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  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

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    • GOP conspiracy mentality…
      Living here in Georgia, I get to witness some of this unhinged conspiracy thought from those one the Right. With the possibility of a Trump loss, I can only expect many on the Right will even fall even further down the rabbit hole…
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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Responsibility and Taxes

Joe Biden’s tax plan details are out. Some people aren’t going to like it, specifically, that small evil group that runs the world to which no one we know belongs.

The tax plan rolls back much of the tax “reform” bills that the Republicans implemented in the past 20 years. Corporate taxes will go up, income taxes for people making over $400,000 will go up by eliminating deductions, and the payroll tax will be increased to $400,000. If this goes through, those of us who will have to rely on a hefty chunk of social security in retirement will breathe a sigh of relief.

If Trump gets elected, and he successfully rescinds the payroll tax, the social security trust fund will be unable to pay benefits in full beginning in year 2023. I don’t know about you but when the surplus tax was implemented back in the Reagan 🤮 Days, this is what were were supposed to avoid. So, to summarize, Republicans were more than happy to borrow lavishly from the trust fund, had no intention of paying it back (remember GW Bush and his IOU video. Let me see if I can find it) and Trump wants to completely bankrupt it before the end of the decade. All you suckers who contributed all your lives to social security are losers who stupidly couldn’t amass a real estate empire with your daddy’s help. Well, you deserve to be poor.

I think there is something wrong with rich people in this country. Once upon a time, one of the French CEOs of the pharma company I worked at gave a moving town hall speech where he expressed bewilderment at American executive’s aversion to paying taxes. He beat his chest and said, “I am proud to pay my taxes”. It’s a responsibility. It contributes to the efficiency and well being of the society. Everyone benefits.

Then he was replaced a couple of years later and the board of directors opted for a more “American approach” to doing business. Yeah, that didn’t end well for anyone but the salespeople.

There is some evidence that the richer you are, the more distant you become to the average Joe and consequently, the less empathetic. It’s very much a “let them eat brioche” kind of thing. The honestly don’t know why you can’t afford brioche. I recall some posters a few years ago where some PR genius thought it would be useful to show a minimum wage worker how to spend their money. It didn’t really reflect the reality of housing and it left no money for anything like even a candy bar. I think everyone should be able to afford housing AND a candy bar when working minimum wage.

The dignity of work is not something the very wealthy care about. Yes, some wealthy people work long hours. But so do many poor people who have to string together multiple jobs to make ends meet. We’ve already seen that Trump has no idea how to do business. How many poor people could do a better job if they could study more and work a little less?

Anyway, I’m happy to see this tax proposal. It’s much more fair than anything we’ve gotten from the Republicans for decades. Will it make the very wealthy identify somewhat with the rest of us by hitting their dragon hoard bank accounts a little harder? Doubtful. But I’m hoping there will be real incentives to make the wealthy invest more in American workers. Salary increases would be nice too since some of us haven’t seen real salary increases since forever. But that’s another post.