Last evening I, and approximately 9,000 other local residents, received a "town hall meeting" phone call from my congressman. Since it was April 15th, America's dreaded tax day, he was inquiring as to what his constituents thought about the new INCREASED taxes that Americans will begin paying next year on their 2009 tax filings. I appreciate and value my congressman's efforts in keeping in touch with the opinions and ideas of those he represents.
Today, my frustration does not lie with my congressman's representation of my district. It lies with the entitlement and the "Robin Hood" attitude many in our society have developed. I'll explain ... last evening a lady responded to our congressman's inquiries by stating that she is in full support of requiring "rich" ($250K annually) people to pay higher taxes, etc. This person said she believes it is the wealthy's RESPONSIBILITY to support ALL the individuals who do not earn, or even have a desire to work, an income.
My parent's divorce and other family problems placed me in the situation of growing up in poverty. As a young adult, my own poor choices caused me to live a life of extreme poverty for nearly 10 years. Even by living, so far, 2/3 of my life in poverty, never, for even a single day, have I thought or felt that it was a "rich" ($250K) person's responsibility to pay for my or my children's housing, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, health care, education, etc.
You see, I have more common sense than that. I have enough common sense to recognize that the poor and impoverished of our society do not, can not, ever provide another person with a paying JOB. When I lived in poverty, my resources allowed me to eat only one meal every other day. This enabled my children to eat two meals daily and kept me at the very slim and trim weight of 97 lbs. It was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for me to ever consider sharing our food, or housing, much less provide an income for someone else.
Nearly 80% of American workers are employed by small businesses. Our large, "too big to fail" corporations employ only about 20% of America's workforce. It is the "wealthy" ($250K) small business entrepreneurs of our society who open, operate and manage the businesses that employ most of America. When we take away more and more of their money and resources, they, in turn, have less and less money to effectively operate and manage the businesses that provide jobs for the rest of society. As a society and as employees, we then see reduced salaries, eliminated positions and increased work loads. We, the poor and middle class, end up working harder and longer hours for less and less money.
When I lived in poverty, I worked. I worked very hard. As a matter of fact, I've previously mentioned on this blog that for nearly 17 years I worked 2-3 jobs, at the same time, outside my home to support my family. During my time in the workforce, I worked for a major worldwide corporation for only 5 years. During the other 12 years of my employment I worked for small privately owned companies. Do you want to know the sad part of that story? Never in 12 years of employment by private companies was I taken advantage of with regard to my workload or salary. The private, small business owners are the ones who paid me a fair wage and gave me a reasonable work load. It was the 5 years of employment with that major worldwide corporation that I was overworked, and GROSSLY underpaid. While working at that major corporation my pay was so low I had to work two additional part-time jobs just to get by.
The new taxes coming down the road for this year's (2009) incomes will dramatically effect 80% of America's business owners. You see, the major "too big to fail" worldwide corporations have so many legal financial shelters (aka, places to lie about and hide profits) they won't be severely effected by the new tax structure (but I assure you they will use it as an excuse to lower wages, increase workloads and eliminate positions, thus equalling even higher profits and bonuses). However, the small business owner, who provides nearly 80% of America's jobs, doesn't have the revenue or resources to take advantage of those financial shelters. Requiring the "rich" ($250K ) to pay more taxes will only trickle down to the working class. We are the ones who will pay with heavier work loads, lower wages and fewer job opportunities.
Last night's "town hall meeting" caller mentioned that during President Obama's campaign the new taxes would effect only those earning more than $250K per year. Yes, where I and last night's caller live, $250K is a substantial income. However, in a state like California, New York, New Jersey, etc. $250K is only a middle class income. In my area of the country my current home would most likely sell for, at most, $50K. However, in California my same home, in the same condition would sell for more than $600K, in New Jersey, $400 -$500K. A $250K income is relative. It is only a substantial income if you happen to live where I do. By the way, if last night's caller ever happens upon my blog, by the end of the election campaign trail Vice President, Joe Biden, had reduced that "Robin Hood" $250K income to $150K.
$150K - $250K is NOT ultra-rich (Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, the Kennedy's, Hollywood's elite, etc.). The ultra-rich have BILLIONS and make up around only 1% of America's incomes. No, President Obama and his buddies are not going after the big guys (they might loose some election endorsements - that's not fair ... they can't go after them, their money is hidden and protected by financial shelters). They are going after the largest segment of American workers - small business owners and the middle class.
My eldest child served 4 years in the U.S. military during war time to earn the G.I. bill that has enabled him to pursue a college degree while working full-time. Why? He did not want to repeat the poverty of his youth. So far, our other adult children are following their older brother's example of sacrifice and hard work so they too will not repeat the poverty of their youths.
Have the majority of our nation lost all common sense? Our government representatives are telling us, "Sacrifice, work hard (join the military, go college, get a 2nd job, etc.) - we will then "reward" you by garnishing your hard earned income through increased taxes." This makes no sense to me! Why do American citizens think this makes sense? I am so proud of my children's work ethic and sacrifices - they should be financially rewarded for the accomplishments they will achieve- not taxed back into poverty. Yes, I know there are those who think that statement is an exaggeration, however, my congressman revealed in his "town hall meeting" telephone call the following - In order for our nation to only break even (does not include paying the interest that will have to be paid back) on President's Obama's new budget EVERY tax collected in America today will have to be doubled for a minimum of 3 GENERATIONS. Will you be able to maintain your current lifestyle when you begin to pay double the taxes you currently pay WITHOUT a pay increase or maybe even a salary reduction?