Monday, May 9, 2011

Best Cartoon Ever on Misguided Citizen Anger on Taxes, Unions and Welfare

In case it's hard to read: first wheelbarrow says "subsidies"--as in corporate welfare--as in OUR TAX $$ that these companies receive each year from the government. Second (bigger) wheelbarrow says "profits"--as in the record-breaking profits Big Oil and Big Gas having been making during this recession while the taxpaying middle-class continues to struggle and slip across the poverty line.

Posted by: Noël Jones

While we have very real issues to deal with in terms of the Easton Area School District's budget and our local teachers' union contract, and concessions must be made if our district is to survive, it is important as citizens to not be tricked by politicians in the pocket of the big corporations to continually try to divert our attention from how Wall Street, Big Oil and Gas, Big Pharma, and Big Ag and our "defense" contractors like KBR and Halliburtion, are fleecing the middle-class daily by vilifying unions.

This, in my opinion, is the Tea Party's greatest failing--allowing themselves to be manipulated into defending WELFARE for big corporations while attacking the poor and middle-class--and while the wealthy sociopaths that are getting richer every day by contaminating our drinking water, driving up the costs of health care, destroying our ability to grow our own healthy food with genetically modified seedless produce and lawsuits against organic farmers, building redundant weaponry and facilities that we don't even need, and siphoning all the monetary value out of our investments get off not just scott free, but with the BLESSING of the Tea Party.

I like the Tea Party's spirit, their passion for the constitution, and above all, their passion for grass roots political engagement on the local level. But I want to see them hold true to their values. I want to see the Tea Party SCREAM about WELFARE TO CORPORATIONS, because if they are really against taxes, they should be the MOST upset at these mega-companies because they are the biggest welfare recipients of our taxes in American history, and their pet politicians are double-talking daily to whip the Tea Party into a frenzy and keep citizens focused on anything but how much tax money THEIR CORPORATE FRIENDS who pay for their campaigns take from our government.


LVCI said...

My multi-response include--
U.S. Tax Burden Lowest Since '58

"The People's Budget" Proposal

As far as the ESD--
Easton School Teachers Lose Funding (REPOST) (I originally Posted This on April 3, 2010)

noel jones said...

Thanks for posting LVCI--I'll try to check them out when I get back from the school board candidates' forum tonight!

David Caines said...

What saddly goes unstaded in things like our current qoute on tax burdens are things like the taxes included in our everyday items such as food, travel, etc...and this does not include fee's, permits, etc..
The best going guess is that the average American spends roughly 60 cents on the dollar for taxes and other govt fees before a product hits the shelf.
This is higher of course for luxury items such as booze, computers, software, ciggarettes, the list is quite huge. The taxes on Cigs, Alcohol and gas, being highest and ranging from 200-600% of production cost aplied before the item reaches the consumer.
Loved the cartoon.
Just an aside, my colege prof refered to his statistic classes as "how to lie with numbers" He was a very bright man from the Tutsi tribe in the area of Africa refered to as nambia, He was bright, honest and taught me things to do with numbers that would boggle the mind. Oxford it's not surprising. Mostly he taught me that if it's in someone's interest to make numbers dance, they'll do so. Take statistics with a grain of salt.

Ken Sturzenacker said...

There is so much chaff covering the few kernels of wheat in this blog post that it is difficult to know where to begin. So I'll start at the end, and attempt to work from there. First of all, 2011 is an odd-numbered year in which there are normally neither federal-level nor state-level elections for legislative - that is, policy-making or tax-code writing -offices. Noel's blog post faults local Tea Party groups for their current focus on local offices while she's enraged about national-level issues, a matter of her personal preference. Noel knows I'm no apologist for Tea Party groups per se, but in general, they're working at the points at which they can have the most impact in the short run - now to election day in November.
Who knows? What they will learn from both their failures and successes ought to serve them well in state and national elections in the even-numbered years starting with 2012.
In theory, gov'ts tax only those entities which can 'afford' to be taxed, and subsidize only those that allegedly cannot survive without 'help'. However, taxes and subsidies usually work at cross purposes. The mortgage interest deduction on federal taxes, for example, serves to drive higher the prices buyers perceive they can pay, as well as the payments they can afford to make. The offset? Higher property taxes, based on valuations artificially increased by the subsidized prices.
If Noel wants to rant against welfare, let her start in this year of local issues with a rant against property taxes to support schools. Why should she, a property owner but not a parent, have to bear any burden to help other people's children go to school? Why, for that matter, should any person without school-age children - owner or renter?
For that matter, why should any business, especially when the billboards along Rt. 22 and elsewhere proclaim that 30% of young people coerced into attending are not graduating?
That sort of systemic failure ought to be punished, preferably by dismantling gov't schooling, rather than rewarding its employees with ever-more of your hard-earned income.

noel jones said...

Ken--I'll answer your comment point by point:

"First of all, 2011 is an odd-numbered year in which there are normally neither federal-level nor state-level elections for legislative - that is, policy-making or tax-code writing -offices."

Election-time is not the only time responsibly engaged Americans should be focusing their anger on the people who deserve it. I find that there are certain people who levy a very heated anger at individual recipients of welfare, or middle-class union workers, regardless of elections or the season, and yet strangely do not level the same heat at corporations accepting corporate welfare. It is this disparity, this specific and selective heat that disturbs me.

"Noel's blog post faults local Tea Party groups for their current focus on local offices while she's enraged about national-level issues, a matter of her personal preference."

No, this particular cartoon is not about the election. I'm faulting the year-round heat levied at union workers who are paid by our tax money, and the lack of heat levied year-round by those same people at corporations that take billions in corporate welfare which is also our tax money. There is a strange defense of corporations that goes on while simultaneously despising the individual. Whether or not anyone thinks their tax money should be extracted to pay anyone else at all, the point is that at least public employees are working for that money, while the corporations are just sticking out their hand and saying thank you very much while they accept our tax money as corporate welfare to fatten their profit margins. Now, one may argue that one is as bad as the other, if they don't believe that taxes should be extracted to pay for either, but if that's the case, logic dictates that the anger should be equal, and what I experience with a lot of conservatives that I speak too, is that they are strangely defensive of corporations--just as they are strangely defensive of our tax money being used for wasteful redundant military spending--while they rail with a bitter passion against union workers who they feel are ripping them off. There is a disparity there that I find odd and disturbing. It is the impulse, and the selective focus, that bothers me. If these people were criticizing ALL taxation that goes to pay other people and ALL wasteful spending I could have a lot more respect for the argument. But the inconsistency bothers me.

The rest of what you're saying is interesting and is part of the dialogue that needs to be happening between people of differing philosophies in our communities because while most will recoil at the idea of abolishing the federal Dept. of Education and letting it be handled by the states as a totally wack-a-doo radical idea, one has to ask one's self a) whether it makes sense to send tax money to the federal level only to have to reapply for it through the state, through all the complication and expense of the levels of administration created by that system, and b) has education of our youth IMPROVED in the 30 years that the Dept. of Ed has existed?

The answer to both is no. Statistics show that our students ranking in science and math has decreased dramatically since the inception of the Dept. of Ed in the 70s. So if nationalizing and centralizing education has not worked in the last 40 years, why do we defend it so passionately? I think that we can all agree that the system is broken, which is why documentaries like "Waiting for Superman" are coming out. It's all over the news--our school system is failing. Our kids rank 23rd in math in the world. It's a failed experiment and the entire concept needs to be re-examined.

noel jones said...

To be more specific, the Dept of Ed was signed into law under Carter in 1979 and began operating in 1980, so that would be 31 years that it has been running our educational system into its current dismal educational and fiscal state--here's the Wikipedia link:

David Caines said...

Arguably as a home owning non-parent, I should not be stuck paying for schooling or for that matter a bunch of other stuff.
At the end of the day however I realize that I am more than a citizen of Easton, Or Pa, I am an American and as such my taxes like everyone elses go into that big pool of spending that we call government.
Do I entirely agree?
Absolutely not, but I do realize that I am just one person out of 330 million (not counting 40-60 million illeagals) and that as a grown up it is unlikely that I am always going to get my way.
Of course I oppose corporat welfare, I oppose a welfare system for individuals that allows a person to basically never work if they keep pumping out kids, I oppose lots of stuff.
I do however support the idea of a combined future as citizens of one nation and the resposabilities that come with it.
I vote my conscience and I speak my mind but unless I'm willing to walk away from what America gives me...I do try to keep in mind that I am one of many....dislike many of them though I do.

David Caines said...

I think a question here is what do we intend to do about educating our children once the schools are gotten rid off?
Charter schools and internet schools are showing grades under those of the school systems in place, and few families can afford in anyway to home school (or have the requisite knowledge themselves.)
While we may get rid of the schools and their unions we still have the responsibility as a society to educate the next generation.
I am not as a matter of fact completely opposed to being done with public schooling, but I would have to see valid alternatives and as yet they do not exist.
Equally, they may present more taxes, not less as private sector teachers may demand more.
We don't really have this info, or at least I don't.
Anyhow, off to cooking lunch.