Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Novus Dignus Maximum -- Maximum News Worthy

- To my knowledge, we still have a war going on. Some of you agree with that war, some of you do not.
- Health care reform is on the plate with heated opposition on both sides of the line.
- Tax hikes are a good possibility for most, and an almost absolute for some.
- Crime is still crime -- ugly, present and unavoidable.
- Social Security matters are being overshadowed by seemingly more serious issues and our educational system is still in the sewers of yesteryear.

But you know what folks? We have bigger issues at the moment that need, no, they demand the full attention of our news mediums for an early morning headliner -- Donald and Shirley Ross were held up for 15 minutes because they didn't wear their seat belts.

For Pete's sake, seriously? This is the topic at hand? I'd rather watch another full-day of Michael Jackson filler with 35 minute infomercials about the latest foot-scrub from Europe than to waste my time trying to concern myself with why two people who should have buckled up like the law dictates try and get out of a ticket by turning it into a media fiasco.
Did anyone else read into every detail they could find about this to get to the truth? I tried to, not out of sincere interest in their plight, but to satisfy my curiosity as to why in the world this would make such a blockbuster of a story.

Truth be told, and I don't believe it has been, I genuinely believe the accused to be at fault for the seat belt violation. Here's why:
1. First and foremost, traffic law requires the use of seat belts in all 50 states, period, no exceptions save for the few that did not apply in this instance.
2. From what I have learned in my own past experiences, a police officer isn't going to hand out 5 tickets for negligent adherence to a seat belt law to an elderly family, unless someone in the vehicle got wise and pulled out the famous: "Ain't you got something better to do than to harass us?" Smart-assed is as smart-assed does.
3. The reports I've studied also say that they were detained (they make it sound so cut-throat and violating) for a total of 15 minutes and it caused them to miss the burial. Now, if they were in the funeral procession at the time they were pulled over, then how in the world did they miss the burial unless the person behind the wheel of the Hearse was a former Formula 1 driver who was taking curves sideways and 95mph, slid into the cemetery with the rear door open, allowed centrifugal force to throw out the casket and land perfectly into the grave while a front-end loader had a bucket of dirt waiting overhead to be dumped in as soon as the coffin hit the bottom. I can picture a guy with a stopwatch timing all this, sporting a smile as his "pit crew" broke yet another record in the Spokane 500 Body Burial Cup.

I don't often quote a comedian, especially ones that are extreme in their politics as far as left vs. right, but I feel this fits perfectly...

"The problem with common sense, is that people think it's common."
~Dennis Miller


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What my income equates to, is none of your business

Tax the rich! That's the general consensus for left wing extremists when it comes to our federal income issues. I'm going to try and stay objective about this, since everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this is an opinion that could lead to, and in a way already does, an adverse affect on people's individual financial futures. Flat tax "rate," is the only way to go in all fairness to our citizens, the poor and the rich? I'll start with a piece I read on Wiki, and it's as follows:

...Opponents of the flat tax, on the other hand, claim that since the marginal value of income declines with the amount of income (the last 100 of income of a family living near poverty being considerably more valuable than the last 100 of income of a millionaire), taxing that last 100 of income the same amount despite vast differences in the marginal value of money is unfair.
Click here for full article

They just don't get it, do they? Flat tax, or even progressive tax, is not based on a set number to be taxed out of someone's income as described above, but a set percentage of said individual's income. An American citizen's income of $35,000 being taxed at 15% equates to $5,250 headed to our government; whereas an American citizen's income of $235,000 being taxed at the same rate of 15%, sends $35,250 their way...that's more than the first person's annual income altogether. Our government is still getting more out of the latter citizen's payday, and since it's a percentage, the effect, for all intents and purposes is just as heavy a burden as the former's and in the end, I thought we were responsible for our own actions, and more so to the point, inactions when it comes to our financial futures.

I'm a simple guy, with a simple career and I fall in the $50,000 annual salary range which will make my taxable income for 2009 a nice 15%, I can live with that; in fact, paying taxes is probably the most direct way of saying "I have a vote."

Now, if I thought with a communist state of mind, I would involve myself with other people's incomes and demand that people who made more than me, be taxed at a higher rate than me. Oh, wait...that principle already exists.

So if I own three heads of cattle and my neighbor only possessed one, I should give him one as well so we are even? Despite the fact that somewhere along the lines I stepped forward and earned an additional two heads of cattle whereas my neighbor did not? You're right, I'll let the government step in and tell me how much I am allowed to keep out of my earnings compared to someone else who didn't follow the same path I did which would have gotten them to the same point that they obviously want to be in or they wouldn't have accepted something that belonged to me?
Fact: People have a right to only own one cow if that's what floats their boat.
Fact: People shouldn't be penalized because they chose to have a higher standard of living and got off their rear-ends and did something about it because they wanted to own three.

Hello? This is the United States of America, I thought capitalism is what this country runs on. So if someone applies for student loans, which if you are in the poverty level of this nation's income it's almost impossible to be denied funding, and sacrifice their time by going to college and putting forth a 110% effort in their studies, obtaining a degree, pursuing their goals with a burning fury to be career oriented and successful, just to turn around and actually make a little something out of theirself and have a solid financial future, plus, put in the ungodly hours that business executives, lawyers, doctors, highly paid professionals in general do and let's not forget the holy grail of incomes: salespeople, then all that should earn them a nice slap in the face by some committee or the IRS telling them that because of all their hard work and efforts they should be placed in a higher tax bracket, or percentage, than joe-blow who tried his hardest to be the cool kid in high school and sluff off with his grades, or maybe the drug addicted pill head who also got their start at a young age by slinging his wares at parties and what have you, when both of whom decided to do nothing more with their lives than to work at Wendy's and enjoy being taxed at either the 10 or 15% tax rate depending on subtle variances in their career paths?

Tax the rich at a higher percentage than the rest of us? The people who have built up these multi-billion dollar corporations, do you really think it was easy for them to accomplish such a task? As easy as they make it look on television anyway? Or do you care? Does effort count for nothing? Of course, you will always run across the argument that "There is no way they made that kind of money without stepping on someone along the way or involved themselves in something illegal." You know what, you are probably right, and being the self-righteous, problem free and law-abiding citizens that you and everyone claim to be, you have a right to make that determination just based on their incomes alone; but again, I feel the need to backpedal a bit, no one is problem free and you would be surprised at how many people do not live this so-called clean life without any regrets or feelings of guilt towards some of their actions that have most assuredly impacted other people and their lives, trust me, it's a shorter list. We live in a free enterprise (until it's time to pay the piper) driven society, folks; now if someone has committed a crime, even a white collared offence, then I'm the first one to say "burn them at the stake," but aside from that, they (our government) either need to change the rules a bit to keep people from being taken advantage of in financial matters, or quit crying about it when they (business owners) were simply too slow the day it came time to run across that finish line and break the yellow tape first. Enron? To hell with them, fry em'! Tax the rich at a higher rate, just because they're rich? To hell with you.

A good example off the top of my head:
Let's say I build a company from the ground up, it's probably going to fail the first few times and I might even have to declare bankruptcy along the way. So after five or ten years of getting it right through hard work, pure struggle and opposition at every turn, I finally make it to a point where my company has an annual gross income of let's say, $10,000,000. Now, let's say it's a manufacturing business and I have around 2,000 employees working for me, and jobs are something this country needs more of right now anyway. I have already contributed to this country in three ways...
1. Even if I were to pay the same tax rate as everyone else, let's say it was 20% ($2,000,000) across the board for everyone, that's still generated income that was not there before my company came along.
2. That's 2,000 American citizens who are now employed, of which probably 1/3 where not beforehand. Citizens who now have a paycheck which will be put right back into our economy in some form or another.
3. Not to mention, the medical benefits my company would be providing for them; plus, I believe in the American worker, I would go out of my way to ensure I did everything in my power to include incentives, bonuses, employee shareholdings, stock options and the like. However, I'm not going to lie to the viewers of this posting, if it came down to not generating a profit in all this, well let's be honest instead of naive -- changes would be made, but to a minimal degree.
Point is, that's 2,000 +/- people that now have a standard of living that they did not have before.

Now then, everything listed above should not be made to appear as though becoming a business owner was done out of saintly actions, I did this for the one thing that each and everyone of us feels like or has felt like they could use more of from time to time -- money, plain and simple. Money isn't everything, true, but again with the naivety, it does give you security, a better quality of life and let's face it, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy being able to buy my wife the things she desires and to ensure the members of my family did not "go without." Can you blame me?

All that being said, for all my time and sacrifice, I get punished for doing well. I become an example as to what happens when you step up and do something with your life. Do not sit there and pretend that every single person who lives within the poverty income level of this country could not have done anything about it other than allow their government to step in and do something about it for them at the expense of others. I do believe, however, that there should be some sort of intervention that involves our government stepping in and doing a massive overhaul on our welfare system; too many people go without that deserve not to, and too many people live off the fruits of our labors when they are more than capable of pulling their own weight.

People, we have opportunities afforded to us that most other countries do not; in fact, just look around at most of the legal immigrants who move to this country and do extremely well for themselves. That's a big factor of my not being too upset with immigration. If someone wants to work and make an honest living, then by all means I feel they should have the same rights as we do, so long as they pay their own way, pull their own weight, and pay their own taxes. In fact, that's my key point in this article, don't put your lifestyle on me. Speaking of immigration, you want my opinion on why people get so upset with immigrants? Because immigrants don't mind the work and they know what it's like to be poor, they could give you a thirty five page dissertation on the subject I'm sure. I respect a hard working person, immigrant or native. Who knows what kind of struggles they've seen and/or been through. Yet here they are amongst all this opposition, trying. That's what counts, effort; and if this country chooses to penalize people for their efforts, then I feel nothing but shame for those that agree with the penalties, and disgust for those that feel entitled to leech off the royalties of the "rich."


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