2010-12-30 / Letters

Tax Bill Victim Of Stupidity And Greed

To The Editor:

Years ago an old fellow I’d met during my years as a journalist called with a “business proposition.”

Intrigued, I drove to his home.

“I’ve had an interesting life,” he said, revealing his plan. He’d tell me his stories, I’d “make them marketable” and we’d split the profits.

He recounted one, and although interesting, I envisioned little beyond perhaps an occasional newspaper “guest essay,” and no “financial incentive.”

I nevertheless offered to help him write them down for posterity.

“Around here,” he responded, “we don’t do anything without financial incentive.”

Three years later he and his stories died.

Stupidity and greed had triumphed.

I think often of this incident in considering my own life and world events.

Consider Washington’s recent “compromise” tax bill. Both “sides” got virtually everything they wanted.

Despite America’s incomprehensible $14 trillion debt, Democrats and Republicans agreed to borrow another $858 billion from China and others to give Americans “tax breaks.”

We have the greatest disparity between rich and poor of any major nation, yet 25 percent of that money will go to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.

In 1975, America’s wealthiest 1 percent received 8 percent of all income; in 2009 they received 25 percent of all income – more than the entire bottom 50 percent of Americans receive.

Despite Social Security’s troubles, SS payroll taxes are being reduced one-third!

Meanwhile, they’re lowering the estate tax from pre-Bush administration levels – costing billions, while “helping” only the wealthiest three-tenths of 1 percent of Americans!

Further extending unemployment benefits seems another short-term “fix” of questionable longterm benefit.

While President Obama has accomplished much, on this bill, he bowed to stupidity and greed on the right and the short-term fix mentality of some on the left, rather than standing firm to maintain the American dream for future generations to live and tell their stories.

And so we begin 2011 with optimism tempered by legitimate concerns.
Happy New Year!
Paul Politis
Chairman, Franklin
County Democratic

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