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Letter: Middle class in this country is shrinking

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Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 12:00 am

A business must set aside a certain percentage of money for its infrastructure. Otherwise, it will fall apart.

The U.S. economy can be viewed as a business, and each one of us is a part-owner, whether we are a worker or a businessman. The money we set aside for the infrastructure is called taxes. It goes to building and maintaining roads, bridges, schools, education, defense, the safety net, etc. These things are vital if we are going to have a strong economy.

The common wisdom was that a progressive tax system was best. The more you made, the higher percentage you paid. I am talking about the effective tax rate, which is the actual money paid.

The right wing propaganda machine has turned that around, and what used to be common wisdom is now considered radical.

The poster boy for this change was Mitt Romney. The one year he showed his tax returns, it said 13.8 percent (actually 9 percent amended) on $20 million. A small businessman whose adjusted income is $100,000 will pay 15 percent FICA, 28 percent federal and whatever state taxes are owed. He is generally on the hook at about 50 percent. Outrageous if you ask me.

The very rich in this country have conned everyone to believe that if the rich do not pay taxes, they will create tons of jobs. They own the media and this is the line.

Actually, customers create jobs. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, the effective tax rate for the very wealthy was between 50 percent to 60 percent. The economy boomed because workers and small businessmen had more disposable income, and spent most of it.

The very wealthy and corporations are welching on their obligation to pay their share for the very infrastructure their income depends on. Their propaganda machine, bought politicians and lobbyists have made a mockery of tax fairness. It is shameful and immoral. The middle class is being obliterated and we are on our way to becoming a third world country.

Billionaire Nick Hanauer explains it much better than I can at www.youtube.com.

John Lucas

Lodi

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Welcome to the discussion.

38 comments:

  • Joe Baxter posted at 3:16 pm on Mon, Dec 9, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1847

    Ah yes, MSNBC, the outlet with brainiacs like Chris Madthews, Rachel Madcow, Ed Schlitz and who can forget ( I can ) the late grate (sic) Alec Baldwin. With a lineup like these mental giants, it is no wonder MSNBC ratings are in the toilet. Their collective IQ' wouldn't even make triple digits.

     
  • Andrew Liebich posted at 12:29 pm on Mon, Dec 9, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Mr. Lucas, It was you who said, "all people should pay their fair share of taxes" yet it's you who refuses to give a numeric definition of "fair share"
    [yawn]

     
  • Andrew Liebich posted at 9:26 am on Mon, Dec 9, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    There is a reason MSNBC only averaged 937,000 total viewers in November.[lol]

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 1:25 pm on Sun, Dec 8, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1847

    Psst, Jerome, he heard it on the Chris Madthews show, must be so.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:45 pm on Sat, Dec 7, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Mr. Lucas – I do not care if you believe me. What’s at issue here is whether or not Mr. Heuer’s claims are in the least bit credible; I believe they are not. For whatever reason he hasn’t found it necessary to respond to my request for his sources (not that he is under any obligation to do so), but rather you’ve taken it upon yourself to respond (and guess) in his stead. Perhaps you too have heard specific conservatives “say out loud” what Mr. Heuer suggests in his list of “conservative facts?” If so, would you care to identify them if you think they wouldn’t mind having their names publicized on this seldom-accessed “blog?” It’s doubtful that any reasonably intelligent and clear-thinking conservative would want to associate him/herself with such nonsensical “facts” so I won’t hold it against you if you fail to reveal your sources just as Mr. Heuer chose not to.

    Nevertheless, without even a minute amount of corroboration to support what Mr. Heuer would like your liberal brethren to accept as truth (I doubt any reasonably intelligent conservative would believe such twaddle (and I believe most conservatives to be much more than “reasonably” intelligent)), we can simply end this conversation by chalking another inane liberal attempt to cast conservatives as just plain stupid.

    Perhaps that’s what causes such lists like this to emanate from liberals. Fear makes people say and do some pretty stupid things, don’t you think? It is my opinion that the majority of Americans who are under the spell of liberalism are unable to think reasonably – hence the explanation for such an idiotic list in the first place and at least three or perhaps four liberals on this very forum who have fallen for it. I mean really Mr. Lucas, “Tom was only repeating what some of [my] Conservative brothers say out loud?” C’mon now – is that the best you can come up with? Talk about wackiness!

     
  • John Lucas posted at 2:46 pm on Thu, Dec 5, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    I do not believe you

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:27 am on Thu, Dec 5, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Oh I see - Mr. Heuer’s list is a compilation of not what he can prove, only what some Conservatives say “out loud.” Still, at least in my conservative orbit, I’ve never heard such claims. Nevertheless, I would have expected Mr. Heuer to come up with that explanation. I wonder why he didn’t.

    Silly.

     
  • Ed Walters posted at 6:26 pm on Wed, Dec 4, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 548

    John: Thanks to Barry the middle class will soon be no longer. As long as I can remember I have never read where anything is supposed to be fair. Life is what you make of it, some homeless people prefer to sleep in the streets, go figure. As far as percentages are concerned, the government has that all worked out for them, the lower middle class and poor are excluded. Remember the rich through tax support this failing country, also that 8% tax on everything you buy help, so go buy a 58" TV, along with a new car, see your helping through your paying tax. [cool]

     
  • John Lucas posted at 5:39 pm on Wed, Dec 4, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Jerome said:

    I’ve never heard that Bin Laden was dead before George W. Bush left office. But had Bush dispensed with him in the same manner that Obama did, there’d be such a cry from the far-left

    Everyone would have celebrated the death of Ben Laden if Bush had got him in the same manner as Obama. This would have surprised some for it would have shown some level of competence. In the matter of Ben Laden sadly he did not rise above his level of incompetence.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 5:29 pm on Wed, Dec 4, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Jerome, Tom was only repeating what some of your Conservative brothers say out loud. That is just a short list of the wackiness that comes out of the bubble of Conservatism.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 1:47 pm on Wed, Dec 4, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    So, ALL of Mr. Heuer’s list of claims have been posted either by letter to this newspaper or through comments made in response thereto? Now that’s simply not possible. But since that claim has been made by someone other than Mr. Heuer, I’d sure like to have him/her provide sources to ALL of those claims.

    But as this pertains to Mr. Heuer: which letters and which posts? Now I don’t know about anyone else here, but when I make claims like these I either provide the source(s) or have immediate access to them just in case I’m called upon to back up what I’ve posted.

    Sure, he could very well be on vacation or simply doesn’t want to respond to my request for his own sources; whatever. But if it were me, well . . . I’ve already stated what I would have done.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 12:37 pm on Wed, Dec 4, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    It is much easier john if you would put some of your "facts" out there instead of just making personal attacks. I will not hold my breath.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:27 am on Wed, Dec 4, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Funny that a commenter here "knows of no one who believes" many of the things that Mr. Heuer listed. ALL of those items have been declared to be true either through letters to the editor or comments in this forum by one conservative or another.

    The claim that Planned Parenthood performs ALL abortions, while not made specifically, it is implied (mostly because conservatives in the media point to that organization consistently). Please refer to just about any letter from William Van Amber Fields who constantly refers to "Planned Parenthood Murder Mills."

    As far as Osama bin Laden...one only need refer to the multiple claims and various scenarios made by our local conspiracy theorist in this forum.

    And aren't we all a little tired of the "if the shoe was on the other foot" syndrome..."there’d be such a cry from the far-left."

    Why would the person who has consistently made this claim then MOCK those who point to George Walker Bush's crimes as president by flippantly stating, "Bush is no longer president," as if absolves him of ALL the things for which he or his administration are responsible and automatically transfer blame to the current office holder?

     
  • John Kindseth posted at 6:35 pm on Tue, Dec 3, 2013.

    John Kindseth Posts: 243

    Mr Kinderman, it is difficult to talk with people who make up their own facts, warp and distort existing facts and are not anchored in reality. The search for truth and honesty is an elusive one for many bloggers.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 1:32 pm on Tue, Dec 3, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    That list of so-called “conservative facts” is precisely what I would expect from the far-left liberal crowd. As a conservative, I would never subscribe to the majority of them, because they don’t explain the issues accurately at all.

    For example, I know of no one who believes that Planned Parenthood “only does abortions.” However, considering that there have been well over 50 million abortions performed since 1973, there’s no doubt that Planned Parenthood performed quite a few of them. I know that they also provide contraceptive advice as well as other services.

    Where has it ever been suggested that putting prayer in schools would result in no crime; where has it ever been suggested that by giving everybody guns there would be no crime? Even the stupidest among us wouldn’t believe these things.

    While the United States certainly wasn’t conceived as a Christian nation, the Founders clearly wanted all of us to be free of governmental interference when it comes to our faith.

    I’ve never heard that Bin Laden was dead before George W. Bush left office. But had Bush dispensed with him in the same manner that Obama did, there’d be such a cry from the far-left

    I also know of no conservative who believes that Obama caused all of our deficits.

    This list is patently silly - but if you’d like Mr. Heuer, please provide your source(s) to the one’s I’ve identified as well as the balance of your list.

     
  • Andrew Liebich posted at 1:09 pm on Tue, Dec 3, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Please define "fair share" numerically.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 8:51 am on Tue, Dec 3, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    [smile] [thumbup]

     
  • Thomas Heuer posted at 4:30 pm on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1519

    It is putting a damper on participation here.

     
  • Thomas Heuer posted at 4:29 pm on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1519

    Hey
    Recognize any of these conservative "facts"?
    In rape they (women) can shut that whole thing down.
    We were conceived as a Christian nation.
    Global warming is a hoax.
    Planned parent hood only does abortions.
    The majority of the nation are moochers.
    There is no need for the EPA.
    There is no need for immigration reform other than expulsion.
    Bin Laudin was dead before Bush left office.
    Bush didn't cause any deficits, Obama did them all.
    Put prayer in school and there will be no crime.
    Give everybody guns and there will be no crime.
    Free markets can assure 100% gainful employment of the willing.
    Unemployment benefits only make people lazy
    Evolution didn't have time in 6000 years to occur so therefore it's a lie.
    Giving more tax breaks to the rich will boost the economy, give more to the middle class and they can afford their own health care, put their kids through college, provide for their retirements and the women can stay home and cook and clean and raise kids.

     
  • Thomas Heuer posted at 4:26 pm on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1519

    [thumbup]

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:22 am on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Where's my comment in response to Mr. Baxxter's comment? There was a lot of valid information there.

    Also, I don't understand why Mr. Kindseth's comment, in which he called Mr. Lucas an "IMBECILE," is allowed to stand.

    Do I sense a bias here?

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:19 am on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    So right in your comments here, Mr. Lucas.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:18 am on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I totally disagree that these sites are "obscure," and not mainstream. If you define "mainstream" as TV stations/programs like CBS, NBC or FOX, then you are way off-base. Many of these Internet sites are heavily trafficked by conservatives of all stripes. Your comment seems to reveal a certain naivete about things outside your purview.

    Now, if you are defining YOURSELF as a "sane" conservative without many media outlets, that is a different issue.

    As shown by the latest TEA Party gathering in DC, most "conservative" or right wing adherents are a bunch of kooks who love to lap up the info from these sources.

    How many right wing kooks nationwide agree that President Obama was born in Kenya, is a Muslim who, according to TEA party leader Larry Klayman, should "put down the Koran, get off his knees, and come out of the White House with his hands up?"

    WAY, WAY more than you think.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 10:46 am on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    You are correct in this:

    Both sides operate on opinions based on the facts as each side sees them.

    The problem is that no one can really tell where Conservatives get their "facts which for a major part of the time do not exist in reality like when they say things that are clearly not factual like this:

    "The media is a bought for and paid for arm of the Peoples Republic of the Democrat Party".

    The funny but sad truth is they really believe nonsense like this.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 10:41 am on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    thx Thomas

     
  • John Kindseth posted at 8:49 am on Mon, Dec 2, 2013.

    John Kindseth Posts: 243

    Joanne, your examples, while good sites, are hardly mainstream. they are obscure and not known nor used by most. If I understand your point, conservative is crazy, extreme, garbage. right wing. Liberals are wise, informed and knowledgeable. Both sides operate on opinions based on the facts as each side sees them. No one has a corner on knowledge even you.

     
  • Thomas Heuer posted at 5:04 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1519

    [thumbup]

     
  • Thomas Heuer posted at 5:03 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1519

    Great letter John
    [thumbup][beam]

     
  • John Kindseth posted at 4:41 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    John Kindseth Posts: 243

    JLucas;. You need to read my comments carefully before missing the entire point. Congratulations to you for your skills in discovering that Fox is a [gasp] conservative program

     
  • John Lucas posted at 4:36 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Yes but they pay a far less percentage of their income to taxes as a middle class person does. Do you think that is fair?

     
  • Ed Walters posted at 3:44 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 548

    John makes the claim that the middle class is shrinking, of that I agree, now who pays the biggest amount of tax in this country. Since the middle class is shrinking and the amount of tax they paid is less, along with the lower class who don`t pay any tax at all, who pays the tax that keeps this country almost going? The rich people do, how can you argue with that, reguardless of the party. Bill O`Riely once made the statement that the government takes half of what he makes, still he makes a good living. The top 10% of people support the other 90% since they are not required to pay taxes or very little. [sad]

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:59 am on Sat, Nov 30, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    "Is complete stupidity, fraudulent and the result of pedestrian and imbecile thinking."

    "You are getting a short circuit in your tinfoil hat if you believe what you just wrote about the media."

    WOW!?? Is our moderator on vacation or just in a state of numb bliss due to an overdose of Thanksgiving fair?

    And to think that I was once censored for calling someone "ill-informed." Go figure!

    Mr. Kindseth claimed: "There are near zero Media sites, printed, visual that are controlled by conservates."

    Since it seems to be quite the free-for-all for comments this weekend, l'll take a chance and say that Mr. Kindseth seems to be "UNINFORMED" (his word) when it comes to "media sites, printed, visual that are controlled by conservates (sic)."

    Let's see...hmmmm? Mr. Kindseth's favorite that he continually quotes - American Thinker that seemingly cannot "think" for the life of it.

    Then there's Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.empire that includes FOX News - the propaganda channel & The Wall Street Journal, that formerly stellar newspaper that now eschews anything that even smells of liberalism.

    Then there's William F. Buckley, Jr.'s "National Review," and "The Weekly Standard," now staring smug conservative Bill Kristol as its editor.

    How about "The Free Rupublic," the source for all things extreme right wing, hawkish and gun infused? Garbage like "The Drudge Report," "InfoWars," "Breitbart" - still churning out extreme right wing garbage even though Breitbart himself is thankfully dead.

    Need I continue, Mr. Kindseth? I guess you just don't know where to go for your "conservatived" pablum, eh?

     
  • John Lucas posted at 9:40 am on Sat, Nov 30, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    really? ABC, NBC, CBS are all owned by giant corporations. Fox is nothing but a propaganda machine for the Republican party. To think these giant corporations "is a bought for and paid for arm of the Peoples Republic of the Democrat Party" is the height of living in the conservative bubble. Keep believing those chain emails John.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 2:15 am on Sat, Nov 30, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    I am glad we agree that all people should pay their fair share of taxes. Thank you for agreeing with my letter. Surprising , but I am glad we found some common ground.

     
  • John Kindseth posted at 9:16 pm on Fri, Nov 29, 2013.

    John Kindseth Posts: 243

    I am violating an oath I took to myself to not comment on uninformed opinions. After two unrestful nights I cannot let this go. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge knows that "They own the media and this is the line." Is complete stupidity, fraudulent and the result of pedestrian and imbecile thinking. The media is a bought for and paid for arm of the Peoples Republic of the Democrat Party". There are near zero Media sites, printed, visual that are controlled by conservates. You are getting a short circuit in your tinfoil hat if you believe what you just wrote about the media.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 11:10 am on Fri, Nov 29, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    thx Walter

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 11:07 am on Fri, Nov 29, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1847

    Democrats outweigh Republicans, not only in terms of the number of uber-millionaires, but also with their net worth. In the Top 20 richest listed by Forbes, Democrats have a combined net worth of $263.1 billion dollars while the Republicans have a combined net worth of only $143.9 billion dollars – almost half that of Democrats. Darned evil Democrats should pay up.

     
  • Walter Chang posted at 10:32 am on Thu, Nov 28, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1125

    Good letter john!

    [thumbup]

     

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