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Showing posts with label Middle Class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle Class. Show all posts

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Is How You Talk to Corporate America

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Matter of Personal Preference

Some of my high school friends and I used to have the classic "Beatles v. Stones" debate. Some were Beatles fans and some were Stones fans. Often the debates became quiet heated as each side was passionate that they were right and the other was wrong.

Obviously, there was no right and wrong because it was simply a matter of personal preference. To me, this is exactly what is going with President Obama. For most folks, it's a matter of personal preference and they really don't spend the amount of time someone like me does in researching the various issues.

This is particularly true of the people that don't like the president. In general, there's nothing rational about it. He could fix everything wrong in the world while personally saving their families from drowning and these folks would still not admit that he has been a good president. There are several reasons for this. First, he won and they just can't accept that. Second, he's doing a better job than George W. Bush, the man they pinned all their hopes and dreams on only to watch him fail in several key areas (nearly ruining our country), and they just can't accept that. Third, he's black (side note: don't even try to wriggle out of it, reverse race card players, and do your little schitck) and they just can't accept that.

So, one can indeed look at these reasons and see that they are purely emotional. So why don't they just admit it? Is it so hard for them to say, "I just don't like him and it's not based on anything factual" ? Honestly, it's like pulling teeth but that's the pride and seemingly infinite hubris of the right.

It's not that difficult for me. I like Dennis Kucinich but know that there is no fucking way on earth that he should be president. I like Mitt Romney but wouldn't vote for him because I ideologically disagree with him on a number of issues. I dislike the Bushes but have to admit that the elder Bush was partly responsible for the economic boom of the 90s. And the younger, for all of his colossal fuck ups, literally shifted the tide in Africa regarding health and human services.

My confusion is best illustrated by the issue of taxes. Take a look at these figures, courtesy of Politifact and the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center.

Second-lowest 20 percent

2008 tax burden: $1,715
2011 tax burden: $1,396
Decline of $319

2008 tax rate: 6.7 percent
2011 tax rate: 5.7 percent
Decline of 1 percentage point

Middle 20 percent

2008 tax burden: $6,290
2011 tax burden: $5,535
Decline of $775

2008 tax rate: 13.6 percent
2011 tax rate: 12.4 percent
Decline of 1.2 percentage points

Second-highest 20 percent

2008 tax burden: $13,749
2011 tax burden: $13,078
Decline of $671

2008 tax rate: 17.4 percent
2011 tax rate: 16.5 percent
Decline of 0.9 percentage points

So for each of the three middle quintiles, both the amount of tax paid and the effective tax rate paid declined. A significant portion of these three groups are: a) conservative and b) complain about their taxes being raised. Yet here is a president who lowered their taxes. Does he get credit?

Nope.

Why?

Because of personal preference.

What a craptacular way to run a country. Imagine where would be if people took the time to educate themselves on the facts and voted without feeling...without their pride. Now imagine if, instead of 55 percent of us voting, 95 percent of us voted.

What sort of country do you think we would have?