Sunday, May 1, 2011

Political Ramblings: Bin Laden is Dead, Rich Folks Pay 35% Less In Taxes Than They Did Twenty Years ago

How strange is it that the United States government is helping the common folk of Middle Eastern countries stand up against their governments?  In this country, in the last 5 years, our government has robbed from its poor to prop up the rich.  Our working people have had their 401k funds destroyed, their mortgages foreclosed on while the mortgage holders are spending billions in bonuses.  Did our government send military to Wisconsin to make sure that the people were heard as they lobbied their state government to do what was in their interest?
Tonight Osama Bin Laden is apparently dead.  We will hear in the coming days how this is a victory.  A victory that has been paid for with the lives of thousands of Americans, at the expense of tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and at the expense of our American tax dollars in the hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars.  Yes, GW Bush will be heard from and will be lauded.  Yes, we should all be glad that this despicable man is no longer counted among the living.  We will all fear also the backlash of the faceless Al Qaeda and we will surely see radical Muslim's mourning the death of this Bin Laden. 
Myself, I feel numb.   It's almost ten years since the twin towers fell.  In those ten years our country has fallen in stature.  While 10 percent of our neighbors are unemployed the Dow Jones Industrial average continues to grow.  While the bankers tore our economy apart they've all been bailed out.  While the middle class has shrunken and the lower middle class of our country is sliding toward the poverty level, the richest parts of our country are still doing well. 
I read recently that the top 400 earners in America pay only 17% in income tax.  (  A friend of mine who earned less than 100k last year but more than 90k paid over 18% of his adjusted gross in taxes last year.  Further, that 17% in 2010 is down 9 percentage points since 1992.  That's a 35% decrease in taxes paid by our country’s richest individuals.  These people average $345,000,000 in yearly income.  In fairness, the average Americans taxes have also reduced from 9.9% to 9.3% over that same span.  Joe average has had his taxes reduced 6.06% over the same span where Joe Moneybags had his taxes cut 35%.  I guess that's fair.  NOT!!
As we all feel so patriotic this week, as we cheer on the republicans as they try to save our country money by closing down such federal programs as Planned Parenthood and as they cut funding for Public Broadcasting; as the funding for public transportation and education has trickled, we can all feel good knowing that the government has done a good job of two things.  1) We killed Bin Laden, and 2) we've saved the country’s richest individuals 35% of their tax burden.  Keep your eyes open America, it will continue.


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