Monday, November 21, 2011

Visible Saints

Do you ever wonder why it is so difficult to get money from the Super Rich?  Why can General Electric make over 14 Billion Dollars AND be subsidized to the tune of 3 Billion Dollars (tax payer's money) and still pay No Taxes?  The Top Ten Executives of "Freddie Mae" and "Freddie Mac" split a cool 100,000,000
Dollars in salaries and bonuses!  This is not "earned income", it is tax dollars.
   On a local level, in my little town, the top 1% make as much money as the bottom 87 Thousand People!
Most of us can't count that high and couldn't dream of that kind of money.  There has to be a reason that it is difficult to "tax the rich".  They do not pay into Social Security nor Medicare nor support the local transit system.  The average person might be taxes at close to 30% and their money is stuck at a 15% tax bracket.
This might even work if it weren't for the loopholes and obscure deductions we don't even know about.  Enough deductions that many of them pay nothing.
   The "Super Committee" in Congress made up of Republicans and Democrats couldn't agree on a solution to reducing our National Debt.  They didn't do anything so I think they should probably all be fired.  The Republicans are happy to take an axe to the budget and attempt to balance it on the backs of the Middle Class, even thinking to raise the age for Social Security and Medicare to 75! Cuts to the local levels would be massive with no aid to the local police or firefighters.  Libraries, of course would be closed.  This is austerity gone amok, clearly it wouldn't create a single job.  Quite the contrary, with the Republican proposals, hundreds of thousands more would be laid off.
   Democrats might compromise on some of these issues but the "line in the sand" for both parties is the issue of increased revenue.  No one is talking about an equal playing field, nothing that drastic.  The issue is a mere 3% on money after the first million dollars a year!  I would happily pay it.  Heck, I have never seen that kind of money, I would pay 10%!!!  If you win a million dollars on the lottery you pay a lot more!  After taxes that Million becomes $5,00,000 and then if you want cash that is cut in half to $250,000.  Why don't we complain about that?
   I know the answer and will attempt to explain it to you.  The answer lies in our first 100 years of our own History.  We are a country founded by the Puritans and their influence is all around us today.  It is how we got the idea that land can be conquered and resources exploited, used and used up. It is the reason that we attach reverence to wealth.  It is where we get the idea that "blessings from God" can come in the form of material possessions.
   Let me try to explain this a bit more.  Our Puritan Founders and virtually every single person on the street in those days, seriously believed in Predestination over free will.  It is pretty easy to understand the basis of this belief.  If God knows all, the past, present and the future, then He already knows whether you will be going to Heaven or Hell.  He knows this before you are born.  If you believe this, and for a long time in our history most Americans did, then what is the point to anything?  How do you get out of that predicament?
   So, here is the "catch" and the reason that we work so hard.  He Knows!  But we don't!  But we think that there might be an indication?  If some were blessed, some predestined to Heaven, there might be a sign?  Some visible way to determine who might be in His good graces?  Maybe even He would bestow wealth upon them?  "Blessed" we still think of it like that.  "Lucky" now, we are not so religious but we still value wealth and always equate it with success.  It is how we measure things.  Higher up the ladder is closer to God.  This is the single most important reason that nicer houses are always built high up in the hills and Churches have tall steeples.
   Somehow taxing the rich, deep in our subconscious is an affront to the way we think things should be.
It is ingrained.  How quick are we to say "yes sir" and be a bit subservient to the well dressed person in the very nice car?  The guy could be a bank robber for all we know, or steal from the government or one of those people who pay no taxes and our natural predisposition is to say, "yes, Sir" and clear the path for him to step to the front of the line.
   There are books on this idea but now you do not have to read them.  You know.  Think about it.

My "gallery" is coming along.  My shop and garden are HERE

1 comment:

conservativelybohemian said...

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the saga continues.