So, what is a vicious momma exactly anyway? She is a woman who is practical, sensible, strong, smart, wise, tough, and brave. Last night while watching all the big buildup to her speech and people speculating as to how she would rise to the occasion, or not, I told David, "This woman has delivered five babies. She's not afraid of pain and discomfort, and she doesn't see delivering this speech as any harder than having a baby." You see, all that talk about "how can a mother of five handle being Vice President?" is completely missing the point because it really takes a vicious momma to be able to handle very demanding situations. All that talk about motherhood interfering with her job is so backwards that it doesn't faze her. She knows it's just complete silliness. And so do all the mothers of several children out there who are doctors, lawyers, judges, civil servants, managers, business owners, and many other demanding professions. By questioning her ability to handle motherhood and a demanding job at the same time people are insulting all mothers' abilities to handle their lives. No, not all mommas are vicious enough to handle so many demands, but many of us are. And besides, being VP is really a pretty cushy job compared to most.
Last night my 12 year old said, "Momma, she's just like you. And didn't you say a long time ago that you would rather be Vice President than President?" Good boy! He really does listen to me. ;-) While the VP does have to be on the ready to take over in the event that something happens to the President, in general, it isn't quite the same job as President and it certainly comes with many perks that make life easier for a busy mom. Of course, this isn't Palin's reason for running and she'd likely decline some of the perks she found unnecessary, like her Governor's chef in Alaska. Well, I don't think I'd have given that up myself. ;-)
Palin is exactly what I've been wishing for in politics for many years. She's a regular middle class person who has lived a real life outside of politics, and now she's trying to work on behalf of other people like her. As my son pointed out, Palin is exactly what I would be if I were interested in getting into politics. I wouldn't really give two shits about what the elite media (or the academic elites or any other elites) think about me either. She is what our system was meant to produce - citizens who wish to represent and work for their country in some public capacity in addition to their personal and private lives. Our system was not meant to produce a political elite whose only purpose is a career in politics meant to bring them individual power. No wonder the "establishment" is so terrified of this woman, this vicious momma. ;-) She has more courage and dedication than all of Congress put together.
I especially enjoyed her joke about hockey moms being like Pit Bulls in lipstick because I have myself been compared to a Rottweiler, even sans lipstick. ;-)
Okay, I was too busy with my own real life to finish this post yesterday, so now I'll add some thoughts about McCain's speech last night. He's not a great speaker, but so what? Being a great speaker doesn't imply being a great leader. Some of his statements were just rhetoric meant to excite the convention delegates, but much of what he said was very practical and some was very inspiring. What impressed me the most was his concentration on the idea of individuals transcending their worst conditions and losing their selfish concerns for a higher good. He was saying that even when our lives look the bleakest we can still overcome and survive and thrive if we have (some might say "irrational") faith that things will improve and if we fore go our own selfishness we can more effectively work together to survive and improve. It's the same idea as "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." It's a stark contrast to Obama's message of demanding the government do more and more for you instead of making things easier to do for yourself.
Obama and Taxes
While on the subject of Obama, let me briefly explain why his tax proposals would be even more ruinous to our economy. He says that taxes will only increase for people who make over $200,000. Well, let's be realistic. I'm certain that Obama has no idea how very difficult it is for the small businesses of most of our communities to actually make that much profit, so it seems like a punitive measure for extremely hard work instead of an incentive for people to work as hard as possible to build their own financial security. And really, in this day and age, $200,000 isn't that much anyway when you consider that small business owners are risking everything they have in order to be a business owner. Is it fair that this brave risk-taking should be be punished by taking away so much of that hard-earned money? And the honest-to-God truth is that when small businesses' taxes are increased one of the first expenses to be cut in order to pay the taxes is employees. We have one full-time employee and we've already had to tell him that if, along with all the fuel price related increases in expenses, our taxes go up any more, we won't be able to afford to have an employee. This isn't our own isolated situation. Of course, we are going to make sure we can pay for our own mortgage and living expenses before we can spare money to pay someone else. This is just a fact of life, and if someone thinks it's selfish then they are deluded and possibly stupid.
And it is much better when individuals "redistribute the wealth" by hiring people to work for them than it is for the government to seize people's hard-earned money which is then wasted in administrative expenses, etc, before it ever even reaches those who are supposed to benefit. I wish that all the people who think that poor people actually pay any income taxes would do some research to learn that indeed, they generally receive back from the government much more than they ever contribute. So to even say that one is going to "cut taxes on the poor" is a complete unreality.
So what exactly does it mean when we talk about the "American Dream"? Does it mean, as McCain says, that we should be able to work as hard as we want and should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of our hard work while also being able to "share our wealth" through private enterprise and employment? Or does it mean, as Obama says, having a government that will give you what you want even if it comes from the hard work of other people instead of your own efforts? Please, I don't believe that giving the government all that money and power can ever really result in good things, and it truly is against the very foundations of our nation's being to transfer the people's powers to some insatiable beast we call government.
Okay, so let's talk about people who make over $200,000 a year but who aren't small business owners. I didn't mean to sound as if only small business owners deserve to make that much money and keep most of it. I just want to point out that in today's economy $200,000 is at about that minimal point of being able to really and truly gain some financial security beyond just being able to afford to live a basic life. People who earn that much money are the ones who are driving the economy by spending and buying things that other people are paid to make. Obama keeps talking about helping people afford college for their kids while also being able to afford to save for their retirement. Well, let me tell Obama one thing. It's the people who are making $200,000 who are actually going to be able to pay for their kids' college and their retirements without the government's help. How exactly is it going to help them or anyone else to punish their achievements and take away their "wealth" and ability to pay for their own families' needs? It is patently unfair to these people to take away their money and cause them to be unable to pay their own way through life just to spread it out "more equally" and to give such power and control to the government. That is pure socialist communism that has been illustrated to fail in every place that has tried it. If communism was so good and effective then we'd be seeing many, many more communist communities, and even communes, that survive more than a few years, or decades when unreasonable force is used to maintain it.
I have my own tax plan to propose. If we really want to help the poor without destroying the middle class and punishing the rich then we need to redefine who is poor and who is middle class and who is rich. As it is now, the poverty level is very low and only 12.5% of the population qualifies. The median income in the US is in the $50,000 range. Maybe we should increase the poverty level to %50,000 so that all those people would really and truly get tax relief which would undoubtedly help them. But let's also define the "middle class" much more broadly than it is now. According to Obama, the middle class ends at $200,000, but in the real world the middle class should include those who make between $50K and let's say $500K. The "lower middle class" ($50K to $100K) should probably be exempt from income taxes all together because they are living in a range of uncertainty about financial security. Taxes should not cause people to lose their security, regardless of how much they make, but especially for those who are so close to the poverty level.
Why $500K? Well, let's look at some examples. Here is how the head-of-household tax brackets are defined this year:
10% on the income between $0 and $11,450
15% on the income between $11,450 and $43,650; plus $1,145.00
25% on the income between $43,650 and $112,650; plus $5,975.00
28% on the income between $112,650 and $182,400; plus $23,225.00
33% on the income between $182,400 and $357,700; plus $42,755.00
35% on the income over $357,700; plus $100,604.00
As you can see someone who makes $100K has to send a whole quarter of that to Uncle Sam, which makes their actual living income $75,000 (minus also all other types of taxes which aren't insignificant). In today's economy I don't think many people could reasonably argue that $75K is a very high income. And wow, if that person just happens to get a nice raise of about 12.65% then he has to pay 3% more (28% total), reducing his actual income to $81,108 and then he has to pay still another $23,225.00 which makes it %57,883. So how exactly has it helped this guy to work hard and do well when getting that raise actually reduces the amount of money he gets to keep?!?
Now let's look at the top bracket. $400K minus 35% is $260,000 and then you have to subtract another $100,604 making it $159,396. (At $500K the final figure is $224,369 which is still arguably be too much in taxes.) Well, we have pretty much decimated that income so that this family is probably not going to be able to afford saving for college and retirement and maybe not even be able to live comfortably. It's insane! Okay, so some people will say that the taxes are only paid on "taxable income" which is usually lower than the actual income. But I fail to see how that argument really changes the basic unfairness of the tax brackets. Maybe we should just eliminate income taxes until that $500K "taxable income" level and then ask for only 10 or 15 percent of that. I'm not that worried about if that isn't going to amount to enough to cover all the government expenses as they are now because with this restructuring of the taxes there would be much less need for many of the government's expenditures anyway. The government will just to stop being that insatiable beast and go on a diet! By relieving the tax burden on the true middle class we would allow them to be able to get by without so much government "assistance" in paying for college, retirement, healthcare, and so on.
Yeah, this is very simplified, but this is how a vicious momma would look at it practically, efficiently, and realistically. And by the way, I am working on my own plan to "fix" the healthcare issues and I hope to have it ready to share soon. But I hope that I've at least opened some eyes to how things really are in the functioning world and shown how Obama's tax plan is even more flawed than the one we already have.
**Okay, it is very common for me to make big errors when I try to use numbers, so if there are any here please be kind and gently inform me. ;-)
***This is getting pretty long but let me say a few words about corporations and corporate taxes. This is my personal kind of bias, but I am not and have never been a big fan of the corporate business, especially when they grow into some monstrous entity like the government. The point of corporations is to allow people to buy shares in a business so that the risk is spread out and so that the profit is split among the shareholders. I have personally not found that an attractive way to invest money because I don't really like sharing control of my investment with a bunch of other people, but if other people find it attractive then I guess that's fine. However, most large corporations tend to divert most of their profits to paying its board and its directors and other bosses so that the 'average' investor's return on their investment is sharply reduced. I see no reason why such large corporations should be protected from paying income taxes first, and then distributing its remaining profits to the bosses and investors, instead of leaving the income taxes to be paid by the individuals. A corporation is not a person and does not have the same rights and protections that persons should have. It has become completely corrupt when the bosses are paid some outrageous salaries even though the companies they oversee are not actually making so much money. Perhaps my statements aren't exactly legally accurate or whatever, but I think it is morally correct and the "legal" things can always be changed. ;-)