Friday, December 7, 2012

Disability Rights Treaty anyone?

Can you say Disability Rights? Surely a non-controversial subject wouldn't you think? So would I. A no-brainer? But no, the usual applies, if President Obama is in favor of it, we MUST vote it down!

The treaty requires countries to recognize the rights of disabled people. The US of course already has laws that do this. The hope is that it will encourage other countries to develop laws to help the disabled.

But the paranoid members of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party voted it down! Even Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio who both have disabled members of their families voted against the treaty! Marco suggested that the US could promote disability rights. I wonder why both the US and the United Nations can't promote disability rights?

Most countries in the world have signed on to it. It is not controversial anywhere, even in America, except for the extremists of one political party
Where is reason in the minds of these people? Why is it in such short supply there? And why do the rest of the Republicans bow down to these extremists?

On another subject, but with the same lack of reasoning, why is it so hard to get on board with what would seem to be such a simple solution to our lack of funds. One party wants to tax 2% of the population who have more than 50% of the country's wealth and yet pay a lower tax rate than the average American. The other party wants to tax 98% of the population who already pay a higher rate than the 2%. Surely this too is a no-brainer. But apparently not, because once again the Party of No, the Republicans, are interested in one thing and one thing only, voting against ANYTHING that President Obama is in favor of.

They are in favor of cutting taxes, but even more than that, they are in favor of voting against any proposal of President Obama's. Even to the point of voting down tax cuts proposed by the President for citizens and businesses! And voting down spending cuts proposed by him!

I had this idea, why doesn't the President propose a tax cut for the wealthy? Lets say anyone making over $250,000 a year only pays 10% tax? That's what many of them pay anyway! It is what the Republicans want, but they would be FORCED to vote against it, because President Obama proposed it!!!!

He could even put forward a proposal that the rich pay NO tax. And let the Republicans vote that down! Ha Ha Ha Ho Ho Ho ! (There are at least 3,000 people in the US who make more than $3 Million a year who pay NO tax at all!! Does that make them a part of the "47%" ? It sure does! And that doesn't even count the businesses making Billions in PROFITS who pay ZERO tax! Companies like Verizon who made a PROFIT of $33 Billion last year and paid NO tax - in fact they received a 'refund' check from the government of about $1 Billion.)

Well there is a precedent. There is a tax that all Americans pay that the rich don't pay. You don't know about that? Let's say there was a tax that ALL Americans had to pay, except the rich. Well there is! As you know in most countries of the world, except the USA, the more you earn the higher the tax rate you pay. Here in the US of course the more you earn the LOWER your tax rate goes!

Well, here in the US once you reach a certain point, in this case $110,000 - which believe it or not is pretty rich in my book. I have never earned even half of that much in a year. But once you reach that, you stop paying that tax!! I pay it, and all Americans pay it, 100% of us, on ALL of our earnings - up to $110,000. When you reach that figure, which I call rich, or close to, certainly I would love to earn that much, you STOP paying the tax. So right away the rich start paying 6.2% LESS than the poor and middle class, just on that one tax. Yep from then on they pay ZERO on that tax, even tho' the rest of us pay it on ALL of our income.

Take Mitt Romney for example. You pay 6.2% on all of your income. So if you made $110,000 last year you paid $6,820 in Soc Sec tax, or 6.2% of your income. Mitt Romney, who made $21 Million last year, on the other hand paid .03%. So you, and I pay 6.2% Soc Sec tax and Mitt Romney pays .03% ! You and I pay at a rate that is 206 times more than Mitt Romney pays! Now he could well afford to pay this tax, much more so than you or I. But he doesn't have to. I wonder why that is? I suspect that the rich and wealthy are able to nicely ask their politicians for them to be exempted. Maybe some help to their own personal politicians in some area. A nice trip in a private jet to a private island for a nice break. Or some repairs to their house. Or maybe just some help with the bills. Things that you and I can't do for our elected representatives, but the very rich can. Which is why they get richer and richer, at our expense.

How does this sound for an idea? Tax everyone equally for the Soc Sec tax, don't even raise it higher as you earn more, just keep it at 6.2%, but for ALL of everyone's earnings, not just all of my earnings and your earnings. There would then be no problem with SS payments. No fear of SS funds running out in 30 years, or whenever it is supposed to happen. In fact it would probably be possible to LOWER the Soc Sec deduction!! Say to 5%. So those less able to afford it would even get a break, while those who CAN afford it would be paying as well. After all if you can make a million, or 5 million, or 10 million, or even 50 or 100 million and more in the USA you SHOULD be HAPPY to give back to the country that enabled you to get rich. Shouldn't you?

Just saying.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Seventy Two Degrees?

Yes that is what it was outside today! It was 70 in Chicago yesterday! It is supposed to be in the 20's in Chicago at this time of the year I think.

Yesterday and today one of the big stories was about a New York policeman who bought a pair of shoes for a shoeless, homeless man. I thought I would tell you about my Grandfather.

In fact if you go back about 7 or 8 posts and read one entitled a visit to the dentist or something, you will see a bit about my grandfather. By coincidence I had posted this story about boots.

Anyway, my Grandfather - Thomas Howard Nethercott - was in the First World War. He was in the mudddy trenches and fields of France, and in the blazing hot deserts of North Africa, and on the demon beaches of Gallipoi, in Turkey. And doubtless in other horrific, nightmare places too.

In France he was up to his knees in mud and snow, he had his appendix removed, "With a Rusty Bayonet", as he once told me. I'm sure an exaggeration. I think. He was gassed with mustard gas and lost his sense of smell and taste. Definitely not an exaggeration.

In North Africa he told me about the heat, and the smell, and the sand in everything and everywhere. And the flies. He said that when he had a jam sandwich it would immediately be covered in flies. He said you had to hold the sandwich in one hand and pass your other hand across the sandwich knocking off as many flies as possible and then quickly put the sandwich into your mouth. You always got some flies with the sandwich. The trick apparently was to get as few flies as possible. It was not possible to get none.

In Gallipoli. Well you have to read about Gallipoli for yourself, it would be useless for me to try to tell you about it. You definitely would not believe me. This story was told to me by his son after he, my Grandfather, had died. He carried a spare pair of boots with him. I don't know where he got them. He once told me that his boots rotted off of his feet in the trenches of France and the only way to get another pair was to kill a German and take his. "I had to kill 10 Germans." he said, "Before I found a pair that fit me." Another exaggeration, at least, I am sure. So, I did not know where he got his spare boots. Probably from a dead mate or soemething. I'm sure a spare pair of boots were a necessity - walking around in mud filled trenches, rough, hot, stony deserts and running out of the sea and up the machine gun raked beaches of Gallipoli. He probably needed a lot of spare underpants too I would think! Anyway after they took Gallipoli they had a lot of prisoners. One of the prisoners had no shoes. My grandfather gave him his spare pair of boots.