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Tax the Rich!
by Jane Piazza, Joe Gerken Jr.
Thanks to Bruce Fisher for another great essay in Artvoice in the 12/9-12/15 issue, and especially to Michael Niman for his “Tax the Rich!” piece. They were just what I needed after watching Obama cave this week and then set Bill Clinton before the press to field their questions. What?
For the holidays, I’m inspired now to put both those articles in a frame as a gift for my adult son, who wishes I would leave opinions on the economy to the economists, and then print up “Tax the Rich!” bumper stickers and t-shirts for some other gifts I still need. That won’t cost much at all. Then maybe I’ll do a “Bernie Sanders for President in 2012”…
Well, anyway, maybe you gave others some ideas for gifts or other kinds of actions we could take other than just shutting up and swallowing whatever the elites want to dish out.
Jane Piazza, Buffalo
I watched Real Housewives of Beverly Hills last night. Housewife #1 threw a birthday party for her four-year-old daughter which cost $60,000. Housewife #2 bragged that she occasionally flies on a commercial flight rather than always chartering a private jet because the former is a “greener option.” Housewife #3 has two children, four nannies, a full-time housekeeper and chef and someone called a household manager. All this for her main mansion. She also owns four other mansions. I don’t know what their staffing patterns are.
I found myself asking, “Do these housewives really need a tax cut?” They are wealthy beyond our wildest dreams. They make more in a day that the average person makes in a year.
Some people argue that we need to extend tax cuts for multi-millionaires in order to stimulate the economy. This is nonsense. These people are never going to balk at any spending decision, ever. The notion that they might not have money to buy something is pure nonsense. If you taxed them a few percent more per year, they would not even notice that the money was missing.
Think of where the tax money could be going. Healthcare for working mothers; extended unemployment benefits for the 10 percent of our work force who are out of a job; a reduction in the catastrophic number of home foreclosures. It is farcical to think that the super-rich will voluntarily use their wealth to address these pressing social problems. If you think they would be inclined to do so, watch an episode of Real Housewives.
President Obama will rightfully take the heat for supporting an extension of tax cuts for the rich. But the real villains here are the tea-baggers and their ilk for making compromise on this issue necessary. If the Democrats had sustained their prior margins in the House and Senate, they would not have had to budge on tax cuts. Once again, right-wing. white. working-class males voted against their best interests. After 40 years of Nixonomics, Reagonomics, and George Bush politics, you’d think they would learn.
Joe Gerken Jr., Buffalo
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