Some thoughts for the bootlickers who say that the rich folks and corporations pay most of the taxes. #wealthtax #taxtherich
“In a remarkable 2019 analysis, the Internal Revenue Service estimated that Americans report on their taxes less than half of all income that is not subject to some form of third-party verification like a W-2. Billions of dollars in business profits, rent and royalties are hidden from the government each year. By contrast, more than 95 percent of wage income is reported.”
– New York Times, 3/20/21, “How to Collect $1.4 Trillion in Unpaid Taxes”
My state experienced a blizzard recently.
A March, yo-Mother-Nature-says-it-ain’t-quite-Springtime-yet type of storm that Coloradans can appreciate.
So I got to shovel some heavy snow. But it felt good and, at six months away from turning fifty years old, I guess I’m doing okay, physically. I’m not really in shape, but I’m not really out of shape…sounds good, right?
As this new blizzard hit, my local news media brought up the fact that the last heavy March blizzard happened in 2003. Being such a clear memory, I couldn’t help but look back at it.
That was a shitty time in Chris Maley’s life. Hoo-boy.
On the job front, my main client went from stressful to downright evil. At the end of 2003, I got asked off of the account and I didn’t care. If they laid me off, it would have been fine with me. Eventually, we would resign the account, our second-biggest piece of business. Going back to March of 2003, though, that client was just getting warmed up with their abuse.
My personal life sucked in March of ’03 as well. What I remember from the ’03 blizzard was that I got a few days off work, so I chose to sit around my little apartment and drink—I stocked up at the liquor store before the storm. A lot of my friends were starting to lose their way with drugs, my choice for fucking up was booze. During this recent snowstorm, thoughts from this earlier point in time popped into my head.
Here’s the thing: at the same time that my own life felt like a hell-hole of stupidity, something sociopathically stupid happened. On the global stage, no less, in March of 2003. A world event so wrong, all I could do was sit in my thrift-store easy chair, drink beers, smoke cigarettes, stare at my television, shake my head and wonder what my country’s leaders were thinking.
America went to war with Iraq.
As I sat in a blizzard in Denver, our military machine rolled into this country for a second time.
So…all that crazy nonsense wreaking havoc in my personal life? I forgot about it during that snowstorm. No, I started to see it as less-important than wondering what the hell the United States wanted from this Iraq charade. So, I ignored my own life for a bit and watched a historic blunder begin.
And here we are. Eighteen years later.
(On the personal front, I gave up cigarettes and booze years ago, so that’s a plus.)
Reflecting on the bigger picture, I think of Iraq as the world’s first late-stage capitalism war. America’s rich chickenhawks called all the shots and made the strategic decisions. Dubya’s administration went to war on the cheap. The low-rent rich people beat back the Pentagon and planned this military engagement to be as efficient as possible in terms of expenditures, while also looking to extract every possible penny out of the effort and send those coins to Wall Street so they can feed the gambling casino. The Iraq War was about bottom-line-friendliness, lives didn’t matter.
In the interest of reaping big dollars, we lied to the world and skimped on troop commitment. The neocons who dodged the Vietnam Draft in their earlier years—even though they supported the war effort—Iraq was their manhood test. They told the nation’s four-star generals and four-star admirals to put a sock in it. There was money to be made, goddammit.
And here we are, eighteen years later. This Human Rights Watch report on Iraq spells out how the country didn’t take to Freedom® like the neocons and defense contractors said that it would. The Iraq of today sees a disproportionate amount of children born with birth defects. The colossal devastation to the environment will plague the country for at least the next few decades. The citizens face many of the same threats that they did under Saddam Hussein.
But the American bankers and investor-fellas who made out like bandits don’t have any plans to help. Those guys took the money and ran, high-five-low-fiving each other like Mav and Goose as they headed out the door. They divested themselves from Iraq and have moved on to work their socialism-for-the-rich magic in other arenas.
While Iraq may have been a catastrophe, all went according to plan. The rich bros had no intention of sticking it out in the Middle East long term. The problems today ain’t the worry of rich Americans who got yachts and divorce lawyers to pay for.
Innocent Iraqis died because of American opportunism.
The rich fellas don’t just start wars that they can’t pay to finish. They also push to deregulate power companies and afterward, the executives skimp on operational expenses by reducing capabilities. Then a storm hits, the power plants conk out, and people unnecessarily die. This just happened in Texas.
Worldwide conglomerates that avoid taxes also put employees on food stamps and Medicaid. Hedge funds buy companies only to dismantle them. Drug companies hike prices on their life-saving medicines, even when the production costs stay low.
Shit: the Great Recession happened because rich fellas created the mortgage crisis and Wall Street got bailed out big time by Uncle Sam.
Yes, American rich folks love to find ways to cheat and underpay for their what they receive in return. They no longer think long-term because they know that the government will bail them out. They do not Make America Great. They need to pay more taxes.
I’ll close this one with some wisdom from Dan Price, Founder/CEO of Gravity Payments. He is one of the good guys.
“If we just collected all the taxes the 1% owes but doesn’t pay, we’d have $1.75 trillion over a decade. The cost to wipe out student debt is $1.7 trillion. Stop saying we can’t afford things and start asking why we refuse to do anything to inconvenience the rich or help people.”
Earlier posts about this subject:
• The era of anti-Semitic tightwaddery.
• Bros: America’s new Jews.
• The Donald Trump Tax.
• America: the public bathroom.
• Jonas Salk: what a pussy.
• Socialism is bad. Brocialism is good.
• Harpo Marx: hi from Earth.
I also write fiction.