Hypocrisy: It’s What’s for Dinner…
Posted July 13, 2012on:
Good Friday morning Widdershin friends — here’s hoping your day is a great one.
Perhaps it is just me, but it seems as though the level of political discourse has sunk next to the belly of a snake in a wagon rut — can it possibly go any lower? The answer is obvious — of course it can.
With the polls showing both candidates locked in at a rock solid 47%, it looks as if a couple of billion dollars will be spent on swaying the remaining six percent of voters. For those of us who admire the head-splitting mathematical wizardry of the shoppers on Extreme Couponing, that’s around $330,000,000 for every percentage point — disgustingly obscene. What makes it all the more odious is the fact that to move these voters, the exhortations will be little more than thinly veiled lies.
Since it is all too easy to point out the hypocrisy involved — given that I have the metabolic rate of a lethargic sloth, I gladly take up the task.
Being a recovering political operative, I believe I have a little insight on the mating dances of “pander bears.“ For example, Governor Romney’s appearance before the NAACP convention on Wednesday was a perfect example of what doesn’t meet the eye. His speech wasn’t directed at anyone in the room, it was directed at who wasn’t in the room. There are two possible explanations for his ursine minuet: One, his remarks were calculated to illicit a “boo” to energize the tri-cornered hat wears who caricature President Obama as a Kenyan witch doctor; or two, to show Independents that he really cares and won’t leave anyone behind.
Just as reprehensible, President Obama is skipping the NAACP convention and sending Joe Biden. Can his political motivation be little more than trying to avoid the converse of Governor Romney’s objective? In other words, by skipping the convention he won’t risk ginning up the Tea Party or risk turning off Independents by seeming too beholden.
Take your pick — equally abhorrent, equally disgusting, equally craven, but equally laser focused on sussing out a de minimis six percent of the electorate.
What has gotten us here — why have we become so controlled by a fraction of the population — why have we come to expect so little?
Let’s begin by looking at who is calling the shots when it comes to something like tax policy. Let’s be honest here, at the end of the day, this election is going to be about who promises the least in taxes for the most in services.
Tax policy has been dictated for the last thirty years by the top one-percent and because of their dictates, there is the greatest concentration of wealth in the fewest hands since the Gilded Age. We have hedge fund managers who are making millions of dollars of income and paying a lower marginal tax rate than soldiers, nurses, firefighters, or school teachers. Even a proposal to raise taxes about four percent on those earning more than a quarter of a million dollars a year is met with unshakable, undying obstinacy.
The next time you hear some politician braying about hurting “job creators” just know these things. First, it’s not about “job creators” at all — every time you hear the words “job creators,” it is merely code for the straw men being used as scapegoats by the one percent crowd.
Second, the number of “small business job creators” earning over $250,000 a year is about three percent, that’s right, ninety-seven percent of small businesses aren’t affected. This is because no one is taxed on costs and expenses — people are only taxed on pure profit.
Third, the way marginal rates work — there is not a single cent of additional taxes on the first $250,000 in profit – not until you earn $250,001 is there an additional cent in taxes. In other words, if you earn $250,100, the only additional taxes are on the one-hundred dollars over the first two hundred fifty thousand in profit.
Finally, and this is the big one for me — we are allowing tax policy, in the face of deficits and cutting services in the social safety net, to be dictated by the personal accounting preferences of three percent of small business owners who are looking out for their own bottom lines.
Okay, what does that mean? It’s pretty simple when it is explained. These three percent of small business owners have decided to file as individuals so obviously there is a tax benefit to them filing as individuals. There are a myriad of partnership, Subchapter S, or other avenues under which they may file, but they have chosen for whatever personal reason to file as an individual.
No one — not the government, not the Pope, not Kim Kardashian, not the black helicopter crowd — dictates to them
under what status to file. They have chosen to be taxed as individuals for their own, personal benefit — meaning a lower overall tax burden. And yet, it is upon these fictitious Knights Templar Guardians of etheric job creation that form the basis of denying any revenue generation from the very segment of our population that has gained the most over the last ten years from the Bush tax cuts.
Of course, this is way deep in the weeds and you will never hear it coming from the mouths of politicians. The long and short of it is this — it is all hokum, hooey, and hogwash, but this is the fare upon which pander bears flourish.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld said, “Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.” During the next four months, the hypocrisy mills in the minds of politicians will be working overtime to keep any semblance of virtue from being underpaid by the masters of vice.
This is an “all skate” open thread.
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