Capital Gains and Other Oxymorons
0 comment Monday, May 12, 2014 |
CAVEAT: the post you are about to read is extremely political in content. Mature audiences only. Reader discretion is advised. The opinions expressed herein are solely those of this blogger and do not reflect the opinions of Registered voters are encouraged to obtain independent counsel before casting their votes.
In these waning days before the election, I have been following the campaigns of McCain and Obama with a renewed intensity. Used to, I'd check or "Most emailed articles from the New York Times" once at the beginning of the day and once before bedtime. Now? I'm all over it. Click, click, click. Besotted with and stalking him, Matt Drudge must think I am, harboring a huge crush.
The candidates are now repeating their tiresome Clarion calls with a new urgency, as if we hadn't heard them the third go-round. "The country is ready for a new erection." Or was it "nude erection"? Hells bells. Maybe they're saying "new direction." Through my bell-ringing migraines, I just can't decipher anything any more. All of this rhetoric has left my cringing ears exhausted, craving some truth and originality.
Obama says he wants to give tax "cuts" to the middle class by "cutting" the taxes of people who are no where close to the "middle," tax cuts for people who aren't paying any taxes now, anyhow. What's that about? It is axiomatic that you can't cut the taxes of a non-taxpayer. You can't cut a zero. In truth and in fact, Obama wants to expand the number of non-taxpayers. In truth and in fact, Obama says the government should send an annual check out to these non-taxpaying folks.
Perhaps it should. But Obama ought not cast an annual government pay-out to non-taxpayers as a tax cut. It is not only a factual impossibility, it is flat-out false, rendering a true, informed debate on the merits of his economic plan a wasted exercise in speculation and futility.
If you want to give a government hand-out to people who do not work or pay taxes, if you want to tax my hard-earned dollars and hand them over to folks who pay no taxes -- after I've busted my tail to earn those dollars -- just say so, Mr. O. I can handle the truth. But to call these checks a tax cut when they are anything but, is spurious and scurrilous, if you're in the mood to pontificate.
What I cannot abide is deception. To call a thing that which it is plainly not just plain irks me. It's like the packaging I see on chicken at the grocery store. Big blue blurbs exclaiming "All natural*" entice me to buy the chicken, in the hopes I will not think beyond the illusion that these chickens were not plumped up with hormones and antibiotics while they lived out all the days of their lives caged.
Read what follows the asterisk, "no artificial ingredients added." This means what, exactly? Nothing whatsoever, it turns out, except perhaps that Tyson Foods or Pilgrims Pride did not add melamine to their chicken. Wow. This lemming is sold.
Obama says he will pay for his government hand-outs (can I say WELFARE without getting stoned?) by increasing the capital gains tax. But wait. Hold on a sec, Mighty O. "Capital gains" is an oxymoron, don't you know? Have you checked the value of your house lately, or your 401k? The word on the street, the word on Main Street, is CAPITAL LOSSES.
This is not to say I'm anti-Obama. I am not. I caucused for the man. But he ought to call his spade a spade. With every economy in free-fall and everyone's retirement savings account raped and marauded, no one has the time to dig in and parse words, pour over ambiguous policy positions, or ferret out the nuances and half-truths that lie in words like "*other revenue sources.*"
What does Obama mean when he says he'll finance these government checks to non-taxpayers with "*other revenue sources*"? The adage used to be "follow the money." Now we have to follow the asterisks.
To be sure, Mr. McCain has uttered a malaprop or two, with a few Freudian slips thrown in here and there. He's horribly stiff on the runway, robotic and flinty. At the last debate, he inadvertently called Obama "Senator Government." Even the Economist picked up on that one.
But I have scoured McCain's economic policies with the same vim and vigor I have Obama's, and I haven't found McCain calling anything something which it is altogether not. Try as I might, I've not found any pigs camouflaged in lip stick . . . at least not so far.
At my house, I can't get away with a single misstep, a single manipulation or sleight-of-hand. And I'm only running to beat the school's tardy bell. No press corps follows me around, recording my every word. There is only Mr. M, who soaks up every single word I have ever spoken since he landed on the planet Earth. It was bad enough when he gently reminded me that being angry with him does not give me license to say "God d-mn it." Ouch.
As I remarked in a previous post, I had hoped that his seeing the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" would leave a lasting impression on him. It did not. But when he is lurching towards meltdown mode, I still try to draw on the lessons of that true story. I try to reassure him, talk him down.
"Are we living in a subway bathroom? Are either of us sick with a terminal illness? Do we not have enough food to eat? No? Then [fill in the blank] is not a big deal."
I'm grateful that we're able to answer each other with "No, you silly-willy." The day may still come where, instead, we are saying, "Umm, well, no, not yet. At least . . . not today."
Mr. M's totally got my number. I should have named him Touche'. The other night he could see I was on the brink of mother meltdown, after he'd yet again splashed water all over the bathroom floor. "Mom. Mom. Mom. Are we living in a dumpster? Do we have enough to eat? Are either of us deathly ill? No? Okay. See, Mom? It's just like you're always telling me. The water all over the floor? It's no big deal. It's just not a big deal."
But this election, I fear, is a terribly big deal.
This is Lawyer Mom. I am a LIBERAL. And I approved this message.*
*Click on the title to this post for a much better explanation of what's around the corner if we have a Democratic Congress approving a Democratic president's proposed tax plan.