Just last year the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report licentiously entitled “Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007.” Now, the CBO is the very entity to which Congress itself appointed all economic analysis and budget score keeping, and which is generally regarded as nonpartisan and above-the-board objective. The report revealed some rather damning “trends,” not least of which is that the 1 percent of the population with the highest income saw their after-tax household income grow by 275 percent, while the 20 percent of the population with the lowest income saw theirs spittle at 18 percent. Indeed, while 99 percent of the American households saw their total market income decrease – cash wages, salaries, capital gains, etc. – the rich 1 percent actually saw theirs double. Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Don’t Mess with Taxes
I’ve always liked that bumper sticker that reads “If you’re not OUTRAGED, you’re not paying attention.” (Though of course it can just as easily be stated that If you’re not outraged, you must be paying attention to Fox, but I digress…) Another slogan I’ve enjoyed goes “I’ll believe corporations are people when a Texas jury executes one.” To that sentiment all I would add is this: or until they pay they have to pay their taxes like all the rest of us working stiffs. To wit, today is Tax Day, everybody, so pony up! You, too, corporations — that is what your name means after all: “corporation” from the Latin for corpus and corporare, literally to make into a body. (Think “corporeal punishment” or “Marine Corps.” Or hell, just think corpse, as in the American dream/ social mobility/ public works/ U.S. revenue thanks to tax dodging loopholes.) Read the rest of this entry »
Today marks the last day of the (ir)regular session of the Wisconsin State Legislature; good riddance to bad rubbish indeed! While halfway through lent, this lapse Catholic is glad the state is giving up Republican mandates for a short while at least. Plus spring has sprung, and with it that irrepressibly burning eternal. Keeping with the lenten theme, the days are longer (lengthened, you might even say), the sun brighter and warmer. With recalls soon to be set, there is light for sure at the end of this tunnel that has been the yearlong winter of our discontent, and hope outshining the audacity of dopes.
Read the rest of this entry »
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
To turn a George Bernard Shaw quip on its head, might it be said that England and Scotland are two cultures separated by a common economy? For that seems truer than suggesting that it’s two accents and aspirations separated by a House of Commons, much as romantic myth or the zeitgeist of exiles would have it otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »
Pompous hypocrisy and opportunism go hand in glove — or mitt, if you prefer. In politics it is both a perk and a prerequisite. There’s almost no such thing as a good slogan, soundbites are so ubiquitously regurgitated the words become reduced to drivel (to say nothing of the sincerity of the sentiment), and either we throw ourselves to the thrall of Revival-like electioneering crusades at the expense of our better judgment and reason, or we close our ears to it like classically trained cynics (no less at our rational expense); we tune in or tune out the tinny prattle of campaign patois, depending on our preset dials. Along with the grandstanding, posturing, preening, and pandering, this is all to be expected. But there is a tenuous snapping point to a candidate’s inconsistencies stretched beyond the torque of mere contradiction when he becomes not merely a raving, flaming, laughable fraud, but something troublingly worse: a man with no meaning. Such is the rhetoric of Romney. Read the rest of this entry »
Last weekend The New York Times published a visually provocative piece entitled “The Geography of Government Benefits” in which demographic data about which parts of the nation receive the lion’s share of federal assistance is splashily displayed. Gently letting the cat out of the bag, the states/ regions of each state which take more from the national kitty than contribute to it are the very ones that rail against “big government” and decry the horrors of having a nanny state. Such is the self-implosive bloviation of hypocrites’ cognitive dissonance. Read the rest of this entry »
Running a government is not unlike being a soccer mom: you’re a chaperone and chauffeur, you’re in charge of seat belts and timing belts, gas in the car, breakfast in the kids’ bellies, the right uniform(s) washed the night before, the right equipment packed this morning; you remember to pick up the extra cones or water bottles, to pick up some other kids in the car pool; you’re capable of coaching or reffing if needed, but if not you make at least three calls on your cell during the game: to your aging mother and did she take her medicine, to your other sister and how did her second date go with that new guy, and the bakery to order the cake for your best friend’s surprise 40th birthday. It is multitasking to the nth degree, with an almost superhuman awareness of needs and sensibilities. Running a business is more like being a professional field goal kicker: you’re here to do one thing and one thing only. Read the rest of this entry »