Sunday, June 08, 2008


With all the pomp and circumstance this campaign season, little is being said about a major pay DECREASE that will affect many Americans.  It is not just the very rich - I don't have a lot of sympathy for those who are finding ever more obscene ways to spend their wealth. That goes for the secular rich, who believe they are entitled because either their inheritance, their investments, or their business gave them the jackpot.  It also goes for the religious rich, who believe that their wealth is a sign of God's blessing of them, giving them entitlement as well.  I never begrudge anyone success, but whether the person is secular like Warren Buffett, or religious such as those in the "prosperity" fold, if the person blessed by God does not freely share with the poor, pay his or her employees well, and heavily invest in making the church and the world better, I have little respect for them, and I believe there are oceans of texts in the Bible which heartily agree.

The fact is, if there is no ram in the bush and either John McCain or Barack Obama gets elected, there will be a decrease in disposable income  for a whole lot of people not expecting it. Both McCain and Obama, neither of whom profess an ounce of scientific education, have thrown their weight behind the Global Warming alarmists, ironically at a time when much of the hype is being discredited.  $5.50 and higher gas prices are not far behind, especially since drilling and refinery construction in the United States are unfortunately relics of the past. Higher prices for food and EVERYTHING that has to be transported as well as more restrictions on business with no clear environmental benefit will further squeeze those in the middle such as you and I, but the rich will find more new ways to profits from this malaise.  They ALWAYS do.

With McCain, radical immigration policies will further depress wages in many industries beyond what has been seen to date.  No country has survived this type of invasion and survived. There has been very limited acculturation.  We are becoming more Balkanized by the year (study the history of the Balkans if you want to know what the future of city-states with little in common will be). We have so many people who refuse to learn our language and culture who are voting. Upon what do they base their decision?  Unfortunately, all too often it is based upon rumor, propaganda and demagoguery, and perhaps simply self-interest, but not upon a sound knowledge of what is best for all.

There is more.  Capital gains taxes are being proposed by Obama to go from 15% to 28%.  If he wins in November, look for massive asset selloffs between the election and the inauguration, resulting in a decrease in investment and a spike in unemployment that will make the recent return to over 5% levels look modest.  The fact is, very rich folks aren't in my circle, but those who work almost always work for folks much richer than they are. Governmental leaders keep thinking they can outfox big business, the oil companies, or the target de jour. Remember Bill Bradley's tax simplification?   There were more gifts to big business (earmarks) buried in that than there are ants at the garbage dump.

There is still more.  I suspect that the FICA limit - the amount above which Social Security taxes are no longer deducted - will rise with either candidate.  Often the increase is linked to the cost of living. Obama originally proposed removing the ceiling, which would have been catastrophic.   This is a DOUBLE increase - the employer pays the same as the employee, and guess who will pass through that business tax increase in terms of higher prices?  Beyond that, self  employed persons such as myself who pay double the employed person's tax will have over a 12% additional tax imposed on income over $102,300, right when health care costs, fuel costs, and other costs of living are increasing far more than wages.  Combine that with the repeal of the Bush tax cuts, which, contrary to the rhetoric, affect you and me, and our already high tax burden will become unlivable.  Mr. Obama since we originally wrote this article has proposed a FICA window between 102,300 and $250,000 where FICA would not be deducted.  This is a step in the right direction, but may not be achievable due to its novel approach.

Exactly why do Republicans and Democrats believe that higher taxes will improve out lives? Have they EVER?  The reason many people flip a coin between the two parties is that Republicans have spent big time as well when they were in power. It is only a difference in degree, not core philosophy. People used to mock "banana Republics" where American foreign aid went.  The money was always siphoned with little getting to the point of need.  The same is true in this country at ALL levels of government.  Look at the cities who struggle the most - they are all high-tax cities run by Democrats.  Look at our country with the increase in spending presided over by Republicans.  Where is the fulfillment of the promises made? Are fewer people in poverty? Every four years, we hear how everything is going to change.  We simply cannot believe that raising taxes is the panacea to our problems.  If it were, most Americans would go along with it. To simply transfer wealth to lame government agencies which make life more difficult instead of alleviating suffering is no gain.

What really sobers me, though, it that those proposing these confiscatory taxes have done LITTLE out of their own pocket to help others. Remember Al Gore's $353 donations to charity in 1998?  When Barack Obama delivered his  stem-winder speech in 2004, he was giving only .4% out of a huge income to charity.  The AVERAGE American gives five times that much. Only when in the Senate and when tax returns were expected to be shown did he even get to 5%.   It is always about other people's money. Charity begins at home.   McCain's figures were much higher, though many of the beneficiaries were private schools his children attended.  Still, Bush gave over 10%, and Cheney just under 10%. Many citizens rich and poor of both parties give substantially to church and charity and history has proven that those dollars go much farther that those given to the black hole known as government.

Have you ever wondered about your tax rebate?  By the time you factor in the cost of advertising it, processing it, and paying interest to the Chinese to fund it, it won't be much of a difference from paying one of those robber baron credit card companies so the government will get their money back.

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, you had better speak up, because those who sit on millions, and who not affect their lifestyle one iota by sacrificing for the good of others, are preaching to YOU to sacrifice still more and to cough up more of the little you have left after taxes and actually giving substantially to charity yourself.  It seems no different from King George to me.  Will there be another Tea Party, not only in Boston, but from Maine to California to Texas to Florida?   It took a long time to get to where we are, but like anything else, it will take precious little time to lose it all.


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