Our American Shame


Picture 3The Pink Flamingo has never been truly ashamed of my country and people in the country until the past few months.  I never thought I would be ashamed of my country, but now I am.    The United States has a population of approximately 315 million people. Of those, over 138 million, a third, are on the edge of falling from the middle class into poverty, living from paycheck to paycheck.  Nearly 44% of Americans are living on the brink of total economic collapse.  More than 46 million Americans live below the poverty level.  6 million Americans have no income other than food stamps – something like $6000 a year. Less than 1% are ultra-wealthy. Over one million people in this nation are homeless.

Did you know that only 10% of senior citizens now live in poverty.  If there was no social security, more than half would be in poverty.  Before Medicare less half of the seniors in this country had access to health care.  Now 95% do.

What happens when you go from the very good economic security to the brink of total oblivion, because of circumstances that are not really your fault?  You think it can not happen to you?  Well, I thought the same thing.  Trust me, it can happen to anyone, no matter how well padded and how safe their world is. The most frustrating part of the new reality is that the world is no longer the same place it once was.  The worst of it, what is so bad, what embarrasses me the most is people in this country no longer seem to care.

Mistakes are no longer forgiven.  You are either a taker or maker.  It doesn’t matter that someone who is now considered a taker was once a maker.  If you are a taker you are a boil on the tushie of society.  The right considers you worthless.  There is no value in your life.  You are to be stomped on, denigrated, and cast aside, to figuratively rot in the sewers of the makers.

Today’s makers are a tawdry and disgusting lot.  They are starting to remind us why so many nations turned on their over-lords and basically gave them a financial attitude adjustment.  They prove that absolute money and absolute power corrupt everyone around them, absolutely.

The makers are the ones who are fortunate enough to pay artificially low tax rates that enable them to have special status within our society.  The real makers, the 95% of small business owners who struggle each and every day to stay afloat pay anywhere from 35-39% in federal income taxes.  Not our makers, though.  They may get stuck paying 14%, if they can’t move their accounts off-shore and use accounting practices to deduct foreign operating expenses from domestic taxes.

There is something terribly unfair about this. But, in our new, Randian world, it’s the name of the game.  They are the makers – the real takers of a libertarian society that has redefined socialism so that the mega wealthy have all the protections they can possibly want, and then some, with the 99% of us required to hand over what we have, in pure socialist fashion, to those who need it the least.  It is a strange world in which we live.  Gone is the security the middle class once had.  In its place is lower pay, higher prices, and the threat of being out-sourced.  If you don’t do what the makers demand, work longer hours for less take home pay then you could lose your job, entirely.

When you do lose your job, you are a bum.  You are worthless, useless, nothing but puss and festering sore to be lanced and kicked aside.  You are less than worthless in the eyes of the pandering crowd of billionaire worshipers.  If you criticize your betters, the makers, then you are a socialist, a marxist, and a taker.  The only way for you to redeem yourself is to work harder, longer, and tell your maker over-lord that you worship the ground he walks on and will gladly take less pay for more work.

It’s the new American way.

It’s quite sad, quite tragic.  This nation is but a shadow of what it once was.  Growing up Republican, I was always told the far left, the Democrats would be the ones to being about the destruction of society as we know it.  If someone had told me the right, that the GOP would be the ones enabling the end of the world as we once knew it, I would have laughed at them. It was not possible.  Republicans don’t act that way.  Republicans favor the small business owner, the risk taker, the dream maker, the man and woman who was willing to put their home up for a mortgage to start that third restaurant.

Never in my wildest imagination could I envision a Republican Party that had been bought by the worst factions among us, white supremacists, John Birchers, militia, and men who simply put their pointy white hats in a closet and pretended to be normal, all the while, they do nothing but spew hatred of a twice elected POTUS who is not of their race.  The nation is now in the hands of so-called “christian” leaders who built their organizations out of a mailing list from the KKK.  The GOP is literally owned by two men who follow in their grandfather’s footsteps.  He believed there should be no social security or a minimum wage.  He did not approve of unemployment insurance.

Once upon a time, everyone had an opportunity in this country to get ahead and finish with a little bit of wealth, have a great retirement and enjoy their senior years.  Those days appear to be behind us.  The only way to get them back is to stand up for the little guy.  I don’t give a damn about the mega wealthy.  I care about the little guy. No, the little guy does not need to take what the mega wealthy guy has.  But, he has a right to try and get there on his own.

Everyone in this nation should be paying the same identical federal tax rate.  There should be the same identical deductions and a minimum base of about $25,000.  There should be deduction for each family member, mortgages, and normal things.  That’s it.  If a Koch Brother makes over those deductions than he should pay 35% the same way Ms. Small Business Woman does.  She pays 35% above those deductions.  Yes, if someone makes a billion bucks they should be required to pay 35% in federal taxes just like the small business owner who makes a hundred thousand, fifty thousand, or a million bucks pays.  That is fair.  For anyone to say it is not, well, they are lying.

Maybe that’s the real problem with this country.  No one should be required to pay 35% of their income in taxes.  I think 20% is high enough.  But, EVERYONE should be required to pay the same rate, no exceptions, none.  It doesn’t matter of someone makes $50,000 or $500 million.  They pay the same tax rate with the same allowable deductions.

Perhaps then, a sense of fairness, of fair play would begin to come back to this nation.  Unfortunately, with the far right brainwashed by conservative media, they think anyone who makes over a certain number of billions is to be worshiped and allowed to pay a smaller percentage rate in taxes.  That, in turn, sets up a new entitled class.

This country was born so that there was to be no entitled class. The beautiful irony of all of this is that the very  men and women who worship the Constitution and the Founding Fathers are the very ones who want to destroy the very fabric of the land and pervert what they created, in order to pander to the ultra wealthy.

Yes, the ultra wealthy deserve their wealth.  I deserve to be wealthy. So do you.  We all should be paying the same low tax percentage rate, no exceptions, no matter how wealthy and important, no matter how Rush Limbaugh blathers on about the wealthy paying more in taxes.  Of course they are.  They make more.  You make more, you pay more.  Is the far right that stupid they don’t comprehend that people who make a billion bucks should pay the same tax percentage rate as someone who makes fifty thousand bucks?

Do these people have no shame?