1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Discuss politics - join our community by registering for free here! HOP - the political discussion forum

Butt Scratching and Bass Fishing (long read)

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Andy, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,497
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    48
    A couple of weeks ago, I worked late like I sometimes need to do to run my business. It was a nice Tennessee summer evening, and I was enjoying the drive home. About 7:30, as I pulled to a stop light a few blocks from my office, I noticed a light on in the corner office of a friend’s office building. Through the twilight I could make out my friend’s silhouette as he bent over his desk. Being a fellow entrepreneur, I knew what he was doing.

    He was looking over some receivables. Some turkey hadn’t paid him, and he was trying to make his accounts balance so he would have the cash to make it another day. In that instant, I had a flashback to some of the ridiculous statements I’ve been hearing on the talking-head news channels and from some individuals during this political year. And I’ll be honest—I instantly felt the heat of anger flow through my body.

    Let me tell you why. You see, my friend who I saw working late—we’ll call him Henry—is a great guy. He’s what you want your son to grow up to be. He loves God, his country, his wife, and his kids. He didn’t have the academic advantage of attending a big-name university. Instead, he started installing heating and air systems as a grunt laborer after he graduated from high school. He was and is a very hard and diligent worker, and before long, the boss taught him the trade. But when he was 24, after 6 years of service, the company he was working for got into financial trouble and laid him off.

    Henry still had his tools, so he bought an old pickup to haul around his materials and tools, and suddenly he was in business. He knew about heating and air-conditioning, but not about business, so he made a lot of mistakes.

    He persisted. He took accounting and management at the community college to learn about business. He started reading books on business, HVAC, marriage, kids, God, and anything else someone he respected recommended. Today he is one of the best-read men I know. Soon, because of his fabulous service and fair prices, he developed a great reputation, and his little business began to grow.

    Henry started 15 years ago, and now he has 17 employees whose families are fed because he does a great job. He is in church on Sunday and seldom misses his kids’ Little League games. Sometimes he has to miss a game because some poor soul has their AC go out in the 96-degree Tennessee summer heat, but Henry makes sure they are served. He is, by all standards, a good man. He is, by all standards, what makes America great.

    Henry and I are friends, and so he asked me some financial questions last year. I learned in the process that his personal taxable income last year was $328,000. I smiled with pride for this 70-hour a week guy because he is living the dream.

    At the stop light that evening, I also thought of another guy I know—and that is where the anger flash came from. We will call him John. While John does not have the same drive Henry has, I can say that he, too, is a good man.

    John also graduated from high school and did not attend a big-name university. He went to work at a local factory 15 years ago. When 5:00pm comes around, John has probably already made it to his car in the parking lot. He comes in 5 minutes late, takes frequent breaks, and leaves 5 minutes early. However, to his credit, he is steady and works hard.

    Over the years, due to his steadiness and seniority, he has worked his way up to about $75,000 per year in that same factory. He seldom misses his kid’s ballgames, but most nights you will find him in front of the TV where he has become an expert on “American Idol,” “The Biggest Loser,” and who got thrown off the island. When he is not in front of the TV, he spends a LOT of time and money bass fishing on our local lake. He never works over 40 hours a week and hasn’t read a non-fiction book since high school.

    This is America, and there is nothing wrong with either set of choices. Nothing wrong, that is, until the politicians and socialists get involved ...

    I have seen several elitist people on the talking-head channels make the statement lately that people making over $250,000 per year have a “moral imperative” to pay more in taxes to take care of the country’s problems. This is not only infuriating—it is economically, spiritually, and morally crazy!

    Where in the world do these twits get off saying that Henry should be punished for his diligence? If you are John, where do you get off trying to take Henry’s hard-earned money away from him in the name of your misguided “fairness”? If you want to sit on the lake, drink beer, scratch your butt, and bass fish, that is perfectly fine with me. I am not against any of those activities and have engaged in some of them myself at one time or another. But you HAVE NO RIGHT to talk about “moral imperatives” about what other people have earned due to their diligence. That money is not yours! You want some money? Go earn some! Get up, leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home.

    We are in a dangerous place in our country today. A segment of our population has decided that it is the government’s job to provide all of their protection, provision, and prosperity. This segment has figured out that government doesn’t have the money to give them everything they want, so somebody else has to pay for it. That is how the “politics of envy” was born. “Tax the rich” has become the mantra of the left, and this political season it has been falsely dubbed a “moral imperative.”

    Ninety percent of America’s millionaires are first-generation rich. They are Henry. To tax them because you think it is a “moral imperative” is legalizing governmental theft from our brightest, most charitable, and most productive citizens.

    If I can get a law passed that says you must surrender all your cars to the government because it is the “moral imperative” of anyone who owns cars to support the latest governmental program, that would be a violation of private property rights and simply morally wrong. This new “moral imperative” to redistribute wealth is no different from that. It’s the SAME THING!

    Please, America, re-think the politics of envy! You are sowing the seeds of our destruction when you punish the Henrys of our culture.

    If you think taxing the populace to support government programs is the best way—and I don’t—then at least tax every single person the same! There are very few Henrys out here who would squawk much about paying a set percentage of their income—if everyone else did, too. But this idea of some butt-scratching bass fisherman saying government should tax his neighbor and not him—just because his neighbor has succeeded—must stop.

    So the next time an elitist media talking-head starts telling you it is the moral imperative of our culture to tax my friend Henry, change the channel.

    The next time you see someone wealthy who feels guilty and is preaching the politics of envy, change the channel.

    The next time you see some celebrity who feels guilt over their income preaching socialism, change the channel.

    And the next time you run into a misguided, butt-scratching bass fisherman who says the evil rich people in our culture should have their private property confiscated because that is fair… well just shake your head walk away—and make sure to vote against his candidate. If he and his type win, God help America.

    -Dave Ramsey
     
  2. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,009
    Likes Received:
    203
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    land of 10,000 lakes and 2 senators again
    does the 2nd guy ask the govement to do evrything for him? or want taxes on those who make more then 250,000 in order to help him? Or is he thinking more about the woman who got pregnant, the guy ditched her, she kept the baby ( insert applause) and had to drop out of school and works 2 jobs tryin to pay the bills, pays large costs to have someone watch her her kid while she is working, never gets to make it to the kids softball games,,becuse she cant afford to ... There many out there who work as hard as they cant trying to do what they can to get buy and provide for others, missing out on alot in the process. and all they want is some help, with the huge cost of health care and gas to, get to work, and child care, and all they want is a little help. To often people seem to just always picture some lazy bumb who wants to just live off the goverment...I personaly know few people who ever wanted that, but I did know alot of poor people who worked there ass off ans sometimes in hard times just wanted/needed some extra help.

    When I lost my job, in a hard emplyment market, I did not want much, I picked up old job that I liked but payed poorly just to get by, rather then collect unemployment ( though I payed for that so its not like its a handout) but I had lost my health care, and of course the week after I lost my job, the tranny on my car went out...and if you are thinking publicn transit...you dont know where I live...its not realy much of a option like in some areas. But of couse even more then when I was working 2 jobs and making some money but had no inusrance, I was worried...what if I got hurt , or had a medical issue...I had negitive income, working 20 hours a week at very little pay, ( but at least I could say I was working still) it would have been nice to have something to know that I was covered , and thats about all i wanted.

    Its great your freind was able to do what he did, but I know if I was making 350,000 a year, I would not mind a bit exra going to help others when they need it, becuse I know how it feels and its a small price for me to help. I dont want alot in life in terms of needing that much money. if I even made 100,000 a year , after i paid off my debts would end up just doing stuff for others most likey with it. if I had a family I would not as much of course.
     
  3. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,497
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Solution: Traditional family values. Don't sleep with someone till you are married, and then stay married to who you marry. It's called "personal responsibility". The idea that you are not DUE or DESERVE help simply because you made really bad choices.

    There are thousands of non-profit organizations that serve the poor. My parents Church had a deacons fund, a special fund specifically for helping the poor who came to the Church. Most Churches have similar things. I worked at the Faith Mission food house in the downtown area, and anyone could come and get a free meal. Anyone could.

    All of these are private charity based systems that work off of voluntary giving of others. Not the coercive legalized stealing of government.

    When I lost my job, I was hurting too. I did not take unemployment either. I quickly went online to Anthem and bought a really cheap, high deductable $45/mo insurance. As long as you have any kind of insurance, they can't lock you out if a condition comes up. So I could always switch to whatever insurance my company offered. My tranny blew out of my car too. I got a place close to home and walked to work a few times before I found someone who could pick me up.

    BTW, The was Dave Ramsey, the link at the bottom. This was his story, not mine! I apologize, I should have made that more clear, but I was running up against the post size limit.

    And perhaps you wouldn't. But I know many CEOs that do. They worked many years, many hours, and went through many things to get to where they are. They should get that money. It's rightfully their money, and they should have the right to do with it as they please. This is what the Constitution is about. This is what freedom is about. If you can take away the property of someone earning $350K, why not $250K? If $250K, why not $150K? If $150K, why not $100K or $75K or even $50K? Because that is exactly what is happening.

    Why do you think CEO pay has gone up every time the top marginal tax rate has? Because they are the CEO. If your CEO and your pay is cut by taxes, what do you do? You increase your pay. You are CEO, you can do that. Of course where do that money come from? Us, the workers. Next years cost of living raise will be quite a bit smaller for some reason.

    Or the other thing CEOs do is get payment in non-taxable forms. Company stock, company perks, company cars, free corporate jet service and so on.

    So who picks up the unpaid taxes when they do that? We do. No matter how you cut it, all taxes hit us, the average worker. You will never get the wealth class to pay for everyone's health care, or food, or housing, or whatever else the socialist dream up in Washington. We either pay for it ourselves, or we pay for it in taxes.

    Meanwhile the CEOs and wealthy will just laugh and collect their stock options while on their private jet to the Virgin Islands for a month in their company paid for beach front cottage.

    Here's a better option. Cut taxes and let the individual take responsibility for themselves.
     
  4. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,009
    Likes Received:
    203
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    land of 10,000 lakes and 2 senators again
    well I live in the real world where people have sex before marraige,...and even if she got married, guys still run out and leave the woman stuck and dont pay support...and marriage is a value not all share, im not christian and marriage to me not something I need, why would I wait for some church to say its ok, when I dont belive in the church...and having some goverment paper that says we are married does make it so that I would somehow be tied to not running off.

    and as for CEO's the average CEO also makes I dont recall teh number but its like 400 or 4000 times the average worker now, vs just a few years ago they made a much much smaller amount closer to the average worker...CEO Pay is out of line these days, and is a joke. And I am talking the big companys, not guys that run a heating cooling thing with 20 people....So I dont shed alot of tears for those CEO's .
    and we have always had a progressive tax, and most likey always will. the only issue here is he percent taxed on a group. Unless you want to make the case for a flat tax, and knowing you I am sure you are for that .. I coudl even be for one, if it fixed the problem that the very rich often with loopholes and tax cheating pay less in taxes as a pecent then the average worker...Warren Buffeft said his Secretary I belive paid a higher rate then he did after they did taxes...and somehow I dont belive you would find that fair as well.

    I myself like the idea of a progressive tax, but one where the rate that is higher, is only paid on teh amount over that tax braket. So if we changed the taxes to a higher one at 250,000 you only pay the higher taxes on that made over 250,000 not all of yoru income.
     
  5. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,009
    Likes Received:
    203
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    land of 10,000 lakes and 2 senators again
    as far as the charities, I dont think they could handle it all on there own, nore do I care for faith based ones....unless they do not try to push some religion on people who use it. While its there right to do so, as they are helping...I dont care for it myself.
     
  6. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,497
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    48
    So if you have sex, end up with AIDs, and your 'partner' rings up millions in debt, and then runs off (which I've seen happen), and you get screwed over... why should I pay for you? I may offer help of my own free will, but why should I be forced to pay for you?

    Look, that's fine. You can do whatever you wish. You want to jump off a bridge, or screw around until you are ill for life, that's all up to you, and completely your choice. But it is morally wrong for you to demand others pay for you choices.

    Yes, marriage isn't a fix all. But is can reduce the problems vastly.

    Yeah, Warren Buffet, that might be possible since all his money is in stocks. But of course, that's my whole point. It is because of the tax system that CEO get their money in tax sheltered stocks. And it is because of the tax system that CEO have increased their pay 400 times or whatever, to cover the increased taxes. You are making my whole point.

    BTW, none of the CEOs are 'cheating'. That is simply not true. They are using the same tax shelters that every American has. If you put money into a 401K... that is tax sheltered investment. The exact same thing the CEO is doing. So let's stop crying about 'oh they are cheating!', when they are simply using the tax system we demanded to begin with.

    I'm more of a flat tax person. I believe all men are created equal. Thus if you pay 10%, I pay 10%, they pay 10% everyone pays 10%. No one should lose more of their money simply because they earn more. Why do you think most CEO are paid cash to a certain level, then everything beyond that is paid in stocks and perks and company benefits? Because if you will only get 50¢ for every $2 you earn more, why bother? That's also why the Reagan tax cuts worked so well. More CEO were willing to pay the lower tax rate on cash income, and thus got money instead of perks and stocks and such.

    Of course I really support no income tax at all. It wasn't legal in the Constitution. We should go back to that.
     
  7. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,497
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    48
    So you can't stand to take help on the off chance they might ask you about faith, but you have no problem tyrannically forcing the others to pay for your poor choices?
     
  8. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12,009
    Likes Received:
    203
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    land of 10,000 lakes and 2 senators again

    I said they can, just given the choice I dont care for it, if I realy needed it I am sure I would take it. I am just saying when you are not a person of faith , its makes you feel like you have to take teh talk about faith in in a way that puts you at a disadvantage. Sorta like how when I have had people try to convert me at work, I am working and I cant realy talk about it much as I have to watch what I say...but they are free to say what they say what they wish and I have to just basicly sit there and go along with them sorta.

    I have talked Religion at times at work, but its becuse I worked at a book store and it was realted to the book they where looking for, and as thus fit the situration more and i was a bit more open as they asked about the books...
     
Loading...

Share This Page