There’s always something to howl about

Attention Takers: Why, In Plain English, Are YOU Entitled To The Fruits Of MY Hard Work?

Regardless of protestations to the contrary, all of us make decisions. At least most of ‘em by way of what our core beliefs dictate. In fact, the use of that phrase — core beliefs — virtually never causes problems on either side of any political/ideological debate. Oh, but do what I just did, use the ‘I’ word — ideology — and those who don’t blink an eye at core beliefs, begin dissembling like a one-legged man in a butt kickin’ contest. They don’t wanna go down Ideology Blvd.

Know why?

Ideology requires a rationally thought out path — a system of beliefs. For instance, ask the guy just arrested for the armed robbery of the local convenience store to explain how his ideological beliefs allow him to rob others of their belongings while threatening their lives with lethal force. You’ll get one of two responses. Silence — Or — Convoluted nonsense — Or — unfiltered rage.

Ask a dad why he punishes his seven year old son when caught stealing from his sister. You’ll get plain English from him. It’ll relate directly to his ideological beliefs. His core beliefs the foundation of his belief ‘system’. Is this news to anyone? No? Then why do those from the take-my-fish side of the isle bristle so visibly when those with a clearly defined ideology not only speak up, but spell their beliefs out in — that scary phrase again — Plain English.

The 10% Crowd

To be in the top 10% of American income earners in 2011, I’m gonna borrow from the IRS’s 2010 stats. We’ll use the same numbers this year as last since this year’s numbers are partial in nature. If you make $380,354 or more, congrats! Your group, the top 1%, makes about 20% of the personal income produced in the United States. That’s the good news. The bad news?

You and your buddies pay 20% 38% of all personal income taxes. Did Mom ever split the candy bar that way between you and your brother or sister? No? Her idea of what’s fair must’ve been skewed, right?

If you earn $113,799 or more you’re in the 10% group. The good news is your group makes a tick under 46% of all personal income. The bad news is you also pay just under 46% 70% of all personal income taxes.

See a trend here?

Let’s take a look at the other end of the income spectrum, shall we?

Caveat: Get ready for great gnashing of teeth and self-righteous pontificating about fairness. Also, count on some creative use of the language. It won’t be Plain English, but it’ll be solid comic relief. And no, entitled fish-takers, when I used empirically historic numbers, I’m not pontificating. I’m reporting documented facts, not spewing wishful thinking or vitriolic rhetoric designed to disguise a vacuous position.

The bottom 50% of wage earners in America earn a bit under 13% of the income. They pay less than 3% of all personal income taxes. So while just over half (the now famous 53%) of us are paying literally over 97% of all income taxes, a large minority of the bottom half loudly proclaim the ‘fact’ that a sizable portion of the upper half aren’t payin’ their ‘fair’ share.

The universally accepted number of American wage earners who don’t pay income taxes is about 47%. Again, a sizable and vociferous portion of those non-taxpayers claim that much of the other 53% — you know, the ones actually payin’ the bills — aren’t payin’ enough. Never mind they’re paying ALL the taxes. They’re STILL not payin’ their fair share.

We call these folks the ‘entitled’ ones.

I, for one, would respectfully ask them a simple question, phrased in what many of them fear most, Plain English.

Why are YOU entitled to the fruits of MY hard work?

To make this a civil discussion, I suggest the following rules.

1. You cannot make your case for taking my money for your use by asking me or my fellow Pay-the-Bills group a question. You must answer the question as it has been asked — in Plain English.

2. No personal attacks. If you can’t make your case using your own core beliefs which obviously must form your own ideological system (and yes, you have one), please stay on the sidelines and observe those who can.

Frankly, I’m sick ‘n tired of being treated, even if only metaphorically, as the convenience store owner mentioned earlier. In fact, that brings up an excellent irony. The armed thief will go to jail if convicted. Yet, any taxpayer consistently failing to pay their taxes faces prison as a real option.

What the hell has happened to us? What the hell has happened to the Plain English with which we all grew up? When half of us are payin’ the freight for the other half, we’re on the edge of the abyss.

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