Saturday, October 16, 2010

Let them have their tax cut if...

If your income declined from 2001 to 2010 or if your child is a member of the U.S. armed forces, then you should get the Bush tax cut, even if you're wealthy.  But if you benefited from the Bush bubble economy and haven't been personally contributing to our national defense - then its time to pay the piper that played your tune.

The middle class didn't make any progress in the last decade - the median wage didn't keep pace with inflation. More than half of American incomes were stagnant or declined as jobs were outsourced (and while companies were given tax brakes to cover the cost of outsourcing). All this despite the growing economy that benefited the already rich. For the small fraction of the elite and upper middle class who actually got stuck in the same trap as the middle of the middle class, we're willing to give you a break - that is, if you're in $250,000+ tax bracket and can show your income in 2010 is less than your income in 2001, then you get the Bush rates.

But for the rest of the wealthy -  well, do you remember your "trickle down" argument?  You told us you would invest your tax cuts to "grow the economy" so that the "rising tide would lift all boats." You didn't keep your end of the bargain: your boats floated while ours sank. This was happening to us before the recession - we were sinking during your "boom."

Now, we understand upper class families have it tough; we've listened to your crocodile tears about how hard it is to live on only five or more times the median household income - you're not rich - really - we believe you. We know you've earned your money, as you spend long hours hunched over your computer and talking on your phone in your air-conditioned office. How can our jobs compare? We re-roof houses in the blazing sun at minimum wage, work two jobs to get by, and deal with a classrooms full of rowdy kids with absentee parents and Republican government mandates to "teach the test." Obviously, the rest of us just don't know what hard work is; we deserve our stagnant wages. We also know how our vilification and "class warfare" is causing psychological scars to your delicate psyche.

Yes, higher taxes may make you work fewer hours. But somehow, I think we'll take that risk.

You of the upper middle class and privileged wealth have been sponging off the rest of the country - benefiting from economic and government systems that protect and increase your income while undercutting the vast majority of Americans. We want you to start paying your fair share of the government that advances your interests. It's time for those who really benefited from the George Bush version of capitalism and "fiscal conservatism" to step up and pay the bill.

Of course, not everyone wealthy is a sponge - many actually support our nation beyond the economic policies that benefit their class. So we're also willing to extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy who, either themselves or through their sons and daughters, put lives on the line for our country in the armed services.  I doubt that this would cost the treasury much - and it would certainly be a small price to pay for those who have served.

By the time an average middle class family pays for sales taxes, social security taxes, real estate taxes, medicare taxes and income taxes they are already sending more than their fair share of their wages to the government.  It's time for the upper middle class and the wealthy to stop whining.


Do you really think that increasing your tax rate from 36% to 39% on only the income you earn over $250,000 is class warfare? 

The middle class is withering - be wary of its demise as we may find out what class warfare really means.   


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