Saturday, July 07, 2007

Heywood Ja Sacrifice Something?

From Heywood J's Hammer of the Blogs:

We have not even been asked to cut into our large-living ways; indeed, we've been encouraged to indulge them. Consumerism is what keeps this Ponzi economy afloat, that and dangerously bundled derivatives on the esoteric hedge-fund market. So instead of conserving and rationing, the way homefront Americans were glad to do in WW2, to be part of the cause, we continue to indulge and consume, and in particular waste oil profligately, as if we weren't over in the Middle East to -- at least in part, whether people can admit it to themselves or not -- secure our access and supply.


This is replayed day after day, across the country, heedlessly, rhythmically, almost like a ginormous variation of musical chairs -- if they stopped, they would think about what they were doing, and reality might set in. And the heroic Chinese-made ribbon magnet might then not seem to be enough to justify driving a 3-ton, 10-mpg mini-RV to the post office or the Wal-Mart.

Sacrifice should be shared across the board, rich and poor, wherever possible. But mostly it appears to be two classes of people who need to start sacrificing proportionately to what they take -- the profiteering class and the mindless hyper-consumption class. (read the whole thing here)

When I travel to the midwest it is clear to me just how little impact this war actually has on many people, and sadly they can't see how their behavior could make a difference.

What if the President asked everyone to enlist? What if he went on the air and said:

"I don't want to have a draft, but we don't have enough troops. We need 500,000 more troops NOW to win this thing. I won't let my successor take on this burden and they way they are talking, they will leave. In my mind leaving is losing. So I'm asking every able bodied man and woman to enlist in the armed forces. If you are between 17 and 42 you can enlist in the army. And I'm going to ask the military contractors to leave Blackwater and related firms and re-enlist in the armed forces."

What if he specifically asked the rich to send their money and their children to fight? Maybe he could call people who didn't go to war, unpatriotic? He would demand that people who make excessive profit from the war that they are America haters and traitors. People who have avoided taxes by going offshore will be identified and vilified.

"If you can't serve yourself, ask your child to serve.
If your child can't serve, ask your relatives to serve.
If you can't serve, have no children or relatives serving, send us your money.
If you have children and relatives already serving, God bless you.

We need more than just your taxes. To win we need your savings and then we need some more. If we don't get it, we will lose and we will be attacked and many of you will die. What good will your money do you if you are dead? Everyone who has a yellow ribbon on their car or a flag in their heart should be willing to send us more than just your tax dollars.

I pledged not to raise taxes, but I never said I couldn't ask the people to voluntarily give more. We need 900 billion more to win.

I'm asking the middle classes --those making between $30,000-350,000 a year-- to send us 5 percent of your GROSS income to help pay for this global war on terror. This is on top of your taxes, that I will remind you, I haven't raised. Those making $350,000-2,500,000? I'm asking you for 10 percent. If you are fortunate enough to make 2.5 million to 25 million we need 15 percent of your gross. 25 million and up. 20 percent. If you try and cheat on this and leave the country or lie on your taxes I'll consider you a traitor and unpatriotic. I'm going to ask the people who supported this effort in the beginning to be the first to give. If you were on board and supporting me in 2003 I know I can count on you now. Right now I'm going over the lists of all the Bush Rangers, radio talk show hosts, Fox news anchors, and PNAC members. If you have flipped flop on your support of me and this war, shame on you. Only liberals flip flop and don't follow what their duly elected President says. Especially when it comes to matters of National Security--which everyone agrees is the responsibility of the executive branch.

Yes, you can question the percent that I'm asking, but if you do, you obviously don't want America to win and don't deserve your freedom. Freedom's not free and right now you aren't paying your fair share. The people who won't have to pay this voluntary extra money? The people who have a spouse or child serving in the armed forces.

Why do we need your money now? Several reasons. The first reason is that sacrifice in the global war against terror is only borne by a small part of America, and that has to stop. We are better than that.

Another is that the cost of this war is forcing us to do things detrimental of the health of America. For example, right now America is beholden to China. China is the bank and we are charging this war on the credit card they issued us. In return we are forced to eat their poisoned food and accept their untested vitamins and drugs. We don't like to talk about this, but that was part of the deal China made with us when they agreed to pay for the war. The "interest" we pay is accepting the goods they send us, with nothing more than cursory checks on the food. Their system is so dangerous and corrupt that they sentenced the head of their FDA to death. It was a price I was willing to pay on your behalf because I didn't think they would really sell us that much poisoned food, but I was wrong. I won't allow Americans to die because we had to eat poison food to pay for this war. If we want to get out from under our debt, we need more money. And we can't just cut China off, if we do they will retaliate economically and our economy will crash. Specifically our largest employer, Wal-Mart, will crash, and I can't let that happen.

I love to hear the phrase Freedom isn't free from people because those people know that they need to pay their fair share. And this will be enforced by the IRS.

Starting on July 4th the IRS will be be undergoing a radical shift in focus to the top one tenth of one percent, so anyone who isn't making over 2.5 million a year doesn't need to worry. That doesn't mean they won't still be doing the rest of their work on regular tax payers, but if you try to hide your income in foreign banks or with tricks, we will find you and punish you. Also, no companies that are incorporated out side of the US and who aren't paying their fair share of taxes,will get Government contracts.

And we will know if these people and companies aren't paying taxes.

I will use my authority under the Patriot Act to post the names of American citizens and companies who have NOT paid their taxes, voluntarily given more or enlisted. The first list will be all members of this administration and all Republican elected officials. The next list will be all corporations that have been been employed by the government in the global war on terror.

If we can't do this for our country then we don't deserve the trust of the people. It's a small price to pay for our freedom and liberty.

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trifecta said...

Sacrifice is hard work. Chimpy asked us yo go shopping. I hate the mall, but it's the sacrifice, we have been asked to make.

4:36 PM  
kelley b. said...

If this preznit asked everyone to enlist, rich and poor, it would be a scam.

You could count on every single Democrat being shipped to the slaughterhouse on the front lines.

Everyone not shipped into combat would be used in work camps, enriching his Ba$e.

Count on it.

6:21 PM  
spocko said...

Trifecta: Yep. The mall are deadly.

Kelley b. But of course! But we already don't support his war this would be directed at his war supporters.

6:29 PM  
Jim said...

Bush has supporters? with approval rating in the 20-30s they must be living in bunkers. As far as the tax situation the top 50% pay well over 50% of the taxes in the US (somewhere over 95% the last time I checked). The next time you take a look at taxes find out where the adjustments are for inflation. You'll find that there usually is no accounting for inflation (EG the AMT) which in essence is a tax increase on the poorest taxpayers and why a tax cut has litle if any affect on the total amount of taxes incoming to the government (and often end up looking like an increase in funds)

10:19 PM  
W.D. Russell said...

5% of 160,000 is 8,000
Anybody think that there are 8,000 of the richest 5% with their boots on the ground in Iraq?
How about 800?
How about 80?
How about 8?
There are more street gang members in Iraq than there are the rich.
The wealthiest Americans refuse to support or defend this country.

7:21 AM  
Jim said...

W.D Russell- I'm not sure what numbers you are referring to (or where you get them) How many of that 5% are eligble to serve? Comparing that number to other income groups are the numbers the same or different? If it is different I'd be curious as to their political affiliation. My guess is that you'd find more liberals that won't defend the US than conservatives.

9:45 AM  
Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

From which parallel Earth did Jim slide over? :)

8:39 PM  
Eli said...

Dude, if people had to sacrifice every time there was a war, then how do you expect them to be okay with more wars?

I mean, if we had to sacrifice to invade Iraq, the Bushies would *never* be able to get anyone on board with invading Iran.

10:17 PM  
Jim said...

Ivory Bill, I'm from the earth where 2+2=4 isn't up to a consensus for proof.

Eli, the premise is the problem. I don't know anyone that was for simply invading Iraq. The bill of goods sold to me was getting in to look for WMDs then get out. There was no mention of overthrowing the government or rebuilding a new one(a democracy at that!). That is where Bush and his supporters at the time went their seperate ways and why his approval ratings are so low.

I would happily sacrifice if I thought that a war with whatever country was just and needed. War with Iran? Maybe, but if they do become a threat the answer is not to invade but to simply bomb them into a non-threat. Not one drop of american blood is worth 10 seconds of middle-eastern peace, or oil. On a side note I used to wonder how those countries got such loonie leaders, until we ran into the bush/kerry election. When Kerry is the best the other side can find to run against a so called leader that has a nominal command (and possibly even comprehension) of the english language, it's no suprise that other countries find their best in nutjobs like Ahmadinejad.

1:44 PM  
Interrobang said...

You are aware that Ahmadinejad is a figurehead, right?

7:48 PM  
Metro said...

Hi Jim:

Sorry for the long comment, but you raised some good points ... actually, strike the word "good".

You may recall that Bush had over 70% political support and at least 55% support for the war itself when he actually threw 3500 US kids to their deaths. So there were, and still are, supporters, no matter where they're hiding now.

The rich pay 95% of the taxes?Where'd you get that figure?

How much does the "top 50%" earn and is it fair to lump in multi-millionaires with Joe Working Stiff who earns $45k?

I tend to believe the middle class is over-taxed, but just handing out that "top 50%" figure doesn't make your argument any more convincing.

But it's irrelevant anyway. If a fair percentage off peoples' incomes means that the top half pay 95% of the collected revenue, then that's just math.

Dragging in inflation is a red herring. Inflation hits the poor far harder than the rich.

$26,000 in tax to Trump is nothing. To many it's an annual income.

On the other hand, 5 percent of a billion is $50,000,000. Trump could probably find that in his loose change jar, leaving him with $950 million.

If Joe Sixpack is earning $26,000 per year, 5% ($1,300) can look like a billion.

At that point Jim, Trump would be paying 99.9% of the collected revenue. That would just be unfair, though, wouldn't it?

So the answer is to get rid of the luxury estate tax? ... Uh, can I have a moment to cool off my logic circuitry?

To your second comment: Your equivocation in shifting the topic from "rich families are oddly ill-represented in the US Armed Forces for some reason" to "Liberals won't stand up for America" is typical apologist.

Soldiers tend to be a conservative bunch. But not in the chickenhawk flag-wavin' sense. They truly believe in their families, their homeland, and the constitution they swore to defend. All things the current crop of neo-cons has worked so hard to uproot and wreck.

Nobody wants peace more than a soldier. Nobody wants less to give their body and blood for a lie, for commercial interests, or for personal ambition. Because unlike the people "supporting the war effort" by buying shoddy goods from China, soldiers have to die for it.

For some reason, the Bush White House, with an accumulated war service history of zero years, seems not to know this.

For some reason, the pampered rich white lawyers, overpaid executives, and buy-me-a-diploma-from-Yale C- students in the Albion Asylum can't dig the concept of real sacrifice.

"'Cos if I can't drive my Hummer to the 7-11 then the terr'rists have already won."

(Oh--and what, exactly, is this Iraq war "defending America" from?)

What was that line about "foreign and domestic"?

If you really want to support the troops, reduce your consumption so that oil will become less of an issue. Skip meat three days a week to make that energy available for other uses. "Make do and mend" rather than tossing last week's new toy in the trash.

Stay out of debt. Much debt is owned by companies who don't support the war effort. Save your money for investments in war production, and for Red Cross packages.

If you own a business, give employees time off for Guard duty. Phone the White House and ask whether your company can contribute material, time or work to the war effort. Your customers will understand that you've shifted to war production for the duration.

Buy war bonds to show your support for Iraqi democracy. Save grease, grass clippings, rubber and plastic. Recycle everything to make more material available and reduce consumption even further. Plant a victory garden.

But most of all, if you really want to support the troops: Bring them the hell HOME!

Do you honestly claim to have believed it would be some sort of "in-'n-out" invasion?

Next time (and there will surely be one) I suggest you Google the phrase "it'll all be over by Christmas". Specifically, look for times that prediction has been proven right.

On Iran:
Ahmadinejad was put into power in a rigged election, then re-appointed by the same conservatives who figured his lunacy gave them cover to advance their agenda.

Bush, on the other hand ... uh ... well ...

Forget it.

Spocko's point was that the sole sacrifice the decider-in-chief asked America to make was their credit ratings.

Except for 3500+ fortunate souls who got to make the Supreme Sacrifice. For money. For greed. For personal aggrandizement and hubris.

For the right to buy half-price $#!7 at Wal-Mart.

Hell of a battle cry, isn't it?

10:08 AM  
Jim said...

"The rich pay 95% of the taxes?Where'd you get that figure?" is where the numbers come from.
You are free to do the math yourself.

"How much does the "top 50%" earn and is it fair to lump in multi-millionaires with Joe Working Stiff who earns $45k?"

Only in loony liberal land is equal treatment unfair. If the top 50% earn 100 dollars and the bottom 50% earn 10000 is it still fair? Who has more money 1000 millionares or 100000 folks that only make 50,000? With looney lefty math it's about who can (in their view) "afford" to pay taxes rather than what's fair.

"You may recall that Bush had over 70% political support and at least 55% support for the war itself when he actually threw 3500 US kids to their deaths. So there were, and still are, supporters, no matter where they're hiding now."

Support for the war would have been pretty much on par with what it's support is now had the grand scheme of bringing democracy to folks that honestly think that civilization peaked during the 14th century.

"Next time (and there will surely be one) I suggest you Google the phrase "it'll all be over by Christmas". Specifically, look for times that prediction has been proven right."

So which did he have support for- the long drawn out war or the short one? Show me where Bush said we'd be there from day 1 for about 6 years or so. More importantly show me how that's consitutional.

"Dragging in inflation is a red herring. Inflation hits the poor far harder than the rich"

My point about inflation is exactly that. Since the AMT does not adjust for inflation, more and more americans are becoming rich by IRS standards and thus paying more in taxes, so apparently we agree about that. My issue is that it was Democrats that thought it was important to have a magical "your rich and can pay more" number and now it's biting the poor more and more.

"At that point Jim, Trump would be paying 99.9% of the collected revenue. That would just be unfair, though, wouldn't it?"

Only with looney lefty math is that unfair. That why the cry of "tax cuts for the rich" went out when the refund checks went out and oddly enough the folks paying more of the taxes got big checks and folks not paying as much got little checks. It's apparently OK to take the money from the rich but not OK to refund it when the rates get cut.

"So the answer is to get rid of the luxury estate tax? ... Uh, can I have a moment to cool off my logic circuitry?"

There are plenty of better taxation schemes that are udeniable fair (consumption taxes, flat taxes come to mind. IMHO we should scrap the whole tax code and budget and start from scratch.

"If you really want to support the troops, reduce your consumption so that oil will become less of an issue."
Or support additional drilling in american sources like ANWR or the gulf of mexico.

"Buy war bonds to show your support for Iraqi democracy"

on what planet? (are we even selling war bonds?) Anyone that thinks there will ever be democracy in that area of the world needs to share whatever they are smoking.

All the talk of sacrifice would be great if this was some sort of all out effort. If it was, Iraq would have looked like Berlin after WWII. Mostly destroyed.

6:40 PM  

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