Last night, The Blog posted a cartoon and commentary about the wealthy, elitist victims of the working class and the poor.
Not too surprisingly, one of his working class, small investor friends, who makes a majority of his income from capitol gains, (because he makes a majority of his income from a couple of rental properties,) and therefore believes himself to be equal to the billionaire 1%, took offense.
He didn't post his objections here on the blog, (In spite of The Blog's repeated requests to do so. He commented on The Blog's Facebook page, instead. But that's okay.)
The Blog responded on his Facebook page.
Granted, the cartoon uses a broad brush generalization. But, I think I made my point clear on who the cartoon was about. The problem is that the billionaires have successfully convinced so many people that there is no difference between them and small investors, like you. And worse, they wrote the laws that put you, the small investor, in the same boat with them, if tax rates change.
It is a hostage situation and small investors are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
As long as "the investor class" billionaires can keep the little guy tied to them, the little guy has to advocate for people that they have nothing in common with, except for the capital gains tax rate. Do you really believe that, if the tables were turned, the "1%" would advocate for you?
You see? You immediately identified yourself with the guy on the left, (and not without some good reason) when you are really more like the guy on the right.
We used to have a very steep progressive tax system that would have separated you from the Sheldon Adelsteins of the country by several brackets. That changed over the last decade. And that is a problem that has to be fixed.
Our mutual friend mentions Bernie Madoff.
One bit of Schadenfreude that resulted from the Madoff con was that he bilked a lot of people who were richer and greedier than he was. BUT, he also duped a lot of small investors by convincing them that they were up to running with the big dogs. They had stars (or maybe dollar signs) in their eyes. They should have known better, but with a little razzle-dazzle, he sold the con.
Not unlike the mortgage con that many of us (yes, I include myself here) bought into.
To sum up, I believe that small investors (and small businesses) should be given every possible break. I also believe that when they are lucky enough (or skilled enough) to move up to the big time, they should be ready to give back to the country that afforded them such opportunity.
The tax system needs to be fixed. But it needs to be fixed by people who are looking out for the working class. Not the people who are in the pockets of the 1%.
Oh. One more thing.
Romney says that he will balance the budget by closing loopholes. But, he says that we will have to elect him president before he will tell us which loopholes. As my boss likes to say, "Future behavior can be predicted by past actions." Republicans took away the deduction for credit card interest. Republicans took away the deduction for sales tax. Republicans taxed unemployment insurance benefits. Over the last few years, Republicans have stated that they want to eliminate the deduction for mortgage interest.
So, what "loophole" do you think Romney wants to close? That would not be good for me or you. Given the choice between raising the capital gains tax and eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, you know which side I fall on. (I don't know for sure, but that choice may be beneficial to you, too.)
And, one other deduction occurs to me.
You don't have to tell me about State taxes. I live in California. (Last year, my federal refund was a break even for what I owed on state taxes on April 15th.) Now, if eliminating the deduction for sales tax was okay with Republicans, do you think that, maybe, eliminating the state tax deduction might be fair game for Romney? Just a thought.