Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you nineteen for me
"Cause I'm the Taxman
Yeah I'm the Taxman"
-- George Harrison
If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would have thought it to be a work of darkly twisted, comical fiction. But it wasn't. In fact, it was all too real. During a Friday morning appearance on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, a pathetic shill-boy from the Heritage Foundation named Robert Rector was being interviewed by a moderator who miraculously managed to keep a straight face throughout. I almost spit out my coffee sitting there listening to this fool vomiting out the latest right wing talking point which was this: The poverty stricken in America have got a really sweet deal. According to this loathsome twit, a high percentage of poor people in this country are in the possession of "luxury items" that poor people just shouldn't posses. I'll give you two examples of what he was referring to. Are you ready for this???
Refrigerators and air conditioners!
How the hell is a family expected to store food (which we all need in order to live as you know) without a freakin' refrigerator? And air conditioning? A luxury??? In a lethally hot summer -- not unlike the one we're experiencing at this moment -- an air conditioner is all that stands between life and death-by-dehydration for a lot of people, the elderly in particular. Maybe the poor can compromise. Maybe they can spend those long, hot summer nights taking turns sitting inside the fridge. Then again, maybe not.
Here's another statistic Mr. Rector is whining about: 63 percent of the "poor" (Fox Noise now puts that word in quotation marks) have cable television. Didn't this guy get the memo? You can't get television reception with an antenna anymore. They no longer work. They've become as obsolete as 8-Track tapes and CB radios! Cable TV is no longer an option if you want reception, it's mandatory. Poor people are like most of us. They rely on television, not only for their entertainment, but for their news and information as well. They really shouldn't, (no one should) but they do.
TV also keeps the kids indoors. While that may not be such a healthy thing, if you live in Bel Air or Palm Beach, or in high crime neighborhoods (where poor people tend to dwell for some silly reason), it's a lot more preferable to being outside, getting some "fresh air" while dodging a stray bullet or two. I wonder what the poverty/cable percentages were before the airwaves went digital? Much lower, no doubt. Obviously none of these factors were given a great deal of thought by Rector or any of the geniuses over there at the Heritage Foundation.
And it's not just Robert Rector who is mouthing this kind of nonsense. In recent weeks, Republican politicians and conservative talking heads have been dropping ominous hints as to what's in store for this diseased country if the American people are stupid enough to ever again hand over all three branches of their government to that disgusting party. You see, the poor (or "the moocher class" as some reprehensi ble piece-of-sh*t on Fox Noise referred to them last week) don't pay any taxes. Therefore, instead of extracting badly-needed revenue from a class of people who already have more money than they'll ever be able to spend in a lifetime, the party of the plutocracy plans on taking from that other class of people, most of whom barely get by: the poor, not just the working class - not just the vanishing middle class, mind you - the poor. Was this a great country or what?
According to these plutocratic handmaidens, the tax code simply isn't fair. People who live at or below the poverty level have to start chipping in! A family of four making $22,000 a year (or less) will have to shell out to the feds. Can you believe that? Think about it. That single mother who barely scratches out a living assembling Big Macs at the McDonald's down the street? If these people have their way, she will now have to send a check (assuming she has a checking account) to the IRS every April 15. Of course that will mean she and others in her income bracket will have a lot less money to pump back into this already-feeble economy -- a fact that apparently has not been taken into consideration by the knuckleheads who govern us.
And they call us "elitists!"
First of all, let me dispel the myth they just love to propagate as fact: that the poor pay no taxes. Everybody pays taxes. The eight-year-old kid who walks down to the corner store to purchase an Almond Joy candy bar pays taxes. Remember that the next time you pay $4.31 for a $3.99 pint of Nicolai Vodka. Do you wonder why cigarettes are now over ten dollars a pack in certain states? It isn't really that difficult to figure out. The wealthy in this country are not contributing their share to the maintenance of society. Certain corporations are not contributing at all! Revenue is badly needed. Most smokers are not rich, and the ones who are can afford to pay ten bucks a pack. Cigarettes are so addictive that they know the smoker, no matter how poor, has a serious nicotine jones and will pay whatever needs to be paid to get his or her fix. It really is a no-brainer if you think about it.
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
Jesus of Nazareth