Who was that guy who wanted to be President a while ago ? Remember Romney ? He paid income taxes at 13 % that year . Warren Buffett paid about 15 % . Most of us paid , well , a much higher rate .
One of our neighbors brought over a petition to end the city energy tax here in Arcadia . We pay 8 % . Sierra Madre residents pay 10%. Other nearby cities pay 7% . The Arcadia City Council says about 13% of their income comes from the energy tax . The money goes to road repair , Fire Department , and the Community Center , among other things . The neighbor wanted Ada , and maybe me too , to circulate the petition around the neighborhood .
I think the richest few in the country run the whole shootin’ match . I think if anyone dares to point that out in today’s polarized political climate , though , then they are immediately branded Communist or Socialist . Class warfare ! Remember that the business of America is business . Bernie Madoff said that . No , he didn’t . What Bernie said was : ” Trust me !” Silent Cal Coolidge was the one who said : ” The chief business of the American people is business “.
Well , business was good in Silent Cal’s day . He was President from 1923 to 1929 . To a large extent cool Cal sat back , tried on silly hats , and let the bankers and the business boys run the country . Life was good and stocks were soaring . Then , what happened to the economy in 1929 ?
I’m just thinking out loud . Shows you how convoluted my thinking is . I’ve been watching a Robert Reich documentary about how the huge disparity in recent years between the rich and the rest of us is dangerous . Unions are being busted . The middle class is disappearing . The wealthiest are making out like bandits . The last time in this country that the disparity was so vast was in 1928 .
What’s the name of that 2010 Supreme Court decision that allows corporations and unions to provide unlimited financing for ads and other forms of support for political candidates ? It’s known as Citizens United . Justice Stevens , in his dissenting opinion , wrote : ” A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold “.
How about politicians being bought and sold ? I’ve been reading about Calderon in L.A. , Yee in San Francisco , some mayor in North Carolina ……… Who’s doing the buying ? Not me. I’ve got to save my stash of cash to buy beer for Thursday pool night . Nor my neighbor , who doesn’t like to pay her utility tax and hopes to save a few bucks by eliminating it . Who has the money to sway political outcomes ?
Taxes ? Again , some of the biggest corporations pay no taxes . You think it’s a coincidence that those entities find themselves in that no-tax or low-tax position ? Ha. You get what you pay for —–must be truth to that .
Harding was President before Coolidge . He was , by most accounts , a buffoon but Presidential-looking , but business was good and so he and Coolidge , later, could sit back and let the bankers and the corporations go to town . Harding’s administration was riddled with corruption and scandal —-they were turning Navy oil reserves over to greedy oil men , etc ; but , so what ! Business was good . The war was over ; the troops were home . More and more products were available in stores . It was the Golden Twenties !
We had to tell the neighbor that we would not be circulating the petition . I think you pays yer taxes and you gets yer services —- or you don’t pay and you don’t have the services . I’d rather live in a city with a few more services and I don’t mind paying a few bucks more tax to get them . It’s sort of a shared commitment to a slightly better life . Our neighbor mentioned the tax burden there is on all of these new big houses in Arcadia . I don’t think we need to watch out for the rich guys with the big houses . They’ll take care of themselves .
The richest ones in the country gladly pay $ millions to fix things so that they don’t have to pay taxes and the whole shootin’ match favors them . Not too many petitions to do that , but an army of expensive lobbyists and lots and lots of cash . Their tax funds would have to be shared with the rest of us , after all , you know . Now , come on , would that be fair !