copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
He is up. He is down! Thankfully, the opposition says, "Soon he will be out of favor and ultimately out of office!" If voters do not remove the renegade from his prestigious position, term limits certainly will do him in. Liberal loyalists assert; President Obama is not the problem. Congress is the cruel joke. It seems no matter the political persuasion, citizens of this country find someone to fault. Surely, societal ills are thrust upon the public by an outside force. Regardless, of whether the electorate places the onus on an individual, an industry, the nation's Chief Executive, or other government officials, the oft-heard battle cry in the Age of America's Unreason. is someone else is to blame. The American people do not imagine themselves responsible for inertia.
copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
On this fine day in February 2009, President Barack Obama submitted his budget blueprint. For the first time, in near a decade, transparency is built into a national financial plan. The tremendous costs to wage the two wars America is engaged in are no longer hidden. Outlays for military offenses have been written into the ledger, and not in the traditional invisible ink. While one might think fiscal and political Conservatives would be pleased, upon receipt of the document, Republicans immediately pounced. Senator Judd Greggspoke on the Grand Old Party's behalf when he asked, "Where is the restraint in spending?"
John the Caterer, Pam the Antique Shop owner, Tito the Truck Driver, or possibly, Jane the Dressmaker believe a responsible person takes care of them self first. Money in my pocket matters more than dollars for those on government programs. Uncaring or less than conscious of consequences; you dear reader decide.
These small business entrepreneurs work hard for the cash they earn. In these tough times, John, Pam, Tito, and Jane cannot afford to contribute to the goodwill of others in their communities. They are strapped. In McCain Palin commercial after commercial, proprietors proclaim as the candidate they support does, it would be fiscally irresponsible to spread the wealth or to have tax dollars pay for plans that might buy more body armor, build more roads, better hospitals and schools, or stimulate a green economy.
Each of these mini-tycoons, along with the now third person on the Republican ticket, Joe the Plumber, tells the American people of personal concerns; the trials and tribulations of taxes. These citizens crave policies that typify the Republican tradition of economic restraint. McCain Palin supporters, common folks such as Carole the Cook and Charles the Contractor muse; it is reckless to grow debt. American workers, businessmen, and women think it is prudent to hold on to every hard earned dollar. They too have no love for an economic adventurous policymaker.
That has been the mantra for many American's for decades. "We want a fiscal Conservative in the White House!" However, frequently, the fine people of this country elect other than a President who is cautious with American dollars. United States citizens intend to cast ballots for those who practice economic restraint. Yet, annals reveal, too often they do not. Responsible, reckless, ; you dear reader decide. (Please review the chart)
Recent Republican Administrations exemplify the dichotomy between monetary judiciousness and those who adopt the title, fiscal Conservative. Past Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush, and the current Chief Executive, George W. Bush brought this country to its economic knees. While the latter may be a bit bruised, it seems his supporters are happy to follow in a Republican tradition. They will vote for the John McCain, the candidate who now represents the Republican Party. Fortunately, for the Arizona Senator, past Grand Old Party fiscal follies does not tarnish the reputation of the "Right." Republicans and Independents, who think taxes are irresponsible, endorse the Bush protégé, John McCain in the current 2008 Presidential campaign.
Although Republican Administrations accrued billions in national debt, these former Commanders-In-Chief personally prospered. They, did as John the Caterer, Pam the Antique Shop owner, Tito the Truck Driver, and of course, the now famous Joe the Plumber hope to do, hold their dollars closely and benefit at the expense of others.
The third person on the Republican Presidential stump, Joe the Plumber has already accomplished as his political leaders did. Samuel J. Wurzelbacher's debt resulted in liens. However, he also garnered greater monetary wealth. Irresponsible, accountable; only you the American taxpayer can decide for yourself.
It appears there is a perceptible pattern. People who prosper from the hardship of others leave enormous sums unpaid. Former Presidents and the few big or small business owners thrive, while the average American, lives on meager wages, or salaries that do not allow much money to be saved. Responsible, or the result of regressive taxes; individual readers will choose what they wish to trust as truth.
However, no one will negate, common people find themselves in a financial crisis, that for him or her, perhaps feels more dire than the national or global catastrophe. Circumstances, may force the poor and Middle Class to be more fiscally Conservative. As the economy tightens, remunerations are reduced. Expenses expand. People who work hard may have little to show for the blood, sweat, and tears of toil.
The Center for American Progress reports, in recent years, as another a Republican ruled the White House, America's Middle Class has fallen deeper into a financial abyss. Income growth slows, and costs climb for the average person in the United States. For the common folks, financial solvency is on a downward descent; fiscal liability ascends.
A typical middle income family earning around $45,000 a year saw its debt burden grow by 33.1% between 2001 and 2004, even after adjusting for inflation. Debt relative to income rose even more, to 33.9%, during this period for middle-income families. Personal bankruptcies among these households are rising steeply.
The reasons for greater economic distress among middle class households are not hard to pinpoint. Slow income growth between 2001 and 2004, the last year for which complete data is available, has not kept pace with the rising cost of big ticket items such as housing and education loans, medical expenses and transportation. Family budgets have been squeezed.
A common but misplaced assumption is that the growth in debt among middle-income families - those with incomes roughly between $25,000 to $70,000 a year - is the result of over-consumption through increased credit card debt. Rather, growth in debt is primarily due to heavier borrowing for investments in homes or education, both of which saw dramatic price increases in recent years. The cost of a college education, for example, grew by 24.6% between 2001 and 2004, after adjusting for inflation.
These rising debt levels are also beginning to affect groups of middle income families that historically have not struggled with debt.
Wealthier Republicans, such as John McCain, who wail of personal responsibility, take no note of what occurs to others less fortunate or financially not fluid.
Indeed, when President, John McCain intends to make the tax cuts established in the current Administration permanent. The Presidential aspirant disregards the damage done. Perchance, a desire to discount the cause and effect of an economic crisis could be considered fiscally imprudent
Republican President George W. Bush does not worry of what his irrational policies produced He offers with emotional detachment, "The fact is that income inequality is real -- it's been rising for more than 25 years," For Mister Bush and Senator McCain that truth is just the way it is, and perchance, they think the disproportionate distribution is the way it should be. This is known as a redistribution of wealth . . . upwards.
The moneyed move millions, billions into preferred pocketbooks. The super-rich, and those who represent them in the Oval Office, do this through duties that divide the population. The regressive tax system subtlety imposed upon the nation by recent Republican Administrations helped supplement substantial income and capital gains. Might this tax practice be rash or rational?
Today [in 2003 and since], with state taxes becoming more regressive - and the two Bush tax cuts providing large tax savings for the rich - the tax system is moving in the direction of a flat tax, but doing so out of the spotlight. For example, despite sharp debate about the administration's tax cuts on the campaign trail, talk about whether taxes are regressive or progressive is hardly material for the stump speeches of presidential candidates . . .
[A]t the top, the tax system has already become regressive. The super-rich pay proportionately less in federal income tax than the merely rich. In 2000, the nation's 400 richest taxpayers, making an average $173 million, paid an effective tax rate more than 5 percentage points lower than those making $1.5 million to $5 million, notes economist Martin Sullivan in Tax Notes magazine.
That gap has probably shrunk a bit since then. In 2000, the peak year for stock market prices, the super-rich probably saved some taxes on their huge capital gains. (Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income.) Since then, stock-market capital gains have diminished. But Congress also cut the capital gains rate from 20 to 15 percent - a provision especially beneficial to the rich.
"At the rate we are going, in which more and more investment income is simply untaxed, we will end up with a federal income tax that is not only regressive at the top, but regressive overall," warns Richard Kogan, an economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington. "The middle class will be the tax-bearing class."
Self-invested proprietors, a collective of self-interested persons, or Republican Administrations that do not require people of means to contribute to the greater good soon realize they have created an economic calamity. These persons who prefer a Conservative in the White House, have opted for deregulation of banks and brokers. Depositories built on free and open markets, without restraints, have done as individuals, Presidents, and property owners have. They sought to endow in self and sacrifice service to the community. Are they prudent, practical, fiscally Conservative, or just careless . . .?
America, under the direction of the last three Republican Presidents, fiscal Conservatives who were not prudent with cash, encouraged the electorate to charge it. Now, Joe the Plumber, John the Caterer, and Betty the Baker who [kneads] needs more dough before she can purchase a storefront understands why everyday people borrow from banks.
The regressive Republican tax structure has made it hard for these individuals to manage on the money they have set aside. Those who advocate for less taxes and look out for their personal gains, as the mammoth monetary monuments crumbled do well when the consumer wants more. However, as history show s us, amongst Grand Old Party Presidents and the more prosperous, too much is never enough for people with plenty.
Bigger corporations and Chief Executives, who are no longer content with what they have, crave greater wealth. They too scrounge for a nickel or a dime.
When faced with a monetary meltdown after years of irrational, irresponsible, exuberance, self-proclaimed fiscal conservations like John McCain morphed. The love of money does that to people, even if they wish to think themselves traditionalist.
The Bush Administration proposed a government bailout of big businesses who behaved irresponsibly. The newer Grand Old Party, leader, and Presidential aspirant, understood that he was expected to be standard-bearer for self-sufficiency. However, if he stood that ground, those he helped to thrive through deregulation would go down. Thus, as a faithful Republican soldier, John invoked the plea that would point out that he is perchance, not a fiscal Conservative. In September 2008, Senator McCain offered an early election year surprise. The once traditional Republican requested, Please,"Let the government bailout business." As a fiscal Conservative, John McCain said, "Let my corporate cohorts eat cake." Americans may ask as Journalist Bonnie Erbe did months earlier; Is McCain the Return of the Fiscal Conservative?
References for Republican Resources . . .
copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
Never spend your money before you have it.
~ Thomas Jefferson
I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.
~ Thomas Jefferson
Tis Sunday, September 28, 2008. The weather is warm and word on the streets is warmer. Fire from Hades, fervor, and fury heat the debate heard on the streets and in the halls of Congress. Businesses fail. Banks do too. Bailouts are planned and these too falter. Those in the White House are red hot with concern. People in Treasury Department and within Secretary Henry Paulson's office sense the burn. Many fear they too will be scorched. The flames are intense on the Hill. Yet, on American avenues many feel, while inflamed by the rhetoric, chilled at the prospect that this immediate need for a bailout is but a hoax or perchance, just hype.