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March 07, 2009

Call me a socialist

Don Russell (3/3, Letters) says that the easy life is sought by irresponsible, lazy do-nothings at the peril of entrepreneurs. Call me a socialist, but I think the government should step in and help me and others like me instead of greedy Wall Street tycoons and CEOs. The middle class is the backbone of this country, and they have gotten the short end of the stick for too long.

I have worked for the same company for 30 years, and over the past eight years I saw my salary stagnate, my medical insurance costs escalate while the coverage shrunk, my yearly increases (if I was lucky enough to get one) to be a fraction of the inflation rate and my office go from 75 people to seven.

So do I appreciate the freedoms this country has to offer? You bet! I appreciate the freedom for all Americans to have decent health care, good schools for their children, college costs that are reasonable and a good job so they can afford a nice house and buy good food.

If everyone paid their fair share of the tax burden, then no one would be unduly burdened. So go ahead, call me a socialist. I dare you.

Terri C. Hayes
Lenexa

Comments

whispering_to_kc

"Any input on just what "their fair share" is?"

As described in this space, over and over again, working people have been squeezed by "your" government policies for the last decade, maybe since Newt's "Contract on America" in 1994.

Incomes are flat or declining for most of us in the bottom/middle while the better off among us have never had it this good.

The cost of living only goes up. Job security and decent domestic jobs are disappearing. The work either goes overseas or overseas labor is brought in to replace Americans at a fraction of what our cost was.

My regular direct employment of 20 some years ended several years ago and was replaced with a string of contract jobs. My old employer still calls periodically asking me to return ... as a temp ... even while they continue to advertise for fresh direct employees with 3 to 5 years of experience and hire Indians and Chinese to fill the remainder.

A young Chinese woman I once worked with is still there (as a direct) and has since been promoted to a manager. For the life of me, I never saw her do anything as an engineer. Each job dropped on her desk she always quietly "delegated" to another engineer. She "worked" that way until she was finally promoted. All the engineers she once delegated her work to are now gone but yet she remains and with a nice promotion.

My individual health insurance is going up 25% with the next billing cycle. I received that notice the other day and I'm considering finally just dropping it. We haven't cost them one red cent since they weakly replaced my COBRA benefits and in their gratitude they only know how to raise the premiums each year. 25% this year may finally be too much to take.

It's a waste of breath to only repeat the same old stuff over and over again here. Retirees don't "get it". Rich folks don't "get it". You don't "get it".

If Obama "gets it", great!! Redistribute!!! I don't think any of the Leawood Benz drivers are going to be trading down to a Ford after a little "redistribution". I doubt you'll be forced into macaroni suppers.

The neocon noodlehead McClanahan has a "nice" piece in the paper today ...

http://voices.kansascity.com/node/3950

You people have brought nothing but devastation and ruin on us.

Engineer

viet_vet & whispering
Any input on just what "their fair share" os?

TinaMcG

"Live on a big spread on the fringe? Pay taxes in proportion to the land value."

And who determines the land value? The county appraiser, who is beholding to a county that's itching for more tax revnue. They say our place appreciated almost 10% last year. We protested. Now we wait for their decision, but we know damned well it did not appreciate at all and was overvalued when we bought it.

lvtfan

The fairest, most logical, most efficient, best-incentives tax of all is a tax on land value. We would be far better off if we taxed land value heavily, and everything else lightly or not at all.

Were we to do that, we would be "socializing" that which the community creates, and "privatizing" that which the individual or corporation creates.

One's "fair share" should not be a function of what one creates; rather, it should be a function of how valuable the land one claims as one's private property is.

Live on a postage stamp out on the fringe, with no sewers, no broadband? Pay almost no taxes.

Live on a postage stamp in Manhattan (NYC, that is!) with access to subways, 3 airports, city water and sewer, fabulous hospitals and emergency services, community colleges, etc.? Pay fairly significant taxes.

Live on a big spread on the fringe? Pay taxes in proportion to the land value.

Live in a low-rise on Fifth Avenue, NYC? Pay your share of a huge land value tax. Live in a high-rise next door? Pay a much lower share of the same land value tax.

Land values vary widely, and they are an excellent measure of what we receive FROM society. It seems to me that our taxation should be proportionate to that, NOT to what we create.

Search on my name for more about this idea.

TinaMcG

"Your office dropped from 75 to 7 people. Maybe business isnt so good? Maybe their has been automation (like computers)? Maybe unprofitable departments have been phased out? Maybe the company decided to outsource some areas? " -- Prairie Voice

Maybe in an effort to boost profits, the company moved jobs overseas to cheap labor markets? Maybe people stopped spending money on the types of products or services her company offers?

Don't be so quick to judge. It could happen to any of us.

viet-vet1970

I know of a family with a net worth that exceeds $500 million, but with an annual income of only $4-5 million.

Please excuse me NoMo if I don't lie awake at night worrying about their tax burden.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

You are an entitlement thinker. You are right, if EVERYONE paid their fair share of taxation. The upper ten percent pay over 62% of ALL Federal taxation. So you are right, those recieving the FREE $1,000 from the rest of us, should start paying their fair share. You are not entitled to a "nice house" or a "decent payting job", those are EARNED on your merits. Maybe you should have not become complacent, maybe you should have provided your own health plan if you do not like what your company offers. Do you realize how much your company paid on your behalf to FICA, workers comp and other taxtions? Probably not.

PrairieVoice

Your office dropped from 75 to 7 people. Maybe business isnt so good? Maybe their has been automation (like computers)? Maybe unprofitable departments have been phased out? Maybe the company decided to outsource some areas? Whatever, but how is it some "Wall Street Fat Cat's" fault? Now you say your salary is going down but is it because the owners are taking more? You dont say.

Please give more detail.

BudRog

Gosh Terri if your job sucks so much ever think of looking for another one? Is someone hold a gun to your head to make you stay at this particular one?

You are not a socialist, you are just one taco short of a combo platter.

fairmark

Who bought gas this week? Guess what, you paid the feds a sales tax. Didn't feel it, did ya? Didn't read about any "gas tax revolts" this week, did ya? You budgeted for that gas by saving for it, buying a cheap car or good-mileage car, driving less, carpooling, etc. ALL goods should be taxed this easily. Yep, any other tax is stupid.

jack

BTW: You are a socialist.

Now, would you like me to call you a cab?

jack

There is only one possible "fair" tax. (full disclosure) I got this idea from a book titled "The Darkhorse" by either William Ledderer or Herman Wouk (I'm pretty sure but ain't certain).

In it a hopeless candidate decides to just tell the truth. He proposes a truly flat tax. No corporate tax (they are nothing but a sheet of paper); No capital gains; No inheritance; No sales, use, property, etc taxes. Just a single tax on all income.

And no deductions for mortgage interest, children, charity, or anything else. A single deduction, the "Human Depreciation Deduction", because any effort that brings income also costs a certain amount of your life.

Then tax ALL income at exactly the same rate. Doesn't matter where it comes from. Interest income, income from selling something (yes I realize we currently call this capital gains), wages, bonuses...everything. Every penny that gooes from someonelse's bank to your bank (or from one hand to another) is taxed. If a human ends up with the money, it is taxed. Everyone pays his or her fair share.

If this was ever truly proposed, EVERYONE would be against it.

whispering_to_kc

Terri is a godless communist!!

Engineer

Terri C. Hayes doesn't say what the "fair share" would be. I've read and heard this "fair share' cry for years but have never seen or heard it defined. I'm pretty well convinced that most of those mouthing this motto have no idea as to who pays what. My guess is that they feel someone else should pay more than they are now paying and they should pay less.

Kate

Socialist!

 
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