October 26, 2011

A reality check for #iamthe53

UPDATE: A new blog, OccupyPhilosophy, has some great thoughts on the well-known Marine 53er in particular, and some 53er claims in general.
For the guy who created this hashtag, and others of you, on up to wingnutter Erick Erickson whining about his McMansion, first, the talk of "responsibility" is laughable.
"What the 99% is missing is the element of personal responsibility," said Trevino, who is also vice president at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation. "The 53% want to bring that into the conversation."
Let's start with the responsibility of the rich: to provide American jobs to an America that gives them so much; to be part of proposing responsible solutions to the problem; to accepting that they are exploiting American labor; and more. (Some of you non-rich should start recognizing No. 3, the "exploitation," while you're at it.

Second, here's the reality of the 47 percent:

1. Many of the "47 percent" are long-term unemployed. If you're as Christian as some of you claim, and believe in Christian charity, you'll start with that fact.
2. Many others of them do work, but in jobs that simply don't pay that much, due to your rich friends, with whom you maintain fear-based solidarity for all the wrong reasons.
3. The 47 percent still pay FICA taxes for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.
4. They also pay this whole laundry list of federal excise taxes.
5. They also pay state sales and excise taxes.

Throw out a "frill" like indoor tanning. Ignore airplane tickets Focus on a nonsmoker.

The 47 percent still pay gas taxes if they're driving anywhere. They pay phone surcharges. They pay vaccine excise taxes. And more.

Driver's license renewals, in many states, are a maze of hidden fees.

And, these are all regressive.

Oh, and if you're Catholic and claim to be part of the 53 percent, your own hierarchy says that today's hypercapitalism has moral problems. Of course, conservative Catholics, while ready to tout the Vatican line on abortion, have studiously failed to do that with capital punishment and the Iraq War. I think the results will be the same here.

As E.J. Dionne notes:
Needless to say, Catholic conservatives were not happy with the document, and they did all they could to minimize its importance. George Weigel, the conservative Catholic writer, took to National Review’s blog to denigrate the Pontifical Council as “a rather small office in the Roman Curia” and to insist that its document “doesn’t speak for the pope, it doesn’t speak for ‘the Vatican,’ and it doesn’t speak for the Catholic Church.”

And, as Charles Blow notes: We are the horrible, as a nation, among other developed nations, on social justice. You're being duped.

Stop being stooges of those who are putting you in the situation of having to work two jobs and go years without vacations.


Sheldon said...

Oh yeah! Another BP add stating "We love team USA" No wonder you hate Adbusters?

Anyway, great post. If they think it is a problem that the bottom 47% don't pay enough taxes, then I have a perfect solution, shift income downwards so those on the bottom make more and pay some more income tax.

I am beginning to think that discussion of tax burden distribution obscures more than it reveals. Labor created all that wealth that flows into the upper's coffers.

Wade Williams said...

Uh, I've got bad news for you. The 53% pay all of those taxes too, PLUS income tax.

Tax the millionaire's at 70% if you want. It's still just a drop in the bucket.

Gadfly said...

You appear to be deliberately denying the point, Walt. Fact is that the 47 percent pay taxes. Fact is that many of these taxes are actually more regressive than the federal income tax.