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Serious Tax Problems

Tom Degan: The debt that the United States has incurred in the last ten years is now at a level where it's probably insurmountable. The only solution (and that's assuming there is a viable solution) will involve taxes - decades of serious taxation.

I hate America for what it's become. I love America for what it was. I adore America for what it could be.


Right wing interpretation: TOM DEGAN HATES AMERICA!!!

Are you a Republican? Did you vote the straight GOP line in the last election? Then please read the following offering. Or could it be that you've never vote for that hideous party in your life? Good for you! You should feel proud! You're obviously a whole hell-of-a-lot smarter than me! You see, I voted for Ronald Reagan 30 years ago this month. But at least I have an excuse for my civic irresponsibly - lame as it may sound three decades after the horrible fact. You see, on Election Night of that year - November 4, 1980 - I was extremely - devastatingly - intoxicated. Reagan was such an idiot I thought it might be amusing to watch him running the country for four years. They'll never reelect him in '84, I thought. The moral of this story?

Don't Drink and Vote!

I have been stone-cold sober every election day since. Heed my tragic example, boys and girls.

Please, e-mail this piece to any and all of your Conservative friends. I'm about to give a them a valuable little lesson in reality and remedial mathematics. I have a sneaky feeling that many of them haven't a clue as to the dreadful seriousness of our present situation. How did I arrive at this conclusion you may ask? Well, the fact that they just handed the House of Representatives back to the party mostly (though not entirely) responsible for this mess is a pretty good indicator of their essential cluelessness. As a matter of fact it was a dead giveaway. There will be a quiz immediately following. Tell 'em to put their thinking caps on!

Side Note: The nice folks over at Spell Check are gently but firmly informing me that "cluelessness" is not a proper word. I am chastised and humbled by this knowledge.

Here's the dirty little secret that NOBODY is talking about: The debt that the United States has incurred in the last ten years is now at a level where it's probably insurmountable. The only solution (and that's assuming there is a viable solution) will involve taxes - decades of serious taxation. This is the ugly little reality facing us. Now the big question: On whose shoulders should the burden of getting out of this mess fall - the poor and middle classes?


I've got a better idea: How 'bout a class of people who already have more money that they know what to do with? How 'bout the people who benefited the most from the thirty-year financial binge that this country engaged in? Am I waging class warfare? You'd better believe it, Buster. The plutocracy has been waging class warfare against us since the nineteenth century. I don't know about you but I'm fightin' back, baby!

The anti-tax paranoia in this country is beyond being out of hand. It's gotten downright ludicrous. Montana is now the bat-shit extremist capital of the United States (Sorry South Carolina, you had a nice, long run). In an excellent article by that was posted on AlterNet this morning, the writer David Neiwert told of how some elected representatives in that state's legislature are now advocating secession from the union. This rsises the musical question: What the hell is in Montana's water?

It kind of makes you wonder, huh? So what if Montana demanded secession from the union? What then? I say let them secede. The next time Rick Perry brings up the subject of removing Texas from the union, we ought to call his bluff. I was tempted to suggest giving that state back to the Mexicans but - what the hell - they have enough problems as it is. Why add to their burden?<

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Let's allow these twits create the right wing Valhalla they yearn for - and then sit back and watch their "countries" implode from within. It may very well turn out to be a valuable lesson which the "limited-government" types living within the rest of the 48 states need to learn. It would also be loads of fun to watch - from afar that is.

Let's allow these silly bastards to secede. In fact, we ought to encourage it. Seriously.

Here is what the Tea Party freaks have never been able to figure out. We're either going to have one of two things in this country: We will have a society where our children receive decent educations; where crime is relatively low; where jobs are abundant; where the middle class is thriving, and the infrastructure is nurtured....or we'll have a society where the people who already have more money than they know what to do with do not pay their fair share of taxes. We cannot - we will not - have both. Our politicians won't tell you that. I just did. Isn't the truth a neat thing?

As I stated above, this is class warfare.

Then again, even with a fair, progressive tax system put back into place, it is now unlikely that we will be able to give American's infrastructure the kick in the pants that it so desperately needs. Remember, we are thirteen-trillion dollars in the hole. The decades of serious taxation I spoke of earlier will go to paying that debt. Under these nasty circumstances, how will we be able to invest in us? The solution is a lot simpler than you might imagine.

You and I will be paying more in taxes in the years to come. That is unavoidable. Come to grips with the idea. Here's the good news: We'll be paying a bit more. The rich will be paying a lot more. Here is the ONLY way out of the mess that the Republicans and more-than-a-few Democrats have gotten us into: We absolutely need to bring back the ninety percent tax bracket for the uber wealthy. That is the only way out. The only way. It amazes me that after all these years, the Republicans still want us to buy into the myth that says glad tidings will "trickle down" on the rest of us. Is that really true? Well, yeah. If you like getting pissed on, it's very true indeed.

Here is that little quiz that I promised at the beginning of this piece. Truth be told, it's not a quiz but a single rhetorical question:

How is it mathematically possible to maintain things as they presently are?

Any takers?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tom Degan

Suggested Reading:The Conscience of a Liberal, by Paul Krugman