2010-10-01 / Community

The Progressive

By John Paul Culotta

It is incredible and ironic the extent of the denial of the dismal economic system the Republican Party and some conservative members of Congress have. Our president has been given a horrendous task – to stimulate employment and decrease our deficit. Trickle down voodoo economic policy for the past thirty years and wars funded by our economic competitors has benefited the economic and social elites while increasing economic hardship and increasing poverty rates for the majority of Americans.

On the day the media announced more Americans are now living below the government set standards of poverty, the congressman from Staten Island, Michael McMahon, stated he would not support our president in raising taxation for families earning $250,000 per annum. Mr. McMahon is a Democrat. He gave as an example a couple – the husband, a city firefighter, who works overtime, and his spouse an assistant principal for the city’s Department of Education earning over $250,000 per annum that he claims are living modest lives and having difficulty making ends meet. What a horrible statement.

I have a nephew who is a firefighter. I and most of my friends work and worked modest civil service positions. We understand that even in an area of extreme living costs such as New York City a couple earning $250,000 is very fortunate. Opinion polls indicate that the nation is closely divided over whether the higher earners in this nation should forgo the Bush tax cuts. It would appear the basic idea of progressive taxation is anathema to many Americans.

What is not considered is that the reluctance to tax Americans who earn considerable amounts of money puts an unfair and unbearable burden on the unemployed, those in dire need, and the education system. We cannot afford war and meet the social and economic needs of the American people during the Great Recession and cut the deficit without additional revenue from American citizens.

To continue our reliance on the kindness of foreign powers is risky. There is no painless way to meet the challenge. Obama’s proposal to increase taxes for families that earn over $250,000 is necessary.

Mr. McMahon’s example also is disturbing in many ways. His couple works for the government, receives considerable income and health benefits, and will retire with a retirement many of us would be happy to have and does not wish to be taxed more to alleviate the misery of the bottom end of society.

It would appear class warfare has been declared and the wealthy declared it and as of today have won all the battles!

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