing those companies desire most of all, the thing they crave, that which they hire analysts and or geeks sitting in front of monitors in dark single room apartments all over the world is our habits, desires, wants, needs and especially our basic demographics.
In other words our personal information!
Many of us give it up freely if inadvertently by filling out forms for employment or a loyalty card at a national grocery store chain, or some absurd social media site created by a greedy somewhat evil troll who ruthlessly became a billionaire and a staunch Republican who now spends a great deal of time and money coming up with ways to make more money and keep the lowly users of his brainchild from getting ahead.
Okay the last rant may have been slightly over the top but trust me, only slightly!
When an actor is in a commercial or a television show the smarter ones with savvy agents make sure they are given contracts that include royalties.  The agent also gets an annuity this way so it is generally de rigueur.
This means the actor will get paid a minimum amount even after the first airing of the performance and every time that performance is aired ad infinitum.
For many actors it is their only form of pay and without it they would only get an initial check and be done while their work would continue to air forever making money for the producer and or the product involved.
Some form of payment should also be made to those of us whose information is sold from one corporation to another for monetary gain between them!
It is after all our information!
Our personal information!!
Or has the world of big business conveniently forgotten the word PERSONAL?
So consumers should be given a commission for every sale or use of their habits, movements or demographic info.
And there should be a way to track this exchange of information so that credits can be made for the poor unaware sap sitting at home who just got a ‘personal’ email from a company he never heard of that figured out he is just the type to desire and buy the brand new Vita-Meata-Vegamin product, even though he never knew it existed!
At least that way he might be able to afford the useless machine and pay for it out of his Monthly Personal Info Exchange (M-PIE) royalties.

LUUUUCY!!



If you find any of these ideas to your liking please feel free to forward them to the head of the Consumer Products Agency before it is de-funded.  And if you find none of the above to your liking have fun at your next fundraising event for Tea Party Republicans.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

DC DOMINOES TO THE RESCUE

The fight over increasing the minimum wage or living wage as it should be called for low wage workers is another case of the overwhelming majority versus the one or two percent.  And this time logic most definitely supports the majority view!
Republicans in Congress and on talk shows are naturally against anything that will cost business owners any money at all.
They argue that raising the mandatory minimum wage will hurt business and force many to hire fewer workers or even shut down.  And as a result the Nation’s economy would be harmed and send us into a recession.
Their argument holds no champagne.
Keeping wages low is even worse than continuing to lower taxes on the wealthy in the hopes that miraculously some of their stash will trickle down.  Of course with fewer dollars going to the tax man more can find their way into the campaign coffers of Congressmen so there is a method to their maddening madness.
The Republicans are of course not pointing this fact out but it only takes a modicum of intelligence to glean it from real life happenings!
The argument from the right is as inane as saying a sunny day is bad because it could cause sunburns and melanoma.  They neglect to mention that life on Earth happens to be dependent upon sunlight!
So not surprisingly they are once again wrong when it comes to wages earned in America and a simple domino effect look at the facts will prove this to be true.
Suppose the Federal Minimum Wage were to be raised to at least $10.10 as is the current proposal from the White House.  (Note it is already higher in many States and no harm has been done to businesses operating there. In fact the below scenario seems to be taking place.)

Here are the domino points on the subject:
  • *    Businesses who pay minimum wages will immediately be paying higher wages
  • *    Many small businesses generally pay above minimum wage anyway so they won’t be harmed. They have only a few employees and it’s very hard to look an employee in the face and refuse living wage when you know them personally!
  • *    Loopholes that allow large, huge corporations to be considered small will have to be closed if any exemptions are made for small businesses.
  • *    Some workers who are barely above minimum wage before the increase may receive sympathetic raises.
  • *    Small percentages of profits or disposable income of the business will now be placed in the pockets of the worker rather than the CEO.
  • *    The money the CEO would have received would likely be added to off shore accounts or invested overseas to limit taxes but most likely not be spent in America
  • *    Low wage worker recipients of the new pay rate would immediately start spending the extra money on frivolous things such as food and clothing.
  • *    The Federal Government would no longer have to subsidize their earnings thus enabling them to live and feed their families without aid.
  • *    The newly spent money would put much of the increased wages back into local businesses.
  • *    This would increase profits and cause more goods to be ordered to cover the new demand.
  • *    New orders would cause the supply chain to ramp up.
  • *    This could stimulate owners to hire new workers.
  • *    The increased work force would generate more tax revenue for America.
  • *    This rising tide would lift all boats, not just luxury yachts
  • *    With more commerce across the Nation our government could focus on fixing our ailing infrastructure.
  • *    Children who were too hungry to attend school and learn would start to get the education they need to survive in this new internet driven world.
  • *    The next new innovative idea could come from any of these newly nurtured children
  • *    America could take back the title as the World’s greatest force, and not just militarily speaking.
  • *    People from all over would flock to America and peace would break out Worldwide!

Okay, maybe the last domino was a bridge too far but unless we embark on the journey soon that bridge may rot and crumble into the river of no return.
Commerce will shriek to a halt as product cannot reach its destination in a safe and timely manner. (Too much?)
  
And when all of this happens maybe, just maybe one more domino will fall, the end of the anti-middle class; anti-woman; anti-minority; anti-immigrant; anti-union of any sort including it seems, the great union known as the United States of America Republican!
For surely there is no more pressing issue for a government of, by, and for its people than the welfare OF the people who hired them to look after the country!
Once the Republican Party realizes that simple fact we can get our economy to start working for us again!
But if not then come November hopefully it will be the chips, not the dominoes, which fall for them!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

LET THIS BE THE YEAR!

Group New Year’s Resolutions

Democrats promise to fight harder on the following:
  • Help the needy
  • Help everyone get registered to vote
  • Then protect all voters’ rights
  • Give ‘minorities’ equal rights
  • Protect the rights of women
  • Have the wealthy actually pay their fair share of taxes
  • End absurd tax loopholes making them illegal
  • Tone down the influence of corporations on Congress
  • Get aid to the unemployed
  • Focus and address climate change
  • Enact comprehensive and fair immigration reform
  • Address gun issues and controls
  • Remove tax dodge status for all religions
  • Make sure our courts are fully staffed
  • Create jobs or at least an environment that does
  • Address our Nation’s failing infrastructure
  • Remove the finger pointing and hate from government
  • End foreign aggression and war
  • Work toward single payer system just like every other civilized nation
  • Increase diplomatic measures aimed at peace
  • End subsidies to incredibly profitable corporations and industries
  • AND insist they pay taxes!!!
  • End inane talks about entitlements, especially the ones we are entitled to!
  • End entitlements for the wealthy merely because they can afford bribes!
  • Block lobbyists entirely from the halls of Congress and the pockets of Congressmen
  • Elected officials who renege on campaign promises are ousted at once
  • Remember that it is a privilege to serve the people, all the people of the United States of America


Republicans promise to address all of the above with:

NOT A CHANCE!


LET'S HOPE THIS IS THE YEAR OUR LEADERS COME TO THEIR SENSES