The other day my brother, he whom shall remain nameless called me “a jealous cry baby liberal,” when I expressed my opinion. Last time I checked, we still have the 1st amendment right to express feelings about what is going on in this country.
Umm, I asked myself, am I jealous? I had to get curious about that remark. I went to Wikipedia to look up ‘jealousy’:
“Jealousy is a secondary emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of presenting emotions such as anger, sadness, resentment and disgust. It is not to be confused with envy.”
After a conversation with my daughter who said “What’s wrong with being jealous? It’s a distraction, let’s get back to the facts.” I agree, what’s wrong with being jealous? While I certainly would like to have some of the wealth of the 1%, I am not jealous of it.
I must admit though, I identified with feeling angry and resentful, and quite disgusted. And ripped off, lied to, used, taken advantage of, but not jealous. This is a new talking point, of doublespeak and main stream spin. The purpose seems to be to make us ashamed of having feelings of anger and ignore the reality of our elected officials and those they represent are corrupted by their addiction to money, power and status. Those of us who express our opinion are the identified patients, we are jealous. And even if we are feeling jealous, what is wrong with that? It’s better than feeling happy or depressed about what is going on. I googled “the politics of jealousy” and received 10,000,000 responses in .26 seconds. I’m glad I got curious about this. I have to say though; I am tired of reading ideologically manipulated information, crafted with Madison Avenue spin. Just the plain facts please.
Why am I feeling angry, resentful, disgusted, and used?
We no longer have government representation. Where are our elected officials’? Can we hire lobbyists to pass some legislation for the middle class?
In 2008, I asked my elected officials NOT to vote for the bailout. They did not listen to me, or the 99% of the American public that expressed the same “No” voice as well.
Where is our bailout? Why can’t we borrow money at 0.25 percent? Why aren’t our tax rates at 17%, 15% , 3-4% or nothing if we manage to have the advantage of off shore tax dodging and fancy accounting that makes our tax liability go away. With the tax liability creatively dodged, some CEO’s of Corporate giants are making $12-30 million a year with tax avoidance policies. Ebay, for example,the world’s largest online marketplace, also turns out to be a major tax dodger. Last year they received a $131 million tax refund, despite U.S. pretax profits of $848 million. Their CEO made $12.4 million. We want that tax plan too.
Bonuses for losses? I don’t understand how Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae can ask for $6-7 billion every other quarter, for what they call “accounting losses on their books rather than economic losses”. The executives are asking for $13 million in bonuses for meeting certain benchmarks. Are we the mood to pay it? How do you pay bonuses out of losses? When the taxpayers are paying it. We have already given Freddie and Fannie over $170 Billion, and there is no end in sight. In fact, they are a bottomless well. Estimates are the debt held by the two companies is over $5 Trillion, thats Trillion, not Billion. How can Goldman Sachs hold $10 billion for bonuses, and announce a loss? How can Bank of America and AIG still pay bonuses when they are losing money? The sales people I know don’t get paid bonuses unless they make their sales. In the real world, without lobbying support, bonuses are paid out of profits.
How about a $33 Billion tax break that let big companies offset losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against profits booked as far back as 2004. If I have a substantial loss on a stock trade, the maximum I can write off is $3,000/year. Why did homebuilders get a special provision to go back to the years they were EXTREMELY profitable? In 2009, President Obama signed the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 into law, a tax break that let big companies offset losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against profits booked as far back as 2004. The bill provided tax cuts and corporate refunds or relief worth about $33 billion, according to an administration estimate.
Pulte Homes received more $450 million under that law, and had $1.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet, according to its 2009 financial statement. D. R. Horton, had $1.966 billion in cash, up 45 percent from September 2008 levels. Some home builders were healthy enough to retire significant amounts of debt from their balance sheets. Pulte has bought back $1.93 billion in debt in 2009. American taxpayers have not been so fortunate. There is something very wrong with this scenario. To put it in perspective, The Center for Responsive Politics reports, home builders paid over $14 million to their lobbyists in 2008 and 2009. The lobbying expenditures were focused on tax loss carry-forward documents show.
Those losses were offset by American taxpayers. The system is rigged: profits are privatized; losses are socialized, unless you are an individual. Then the loss is yours.
I am still angry. And so are many others who include themselves in the 99%. Its time to vote and get active to make sure we get the money out of politics. It’s our only choice.