Tuesday, April 08, 2014

My Tuesday Political Rant

Don't raise my taxes.

It's the rant I see on Facebook pages and in letters to the editor this time of the year. This is when localities set their budgets. 

If you don't want your taxes raised, stop voting for the people in the state and federal government who are forcing your local representatives to raise them. That means the incumbents of whatever party. If the person has been there any length of time and you're not happy with your representation, why do you keep voting the same way?

A recent rant I read was complaining about unfunded state and federal mandates and how this forces the localities to raise taxes. Yes, that is a big problem. The feds or the state legislators say "locality, do this" but they provide no income to do the deed.

That's because the state and federal legislators don't want to be the ones to raise your taxes. They are foisting off something that should be done at the higher levels of government onto the lowest level of government, that is, the county or city. If your state taxes go up, then the legislator, senator, delegate, or congressperson might lose his or her job. And to lose that job is to lose power.

This country is in upheaval and heading toward third world, fascist status. I'm not sure where the stupidity came from, but it has rolled over us all, like or not, as if we were monkeys in a barrel being shoved around by a huge bulldozer.

Please note that I am not pointing to either party. Essentially I do not believe we are a two-party system. We haven't been for at least 30 years. Both parties have failed the citizenry, and as citizens, we have grossly failed one another. If I were Jesus, I would weep, not because religion has been taken out of the schools but because our population, on the whole, has forgotten how to care for one another. We don't know what kindness and empathy are anymore. We have to be one of the most selfish societies to ever have walked this earth.

We have allowed emotional issues that have no place on the political landscape to divide us while those in power do their moving and shaking with little concern or thought to the effect it has on those of us known as "the little people" or "commoners" or "middle class" or "poor." Because in the end, we don't matter. We're as replaceable as the sands on the beaches - just bring in another truckload and dump it, and there you go. Damage repaired. Never mind the hole we left over yonder.

Year after year, we elect people based on some silly "R" or "D" after their name. We don't pay attention to anything but a few issues - and then we are surprised when things happen that bother us. Red states lose welfare benefits and have some of the poorest among our population, yet they vote for those who would continue to cut the very programs that feed them. Blue states begin having pollution problems because their representatives are really for big business. The things that matter - the air we breathe, having a full belly, the love we feel towards one another - those things have no value in our amoral and capitalistic world. If we cannot place a dollar figure on something here, then it is considered useless and unworthy. What price, I ask, does one put on a full tummy?

I for one am tired of certain things being unworthy. Do you not think love is worthy? Clean air? Good health? Fresh water? To me there are certain basic human rights that every individual, no matter how large, small, fat, skinny, clean, dirty, short, tall, arrogant, humble, rich, poor, smart or idiotic, should have available. There should be some level of human dignity afforded to everyone. No one should have to live under a bridge unless they are a troll from the Three Billy Goats Gruff fairy tale.

Could we even agree on the basics? I doubt it. There are people who think you should pay for the air your breathe. They will always think like that, that you are nothing more than a dollar sign.

I guess the question for me is, how much longer will we let those people win? Have they always? Will they always? And do you not know that makes you the loser?

Sure, cry "don't raise my taxes." But don't make that catcall and then keep doing the same thing over and over, voting for the same buffoon. Stake your claim and then do something different. Make your choice count next time, and don't just vote for the "R" or "D" (especially if that person is an incumbent). Maybe it's time for a real party system in the U.S.A., and a real democracy with real choices.

4 comments:

  1. Is this going to be a regular thing--Tuesday Political Rants? I like it. You are one of the few people whose opinion I trust because you are smart, kind, and honest.

    The problem is, people don't understand how it works. I bet half your readers don't know what "incumbent" means. I think we do a poor job of educating our children about politics. Then when we get older, we're so stressed out and exhausted, we don't have the time or energy to do any real reading and studying of the issues. I can't blame people who waste time fooling around on Facebook or watching reality shows. They're beat. Then, on top of that, you have the filthy rich/corporate America with all their resources cleverly getting us to fight against each other (divide and conquer) by using emotional issues, religion in particular. They have us thinking it's about putting a Christmas tree up at the town hall or taking our guns away and we respond with a knee-jerk reaction and spend time arguing over silly things as if our neighbor is the enemy and not the greedy bastards like the Koch brothers who have now bought our elections lock, stock and barrel. And for what? These two greedy bastards don't even have that much longer to live! They couldn't possibly increase the quality of their life any more than it already is no matter how many more elections they buy and how much more money they make. And they still steamroll us. It's a game to them--hurting people. It's almost to the point of no return Anita. We need more education. And we need communication.

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  2. Isn't the problem that people don't want to pay their taxes and will vote for anyone who promises to cut them? People refuse to play their part in making society fairer, more equal, more humane, and shut their eyes to the misery caused when education, social programmes, environmental protections are so on are are cut so that their elected representatives can say: "See, we haven't raised your taxes." If we genuinely loved our neighbours, we would want their good as well as our own. Instead we persuade ourselves that they are "undeserving" if they are poor just so they can be denied the help they need. A responsible democracy would take responsibility for raising the money needed to make everyone's lot better, not let their vote be bought by every greasy opportunist promising to shrink government and cut taxes.

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  3. And let's not forget that the folks crying "Don't raise my taxes" are the same ones who then complain when services are cut and our schools are falling into disrepair. And then there's the fact that they recently voted to rescind the law that capped finance contributions, and have made it possible for huge "anonymous" donations to be made as well -- making it easier for huge corporations (who are NOT people but ENTITIES) to buy more corrupt politicians who will help them poison the environment and we lowly masses along with them.

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