Show Me Yours, And I'll Show You Mine
You heard me correctly. That's right. I want to see what you've got. Mr. Geithner, Mr. Kerry, and Mr. Rangel. If you show me yours, I'll gladly show you mine. The money, that is, of course. More specifically, the money I have to pay in taxes to my government. You see, when I see your grimacing face on the news show, "This Week," and hear the words fall from your lips, "We're going to have to do what's necessary. We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically, and that's going to require some very hard choices," I think to myself—what about you? Okay, you've paid your taxes by now. I got that. But would you have paid them had you not been posted to your current position as Treasury Secretary? And why didn't you pay them in the first place? Did you have some personal deficits of your own that needed to be paid down dramatically that you redirected money that may have gone to those taxes to your debts? Were there hard choices to be made on whether or not the taxes should be paid—or perhaps the self-discussion was more, whether or not you'd be caught?
Speaking of the idea that, "We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically," I find myself wondering why, in the discussion arguing for allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire—which is really what we're talking about here—we're not also hearing a word spoken about cutting any real spending. What I hear is that we'll just go on spending like mad, and we'll just keep hiking up the tax rates and everything will be hunky dory.
Don't fret. The expiring tax cuts will only affect the top 2%.
On both counts, I don't think so, friend.
But that's the thing. When these guys (the politicians and appointed officials) all say, "we," they obviously mean us. The people. Not them. Because so often we hear stories about sleight of hand when it comes to politicians and their taxes.
Like Kerry, for example. How seriously can we take a guy like that? Here's a guy who will most definitely vote for the Bush tax cuts to expire who plays games with his own taxes to avoid paying them. The responsibility to reduce the deficit obviously does not apply to his millionaire status. That's for those other millionaires. The bad guy millionaires.
As far as Rangel goes, I don't think I need to say any more on the issue that hasn't already been said a half a dozen times in the blogosphere and right here on Hub Pages. He's a tax cheat and I hope he gets a swift kick right in the kiester, and maybe even a swift kick right out of office. If he doesn't get that boot from the Congress itself, that boot ought to come from the voters. No one in their right mind would have any rational reason to let this guy continue on.
Look, I'm not against taxes. Certainly that's not to suggest that I like taxes. But there are indeed essential functions of our government that have to be paid for. The police, for example. Fire and rescue. We have to have a military presense to maintain our sovereignty and secure the nation from people who wish to do us harm. I'll even concede that while I did not appreciate the shenanigans that led to having to bail out AIG and other large banks, that in light of the situation, we had to do it. I'm fairly confident that without some level of intervention, the economy of the United States, and perhaps the world, would have collapsed in a way that would have made the Great Depression look like a child's game.
The bottom line for me, is that if I have to pay my taxes, for whatever the purpose is that they are being taken from me, then it needs to be a fair game. You (the politicians) have to play fair. You have to pay your taxes as well, and do your part.
On a bit of a sidenote, I think quite frankly, that you too (again, politicians) must make hard choices in what you do, and how you do it. Take how much you're getting paid for example. Perhaps you should reconsider taking any pay increases so long as 10% of the population is unemployed, and struggling, and while the deficits are literally bursting at the seams. Perhaps you should be thinking about the impact of higher deficits, and higher taxes on the overall economy.
And of course pay your taxes too. All of them. Just like you expect everyone else to do. Don't try to park your yacht in a state where they don't levy a tax on such items, and then snidely suggest that whether or not the taxes are owed depends on who owns it. How stupid do you really think the American people are? Isn't that one of the oldest tricks in the book? Hiding assets. Especially luxury ones which are taxed in your state but not in others? And aren't you supposed to be beyond that? Aren't you supposed to be one of those guys who protects the government from such fraudulent, tax cheats? Aren't you supposed to be one of those guys who identifies loopholes and closes them, rather than takes advantage of them quietly so long as no one notices?
Show me yours and I'll gladly show you mine, guys. Every one of you. I'm not that way. I'll go ahead and participate in what's necessary to do. I'll make my sacrifices, and I'll pay my taxes as you deem fit. Whether I agree with it or not is, of course, irrelevant. The taxes will be charged regardless of what I think. They'll be charged regardless of whether or not I like what they are being used for. I'll pay them because that's my obligation as an American. I'll make my hard choices because that's what I have to do when my job goes south and my taxes go up.
Somehow, I am oddly left with this nagging suspicion that I, and my fellow other Americans, may be the only ones standing, exposed, at the end of the day. We can't really believe for a minute that an expectation of honesty and integrity from the likes of these scoundrels is really something that's even possible. Can we?
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