Out of respect for the medication which keeps my hypertension under control, I will be briefer than usual as I dissect a jaw-dropping letter to the editor in today’s edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
This resident of Hyde Park claimed that “It seems every time Obama wins, we win,” that alone should prompt friends to call for a taxi should that individual be any distance away from home. Let’s take a quick look at the “irrationale” behind that conclusion.
1) “lower taxes for 98 percent of us” – Yes, the best way to repair a monumental deficit is to keep spending at the same rate and raise taxes on two percent of the population, which may stop the financial bleeding for a whole week. Perhaps the letter writer wasn’t aware of the straits the federal government is in which prompted an article in yesterday’s Hamilton JournalNews. It stated, “One of the big question marks is whether the Internal Revenue Service could or would be used to bridge funding shortfalls by delaying tax refunds due to millions of Americans… the government must spend about $452 billion from mid-February to mid-March just for services rendered and past commitments made.”1 Those rose-colored glasses are quite helpful for situations like this one.
2) “individuals are finally taking responsibility for their health care” – News flash, workers have been taking increased responsibility for their health care since the 1980s when the terms co-pay, cafeteria plan, increased deductible and the infamous HMO were added to our lexicon. The only difference now is that we have a Big Brother who’s telling us we must participate in a system which is contrary to the deeply held beliefs of millions and we’ll be fined when we don’t surrender… and our fines will be used to help fund a morally objectionable system. Without a doubt, moving “forward” toward socialism as Obama’s campaign slogan said (and one which has been used by the Communist Party of the U.S.A. for generations2).
3) “we’ve averted a crippling depression” – That’s probably what everyone thought when Charles Mitchell of National City Bank announced $25 million in available credit which stopped the panic of March 1929, then it was back to the same old bad habits.3
4) “the economy is steadily improving” – only if we ignore the underemployed and the no-longer-looking-for-jobs segment of the population
5) “we’re working to maintain the social safety net” – Hmm, has anything changed since this article nine months ago: “The latest report of the Social Security and Medicare trustees shows an unfunded liability for both programs of $63 trillion. That is equal to about 4.5 times the entire U.S. gross domestic product… What about the Medicare trust fund? Workers have been repeatedly told that their payroll taxes are being securely held in trust funds. But they are actually spent the very minute they arrive in the Treasury’s bank account. No money has been saved. No investments have been made. No cash has been stashed in bank vaults. Today’s payroll tax payments are being spent to pay medical bills for today’s retirees. And if any surplus materializes, it is spent on other government programs. As a result, when today’s workers reach the eligibility age of 65, they will be able to receive benefits only if future taxpayers pay (even higher) taxes to support them.”4
6) “sounds like a win-win to me” – Sure does… I’d better really lay off the salt tonight.
1 – Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers, Hamilton JournalNews, 1/8/2013
2 – Hack Wilson, www.romanticpoet.wordpress.com, 4/30/2012
3 – PBS documentary, “American Experience: The Crash of 1929,” 2009
4 – John C. Goodman, www.politico.com, 4/25/2012