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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

From debate to insult

I'll be glad when the election season is over, mainly because I'm tired of reading incredibly offensive email forwards and such written by classmates, family members, etc.

I love a good debate, and I usually take it good-naturedly. I think two people who are friends (or spouses!) can be on opposite sides of an issue and debate it respectfully. However, what pisses me off is when other people resort to disparaging comments to make their points.

My soapbox today has been the issue of taxes, and who should pay more.
I don't believe "trickle down" economics has been effective the past eight years. We're in a difficult economic time and a tax cut for the middle class could really help ease the pain of rising costs. Although I don't necessarily feel that the rich should pay higher taxes, a small tax increase for those making over $250,000 per year will not break the bank, and I feel very little sympathy for anyone making that much money crying that it will. Even so, I respect the other side's point of view. My expertise is not in economics, but I do understand the idea that higher tax burdens on the wealthy does stifle economic growth.

But my problem isn't the issue itself, it's the way it's being argued. The dialog on that issue has moved from the merits of fiscal conservatism in strengthening our economic system to, "Well, I worked hard, you didn't, why should I give you a handout?" If I see one more asshole comment from someone I know about how "lazy people" shouldn't get tax cuts, I'm going to block them.

Sending out messages that disparage Americans who work hard for little payoff, in order to support your view that the wealthy should get taxcuts: not cool. You know, I want to make lots of money so I can take lavish vacations and eat expensive meals (and drink expensive alcohol). I want my kids to go to whatever college they want, with no worry about how much it costs. But if I'm lucky enough that my hard work pays off and I make a lot of money someday, I promise, I won't act like those of you in jobs that don't have high earning potential don't work hard. I have friends in the non-profit sector, and who work in government, that barely make a living wage, and they work their asses off. Their salaries are so low, that even in their early 30's, they live like they're still in college. They entered those careers because they believe in the work, and they fill important roles. So it makes me incredibly angry when the notion of giving them tax cuts is described as "handouts" and "charity" and "undeserved."

It's this whole tone throughout this campaign that there are two types of Americans: rich and poor. Hard-working and lazy. Pro-America and Anti-America. Real Americans and, what, Fake Americans? It's insane, and it's asinine, and if McCain and Palin win today, it's four more years of this crap.

Anyway, so I'm tired of certain crazy wingnuts sending out these messages, as according to the messages coming from the McCain campaign. (There's one person in particular I absolutely cannot stand on a personal level. Several of my law school friends are far-right Republicans, and we get along just fine. But there's one person in particular I would not call a friend that I just find completely repulsive. It isn't the political positions, it's the way they're presented. And the overall nasty attitude, but that's beside the point.)

So here's hoping that divisive, nasty, slimeball tactics aren't rewarded today. I haven't gone to vote yet, I'm going this afternoon and taking Cora to cast our second vote for Barack Obama this year. Hoping we'll have a chance to vote for him a third time in 2012.

1 comment:

3L Wannabe said...

I grew up really poor, so my parents were always getting the EIC or a refund of some kind, and we had food stamps sometimes, and always had free lunches, etc. I remember VERY well the year my parents had to PAY taxes - my dad's reaction has been my gold standard. He said "I am proud to finally make enough to help someone else out." That is really all there is to say.