December 17th, 2000


In the great spirit of bipartisan politics...

Congrats, Dubya... you said your first really dumb thing since winning the election... and you're not even the president of the United States White House yet.

Regarding his $1,300,000,000,000 proposed tax cut, Georgie-boy told Time Magazine:
``Well, I'm not prepared to compromise,''...``I think it's the right size.''

Yeah, the right size for a Texan, maybe. With this economy, it's a lot like giving a patient who just suffered a heart attack a 3 pound porterhouse steak with all the fixings.

Bush also acknowledged there ``may be moments'' of compromise in order to find common ground with an evenly split Senate and a closely divided House of Representatives.

In other words, in the great spirit of bipartisan politics, he's going to try to hold this country hostage until he gets what he (and his billionaire boys club supporters) want. Pretty big words for someone who was neither elected with the majority of the vote or... for that matter... really elected into office at all.

John Stewart of the Daily Show said two very wise words regarding the Bush (p)residency...

Horde gold.

The tax debacle...

This post is really a response to a comment by Marxis.
He argued that the Bush tax plan was fair and that "Redistribution of wealth isn't American." Here's what I said...

You said that "Redistribution of wealth isn't American..."

Oh... you mean like Social Security, or foreign aid, or tax subsidies to corporations, or bailing out failed Savings and Loans, or...? Don't you really mean that you are against the idea of the Federal Government giving tax income back to the people, but have no problem if they give money to either old people, corrupt foreign governments, or businesses owned by the very rich?

I tend to ignore anyone who says "_______ isn't American/Christian/etc." What they really mean is that "_______ isn't what I was raised to believe." Well, sorry.... but America isn't just about you. Have you taken the time to really question what you believe and back it up with facts, or are you just making assumptions here? You might as well say "The rich not getting richer and the poor not getting poorer is not American." because that is what you are advocating.

Do I believe in tax cuts slanted towards those who need them the most? Yes... because our society needs them to maintain a sense of balance. The rich are getting a lot richer and the poor? Well, they've always had a net worth of nearly nothing. There are just more of them, that's all... some of them aren't all that obvious.. They may own a car and rent a house, but they owe more on their credit cards and car payments than they are really worth, and they are living paycheck to paycheck. If they lose their job in the coming recession, they're well on their way to being homeless...

You also said:
"I would not want to be penalized and have money taken out of my pocket to pay for someone's poor(no pun intended) choices and ended up on Welfare..."

Nobody's talking about welfare here... which is giving someone money for not doing anything. (Sort of like farm subsidies, where we pay people money for not growing anything...) By the way, I am not entirely against all forms of welfare-like programs, if they are targeted to provide basic food and clothing subsidies only for poor children. There is no denying that the parents of those children may be irresponsible... they may be unskilled... they may even be as dumb as dirt... they can make money like anyone else, but their children shouldn't go hungry because of their failings.

What we are talking about is reducing taxes primarily for low and middle class workers. You're only really paying Federal income tax if you have income. In other words, working. We should value the work that the poor American worker (such as you) does for a living. $20,000 isn't enough in many, many places in this country to even afford a decent place to live, much less two kids and a wife who is at home taking care of the kids, with another one on the way.

Twenty five years ago, a wife who wanted to have and raise a family was considered normal... now we consider her lazy, unless she has a full time job. No offense, but have you ever tried to take care of a whole family? It's a lot of work. In many cases, it doesn't pay for mothers to work, since daycare costs and the increased tax burden make it more expensive to work than to not work!

So, yes... that is part of the reason why I think that taxes should not fall equally on people across the board. Also, keep in mind that while some people have benefited from the new economy, others haven't. I make a lot more, because my work is technical... but there are plenty of people who have seen their real-world income actually go down when adjusted for inflation.

Who? Farmers, teachers, clerical, factory workers, retail workers, food service people, even people who work in "old money" industries like banking and insurance. Honorable and often smart workers who make a living every day... lots of them just starting with their professional careers. These people make less every year... it's to the point where I live in the Silicon Valley that they can't even find qualified teachers anymore. In other words, mothers should either leave the care and upbringing of their kids in the hands of a public school system that can't afford to hire good teachers, or they should stay home and be poor.

So, who is making more money?
See for yourself...

In other words, what is going on is a system where your basic premise is undermined.
You said it yourself: "Redistribution of wealth isn't American." In this case, I agree with you. What is going on here is clearly redistribution of wealth... from the poor and middle class who do the work, to the ultrarich. When you have an inherently uneven playing field, I think that some degree of leveling is required. That's why if I were to support tax cuts right now, I would support them for the 99% of Americans who make less money... and not for the 1% who make more.

Frankly, I feel sorry for those regular workers out there who buy into the arguments of the Republicans that everyone (except them) are a bunch of socialists. The real truth is that the party who has the least socialist philosophy is the Libertarians, because the Republicans have no problem handing out the tax money that you and I pay to big businesses, and to the people who run them.

It always reminds me of the great majority of people in the South that favored the institution of slavery in the early 1800's. Most people in the South weren't slave owners and didn't own plantations... many had no land at all, and certainly not enough to justify owning a slave. Most of them couldn't afford a slave, and many of them thought the practice was a bit disreputable, but they all clung to this idea that one day they would have their own slaves. Many of them paid for that hopeless idea with their lives during the Civil War.

So, who are the slave owners today, and who fights their wars for them?