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The World is not Enough

The American Dream, a great and wonderful philosophy.  Or is it?

“The top 1 percent [of income earners] earned 23.5 percent of all income–more than the entire bottom 50 percent. That is apparently not enough. The percentage of income going to the top 1 percent has nearly tripled since the 1970s. In the mid-1970s, the top 1 percent earned about 8 percent of all income. In the 1980s, that figure jumped to 14 percent. In the late 1990s, that 1 percent earned about 19 percent.”Recent quote from Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont. (1)

Okay, I added the emphasis to the quote above.  It insinuates that those “people” in the top 1% are utterly greedy, selfish individuals.  Earning money and actually getting to spend it is apparently something we should not expect according to Sen. Sanders.  Many of you out there also believe this load of crap if you think that the “rich” should be taxed more heavily.

What happened to freedom and living the American Dream?  How about this one:

It’s “a giveaway to the very rich” noted a Senator from the Democratic Party regarding Estate Taxes not being raised or kept extremely high. (2)

Now, this insinuates that estate value was given to these “rich” people by the government.  A giveaway, huh?  I’m thinking that whoever owned the estate, earned the estate.  To try and explain away and twist the meaning of someone’s life long earnings into a greedy, government giveaway is flat out sick.  “Rich” people worked to get where they are and to secure their families’ futures.  They lived the American Dream for goodness sakes!  It’s crazy to demonize that!

A giveaway to the very rich it is not.  What estate taxes are is the government stealing from those who have successfully lived the American Dream.  Now, doesn’t that sound depressing?  And to think, we have many, many citizens fighting for this very sick idea.

Please come to America, the land of the free, work hard, become successful!  BUT, read the fine print!!!!

The fine print goes something like this:

Warning: As soon as you become successful, you will be taxed at levels that far surpass the general public.  This taxation is done in the name of “you have too much money”.  This taxation is done in the name of “if you don’t let us take it, you are simply greedy”.  By the way, after we unfairly tax your income, as soon as you die we will tax you again since your estate was obviously built up to serve the American Government!  Please understand, we are just looking out for all the future American Dreamers out there!  Stay poor, or you will lose out on the free ride.

It may sound harsh, but truly this is what is occurring.  So, what’s the solution?  First, the government needs to be a good example to the general public.  Our government is the worst example on the face of this earth when it comes to money management!  Debt, debt and more debt.  The flawed solution is to punish those that are successful!  Yep.

Do the citizens that agree with all these taxes still feel like this is reasonable? If so, WHY?

(1)    http://www.scpr.org/programs/patt-morrison/2010/12/16/sanders/ (various souces)

(2)    http://www.wtop.com/?nid=111&sid=2204385


4 Responses

  1. First, on the estate tax, the framers of the Constitution had a great fear of an aristocracy and were very much in favor of an estate tax. Second, given Jesus’s concern for the the poor, how do people who want think (wrongly) that we are a Christian nation justify adding hundreds of billions to the national debt with tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires (which have no stimulative effect) while denying unemployment benefits and other aid to poor people (which has a large stimulative effect.). I think Jesus was cheering Bernie Sanders on.

    • Thanks Andrew!
      I actually agree with you in part. To run a government we need tax money and getting it from those who “won’t feel the pain” is logical to an extent. Touche on the estate tax comment.
      Actually, my main problem is demonizing people who are rich when we do not know their minds or their intent. Jesus is against that type of judgmental thinking.
      Sure, in a perfect world everyone would readily help their fellow brother in need, but, this “ain’t no perfect world!”. Calling someone greedy, then taking a large chunk of their earned money away from them seems hypocritical at best, especially when it’s done by a poorly run bank called the US government.
      On the other side, some extremely rich people need the tax break “incentive” to give to charity. In the end, most of the rich give enough to get out of the higher tax brackets and the other classes inevitably still end up paying more taxes (this is just my opinion). There has to be a better way.
      I still like the idea of the consumption tax being used in conjunction with other taxes, but either way, someone gets screwed.
      I would challenge your statement that the tax breaks add to the national debt….taxes are income, not expenditures. Debt comes from expenses and if we create tax breaks we must adjust our expenditures in kind. The Democrats appeared to actually be trying to do that, but they needed to be real and tell everyone the truth. “If you want health care, better education and social security we have to raise taxes, period.”
      Seems like there needs to be a referendum asking for a vote on what we “want” along with “the cost” of wanting it. I think we forget that government action is paid for directly out of our taxes. Too often we pass new legislation THEN seek to find ways to pay for it. That’s typically bad thinking all around.

  2. First, the easy, technical issue. The extension of the Bush tax cuts does in fact add to the national debt. All existing budgets have been based on those rates reverting to the Clinton-era levels. Since the Republicans insisted on keeping the lower rates without offseting them elsewhere (like they were insisting with unemployment), it increases the deficit and debt.
    I think, in the case of the Bush tax cuts, the greed is evident when, in a time of deficits that are too high, there is an unwillingness on the part of Republicans to extend a $300/week unemployment benefit unless millionaires and billionaires get their tax cuts. $300/week to an unemployed person keeps them in the economy, and therefore keeps the businesses on which they spend that money (because they’re not investing it) in the economy. The eighty-some thousand dollars of benefit received byt some millionaire is not likely to be spent in a way that builds consumer demand, and thus builds jobs. Is every wealthy person who benefits from this tax structure greedy or evil? No, or course not, but for the Republicans to insist that they will not help the poor unless the rich get theirs first is unconscionable. Jesus isn’t about judging, but He is about truth-telling and calling people out, not on the state of their hearts, but on their behavior, particularly when they claim His name. If these people identified themselves as Ayn Rand followers, they would be intellectually consistent. But they make a very big deal about not only being followers of Jesus but of trying to make the case that the nation that they govern should follow Jesus. Jesus said a lot about helping the poor, far more than He ever said about abortion, gays, or public relgion, He never, ever said that we should help the poor only after the rich have been helped.
    The world is not perfect, but Christians are supposed to live in that imperfect world and model the world that is to come. The fallenness of the world is not an acceptable excuse for ignoring Jesus’ teachings. Of course, as fallen people, we all do just that and need forgiveness for it, but we should always be striving for what will be and not settling for what is.

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