Linda Loftin

Buffet The Vampire Slayer

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Warren Buffett, billionaire, has pointed out the inherent unfairness of our current tax structure, where the uber-wealthy like himself pay a 15% tax rate while the middle class folks like his secretary pay as much as 35% in federal taxes. The vampires from my blog title today, are those who wish to suck more of the life blood out of the middle and lower classes while leaving their own kind unscathed. 

I have wondered why it is that the Republicans are so intent on protecting the pockets of the super rich and the big corporations at the expense of the rest of us. I also  have wondered how any voters except the mega-rich can ever cheer on this stance. How can anyone except the top 1% of earners think it a great idea to protect the private jet setters and yachters at the expense of those of us who drive 10 year old cars while also praying that they last another 10 years? Isn’t it time that our congress takes the side of the middle class in our nation of increasing wealth disparity?

The Republican candidates like to cite statistics that say that 47% of our countrymen pay no taxes. They are talking about federal taxes of course, not all taxes. What they don’t tell us is that most of the people who don’t have to pay federal taxes earn less than $20,000 a year and most of the rest are people who get social security because they are retired  and, as a couple, make less than $32,000.  Do we really expect the elderly, making less than this to pay more federal taxes when they already paid social security taxes once when their contributions were first deducted from their pay checks? Do we really expect the working poor or those who have lost jobs to pay federal taxes when they aren’t sure where they are getting their next meal? Why would these candidates espouse this mantra, all the while protecting the second home mortgage deduction for the fellow who uses it to claim his yacht as his second home?

I believe the typical congressman/woman does not understand or care to understand the the fact that more and more people are losing their grip on the middle class life. I recently took advantage of a Groupon to take a two hour cruise down the Patomac on the Sequoia. This is the yacht that served nine presidents before being sold as an austerity measure by the Carter administration. The yacht is usually booked by congressional elites for parties. The night before our cruise, Eric Cantor had booked the boat for a very successful fund raiser. I chatted with the bartender, who mixes drinks for the elite functions on this yacht, but also tends bar at less ritzy venues. I asked him about the tipping habits of the congressional crowd, who as we know were generally quite well off before they ever went to Washington. He told me that he would much rather tend bar for the Plumbers Union than for any glamorous congressional function because congress  types are notoriously poor tippers while common folk like plumbers give generous tips. He didn’t speculate on why this is so but I know why. Those who have always had money have no understanding of the difference a few dollars makes to a waitress, a bar tender, or any tip dependent person who has to rely ‘on the kindness of strangers’ to pay their bills and feed their kids. These congressional members are the same ones who feel that their own should be protected while at the same time believing that the ever shrinking middle class, the working poor, the unemployed, and the fixed-income elderly should carry the load created by the elimination of economic safety nets. The truth is that they simply don’t get it. They don’t understand the reality of not being able to find work because jobs have been shipped off to the third world, in order that corporations can make ever larger profits.  The wealthy Republicans who want to protect their own at the expense of the rest of us will never “get it” but we have the power to vote anyone out of office, or see to it that they never get voted in to office. Not all the rich are in the category of those who don’t understand the reality of the economic struggle of most Americans. You will be able to tell who understands and who doesn’t if you listen carefully to what they say. Do they lie and tell you that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme because they want to destroy it?  Do they sit around with the desperate unemployed and joke that they too are unemployed and are truly puzzled when we don’t laugh? Do they tell you that everyone should pay federal taxes no matter what their situation? Do they tell you that protective regulations that we have worked hard to put in place are unnecessary? Do they  lie and tell you that getting rid of regulations will provide you with a job and do they fail to tell you that their campaigns are financed by the billionaires who want regulations eliminated so they can stuff their coffers ever fuller? 

Republican candidates are currently whining about class warfare but what they are really  whining about is the fact that we ordinary folks are on to them. We have figured out that they care only about their own class and will do anything to protect the wealth that they, their friends, their corporations, and their lobbyists have accumulated. Let’s all remember that the next time we vote. 

  1. No one has ever shown me why raising taxes on wealthy people will hurt the creation of jobs. I would like to see the proposed economic mechanism that correlates tax increases with lack of job creation. In some ways, the comments of many on the far right remind me of the famous statement – “let them eat cake!” Any action that seeks to help the public at large, if done by any government, is seen as bad. I just read a comparison of the health care statistics between Texas and Mass. Yes, health care is expensive in Mass., but your chances of living a healthy and long life are far better than if you live in Texas – unless you are very wealthy!

    • I have relatives in Mass. and I hear that folks there are darned happy with their system. I bet the folks in Texas, where 26% of the population are uninsured, would love the Massachusetts system.

    • The Government has defined powers in the Constitution. They have no authority to provided any type of service. Why do you believe that you are entitled to some of another mans money? If a rich man earned his money legally he is entitled to keep all of his earnings. Our government does not need more money to mismanage. They need to start working with much less. Ten percent of what they are spending now would be to much to trust them with.

  2. You need to wake up a open your eyes. Buffet is an idiot. If he feels that he is paying to little in taxes he can freely pay more. Heck he can send them everything he earns and no one will stop him. He is part of the scam they are running against the American people. The Democrats in DC are a bunch of criminals and working to destroy our way of life. If Barrack were really for the middle class do you believe wealthy people would pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend his fund raisers? The Democrats are no more for the middle class and average Americans then the crooked Republicans. Just because in your mind one is bad it doesn’t make the other good. I am talking about the Democrat and Republican parties not all of the individuals in office in DC. There are a few. Very few good people working for us trying to make a difference.These are the representatives that you most likely don’t even know their names. The Rock Star on TV every week members of government are the ones that have sold us out. They have the power and the influence to promote the destructive schemes to “fix” America. Our government is owned by the big corporations. These same corporations own the news networks. They also pay lawyers and lobbyists to write unconstitutional laws and push for their support in DC. I could write a book but don’t have time so do some real open minded research and stop falling for the Left Right paradigm. I think this is what Hank Williams Jr. tried to point out and got slammed for it. The Republicans and Democrats in DC are buddys. They put on a good show for the public. But behind closed doors they are best buddy’s. They are working for the same corporate masters. When I say corporations I am talking about the multibillion dollars empires that own everything from toothpaste manufacturing to Banks.Not the small local businesses. The people in our government are their puppets. We fall for the illusion that the elected officials are calling the shots but it is the puppet master that is pulling their strings.
    Things will never get better in this country until we start following the Constitution and restore the power back to its rightful place. In the hands of the people.
    If we work together we can save this little experiment. If we expect the government to fix things the country will surely fail!

    • You sound like a Libertarian. They have some good ideas but they forget that the reason we have government services is because the people wanted them. We no longer live in the Old West where it’s every man for himself and you gave the doc a chicken when he set your broken leg. Every single government in the world supplies services for it’s citizens and it is a hopelessly romantic idea that we would ever return to those days of rough and rugged individualism. The world changes and our government changes with it . My dad was a fervent Libertarian but when he was living he happily cashed his SS checks and took advanage of his Medicare. He also happily drove over the bridges that the government maintained. In WWII he took government money when he was a brave figher pilot and later he took advantage of the government GI bill. I believe that everone who rants against government spending does indeed take advantage of it. If you take a mortgage tax deduction, you are using a government handout. Should we eliminate police, firefighters and teachers and all totaly fend for ourselves? of course we don’t want that. We want the governement services that we personally want but if we don’t like a certain service, we don’t want to pay for it. The reason we provide for others is that we are a compassionate people and we dont want to see folks dying on the street like they do in 3rd world countries. We believe we are better than that. The selfishness that has creeped into our national policial discussions amazes me.
      Dispite our great differences, I still appreciate the time you spent to respond to my blog and I hope you subscribe. We might have some very heated future discussions.

      • Sorry Linda but you are putting your faith in the wrong place if you believe the government is the best way to handle anything other than their constitutional responsibilities. If you and your kind would leave me and my money alone I would have no problem with your misguided ideas. But the left always expects everyone else to foot the bill for their delusional ideas. If I could check a box on a form to opt out of everything except using the roads and fire and police protection I would. I would pay a minimal fee for these services. The government doesn’t do anything well. The founders understood this over 200 years ago. Why don’t people today understand this? I don’t care what other countries are doing. We came here to get away from their oppresive ways. This country was the envy of world until recently when we started going down the same failed socialist path of the european countries.
        I would rather have freedom then health care. Health care has never saved anyone. Steve Jobs could afford the best healthcare in the world. But all your money won’t another miniute buy. We are all mortal. We will all die.
        Of course your father should take his Social Security and military benefits. He paid for them and earned them.
        My question to you is why am I expected to sacrafice more when others for generations have not even provided for themselves. The government gives them more of our hard earned money everytime they irresponsibly reproduce. They just keep living off of the system. Where does my responsibility end and theirs begin. Plus how are my two children going to be able to support their 15 children and still have enough left to start a family of their own?
        Socialism will never work. More and more people will realize that they can make out better by not working and they will stop working and let the government take care of them. Once you have twice as many people living off of the system as paying in it will fail. Just like Rome and many others through out history. Greece and the EU are failing as we speak. I don’t know why it is that hard to understand. Apparently your father understood. It’s a shame that he couldn’t pass his understanding down to you.

  3. Mr. Styer,
    I am not personally a socialist as I define it (there are different definations of the word)) but polls shows that Danes are the happiest people in the world, and it is generally agreed that they have a Socialist from of government. Swedes are also quite happy. Therefore, I can refute your assertion that “socialism will never work” because we have proof that in some counties it does work extremely well and the people would not want any different form of government.
    Some call the Canadian universal health care system socialist, or even the Massachusettes health care requirements, but the people who live under those systems are quite pleased, generally speaking. I would far prefer for people to be required to have health insurance and pay something for it, than for these same people to walk into a hospital uninsured and expect the tax payer to pick up the tab. It surprises me that there are people out there who are quite content to let there be uninsued people who can walk into any emergency room and get free health care, when an insurance mandate would mean that these same people will pay insurance just like the rest of the population. Wouldn’t you prefer that these uninsured folks be required to have insurance, or are you pleased to have then just get free health care at your expense?
    You and I do gree that it is irresponsible to purposefully have many more than two children. But unless we are willing to institute a two child policy, we won’t be changing that anytime soon. I assume that your love of freedom would not allow you to condone a law mandating that a family have only two children and as long as we don’t have that law, people will continue to have as many children as they wish, whether we like it or not. We can either allow those children to starve, or we can feed them. Those are the only choices we have.
    If you could opt out of every government service except the maintainance of roads and fire and police protection then you might be perfectly happy but the vast majority of people in this country (and not just the left leaning folks) want all sorts of government protections and services. They want clean water and clean air. They want to know that the food they eat is safe. They want to know that the airplanes they fly in and the cars they drive are safe and fuel efficient. They want to know that the people who teach their kids, provide medical care, and even cut our hair are licensed as sufficiently qualified to do so. that’s why we have all the regulations we have; because the majority of the population demanded that it be done. This has nothing to do with being on the right or the left of the policital sprectrum.
    Thanks for your comments and i hope you keep reading the blog.

    • Linda, The only reason we have all the laws and regulations today is because a few people demand them. Mostly the corporations and government. Very few of the laws and regulations make our lives better. Most are the reason we have no hope of an economic recovery and were designed to eliminate competition for big corporations.
      Keep trusting the bastardized system of government that we have today but I am sure you will live to see it fail in your life time. I wouldn’t be suprised to see it fail in less than eight years. People in this country will then understand what it is like to suffer. Fortunately for poor people like myself it won’t be a very big adjustment.

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