The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

With the Vice Presidential debate on Thursday evening now a part of history I found it interesting that the President’s latest ad asks the question, “Who you gonna believe?”

The thrust of the ad is that Mitt Romney, that insidious successful millionaire, is planning on slashing the taxes of his fellow successful millionaires.   He will pass on the cost of the money this saves them to the remaining middle class who have survived four years of Obamanomics, by increasing their taxes $2500 per household.

This is fear in advertising at its absolute worst.

Let’s think about the scenario that the President paints in his ad.  You are already a multi-millionaire and this year you have another decent year.  You earn $10 million for your efforts and on your investments.   Depending on the sources of your income, that should leave you with about $7 million or so in pocket change.  Does any one of my readers know how they would possibly spend $7 million if they were given the opportunity?  And, of course, our multi-millionaire has already accumulated a great deal of wealth that goes beyond this year’s income.

So ask yourself the question.  If you would be hard pressed to spend $7 million on things that you really want, how would you spend the $7.2 million that the ad suggests you would have under the “Romney tax plan?”

Well, that’s all theoretical.  But let’s look at some numbers which are suggested by the ad and which Vice President Biden offered in the debate.

The Veep says that this scheme is designed to benefit 110,000 wealthy tax payers at the expense of all middle class tax payers.  Each of the wealthy would get a $200,000 tax cut – and every middle class family will get a $2500 tax increase.

If you do the math which underlies this statement, here’s what you will find.  According to Vice President Biden, the United States of America, out of our population of 310,000,000, has a mere 8.8 million families who are “middle class”.

I realize that things have been tough for everyone under President Obama but is the Vice President suggesting that is the totality of the middle class that is left in this country?  If that is true, that is sufficient enough indictment to throw the two of them out of office.

Let’ return to the debate for a minute.  Frankly, I was uninspired by both participants for different reasons.

I have heard Rep. Ryan speak on many occasions and have been impressed with the sincere manner in which he delivers his information.  By contrast, I thought he seemed very “mechanical” in the debate.  Perhaps that is because it was his first experience or perhaps because the main focus was on foreign policy.  I am not making excuses for him because “it is what it is”.  I have heard him do far better and was a little disappointed.

I felt insulted by the demeanor which the Vice President projected.  I thought he was rude, condescending and generally obnoxious.  He obviously has a wealth of experience, (he told us that several times) and I felt he would have better served his cause by simply delivering his message in a forthright and factual manner.  I half expected him at some point to turn to Ryan and say, “Listen, Sonny …”

He also had the annoying habit of starting to answer a question and then, without finishing his statement, change the subject.  This is the typical tactic of the veteran politician who either doesn’t know the answer or doesn’t want to offer an answer to a question.   If you taped the debate, I suggest you watch it again to see what I mean.  I counted six separate instances of it in the 45 minutes that the Vice President held the floor.

Well, according to those who are politically smarter than I, Ryan slightly edged out the Vice President – but it was, in essence, a draw.  But there was one part of the debate that I thought was most interesting and that was the discussion about abortion.

For the first time in U. S. history we have Vice Presidential candidates on both tickets who are Roman Catholic.  It’s common knowledge that the official view of the Roman Catholic Church is that abortion constitutes murder of the unborn.  Both the Vice President and Rep. Ryan are aware of that.

Ryan offered his explanation of why he is opposed to abortion from a personal standpoint.  He referred to his unborn first child’s ultrasound when she was only the size of a bean – but he could see her heart beat.  He went on to explain that because of this experience, he and his wife had nicknamed her, “Bean”.

The Vice President approached his support for abortion in what could easily have been misinterpreted as an almost statesmanlike way.  While he would never personally have a child aborted, he explained that other people did not accept his Catholic theology of life beginning at conception.  Therefore, it would be wrong for him to impose his personal beliefs on them.

There is a problem inherent with that statement.

Some people believe that murdering another adult – if it suits their purpose and is the way for them to attain their personal ends – is perfectly acceptable behavior.  You have only to read a newspaper on any given day to know that is true.  Thumb to the section covering the ongoing violence among members of the Mexican drug cartels.

Civilized societies dating back thousands of years have generally frowned on that behavior.  The Roman Catholic church considers murder to be so serious that it is classified as a “mortal sin”.

But if we take the Vice President at his word, I can only presume that he similarly is opposed to all the laws on the books, in every state and every jurisdiction, which punish adults who commit murder.  Even though  his Catholic upbringing informs him that it is wrong for him to murder someone, he shouldn’t impose that belief on others who hold a different view on the subject, just  as he refuses to do in the case of abortion.  Or is imposing his Catholic beliefs something which he only selectively declines to do?

Of course, the Vice President’s quasi-libertarian view on the subject of abortion introduces an obvious corollary issue.  If it is wrong for those who oppose abortion to impose their will on others, is it not equally wrong for those who favor abortion to require those who find it immoral to pay for it with their tax dollars in contravention to their conscience and right to Freedom of Religion?

Politicians promise a lot of things.  If you’re in your thirties or older and are the least observant, you will have noticed that those promises are very often empty.  While they sound good and encourage us to vote for them, hoping that they are sincere in their statements, the sad truth is that seldom is the case.

We have seen how “Hope and Change” have played out for four years of this administration.  In their ad, Obama/Biden asks the question, “Who you gonna believe?”

And we should all be asking, “Who do you think has the ability, understanding and committment to deliver?”

 

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Comments on: "“WHO YOU GONNA BELIEVE?”" (4)

  1. I am less than impressed with both candidates but having officially made it into the “wealthy” category via tax bracket (I am no where near a millionaire nor did I make near a million last year, but am in the highest tax bracket) I cannot find myself supporting Obama at all. Due to his tax policies, I have not been able to invest in my company by building a much needed larger facility because the bank would like 10%. Sadly the money I have been saving towards that end, just went to uncle Sam in taxes. And what would the government do with that money? I am not sure, but fairly certain it won’t help me.

    What I would be able to do, is build a new building allowing my to hire up to 3 more providers. Which would probably require a staff of a minimum of 2.5 each. Which would mean I could employ an additional 9 people. Maybe not much in the scheme of things but would you please tell me how the US government is better spending my almost 6 figures in taxes. And by the way, as a small business, I pay taxes from the corporation individually, and don’t see half of the cash personally that I pay taxes on.

    With the increase in taxes, that I am supposedly wealthy enough to afford- despite it being a “millionaire’s tax” I get to pay- my consideration is to cut staff or at the very least not hire anymore, and consider not building a larger facility which I greatly need. It also means that getting myself out of debt from all of the years of school and starting a business becomes more difficult, especially since I made the not so wise decision of living on credit cards for five years. while not taking a full salary.

    • Thank you, Melissa for your thoughtful and forthright comment.

      Governor Romney wasn’t my first choice to run against the President either, as I was a delegate here in Nevada for another candidate. But I have grown warmer to him as I have heard more stories about how he has tried to help others who, in some cases, were virtually strangers to him. I rate compassion and kindness as high marks in considering who will receive my vote because I believe that speaks volumes to the fundamental way a person approaches life, whether in or out of public office.

      I hope that those who are following this blog will read the comments about how your business is being affected by the policies of the current administration. Your story about why you have not hired nine people is exactly the reason why this recovery is tepid. Thousands of other small business owners could tell the same story. But that story does get told in the statistics which we receive on the number of jobless Americans and our still staggering rate of unemployment.

      Thank you for sharing your personal experience with us.

  2. I think Melissa has described the dilemma we face in most western countries today. Not much to choose from when it comes to the vote. Therefore I’ve given up voting for the one who does me the most good, I vote for the one who does me the least harm.

    • If I may paraphrase your wise statement in terms of my own experience as a trader …

      After spending a year and a half doing abysmally (and costing myself $75,000), it finally dawned on me. The first thing to accomplish in order to make money trading was not to lose it. With that revelation I was able to turn the corner.

      Those who can do us the least harm will always get my vote. Those who promise much generally don’t deliver and I consider their promises to be little than blowing the proverbial smoke up our proverbial backsides.

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