Embarrassment

By | Wednesday, January 19, 2011 Leave a Comment
[Postscript: My concept about encouraging people to donate their tax breaks did not catch on.  The site I created is gone. Sigh.]

It is embarrassing to have so much at a time when so many have so little. But it is doubly embarrassing to have representatives whom I did not choose, and whom I do not like, fight vigorously for my right to have even more, leaving those at the bottom ever more impoverished.

I watched in horror as the tax cut extension bill was debated last month. The "jewel" of the tax package was retention of 35% as the top tax bracket, temporarily suspending it from returning to its prior 39.5%. In the process of winning this 4.5% break on income over a quarter of a million dollars, the Republicans embarrassed themselves, and they embarrassed those of us who have been fortunate enough, industrious enough, and thrifty enough to become wealthy. In addition, they have exacerbated the looming debt which threatens the economic recovery and long-term economic stability of this country.

More than anything it was the vigor with which they pursued this goal that left me so disturbed. The Republican’s rhetoric suggested that if the wealthy in America were to kitty up 4.5% of their incomes over a quarter of a million dollars the nation would grind to a halt; rivers would flow backwards; cows would stop giving milk; the ghosts of Marx and Lenin and Trotsky and Stalin would rise from their graves and descend upon these United States plunging our nation into a new dark ages. Meanwhile as they so pontificated, children in this very nation went to sleep hungry and young men and women lost their lives in foreign wars while committing ordered atrocities in the name of our morality and our way of life.

I couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand it any longer. A friend of mine recently said to me "if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem." I remember at the time I told her, "Don’t be ridiculous." But here I am, unable to be idle, as Republicans in Congress put words in my mouth, claiming that I am so callous and so greedy, that without 4.5% of my income above a quarter of a million dollars I would curl up, shrivel up, and blow away.

I have today launched a new website: DonateYourTaxBreak a site whose intention is to publicly declare that those of us who have been most fortunate, do truly care about those who are least fortunate. It is barely up and running, just a shell of what I hope to create. I hope you will take a moment to look at the site and let me know what you think. More importantly I hope you'll return later when it is up and running, and if you are among the fortunate few in this country, that you will join me in pledging your unnecessary, unrequested, and undesired tax break to charities benefiting this great nation’s poor and underprivileged.
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