Fire and Ice
You can get the gist of this post in two articles yourself:
And War on Error's post.
Here is Robert Frost....mandatory memorization in public elementary and middle schools back in the day.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
The fact that no one under the age of 50 has ever heard of this poem is part of my point. The teabaggers are widely characterized by the media as being full of fire....."setting the grassroots on fire" says the Economist.
I go with ice....aka stupidity. Ice. Lack of critical thinking. Ice. Lack of information. Ice. Lack of curiosity.
Fuck Global Warming...we are in for a New Ice Age.
In fact, 50% of the incoming freshman class of new legislators are global warming deniers.
Take this beauty....who will be the new Chair of the House Energy Committee, replacing Henry Waxman of California:
Or how about new Florida Governor Rick Scott? Took the 5th Amendment 75 times to avoid testifying in the largest MediCare fraud case in history....in which he was personally involved.
Tea Party folks are supposedly all about less government....and a fresh look at Washington.
Here is the new Senator for Indiana, Dan Coats. Actually, he is not the NEW Senator for Illinois....he used to be the Senator from Indiana, and is now back in action.
In the intervening years he has worked as a lobbyist in Washington. His stellar accomplishment for a client was for Cooper Industries....a formerly Texas-based outfit. He helped keep open a loophole the specifically saved Cooper hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. I say former Texas company....because Cooper is now based out of Bermuda, where they don't have so many worries about paying ANY U.S. taxes.
And Coats is up for membership on the same committee that will once again address that same tax loophole this coming year.
Change you can believe in.
Here is the Tea Party/New Republican program as far as I can discern:
1. Social Security reform that guarantees my current level of benefits, alters someone else's, and cuts everyone's Social Security taxes to boot.
2. A world-class national infrastructure that can be built and maintained without tax dollars.
3. A balanced budget that doesn't sacrifice any of the government programs – especially the sacred military-industrial complex and the various old age benefits – that we like.
4. Clean air without pollution controls, clean water with a neutered and underfunded EPA, and businesses that do socially responsible things without any regulation whatsoever.
5. Consumer goods at Made in China prices that create high-paying jobs in America...
6. Freedom to die of a simple staph infection for 50 million Americans without health insurance.
Now....in the interests of "pragmatism" the Obama crowd is ready to cave on the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy.
Let's face it.....all the decision makers, Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Libertarian....are wealthy. If I looked at the electorate and saw what they have done.....I would want to steal all the money, too! These people are fucking stupid.....
I have always been of the Satchell Paige School of Economics: "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you!" And despite being someone who checks his bank balance only when the nice bank lady calls to say there is no balance.....I encourage folks to look at where we actually stand as a nation right now.
Here is a chart of how our incomes are spread:
I am a recovering engineer....so I love charts and numbers. Here is the chart presented in a different way:
50% of Americans make less than $26,261 a year. All pay the base rate, plus FICA....somewhere around 20% taxes. There are .794% of Americans (a little over a million) who earn more than $250,000 per year. They pay 35%. Back in the Clinton years they paid 39%. The big fight is about .794% of the wage earners paying an additional 4% of their incomes.
For fellow math or engineering geeks, notice that the chart is on an adjusted log scale: at the beginning the gap between the vertical lines is $5,000 per line; at the far right it is $5,000,000 per line. Otherwise the chart would continue from my house on Cachagua Road out to Will's house on Tassajara Road. The reason is because the gap between rich and poor in America is now greater than at any other time since the early 1920's.
Here is another chart for you:
And another depressing article from the LA Times along the same lines. In America today, the top 20% of folks own 85% of our wealth and assets. The bottom 40% own zero.....or are underwater.
I don't want to bore you with tax rates, but the lower the tax rate, the higher the inequality. Oh, and the worse the economy......for the 85% anyway.
And it is getting worse:
Tea Party folk scream about the deficit. Here it is:
And here is how it comes about:
Here is the key.....between now and 2012, do whatever you can to get yourself into the top .794% Or maybe get out and actually vote next time around.
Finally, I leave you with a few maps to compare at your leisure:
Think of it as the nice lady from the bank calling......