Here’s why I did not vote for Obama and why I hope the Senators want to keep their jobs enough to slow down the Love Parade. Hal and I, not to be too crass, are among the “elite” whose taxes will be increased if Obama’s spending bill goes through as stated in his speech last night. He wants to reform health care, and hallelujah for that, but he wants my little family to pay for it, and I lie awake at night wondering just how we’re supposed to make it all happen.
Let me tell you what the increase means for us. We’ll pay roughly 50% of our income in taxes. He’s talking about taking the cap off our Social Security tax, which will be a giant increase by itself. Now, I like Social Security. I’ve never complained about paying it, even after I realized that Hal and I will never see a penny of it. I figure, heck, I like it when people can eat human food instead of cat food. I enjoy knowing that their retirement years are comfortable. So I’m okay with what we’ve been spending in Social Security. Besides, we owe it to them and I pay my debts.
As far as taxes go in general, I’m in favor of them. I routinely vote to raise my own city/state taxes. I vote for bonds to be passed, for increases in sales taxes, gas taxes, etc. But right now? During these economic times?
I’m wondering if Hal will have a job in 3 months. There’s a very real possibility that he, like thousands of his compatriots-at-law, will be thronging to the unemployment office to pick up a check. Because no one in the law industry is hiring and as good and kind as the partners at his firm are, they are not wizards and they cannot create work out of thin air. And as long as banks don’t loan money, mergers and acquisitions don’t happen, so corporate lawyers don’t work. Which means that losing 50% of our income now moves us that much sooner to a cozier relationship with my parents, in their house, in order to feed our 3 children.
Here’s another problem. We haven’t even begun to save for college for our children. We’ve been working to pay off our own college bills. So, that was our goal this year, to squirrel away money for their education. Because, given our tax bracket, they’ll get nothing but a good laugh from the Financial Aid office.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for spending our way out of this economic mess we’re in. I say, “Give me roads! Give me light rail! Give me infrastructure!” But fixing Medicare, Social Security, and the National Debt while we’re trying to spend our way out of Gomorrah? What Moron didn’t take Finance 101? You can not simultaneously increase spending, reduce taxes for the under 250’s and pay off a trillion dollars. Unless, of course, you expect blood from those of us who, until now, have been credit card free, dues-paying liberals. I’m in the minority, I know. But I promise that an increase in my taxes will not save the economy. It will take money away from my daughter’s self-employed ballet teacher; my local farmers market; the neighbor we would like to hire to finish our basement; the middle child’s piano teacher, also self-employed and tax paying, etc, etc. What I’m saying in this long-winded, not-my-brand political rant, is that I never believed in trickle down economics. But when I look at how to pay the huge increase in our taxes, I know that it has to come from somewhere, and since selling children isn’t an option, the money will have to come from the self-employed friends who currently see us as a sure-thing.