Thursday, September 9, 2010

injaynesworld we ask "What's In Your Wallet...?"

Today I filled my car up with gas.  It was $3.05 a gallon -- and I thought that was a deal.  I remember when gasoline was just 25 cents a gallon – 29 if you had some fancy ass car that took premium.   We had no idea at the time that the Saudi’s already had us by the short hairs.   We thought all the oil came from Texas, and Alaska was still a foreign country.  

Back then this is what “green stamps” looked like.   You got some every time you went to the grocery store.   Then you went home and glued them into little paper books just for that purpose.   When you had enough saved you could take them to the “green stamps store” in town and get a waffle iron, or a toaster, or some cool toys.   I don’t remember exactly when they stopped giving out green stamps, but it was a long time ago and I’m still bummed. 

Nowadays, these are the only kind of “green stamps” you see changing hands. 

There were food stamps when I was growing up, too, but nobody ever actually knew anyone who used them, or we didn’t know it if we did.   Not like today where 38.2 million Americans are signed up for the program and it’s highly unlikely that you don’t know someone who uses them or even have them discreetly tucked away in your own wallet.  

Up until now, every generation has had their stories about the “good ol’ days.”   Even those who went through the Great Depression could tell you tales about how some things were better “back when.”   I would not want to be at the dinner table 40 years from now and hear what the middle-class youth of today has to say about the world where they came of age.  Oh, wait.  There is no more middle-class.  

In the 60’s, the top tax bracket was 90% on incomes over $400,000.   Of course, back then there weren’t a whole lot of folks with incomes that high.   But by the 90s, with the explosion and a stock market that seemed to know only one direction – up – you couldn’t hardly step outside without seeing your reflection in the window of someone’s Mercedes, and the top tax bracket under Clinton was 39.9%.   Good times.   

Then came the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 and, despite two unfunded wars and a recession, the rich were doing better than ever.   In 2008, renown billionaire, Warren Buffet, said he was actually in a lower tax bracket than his secretary.   To his credit, he found that appalling.

Fast forward to today where the top 2% of all earners in this country are going bat-crap crazy at the notion of having the Bush tax cuts expire and having to go back to what they were paying in the Clinton years – a whopping 4% more.   The Republicans are doing their best to spin this as a tax increase, but under the Democrats’ plan you’ll see that everyone still gets a tax break – just not the obscene amount that the Republicans believe the millionaires among us are entitled to.

Take it from here, Rachel…

Bottom line.   If you make over a million a year and you’re not too concerned about the rest of us, then the GOP is the party for you.   But if you’re working your whatever-size ass off just to feed your kids and make it from day to day, you might want those who can afford it to pay their fair share.  

My thanks to mommapolitico for the video.   Check out her latest post for more on this subject.  

Comments let me know you  didn’t fall asleep after the first paragraph…

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