Daily Archives: 04/24/2011

The Bipartisan March to Fiscal Madness

(Community Matters) David Stockman in the NYTimes

ES perspective: Not sure I’m ready to start publicly saying higher taxes for the middle class, though I get the math and don’t completely disagree

Everyone likes to consider themselves middle class and above and this proposition could scare more people than necessary

Considering that recent studies show it costs $60k for a family of four to live a no-frills middle class lifestyle, I think we should consider interjecting that families making $100k and above might need to share in the revenue burden

Families earning under $100k (families, not individuals) are already bearing a disproportionate share of the burden – and will bear more as gov’t services, financial aid, entitlements, etc are cut

Won’t surprise you I’m not completely philosophically opposed to class warfare – in fact, it is being played by the Koch brothers and many others who are stacking the deck to allow companies and individuals to continue gaining on the back of other Americans. The Kock brothers are all about enhancing their ability to cast off business costs as externalities to be borne by society while they rake in more and more cash. There are lots of examples of the tax and regulatory code now tilted way too far to pro-biz and pro-wealthy. I mean seriously, look at financial institution shareholder bailout. The American public has literally assumed the downside while taking no claim to the upside – and it’s not very much of middle America who benefits from this. There is class warfare underway and the middle & lower classes are losing

Supply side is bullshit. Seriously, it’s like trickledown economics. In the early 80s, I hung out for months with the R Party head of communications and other high-level R operatives who popularized the term and who laughed that Americans believed it.

Nevertheless, the deficit and imbalance in our revenue & expense models are threats to our future and Americans would benefit from a call to sacrifice (combined with a call to service, preferably)

At our church, we overbuilt and over spent. We find ourselves in a threatening financial situation. Some are inclined to bail us out. I argue otherwise. Instead, we’re calling on the congregation do just a little bit more if they are able, and we’re coming together to handle the landscaping/maintenance, child care and other church services. It’s bringing our congregation together in a way we haven’t seen since the days we were 1/3 the size. Through shared sacrifice and a rededication to mission, we’re becoming stronger and more of a community. As a country, we have the same opportunity.