Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Circle the wagons, boys!

It isn't exactly "Breaking News" when I say that people get really touchy when you talk about getting into their wallets.  "It's MINE, I WORKED for it, you CAN'T have it!"  And this, IMO, is why our government today is so dysfunctional and our people are so upset.  One economic class feels they're paying for benefits that another economic class is receiving, and to be honest, it's largely true.  (Their elected political manipulators see this perpetual standoff as their job security.)

TAXES.  Just saying the word gets most people's blood pressure up.  The average middle class guy feels he's working 100 mph to pay for day care, to put braces on his kids teeth, to somehow pay another semester's tuition for his oldest to stay in college, to pay the deductibles and co-pays on his heath insurance, or if he's an "independent contractor", to pay for his family's health insurance that might cost more than his house payment, etc.  It's a struggle for sure.

Meanwhile, in his mind, another economic class gets free child care, food stamps, rent subsidies, college grants (that require no payback), free medical care (via Medicaid) and even a free cell phone, all paid for by HIM!  And then when you interject race into the equation, it really gets nasty!  To the average middle class taxpayer (statistically likely to be white) the average beneficiary of our social safety net is black or brown, and now includes immigrants, too, hence the animosity.  Facts to the contrary be damned!  He simply can't fathom his economic situation deteriorating to the point he might need some of those services himself some day.  These are benefits (he thinks) he'll never receive.

This is where he thinks his taxes are going.

At the other extreme, while he vaguely knows about the massive government subsidies going to the private sector ($37B to Big Oil, $270B to Big Pharma, $18B to Big Ag, $83B to Wall Street, etc) he can't put a face with a $$$$ to know who to direct his anger at.  (I know, I know, a preposition at the end.  Shoot me.  ;) 

This is why the idea of a tax increase to balance the budget, for example, is a non-starter.  "MORE money to give to those bums? Oh HELL no!"  

In their minds they, personally, aren't getting anything for their tax dollars (hello!...national defense, highways, etc?), with the exception of Medicare and Social Security.  Ahhh....don't you love it when a Tea Party supporter holds his sign up high that says "NO SOCIALISM IN AMERICA!!", then says, "but don't mess with my Medicare or Social Security."  *dude, those programs are the epitome of socialism!*  

As long as people don't feel like they are themselves getting anything for their tax dollars, they're going to resist.  Call them anything you want....selfish, greedy, uncompassionate....when you get into people's wallets, the battle lines will be drawn.  Let's just hope the rest of the world stays more f__ked up than us so they'll run over here with their $$$$ and finance our debt.

Just my thoughts. 



  1. Most people don't get rich by being altruistic.

  2. There is no rule which says you can not end a sentence a preposition with. If it sounds stupid like the previous sentence it is wrong, if it does not sound stupid it is OK.

  3. Where do you get your statistics of subsidies going to the private sector? Google shows me this:

    In fiscal year 2015, the federal budget is $3.8 trillion.

    Hard to believe that almost 1/6 of the total budget goes to subsidize those four industries.

    1. It was a simple google search:

      I didn't attempt to corroborate the numbers as I was just wanting to make a point. Even if others might show numbers different by 20 or 30%, the point is taxpayers help, in various ways, to subsidize big business.

    2. I think they are very loose and misleading with their numbers, but the point is taken.

    3. Fair criticism. Like I said, our government cuts big business lots of slack. I wouldn't dare put these numbers out as literal gospel without much more vetting.

  4. I'm tired of hearing about tax cuts. I don't want or need a tax cut, but our country is in desperate need of taxes to fix our crumbling infrastructure. I just want corporations and other businesses to pay their fair share. Trickle down economics didn't work for the British Empire and it won't work for us.

    1. Sometimes raising taxes increases government revenues, sometimes they decrease revenues, much like the price of anything. Price too high revenue goes down, price to low revenues not maximized. Tax rates will always be a moving target that need to be raised or lowered (and a whole lot of other things) to maximize revenues and encouraging productive behavior, without disturbing the economy as a whole.