So the day after the elections, I kind of freaked. I’m a political scientist by training, and I’m pretty much a sarcastic half-wit by nature. Occasionally, those two things collide and you get what spewed out of my keyboard on Facebook the other day. I’m fairly certain I lost some friends.
Here in the Evergreen State, we had a number of initiatives which sought to bastardize the entire notion of direct democracy into some sardonic imitation of corporate sponsored fanaticism. There were, in my estimation, a couple good ones on the ballot though, which sought to do things like lower property taxes, lower business and operating taxes, while raising enough money to offset the cost and have enough left over to keep the entire K-12 and higher education system afloat which had just undergone draconian budget cuts leaving children to hunt with homemade bow and arrows, shooting local squirrels to supply meat for sloppy joes. Ok, I added part of that.
At the end of the day, two initiatives passed and one failed. Of the two that passed, one was authored by a monkey with a nice watch (no, really – he’s a watch salesman) who loves to see his haven’t-quite-evolved-enough-to-stand-straight-and-stop-throwing-feces-mug blabber incomprehensibly on public television, simply because it’s his right to do so. Yes, the people followed him. This initiative requires a super majority two-thirds vote in the Legislature in order to pass any tax. Another passed that allows people to eat cheaper candy bars and drink cheaper Pepsi. I wish I were kidding. As a result, billions will be taken away from the K-12 system.
The one that failed was the one that would have actually generated some money by taxing the uber-rich in the state. It was championed by none other than Bill Gates Sr. and tangentially by his son, the billionaire. Yes, the people of Washington who average roughly $45,000 per year as a family income, thought this was a bad idea. Why? Some schmo who used to pat George W. Bush on the back every time he got a crossword clue correct took up the act of saying this was a “backdoor way of instituting an income tax on the whole state.”
You know, I can handle being on the losing side of things. What I can’t handle is when people vote against their own interest because they’re being misled or they’re just dumb as a pile of stoned newts.
Here’s the deal – anyone that voted in the above manner for all three of these should be taken out back and buggered. But my real issue is anyone that voted for the super majority and voted against the tax on the richy-rich’s because they think a tax is going to inevitably come their way. Because if it requires a super majority to raise taxes, taxes will never, ever be raised on a state level. They will all be local. Local taxes won’t be on income, they’ll be on property and other things. If you think the income tax was seriously going to come your way, how would it even be possible with the super majority rule in place? Voters, you shot yourselves in the foot. Rich people could have kept our state solvent with yacht purchases they don’t need to make and you would have been completely protected with the super-majority. Now what will happen? Local taxes, regressive taxes such as sales and property, they’re a ‘comin! And you’ll get screwed. Again. And you’ll blame politicians. And you’re to blame.
Sitting there, thinking about how totally wrecked this process is, I cracked:
Michael Barr If you voted for required super majority for tax increase initiative and you voted against the tax hike on uber rich because you were afraid the legislature would raise taxes on you later on, you’re truly an idiot. Like just head-in-the-ground-not-using-your-brain-at-all brand of stupid.
Michael Barr The richest 1 percent of Americans account for 24 percent of the nations income
Michael Barr The share of Americans at half the poverty level is at it’s highest level since anyone started tracking it.Michael Barr the top 20% of income earners take home 50% of all dollars earned in the United States.
Michael Barr In the 1950’s, the marginal tax rate for the highest income earners was OVER 90 PERCENT. During this time, the United States economy experienced nearly 80% growth.
Michael Barr Nearly 70% of Americans think the Federal Government should be doing more to fight poverty (including half of self identified Tea Party members). That friends, is MORE government, not less.
Michael Barr 61% of Americans want more and 23% the same level of Government spending to protect the environment. 3% say the Government should have no role. That’s more government, not less.
Michael Barr 52% of Americans want more spending and 15% the same level to ensure access to healthcare. That’s more government, not less.
Michael Barr 56% of Americans want more spending to fight terrorism, 32% want the same level. That’s more government, not less.
Michael Barr With the Republican majority in the House, the Obama administration has been urged to modify their definition of “middle class” income, for purposes of deliberation of extending the Bush-era tax cuts, from $250,000 to $1 million.
Michael Barr wake. up.
This was all in the span of about two minutes, so I’m sure several people decided to “hide” me, which perhaps I’m thankful for in the end.
The whole political discourse has devolved into shit-slinging-nonsense. I don’t even believe the people I should be believing anymore because I know they are dumbing down their message into some branded snappy soundbite with the hope that they can convince Joe-fucking-sixpack that it’s a good idea. We can’t get anything done because we don’t trust each other, principally, but I also believe we can’t get anything done because such a giganitic portion of the electorate are tremendous assholes. They’re just assholes who need people to hate on to give their life meaning. And we’re lost because of it.
Folks, the middle class is, for all practical purposes, destroyed. We’re all variations of the working poor, with the exception of about one-fifth of the population. The gap between haves and have-nots is so ridiculously out of whack that it’s not coming back, not in my lifetime, and probably not in my kid’s.
The least we can do is vote to help each other out. For decent schools. For decent health care for the guy sitting next to you on the bus. For programs that help the needy.
Little things matter. Change takes time. And. we. just. continue. to. fail. ourselves.
Ah, look. I did it again. You can unfriend me too.