Hello, concerned wealthy relative (and VCB readers).
I’d just like you to know that I found your enlightening email in my spam folder.
You might want to check your email settings.
I’d like to think that your message being in my junk-mail folder was a coincidence and not because of the misleading content of the email.
Telling people in a ‘kinder gentler way’ that people should vote and that you’d like to get the debt and spending under control is all well and good (despite the questionable graphs you included),
but trying to convince people that rich people like yourself shouldn’t pay a little more in taxes just because it won’t instantly zero out the debt…
seems wrong-headed and dishonest.
Now, I hope you don’t take this personally,
as I assume you’re just passing all this information on from some
“conservative” rich-dude-tax-dodging-think-tank like the American Enterprise Institute or Grover Norquist,
but I think I should set some things straight:
The truth is, and you probably know this, that the wealthy have been gaming the system for decades for lower taxes on their vast amounts of wealth and capital gains.
Somehow, they don’t think they need to support the nation that supported them.
Somewhere along the way, they forgot (or never learned) that IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THEM.
And somewhere along they way, they forgot that this nation works best when it works together,
and they forgot that it’s not some evil communist plot to have a social safety net.
Some people think that because it’s been four whole years and the economy still isn’t that great,
that somehow changing presidents in the middle of a slow, but productive recovery,
will somehow give the new guy a magic button to push that will make the debt disappear
They’re deluding themselves. They’ve been deluding themselves for a while.
That debt didn’t create itself overnight, and behaving like it did isn’t helping anyone.
It’s a little silly to yell at the cleaning crew for not cleaning up in 4 years the giant mess that took 8+ years to make. How long did it take to clean up Ground Zero after 9-11 ?
That’s OK, you don’t have to answer that. I think you get my point.
It takes money and time to restore an economy.
Stop pretending that you can fix it without either.
By all means, please keep encouraging people to VOTE,
but stop spreading this paranoia about the debt and spending.
It’s a red herring.
For those unfamiliar with that term, I encourage you to google it.
For you lazy non-googling bastards out there:
a red herring is a distraction, a diversion, a misleading statement, a misdirection.
In other words… Bull$#!&
Now, let me be clear. Calling the debt talk a ‘red herring’ does not mean it isn’t a serious problem.
The debt IS a serious problem…
but it’s just not the most immediate problem that this country is facing.
You still want to talk spending cuts? OK, let’s talk about spending cuts:
Making irresponsible spending cuts to try to bring down the debt quickly is flawed and dangerous.
The worst thing you can do is cut spending during a recession or slow recovery.
Austerity doesn’t work. It makes things worse (Ask Greece, Great Britain, well… most of Europe).
In a healthy economy, responsible adjustments to the budget can be made that don’t hurt the working class,
and the debt will come down gradually over time.
You cut spending where it makes sense, but
this nation’s priority should be restoring the economic engine.
Millionaires aren’t creating enough jobs to help that engine, so I don’t see why they keep calling themselves ‘job creators’. If wealthy people aren’t going to participate in this society as anything other than metaphorical vacuum cleaners sucking the money out of the system, then the first ‘spending cut’ we need to make is cutting out their enormous tax cuts. They don’t need them.
From your email, it looks like you like graphs. Here’s one:
Personally, I think ALL of the Bush tax cuts should expire, although keeping the middle-class cuts temporarily would be better for the overall recovery. Also, millionaires should pay back the tax cuts they took during the last 12 years. They sure as heck didn’t use them to create jobs. And while we’re at it, increase the capital gains tax. It’s not double-taxation. It’s a tax on NEW INCOME.
Also, defense spending needs to come down. It’s out of control.
Here’s another graph:
As you can see, one of the candidates running for president wants to SPEND MONEY WE DON’T HAVE on
more military spending THEY DO NOT NEED AND DID NOT ASK FOR.
So unless you are willing to talk about cutting Defense and loopholes, ending tax breaks to companies outsourcing jobs, ending tax breaks to the oil industry, properly taxing capital gains, and putting a leash on the healthcare, drug, and chemical (Monsanto) industries, and YES, increasing taxes on people making $250,000 or more, when you lose your $#!& and email-blast us all about the debt…
unless you are willing to talk about all of those things too, I cannot take you seriously.
Now that we can agree that debt is bad and spending should probably come down in a responsible way, and that your panic-ridden concerns about the debt are deceptive loads of horse $#!& to disguise the fact that you don’t want to pay taxes on your wealth, let’s talk about what really matters:
IT’S NOT JUST A SPENDING PROBLEM.
The deficit is not just a spending problem. Deny it all you want, but there IS also a revenue problem.
The main problem is all the revenue seems to be going to the top, and if trickle-down ever worked (it doesn’t),
someone patched up the leak on the spigot so none of it would ever come back down.
The other part of the revenue problem is that people who aren’t working or are underemployed, are paying less taxes into the system because of the lack of work and low wages. Raising taxes on these people is not the solution.
You need to create better and more good paying jobs. Better paying jobs means more taxes into the system, but it also means that these people can start putting more $$ back into the economy by paying for goods and services.
You didn’t know this? Did you not take an Economics class in High School?
For some reason people still think supply works without demand.
Greed often clouds people’s judgment about what is the right thing to do for their businesses,
for the economy, and for our country.
Here’s a delightful example using a fruit business
(I don’t really know the ins and outs of apples; just go with it, OK? I just thought it would be better than talking about widgets):
Imagine, if you will, a successful apple business in the United States (the fruit, not the computer).
You began as a mid-level manager at EatMyApple Inc.,
eventually working your way up to becoming the CEO.
You’ve made a good salary for yourself, and are living very well.
The company is very profitable, and running efficiently.
But that’s not enough money for you, so you decided to reduce your workforce,
making people do twice the amount of work for the same pay.
Now, you’re making a little more profit, but some of your apples are getting sent out damaged,
many are returned. You’re wasting more apples.
You’re still making money, but your profits are starting to drop,
so instead of hiring more people to restore the quality and integrity of your apple business,
you let more people go, start growing apples in China, and eventually move your entire operation there.
Maybe you make a profit for a little while because labor costs are much cheaper,
so you see a slight jump in your profits in the first quarter. It’s not enough profit for you.
You increase prices, believing there is increased demand,
but then that demand drops in the second quarter because people can no longer afford to buy your apples at the higher price.
On top of that, there are less people in the US to buy your apples,
because those people who used to buy your apples no longer have jobs,
because the people you used to pay to process your apples in the US are no longer able to spend money at the shops the former apple-buyers used to work at,
because you no longer hire anyone in the US to grow, clean, package and ship those apples,
and since those people don’t have those jobs where you’d pay them to do those things, they can’t afford to buy your apples either – at any price.
To make things worse, some of your apple shipments are contaminated and unsafe to sell in the US because of substandard food safety laws in China.
If the low demand weren’t bad enough, now bad press about the contaminated shipments makes your business take a nosedive.
Then your apples sit in your warehouse in China and rot, and eventually you can’t even afford to pay the lease on the warehouse or pennies-on-the-dollar Chinese workers, so you go out of business.
Now you are also unemployed. But IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU.
It was never just about you.
It’s about US. It’s about US in the United States. The United States should be united, don’t you think?
So do US a favor, put the debt aside for a moment and deal with what matters right now.
What really matters right now is JOBS.
We need to make more of them… in America.
We need to stop farming out our jobs to China and other countries with cheap labor and poor labor practices.
Want to help America?
STOP WHINING ABOUT THE DEBT AND HIRE SOME PEOPLE.
Loan some capital to a startup business.
Give money to education: grants, scholarships and training programs so people can learn new skills to get jobs in this new economy.
Spend some damn money somewhere (or everywhere!) so those businesses you visit can continue to operate.
Open a business or factory in America. Hell, open TWO!
Pressure your congressmen to pass jobs legislation and infrastructure repair bills, and to stop blocking progress and purposely tanking the economy just to make the President look bad (borderline treasonous, btw).
It’s not just one of these things. It’s ALL OF THE ABOVE.
In summary: (If you read my rant on Obamacare, you’ll start to see a pattern to my summarizations)
1) Pay your taxes. If you’re rich, pay MORE taxes.
2) Not everything is a damn emergency, but you should really think about hiring more people.
3) Stop being such a selfish greedy prick.
And the next time you want to mass-email something important that voters should REALLY be aware of before they vote on election day…