The 53%ers

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Most people are against protecting the lazy. The difference is the simple question: “What percentage of those who need help are actually lazy, vs. those who are unable to work?”

Now, Fox News LOVES to trumpet the “47%” number and claim that 47% of Americans “pay no taxes” which is patently false. 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax. But, who are they? Again, Conservatives, and Fox News, love to suggest that those 47% are leeches – lazy (as you noted) – or essentially a drain on society. But – who are they? Most of them are the working poor. People who work (they have income) but not enough to support the lowest rung of federal taxation. A very large number of them are children under 14 and adults over 65. Soldiers deployed into active combat zones are part of the 47%. The mentally disabled, chronically ill, the disfigured and disabled are among the 47%.

There are many rising up in anger, screaming “We are the 99%”, because they are the 99% of Americans who effectively have no voice in Government. The message is clear – it’s “Occupy Wall Street,” (as Janeane Garafulo told Keith Olbermann), “not ‘Occupy this desk.”

The RedState response is as obvious as it is pathetic. They bring up this number “53%” claiming they have more say in government because they pay income tax and others don’t. Which is fine to support, so long as you realize that when you do this, you ignore those people (the 47%) – which is why liberals (like me) love to say that conservatives who make that argument are evil – heartless – etc.

Do we decide that someone is worthless simply because they can’t work? Saying yes would be a traditional, conservative view – to assume that people who are not working are lazy.

Irony alert! The conservatives rally so many to their cause by yelling abortion – and arguing about the right to life – and since a fetus cannot work, the assumption must be that conservatives who rally under this banner believe that life is worth supporting and protecting….. even if the person doesn’t (or can’t) work. But, the fetus is also part of that 47% and often, so is the mother.

Why? Because they get a tax credit that offsets their need to pay taxes.

Bank of America, and many large corporations, are also among the 47%. People (and entities) who pay no tax – not because they’re lazy, but because they receive a tax credit for something our society has determined is worth paying.

I was a conservative for a long time and really understand what you’re talking about. I’ve heard the Garth Brooks lyrics about being upset with money going to welfare and all the complaints about leeches on our society. This assumption that people who work hard are AMERICA and those who receive federal money are scum. Except that about 90% of our farmers are also part of the 47%. As are a very large percentage of our small business owners. And new parents. And people who are buying their first home. People with children in daycare and young families… all receive more credits than debits for federal income taxation…. But they still have to pay local, state taxes, federal payroll taxes and tolls, fees, registrations.

This myth you support is founded on the worst kind of ignorance – and I can say that because I was like you. I supported the rhetoric because I hadn’t looked into it. I hope some of what I’m telling you is stuff you’ve never heard and that you’ll look into it and re-think some of your positions on the matter.

A weird thing is that this topic is the meeting ground between liberals and conservatives – we both think that “tax loopholes” and “tax credits” and “not paying your fair share” is a bad thing.

The difference is – conservatives are protecting big business with such rhetoric, and liberals are protecting the weakest elements of our society.

I’ve made my stand after a very reasoned analysis of the truth of situation. Have you?

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About EverVigilantPaul

EverVigilantPaul has a BA in Political Science and an MS in Education with an emphasis in American History. He has a wife and a child and lives near Austin, Texas where he works in local government and helps organize county government employees.

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2 Responses to The 53%ers

  1. Scott St. John
    Scott St. John October 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    How I wish there were more critical thinkers like you in their ranks. Keep being vigilant. Really well-written post.

    • EverVigilantPaul November 1, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      I appreciate that, Scott. We need to find a way to move forward, together, and I think it’s possible if we find the things that help us all. Too often, we polarize and move away from one another. I think we tend to think in terms of conflict, because if there’s no conflict, it’s boring (to many/most Americans). Instead, we should find a way to work together toward a common goal and make the conflict US vs. IT (whatever it is).

      I would suggest that in modern times, the scarcity of resources is no longer a natural scarcity, but is now scarcity based on money. The rich throw away more food than is needed to feed most of the world. Why is it not shared?

      And why aren’t we making THAT battle our conflict?