Moral Contradictions

Friday, May 19, 2006

What world do they live in?

I cannot believe Speaker Dennis Hastert's comments on the House floor:

Well, folks, if you earn $40,000 a year and have a family of two children, you don’t pay any taxes. So you probably, if you don’t pay any taxes, you are not going to get a very big tax cut.

So... I'm going to go ahead and give the benefit of the doubt, Mr. Speaker, that you meant they're not paying as much in taxes. Regardless, that comment shows you are completely out of touch with a significant portion of America. If you want further proof that folks consider you out of touch, check out the latest polls and maybe you'll understand why folks currently have more faith in the other party.

Further, if you're justifying giving money back to the folks who make obscene amounts of money (your $212,00 a year is considered quite high in comparison to the paychecks of everyone I know) on the basis that the family making $40,000 don't pay anything, what are you doing for that family? Why should they support you?

If you sincerely believe in your warped world-view that everything is peachy-keen for that family because they don't pay any taxes, you should find the nearest hospital and admit yourself. That family of four is faced with spiraling health care costs, gas costs, higher grocery bills, higher lending rates, higher college tuitions, etc.

Your average Joe American has pressing concerns - the report that American's savings versus spending ratio is below zero should be alarming. My wife and I are lucky in that we do not live paycheck to paycheck and we're doing everything we can to ensure that we never will - yet surprises happen. We want children someday - I cringe at the financial impact and pray we will continue to be blessed.

Folks, with the President's net worth somewhere near $7-20 million and the Vice President's at least $94.6 million, do you all really believe they at least understand the finances of those unfortunate enough to make less than $200,000 a year?

Unbelievable. I just think of the family that lived in the house before us - we still get their mail from the credit union. Just recently we received a whole rash of correspondence from there, and the curious side in me held up one to the light - they've overdrawn their balance. It happens to the best of us. The mother is a teacher, they have 4 children under the age of 10, I don't know what the father does, and through someone at church I heard the mother had unexpected yet serious surgery. I can't imagine the stress they're under.

Something has to give, but those thinking the miracle will happen with this Administration and Congress need their head checked.

(h/t to Vivian)


  • As usual, a very good post.

    By Blogger Vivian J. Paige, at Friday, May 19, 2006 11:19:00 PM  

  • I know you find this hard to believe, but if someone does not pay taxes, there is no refund or taxes that can be cut. Your article has a few good points, but, as usual, lacks an understanding of economics. I remember a few years ago when many got the tax "rebate" and there were some who were upset because they got flash..if your tax burden is ZERO, there is nothing to "rebate" or "refund to you!!

    By Blogger John Mulholland, at Saturday, May 20, 2006 8:18:00 AM  

  • Well John, to use your vocabulary and attitude, as usual your comment reflects your lack of understanding that economics contains a moral aspect.

    Whether or not I understand economics is moot - we should be more concerned about our politicians' understanding of economics for those make in a year what many of them make in a matter of weeks.

    I truly don't mind honest criticism, but I would appreciate criticism that doesn't merely repeat what I just criticized - else it just comes across as an insult.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Sunday, May 21, 2006 11:03:00 AM  

  • And I apologize if I came across as a bit touchy - it's been a very spiritually draining weekend - more on that later.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Sunday, May 21, 2006 11:07:00 AM  

  • believe it or not, i agree with you. BUT, with my salary at church, I will most likely have NO tax burden. I will pay no taxes; i'm not required to, i don;t make enough. Why should I expect any rebate or refund?

    By Blogger John Mulholland, at Monday, May 22, 2006 12:04:00 PM  

  • And as was pointed out on the link from which you pulled this quote, it's certainly not true that a family of 4 at $40,000 income pays no taxes, unless our dear Speaker has found a way to eliminate the property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, etc.

    By Blogger NewsAce, at Monday, May 22, 2006 12:34:00 PM  

  • Hey John, do you use the tax exemption for ministers?

    The biggest problem I had with Hastert's statement was that it was so wide-sweeping - I'm sure in some situations there is no tax burden, but even you qualified your situation with "most likely"... And as newsace pointed out, we could easily get into the semantics of it all.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Monday, May 22, 2006 1:02:00 PM  

  • I have not filled out the proper form yet, by my total package is around $30k. My actual salary is 1/2 that. My tax bracket is 15%. With deductions for kids, etc, I'm sure my burden is zero. Should I get a rebate or refund?

    By Blogger John Mulholland, at Monday, May 22, 2006 7:23:00 PM  

  • I apologize for the tone this has turned into - that's my fault. I also apologize that once again, apparently, I didn't make my point clear in the original post and allowed the comments to digress in a direction that misses that point.

    John, I'm glad you fell under Speaker Hastert's wide-sweeping statement, but the point is that it's wide-sweeping and assuming.

    The other point that I didn't make clear through assumed subtlety was why are we even focusing on tax rebates/refunds for those who make more than $40k/year in this political climate? When millions go without health insurance? When the deficit is at record levels? When our extremely wealthy leaders are leading us in an ever-increasing expensive and costly war while their friends in the defense business are making billions?

    That my friend, is the point. I apologize for not making that clear.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Monday, May 22, 2006 8:08:00 PM  

  • Trust me. A family of 4 making $40,000 DOES pay taxes.... INCLUDING income tax, social security, and medicare. I know. Been there, done that... and on less than $40,000. Hastert has no clue.

    By Blogger Marty, at Tuesday, May 23, 2006 1:07:00 PM  

  • Oh....and we didn't have any health insurance either. Couldn't afford it.

    By Blogger Marty, at Tuesday, May 23, 2006 1:14:00 PM  

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