Monday, September 20, 2010

This is interesting - how the super rich think: We are the Super Rich

From M. Todd Henderson:

"The rhetoric in Washington about taxes is about millionaires and the super rich, but the relevant dividing line between millionaires and the middle class is pegged at family income of $250,000. (I’m not a math professor, but last time I checked $250,000 is less than $1 million.) That makes me super rich and subject to a big tax hike if the president has his way.

I’m the president’s neighbor in Chicago, but we’ve never met. I wish we could, because I would introduce him to my family and our lifestyle, one he believes is capable of financing the vast expansion of government he is planning. A quick look at our family budget, which I will happily share with the White House, will show him that like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t.

I, like the president before me, am a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and my wife, like the first lady before her, works at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she is a doctor who treats children with cancer. Our combined income exceeds the $250,000 threshold for the super rich (but not by that much), and the president plans on raising my taxes. After all, we can afford it, and the world we are now living in has that familiar Marxian tone of those who need take and those who can afford it pay. The problem is, we can’t afford it. Here is why.

The biggest expense for us is financing government. Last year, my wife and I paid nearly $100,000 in federal and state taxes, not even including sales and other taxes. This amount is so high because we can’t afford fancy accountants and lawyers to help us evade taxes and we are penalized by the tax code because we choose to be married and we both work outside the home. (If my wife and I divorced or were never married, the government would write us a check for tens of thousands of dollars. Talk about perverse incentives.)

Our next biggest expense, like most people, is our mortgage. Homes near our work in Chicago aren’t cheap and we do not have friends who were willing to help us finance the deal. We chose to invest in the University community and renovate and old property, but we did so at an inopportune time.

We pay about $15,000 in property taxes, about half of which goes to fund public education in Chicago. Since we care the education of our three children, this means we also have to pay to send them to private school. My wife has school loans of nearly $250,000 and I do too, although becoming a lawyer is significantly cheaper. We try to invest in our retirement by putting some money in the stock market, something that these days sounds like a patriotic act. Our account isn’t worth much, and is worth a lot less than it used to be.

Like most working Americans, insurance, doctors’ bills, utilities, two cars, daycare, groceries, gasoline, cell phones, and cable TV (no movie channels) round out our monthly expenses. We also have someone who cuts our grass, cleans our house, and watches our new baby so we can both work outside the home. At the end of all this, we have less than a few hundred dollars per month of discretionary income. We occasionally eat out but with a baby sitter, these nights take a toll on our budget. Life in America is wonderful, but expensive.

If our taxes rise significantly, as they seem likely to, we can cut back on some things. The (legal) immigrant from Mexico who owns the lawn service we employ will suffer, as will the (legal) immigrant from Poland who cleans our house a few times a month. We can cancel our cell phones and some cable channels, as well as take our daughter from her art class at the community art center, but these are only a few hundred dollars per month in total. But more importantly, what is the theory under which collecting this money in taxes and deciding in Washington how to spend it is superior to our decisions? Ask the entrepreneurs we employ and the new arrivals they employ in turn whether they prefer to work for us or get a government handout.

If these cuts don’t work, we will sell our house – into an already spiraling market of declining asset values – and our cars, assuming someone will buy them. The irony here, of course, is that the government is working to save both of these industries despite the impact that increasing taxes will have.

The problem with the president’s plan is that the super rich don’t pay taxes – they hide in the Cayman Islands or use fancy investment vehicles to shelter their income. We aren’t rich enough to afford this – I use Turbo Tax. But we are rich enough to be hurt by the president’s plan. The next time the president comes home to Chicago, he has a standing invitation to come to my house (two blocks from his) and judge for himself whether the Hendersons are as rich as he thinks."

I heard today that Obama said at a rally "we're all hurting..." "We" are not all hurting. The income disparity in this country has increased over the past 30 years, and the top income bracket is definitely not hurting; they're loving what's going on, and encouraging it.

When someone in a $1,000,000 home and with an income of $450.000 starts whining about how tough it is, think The Princess And The Pea.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This jexter guy really ought to post more often...

...because God is starting to get pissed off.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dude, Where's My Change? A haiku.

Change might have happened
G.O.P. filibustered
And shat upon it.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Yup. Once you get crossways with them, they're like a seized engine. Nothin' to do but get a new one. They might want to hire some actual human beings...

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Joe the Plumber is no fool.

I can understand why Joe wants no part of a tax break paid for by higher taxes on the top wage earners - those fuckers are POWERFUL! For instance, someone making $2.87 million, the bracket where Obama's maximum tax rate kicks in, works 71 times harder than someone making $40,405 (2007 average U.S. wage, and roughly what Joe earns).

Hercules had the strength of ten men; any one of these fuckers could kick Hercules' ass up and down the street without breaking a sweat. And that's just the poorest of them!!! A CEO making $100 million a year works 247 TIMES AS HARD as Joe the Plumber. Can you even imagine him running into Joe in the supermarket, knowing that Joe took some of his hard-earned cash?

Joe would be fucked.

I'm no puss, but I'm with Joe.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


"habeas corpus"
a sweet sound for colonists!
what the fuck happened?

Monday, April 02, 2007


No shit, you have really got to try this Republicanism! I’m telling you honestly that it’s the best shit EVER!!! It makes everything so CLEAR!

For instance, I thought when Bush allegedly said that the U.S. constitution was “just a piece of paper”, he was being disrespectful of the very foundation of our country. Boy was I wrong!!! As a Republican, I see clearly that our constitution is actually like one of those magnetic refrigerator word games! It’s the funnest thing ever – swap parts the 5th and 18th amendments, and you don't have to testify because you're drunk!

Just a little taste...

Having a somewhat addictive personality, as you all know, I’ve often gotten the urge to "experiment" with Republicanism - (just once. really) - just to feel what it’s like. Oh sure, I know it's more addictive than a cocaine/heroin/nicotine/sex speedball with an OxyContin chaser - but that’s obvious when you realize that anyone who manages to kick the Republican habit is a major news item.

But damn, imagine the rush! Omniscient and infallible, your every thought brilliant; your debating skills simultaneously elegant and eviscerating! Any evidence threatening to refute your position crumbles to dust with your merest hint of distain. And the attention, the love, the adoration! – every word you utter, every public appearance is NEWS, propagated around the world at the speed of light – my God, it must be sweet...
Oh Jesus, help me! I’ve got a voter registration form in front of me, and I’ve checked “Republican”!
I’m weak – I know I can’t handle it.. stop me.....


Well now, this feels GOOD! Everyone around me seems to be a lowly worm when compared to my towering intellect. I just had a little chat with Jerry Falwell, and he is very intelligent man. When I explained how much better I felt since becoming a Republican, he gave his characteristic little chuckle and said “you ain’t seen nothin’ ‘till you get right with with your maker, boy!” He assured me that although Republicanism was indeed a righteous buzz, it’s got nothing on Conservative Christian Republicanism. All the buzz of Republicanism, plus everything you think and say is God’s word! Jerry likened it to a number of different feelings, but the one that really resonated with me was “it’s like running the Nürburgring at 250 kph in a Porche 930 while smoking an enormous doob and being blown by Lindsay Lohan!”

And if anyone would know about that, it's Jerry Falwell.

aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Frankly, I see no reason not to try it.