Romney Makes Issue of Not Paying Taxes!

Don’t that beat all. Mitt Romney’s video (attached to NYT article) has him sneering about the 47% of people he alleges “don’t pay taxes.” Mitt’s actually angry with people who he feels don’t pay their fair share to support the US govt! Really? Tax avoidance is going to be your issue? You sure you want to open that can of worms?  Ok, Mitt, love the sound of that can opener whirring. Ooh, look what’s crawling out. Since you know what these people paid (conveniently ignoring their payroll taxes and Medicare), and have judged it’s not enough, LET’S SEE YOUR TAXES! Did you pay your fair share of income taxes? Which, per the tax code for your income level amounts to 35%. Gee, we have only one year’s return to go on. In that one it looks like you paid, what, 13.7%? Not even half what you’re supposed to. What a moocher. What guzzling from the federal teat. And that’s presumably your best year. The one you likely paid the most. LET’S SEE YOUR TAXES! You paid a lower percent than me, lower than your staff, lower than the small business owner you claim to love (until you buy him and sell his business for spare parts). Oh, that’s right, what you did is all legal. But what the 47% of people you disdain did is also legal—they’re paying what the tax code calls for. Your point is that that’s not fair. Ok, Mr. Fair, LET’S SEE YOUR TAXES and we’ll decide whether what you paid was fair.

And speaking of mooching. You make such a big deal about how you “rescued” the Salt Lake City Olympics. I didn’t know until recently that the “rescue” centered around your using your contacts to obtain $1.5 BILLION in federal money to support the games. You got a government giveaway (many, many times higher than was given to the LA Olympics) and claimed that as evidence of your management skills. What a crock. Who’s the real govt. mooch? Who’s the hypocrite? Who doesn’t deserve to be president. That’s you, Mitt.

Here Come the Cuts

Interesting editorial in todays NY Times  on the automatic budget cuts (called the “sequester”) due in January as a consequence of our failure to develop a rational budget. Lots of things get automatic cuts, including student loan assistance, the FBI, embassy security, special education. Interestingly, salaries of our congressional representatives are NOT included in expenditures at risk. Gosh, I wonder how they could’ve overlooked that?

Why are we putting healthcare for children, the elderly and the disabled, student loans, protecting the environment, workplace and transportation safety, infrastructure repair and expansion, and all the other beneficial functions of government on the chopping block side by side with tax breaks for millionaires and the hundreds of billions we funnel to war contractors? Let the well-to-do pay the same share they did in the ’90s. Our bloated military, which spends more than all other militaries in the world put together does almost nothing for the citizens of America. It is being used to maintain our leaders’ illusions of being in charge of a global empire and to distract the “patriotic” from problems at home. That’s right, Mr. and Mrs. “Support the Troops,” you’re supporting them all right, but they’re not supporting you. Yes they are brave, and they are being killed and wounded executing the strategies of our elected officials while wearing American uniforms, but that doesn’t mean anything they do helps you. Lowering military spending by 9% as the sequester calls for is barely a shaving nick, not a cut. Cut 69% of it and you and I will be just as “safe.” The only thing endangered by lowering military spending by two thirds will be the dreams and fantasies of politicians and generals. Too bad for them.


Can hardly let the anniversary pass completely without mention. 11 years ago Osama bin Laden attacked us. About a month later, we invaded Afghanistan, where he was based. We did that because his hosts, the Taliban, in the most overdone display of hospitality ever, refused to turn him over to us on the grounds that this would constitute bad manners towards a guest. One quick ass-whupping later, the Taliban were out of Afghanistan, along with their “guest.” 10 years later, we still are not.

Yep, we’re still there. We’re dying and bleeding and killing for jihad and the greater glory of Allah. Oh wait, that’s why the other guys are fighting. What’s our reason again?

I know we’ve got a reason running around here somewhere…Hmm…Oh yeah, right now it seems to be to fight the people who are fighting us to make us leave their country. And of course, we can’t leave until they stop fighting to make us leave. Bingo! That’s why we’re there. How dare anyone not want us to invade them and occupy their country! How else are they going to learn the meaning of democracy?

That’s what we think we’re doing. What we’re actually doing is

  • Keeping the corrupt Karzai regime safe from the people he’s been robbing
  • Keeping the drug-running warlords (who think that they should be the ones robbing the Afghan people rather than Karzai) safe from the Taliban
  • Really pissing off the only nuclear-armed Muslim country (Pakistan)
  • Alienating all the other Muslim countries and breeding jihadis by the truckload

With a little ingenuity, we can keep this fight (and the corresponding military/security contractor gravy train) going for ages. In the meantime, we’ll make Afghanistan a democracy if we have to kill every single person who disagrees with us.

Sorry I’m not funny today. I’m just pissed that we’re cutting funding for teachers, sick people and old people so that we can pay for our dumb-ass wars (oh, and the tax cuts for the wealthy) that cause more problems than they solve. We’re spending about $115 billion this year in Afghanistan (vs. $59 billion for Bush’s last year in office), and Obama will have spent $413 billion on Afghanistan during his first term. Interest and lifetime care of our wounded is extra. Some deal. Well, happy anniversary.