Are you one of the 53%?

Are you a 53%er? You know, one of the poor bastards that actually pays FEDERAL income tax. I am! No freeloaders here. Oh, wait! That is not a true statement since Pat was on unemployment for a while. Bad, bad, Pat! Sucking off the government’s tit like that! You should be ashamed. What’s that you say? You PAID into the unemployment fund. What kind of commie-socialist-fascist nonsense are you spouting? Don’t let Rush here you say that; he might bore you to death with all his talking.

Anyway, back to my point…

The 53% campaign is based on the notion that 53% of Americans pay more in federal income taxes than they receive back in deductions or credits, and so 53% of people are subsidizing everyone else. Like much of everything that Mr. Erickson does, this is also misguided and meant to widen the divide in public discourse which, of course, helps drive traffic to his website and get him on the TV machine. Just who are the sons-of-bitches that are shirking their FEDERAL responsibilities?

Well, 22% of them are lower-income seniors on Social Security. Those old bastards. Who do they think they are! That leaves us with 25% of able-bodied, competent folks who still refuse to pay their fair share! Who are these people? Why do we tolerate this nonsense?

Taken together, the earned income tax credit, the child credit, and the childcare credit account for about 15% of the people who pay no federal income tax. I’ve taken advantage of these credits in the past (I must be a horrible, horrible person).

That leaves about 10% of people who manage to use other deductions and/or loopholes to get under the tax line. Some of them make a decent amount of money.

Perhaps we should stop looking to the bottom and blaming the poor for being poor.

We are systematically destroying the public education system, turning it into nothing more than a testing ground for private companies to get rich off telling us that our kids suck and that they’re stupid; that lazy teachers and greedy administrators are the problem; that we need more ridiculous unfunded mandates that benefit no one but the test companies.

We have almost finished reducing the middle-class to nothing more than a footnote. I, for one, am tired of being told that the government is the problem. No it’s not. Bad government is the problem. When you continue to elect people that HATE government, you get bad government. What a fucking shock!

Wake up. I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to think like me (I still don’t understand why you don’t) but let’s at least strive to elect people that believe that government has a role and function in this country. People that want to work to make this country better and not by dismantling it. When has that ever worked?

Next time someone tells you that about 47% of people don’t pay any taxes, look them in the eye (or the keyboard) and tell them they’re full of shit. You can also tell them they’re part of the problem.

Most of my figures come from http://dmarron.com/2011/07/27/why-do-half-of-americans-pay-no-federal-income-tax/

Which stem from http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/1001547-Why-No-Income-Tax.pdf

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Entitled

You’re goddamn right I’m entitled.

Know why?

Stuff doesn’t get built without me. Kids don’t get educated without me. Patients don’t get care without me.

This country doesn’t exist.

Without me.

That’s right. I said it.

Nothing gets done without me.

Me.

I am the middle class.

I’m more important than the wealthy that this Congress is hell bent on protecting.

Because of the recession I’m more lower middle than middle middle but I’ve been poorer than this before and things will bounce back (I hope). I have the important things: health, family, a warm puppy.

What I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around is this ridiculous idea that by raising taxes on the wealthy we kill the economy. Ten years ago the Bush administration cut taxes on the wealthy; the so-called “job creators”.

What happened?

Did the economy expand and lift all boats? Did the middle class experience job security and prosperity?

Ah, no.

In fact, more jobs were lost by the middle class than in any other time in our history. Wealth has concentrated at the top and the middle class started to die. It’s almost done.

So what have we learned?

Tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs or stimulate economic growth.

So why are we still having a debate about this?

Following World War II we had a tremendous boom in this country. More people owning homes and automobiles. More kids being sent to college. More security and more prosperity.

Know what else we had?

A tax rate of 90% on the wealthy. NINETY PERCENT. And they stayed wealthy. They invested their profits back into their companies and everyone prospered. Everyone.

Know what the current tax rate is? 35%. Yup. 1/3 of what they paid historically.

And where does that leave the country?

In a huge recession.

Wealth hoarded by 1% of the population. Public education in disarry from years of deepening cuts. An infrastructure that is, quite literally, falling down. A high infant mortality rate and some of the most severe poverty in the industrialized world.

And I’m called entitled. You’re goddamn right I’m entitled.

I’m entitled to a living wage.

I’m entitled to not being bankrupted by a sudden catastrophic illness.

I’m entitled to expect that my children will receive a proper education in a public school that doesn’t suck.

This fight isn’t about legislating the poor into prosperity; it’s about not killing the middle class. It’s about being fucking fair. It’s time to reframe the argument. The bullshit arguments about welfare queens and crackheads are just that, bullshit.

This isn’t about middle versus the poor. It’s about them versus everyone else.

It’s about the middle class.

It’s about me.

It’s about fucking time.

They only call it class warfare when we fight back.