Don’t tax the rich; let the gays serve

There are two stories that merit attention this morning. One is the president’s call for more taxes on the rich, the other is letting gays serve “openly” (as it’s called) in the military. On the first the president is just playing games. He knows that because the Republicans hold the House that there is no chance his $447 billion “stimulus junior” plan will be passed; because it has no chance of working. And he knows his call for more taxes is dead on arrival. What Obama seems not to realize is that taxing the rich will raise prices for the rest of us. The rich are rich because they make stuff, or provide services. They have been successful, and so earn more money. I do not begrudge them. Let them make their millions and billions; what do I care?

But since they own businesses and have a certain sort of “high maintenance” lifestyle they will not end their wonderful lives by cutting their spending to the degree of more taxes paid; which would hurt the economy anyway. They will raise the prices on the things they make, sell and services rendered to pay the new tax (if it gets passed.) And how will higher prices help anyone? How will paying more money for goods and services help the poor or middle class? The answer does not lie in higher taxes, the answer lies in the bizarre spending habits of the government. Already there’s the green jobs debacle. A company name Solyndra burned through ½ a billion bucks with nothing to show for it. It appears some other $38 Billion was spent to do absolutely nothing; and no one knows where it went.

If solar power was so good, so workable, so profitable, then some of the rich would put up venture capital to companies that actually made money; and they’d get richer. But if you tax away their riches, and give it to companies that lose money, that is of no help.

The problem lies, too, in the IRS system. It is estimated that $400 billion is spent annually by citizens in trying to comply with 76,000 pages of contradictory and convoluted rules. If one wanted to inject $400 billion into the economy, as the president wants to do; then so simplify the tax code that only, say, $10 billion is spent in tax code compliance, but vastly simplifying the tax code.

And if Warren Buffett wanted to pay more taxes, then let him. There’s nothing stopping him from donating billions each year, or all at once, to the federal government, or to state government for that matter. He is free to spend his money as he wishes. Why, he might even invest $38 Billion into solar energy and other green products, instead of the government doing it. The man is smart; surely he can invest where worthy, and even make more billions, and live on the $2 billion he has left.

Meanwhile, I would imagine that living on “only”$250,000 a year – which is really $200,000 for the taxes paid already – must be tough for a family of four or five with a nice house and cars. And why should they have to hand over their money to the “poor,” who in this country are astoundingly rich, year in and year out. Who thinks they will? They might just go John Galt and quit making the money; thus ending their taxes. And if the little taxes, on phone service, electricity, water, food, clothing, etc, were cut, then someone who earns $25,000 would perhaps have an extra $1,000 or $5,000 to spend. Which means they’d be less poor. Those of us earning such paltry sums still pay thousands of dollars in taxes; nicked away a nickel here, a dime there. And still have to pay $100 to fill out even the simplest of tax forms.

But no, the president wants to keep everything the same in government and take the money and make more government. He obviously just doesn’t get it. And neither does some woman named Nancy, who wrote a letter to the editor of my hometown newspaper, which said that she was upset with the Democrats and the Republicans posturing over Social Security. Well and good; but then she says that while the politicians don’t fool her, she can go to the voting booth. Yes, but to what effect? What is the point of voting for either a Democrat or Republican if you think both are creeps? We are boxed into this two party system, which leaves us the choice between poseurs of two parties who will do nothing to rectify the systemic problems.

And then there’s the gays in the military thing. Oh some people will bewail this; for those are the people who think we should be gone from the country anyway; in whatever way they can get rid of us. I can hear Tony Perkins rolling over in his office now; pounding the floor in a temper tantrum, as his 35 year failed quest to stop some agenda he thinks we have to destroy America, instead of our agenda to be treated just like anyone else, goes further into the tank. Too bad, Tony, too bad; life is tough, we talked to our mom’s about this. Yet, these people are wholly convinced that we will change by reading the Bible, and we keep telling them: you are out of your minds. The military, being mostly young people, will handle this. And if our soldiers are so afraid of gays, how can they be courageous against our enemies?

There are many sorts of jobs in the military. Some are exceedingly dangerous; and require enormous strength, and enormous courage. But there are other jobs which are not so onerous and don’t require a vigor that perhaps gay men and woman really can’t handle. I don’t know too many gay men who could be Marines on the front lines, no. But I sure know a lot of gay men and woman who can be supply sergeants and truck drivers and file clerks and even musicians. It’s not that gay guys in the military will be on the front lines; it’s that we can be on home bases; someone’s got to cook, no? And the military has always been able to figure out who can go screaming into an Afghani battlefield and kill a few Taliban, and who might be better suited to running the computer network back home.

I have long thought that gays in the military can have a place; but I’ve also long thought that it might very well be true that we are not violent enough to be on the front lines. And if one peruses the paper everyday one sees enormous violence in the heterosexual community. Murders and stabbings and shootings and beatings – there’s even safe houses for women, for heaven’s sake. We gays don’t do this violence; we don’t need safe houses. We don’t need restraining orders against our significant others gone awry. We are not the ones walking into birthday parties and shooting people up. And violence, being the military’s stock in trade, might well be a heterosexual reality, but we gays, well, we can serve our nation in more peaceful capacities; as apparently so many seek to do.

And one very nice thing that will come out of this is that the whole NO GAYS! Movement is collapsing. Americans are tired of this debate about a very few who simply have a quirk and are a threat to the nation like a butterfly is to a forest. Focus on the Family – which simply refuses to recognize that gay people are in our families and our families simply adore us, which strikes me as a lack of focus – has seen its donations fall from $120,000,000 to $90,000,000 in just a few years. That anyone would donate money to a group that is so obsessed with gay folks that they churn out more gay literature than nearly all the gay media outlets combined, to the tune of $90 million, still astonishes me.

But I now see the end of this charade against gay folks. Even though there are politicians and preachers in North Carolina slinging slander and libel at us right now, at an astonishing clip, they are fighting a losing battle; and the histrionics is not playing well. None of my relatives in that state, and I have several, remotely believe that I’m “attacking” families or civilization or God or anybody or anything. And they will tell their friends who might not have a gay man in their family that these politicians are delusional.

I’m not even worried that the bill will pass and the constitutional amendment that will not protect or preserve one single heterosexual family winds up in the document; Jerry Spring will still have rich fodder for his TV show from that state. For the Supreme Court will rule this all unconstitutional. If not in the first rounds of cases; then in the second or third. We’re not going to stop. No other befouled group in this nation ever did, why should we?

And just like the constitutional provisions North Carolina had for slavery were abolished, so too will this one. It’s the last gasp of people who still don’t get it; we are whom we are and we will go no where.

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