Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brother Can You Spare a Dime*

*Or how about just 9 cents (for every dollar)

Yesterday morning, I went to the computer to see the news of the day. The hubby had apparently been up earlier and pulled up an article on GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. One would think that this would just be 666 upside down, but no, it’s much much much worse.

This oh-so-simple plan changes the corporate tax rate from 35% to 9%, swaps out the six-tier personal income tax system for a flat rate of 9% and creates a 9% national sales tax.

So who’s going to be paying for this country? Ah, the wealthy like to say that the country was built on their backs. They feel so responsible for the general prosperity of this country. Up until now. Since corporate heads and the wealthy (yeah, they’re pretty much the same) are going to be let off of the hook for putting gobs of money into the tax system for schools, police, roads, defense and all of that other expensive, government-provided stuff, who will have to pay for most of this? The working poor. And the working middle-class who are sliding their way downhill and landing on top of those working poor. Since the wealthiest 1% of Americans control 42% of this country’s financial wealth, each individual in that lower 99% will be doing most of the grunt work.

Those lowest on the working totem pole are paying 10% of their personal income in taxes. I guess there will be a bit of savings if that goes down to 9%. Think of what all of that extra money will buy. Perhaps these people will now be able to afford health insurance if their employer does not provide it. Yeah, I know. I was just making a joke. Now, if there is a nine percent national sales tax instead of personal income tax, any extra bucks are going to be snatched out of the hands of our poorest people. Herman Cain understands this. He knows that these people will be responsible for their own-decision making. He states his plan will be helping them out tremendously. Hey, you poor folks need a winter coat. That’s a good decision. Go on and buy one for every member of your family. And now, give the government an extra 9%. You don’t HAVE to buy those coats you know. Cain’s plan is here to help you responsibly make decisions. If you decide you don’t have the money, don’t spend the money. Ain’t Cain great? Cain thinks this plan will give Americans more freedom. What do you think?

What I did not see addressed in the 9-9-9 plan was what effect the national sales tax will have on individual state taxes. Will this replace the state taxes? I don’t think that’s what the states want. Each state varies in taxation on food and clothing. Will we be paying a national sales tax for these subsistence items? And what about those additional city taxes? Will these be eliminated or just tacked onto the national sales tax? How much are we going to be paying for each purchase in taxes?

Our country sees taxation as a crime. Our tax system has even been compared to slavery. Herman Cain, an African-American, has stated that our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery. Does this make anyone other than me afraid of a hemorrhage? What the hell? Does this man know what slavery is? Didn’t any of his ancestors pass down some stories? My dictionary states that a slave is: a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them, or a person who works very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation. It looks like definition two fits Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Definition number 1 seems to be a perfect fit for one who is free to fuck over thousands of employees and purchase yachts and diamonds and designer clothing and mansions. Right?

It seems that those days (years actually) of the great depression have been forgotten, much like the proper definitions for slavery. Yep, some of you have heard of that depression when people lost their homes and money and jobs and other such insignificant items. Actually, there are millions upon millions of Americans that are struggling with that now, right under the noses of those who will do anything to avoid paying their taxes. The greatest tax burden is borne by those on the bottom of the financial ladder. The poor and middle class are paying the greatest amount for others in similar situations. The taxes levied on the lowest paid individuals are going to pay for the education, police, roads, public transportation, food stamps, social services, etc. for other individual in the same financial boat. In other words, “Brother, can you spare a dime.”

Under Cain’s plan, it’s not only the poorest people that are asking for a little financial help from others, but the wealthiest in this country are asking the poorest, “brother, can you spare a dime.”*

*Actually, that just nine cents (for every dollar) under Cain’s plan.

Here are the lyrics from that good, 0ld-timey depression-era song:

They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear
I was always there right on the job

They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead
Why should I be standing in line
Just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower up to the sun
Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell
Full of that Yankee-Doodly-dum
Half a million boots went sloggin' through Hell
And I was the kid with the drum

Say, don't you remember, they called me "Al"
It was "Al" all the time
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal
Say buddy, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, ah gee we looked swell
Full of that Yankee-Doodly-dum
Half a million boots went sloggin' through Hell
And I was the kid with the drum

Oh, say, don't you remember, they called me "Al"
It was "Al" all the time
Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal
Buddy, can you spare a dime?

E.Y Harburg and Jay Gorney

1 comment:

  1. Good post, I totally agree with you. Keep up the good work!