Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

If you can get through just this last question, I promise not to write another one!  Jenny really should have known better than to give us such a loaded prompt for Saturday Centus

Why, oh why, oh why???

Why, oh why, oh why do some conservatives who claim to be devout followers of the teachings of Christ think that wealthy people have the right to make as much money as they want to, and not pay their fair share of taxes, while we struggle?  Don’t they read the words of Jesus in the Bible?  Or maybe they’ve just forgotten them.
Why can’t just one candidate stand up and say, “I have millions of dollars to spend on getting elected, but I have decided to donate most of that money to relieve the suffering of our  poorer fellow citizens.”

O.k., so that's TWO question.  Sorry!  To read parts #1 and #2, go here and here.


Jo said...

wow! that is a whole lot of questioning ... all worthy questions, that will never be answered ... sad that our society has let so few do so much harm to so many.

Terra said...

hmmmm. This one strikes a chord for me. wont say why oh why, and wont complain either...

askcherlock said...

If Jesus were here I believe he would overturn the tables of all the people who do not want to pay their fare share in taxes and make them eat gruel.

Sue said...

I agree that every wealthy person should pay his or her fair share in taxes. No argument there whatsoever.

Having said that, I don't think "the wealthy" should be penalized, either. (Especially the ones who barely make enough to qualify for the highest tax bracket and must pay inflated mortgages in states like California, where a very ordinary tract house can cost upwards of a million dollars). It seems "the rich" are often lumped together, as if every situation were the same. I am telling my story in order to humanize a group of individuals who come with many different stories and situations.

Strangely enough, my husband and I (who began with not enough money buy a drink at 7-11 and struggled along for years economizing like crazy to raise our four kids) have spent the last five years in the highest tax bracket. No one is more shocked to find us there than we are, but my husband (who at the age of 61 puts in 70 hours a week at work) is at the height of his career and earning power. Personally, I don't believe the money he makes is worth the incredible stress and pressure he experiences, and I sincerely believe he earns every penny. The government takes nearly half of his earnings, and my husband pays his "fair share" without complaint. He is not alone in this, yet he will be affected by any tax increase that is made upon the so-called wealthy. I would rather see a flat tax with no loopholes. (May I add that we do not consider ourselves wealthy? And I doubt anyone who knows us does, either. We live in an ordinary home, drive a Pilot and an Accord that are 8 and 10 years old respectively, and have visited Europe and Hawaii exactly once each.) Don't get me wrong; we are blessed with everything we need and more, but we have worked hard for it. And we do give half of it to the government, which to be honest, feels like plenty. As for charitable donations, we prefer to make them willingly rather than by force. It is our belief that charity is by definition voluntary.

By the way, my husband spends virtually all of his leisure time leading and ministering to a congregation of young adults in our area. He also tithes 10% of everything he earns to our church and is generous in donating to other venues. He does read the word of Christ, and I promise that you would not find a more generous giver than he is. In fact, he is the best man I know.

Many people in the highest bracket do pay their taxes fairly. Those who don't, should. My concern is when a whole group is lumped together and disparaged just because they have been financially successful. I'd like to hear the qualifier, "Those who are in the highest tax bracket *that evade their taxes*" rather than "the rich," "the wealthy," "the one percent," etc. And I worry about the "us against them" mentality that seems to be part and parcel of these discussions.

(Sorry so long on this, Judie. As you can see, I have strong feelings about it.)

Judie said...

Sue, I can certainly appreciate what you are saying here. My husband is retired, and suffers from congestive heart failure. He worked hard for 28 years, and built a nice nest-egg for us with our 401K.

We were both raised in the Methodist church (same church, incidentally) and he volunteered both time and money to serving the church. He also served in many charitable organizations for many years. We are both spiritual people, and believe in helping those in need whenever we can.

In 2008, we watched our 401K literally disappear. That money went into the hands of greedy investors whose only goal was to get rich at the expense of others.

I realize that "penalizing" people in the higher income brackets is a very unpopular idea. That is why I feel that any bill needs to be carefully worded in order to protect those who are on the cusp. As Warren Buffett has said, I think that it is wrong for his secretary to be in the 33% tax bracket, while he pays only 15% due to loopholes. Why should she pay more out of her taxable income than he does?

I don't begrudge any hardworking person a good life, Sue. I just think that whatever is done, it should be fair.

Sue said...

We can certainly agree on that point, Judie.