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November 01, 2008

Wealth distribution

Susie the Welfare Recipient

Enough about Joe the Plumber! I haven’t heard either candidate discuss what they plan to do about Susie the Welfare Recipient. Able-bodied but illiterate Susie, who has never worked a day in her life and has no intention of starting, is the role model for her five uneducated kids.

Barack Obama said he would help welfare recipients willing to work. What about the others?

People who get up and go to work every day resent funding Susie’s lifestyle, and politicians underestimate our anger. Many of us would like to know what the next president has in mind to remedy the situation.

Anne Johannesen
Kansas City

Americans already spread wealth

It is important to note that Paul Newman made a personal choice to direct profits from the sales of his food products to charities (10/25, Opinion, “U.S. excerpts: Newman’s example of giving”). The government did not mandate that he do this, as it might, through regulation or taxation, to redistribute wealth. Many businesses and individuals make similar choices as a part of their personal or business plans.

Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks’ book Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism points out that Americans give more than the citizens of any other country. We also volunteer more.

Despite high gas and food prices and falling home values, Americans gave away a record $306 billion last year — an increase of $11 billion from the previous record year (2006).

We don’t need Obama’s plan to have the government redistribute wealth. Like Paul Newman, we do it pretty well on our own.

Brenda Karlin
Olathe

Comments

Areyouserious

JustAMan
I understand your fears, I am also capable of discerning how you arrived at your conclusions. You are a victim of a public relations campaign supported by the most wealthy among us. You have swallowed, hook line and sinker, propaganda distributed by someone who does not even know how many houses he owns. Someone who suggests that a wealthy person makes more than 5 million dollars a year.
If you had spent as much time considering the disparity of wealth in this country as you have spent parroting the campaign slogans of your chosen candidate, you would recognize that something in this country is seriously amiss. I am not suggesting that you are stupid, I am merely stating that your “big picture” of wealth distribution is lacking.
Using a clock face as an analogy of a pie chart, you and I (and 90% of the US population) reside in a sliver represented by 2 or 3 minutes on that clock, the remaining 57 or 58 minutes represent that portion of our nations wealth in the hands of a chosen few. Or are you simply trying to defend your right to your $5 million dollar income? If your income is similar to the “national average of $45k” it would take 430 years for you to make the kind of money our top 1% make in a single year.
Should we tax our highest earners(?) at a progressively higher rate than we tax ourselves, just 2 or 3 minutes of their 57 minute stranglehold on the wealth of our nation, your income and lifestyle could increase by a factor of 2. One more minute and we could conceivably assist humanity outside of our countries borders and the wealthy would still control an absolutely obscene amount of our countries wealth.

JustAMan

It is all part of the plan to spread the wealth, not just in America but around the world. Obama is not only planning on taking from the rich companies but from the rich American middle class. Americans forget they are rich by world standards but Obama has not let this slip his mind. He introduced a bill in the senate to tax the American middle class and send the money to the poor of the world. “Obama's "Global Poverty Act" (S.2433) ”. www.aim.org/aim-column/obamas-global-tax-proposal-up-for-senate-vote/

The joke is on you middle class. You will be paying for the increased living standard and healthcare of foreigners. In Obama’s mind the wealth is not spread until you are making as little as the working in Mexico. And with your hands out for more, you will give him a congress to pass his bills.

Areyouserious

Supporting inequitable taxation

Anne Johannesen rightfully rails against the able bodied welfare recipient who has no interest in working. Yet she fails to consider the heirs of the obscenely wealthy who also share those traits.
The difference being the welfare recipient barely gets by, while the chosen few live lives we can only dream of. Lives made possible by a Constitution established by “We the People.”
Brenda Karlin uses Paul Newman as an example of the wealthy “redistributing the wealth.” In a recent Forbes magazine article 13 dead celebrities are profiled and only two: Paul Newman and John Lennon are mentioned as having established philanthropic organizations to redistribute their accumulated wealth. The rest seem to be supporting either their heirs or the corporations who continue to reap the benefit of their legacy. Where is the outrage against the Paris Hilton's of the world, who's idea of “working” is to solicit huge fees for simply visiting a nightclub where most of us could not even pass through their exclusive doors. Our country has many other citizens ( born into the right family) who have no interest in willingly giving back so much as a dime. No interest in working and no intent to ever start. You could meet them if you could afford to visit the locations they frequent.
If “We the People” have provided the very environment where anyone can work hard and become obscenely wealthy, why is it unacceptable for us to propose those who obtain these lofty goals should give back at a higher tax rate than the average “Joe?” Warren Buffet recently commented that his multi billion dollar income was taxed at a 17% rate, while his secretary making $70k was taxed 30%. Mr. Buffet is an example of the wealthy who actually do give back. He is also an example of those who acknowledge that our current taxation system is inequitable and needs to change. Failure to support a progressive yet equitable tax rate only gives license to unbridled greed.

Engineer

viet-vet1970
Do you actually think sending out treasury checks will solve problems?

Engineer

viet-vet1970
Private charity amounting to about 10 percent of the National budget is "chicken feed"? Outside of Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and Education how much does the budget contain in social funding?

viet-vet1970

Brenda Karlin wrote: "Americans gave away a record $306 billion last year" ...

As praiseworthy as that sounds, Brenda, you do realize that $306 billion is chicken feed, don't you? And you do realize that the money went to thousands of different non-profits working on thousands of different problems in thousands of cities and towns around the country?

Depending on private charity to solve the big problems facing our society is like trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose. We'll feel better, but the problems won't get solved.

Engineer

solomon
We've got a BC triangulation here. Anne wants to resent her, you want to shoot her and Obama wants to send her a big check, probably one to each of the kids, too.

Marctnts

"We should kill illiterate Susie, her five uneducated kids and all of their ilk and then you won't have to "resent" them anymore."

Then we have:

"...but to hell with them if it cost me money." from our friend Solomon on another letter today.

Which is it? Is it the sarcastic "to hell with them" when discussing undeserved welfare or the real "to hell with them" when dicussing those who live in the suburbs?

Engineer

People
Obama wants a law requiring that a certain percentage of our GDP be given to the UN each year to be distributed to poor Nations. So if you don't like foreign aid........

Stifled Freedom

Spreading the wealth in the US is another. Spreading out money out overseas is another. Where do the candidates stand on the billions we spend on foriegn aid? I personally think the tap should be cut off on that. We give billions a year to Pakistan so they can hide Osama Bin Laden.

solomon

Anne,

We should kill illiterate Susie, her five uneducated kids and all of their ilk and then you won't have to "resent" them anymore.

Brenda,

Don't you think it is fitting that Newmans last movie role was "Road to Perdition"?

 
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