Monday, October 27, 2008

Hogs at the Trough

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The average salary in the United States is $45,000 per year, and there are millions of people in this country who work for even less than that. We all like to think that we are in the economic middle class, but, in reality, the middle class is quietly disappearing and we are quickly becoming a nation of ultra rich and miserably poor. The rich are doing fine, thank you, and they would like the government to keep it's hand off of their money. They say that they are the economic engines of our country, and when they make money some of it will trickle down. The poor, meanwhile, scurry around looking for the trickle.

Sometimes the government tries to help correct the situation by providing some assistance to the poor. When that happens, the rich scream "socialism" and wail about the unfairness of having to pay taxes. At other times the government provides assistance to the rich through tariffs, use of national resources, and bailouts. The rich justify their welfare as being necessary for the health of the economy.

So welfare for the poor is a bad thing, and welfare for the rich is a good thing. Progressive income taxes - where the wealthy pay a greater percentage of their incomes in taxes - is a bad thing, while sales taxes - where the poor pay a greater percentage of their incomes in taxes - is a good thing.

Everything is backward! No wonder we are in such an economic mess!

Tonight I heard on the news that all of the big Wall Street firms, including those feeding at the bailout trough, are still planning on giving enormous bonuses to their employees at the end of the year. Yep. Big bonuses for poor performance - and they're using our money to do it!

Our Senators and Congressmen make six-figure salaries, three and four times the national average salary. A person can live on that salary, even in Washington D.C. Yet today, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was convicted on seven counts of not reporting gifts from lobbyists - gifts worth at least a quarter-of-a-million dollars! An oil supply company called Veco remodeled his house at little or no cost. I could use that service. What about me, Veco?

And then there is straight-talking John McBush. His ranch in pricey Sedona,, Arizona, didn't get good cell phone service, so AT&T and Verizon rushed up and put up two cell towers just for him and his family - for free! I am from a little town in the Ozarks that gets darned little cell phone service. Hey, Verizon, I send you money every month. How about putting a cell tower up on my little farm?

Where is my bailout, and where the hell is that damned trickle?

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