By Dale Lucht
Way back, when we first started this magazine, one of my hopes was that the magazine would foster discussion. I hoped that people would write in to disagree with us, or add to a discussion. With the exception of Joel Mathews that hasn’t happened. I’ve even gone out of my way to be offensive. So, I’m going to try to offend somebody, anybody, in this opinion piece.
You know what they say about opinions, like another famous body part: Everybody’s Got One. Actually I have more than one-opinion, that is. In Janesville they will be tearing down the Parking Plaza within the next 4 years. The City Council hired a consulting firm to study the problem. How much brain power does this take? You’re losing x number of parking spaces. What land does the city own nearby to replace the space? Do you replace with a lot or a structure? It’s pretty obvious to me.
Probably 4 or 5 years ago when the government started talking about widening I-90, they said they’d do a study. All you had to do was get on the interstate on a Friday or Sunday. Yes we have to widen the interstate. Too many times we let expert opinions override common sense.
For some unknown reason, engineers love roundabouts. I hate them. There is only one that I have been on that makes sense. The rest are confusing, and I feel like putting the truck into 4 wheel drive and driving through the center.
Talking about engineers brings up another opinion. I probably had to work with a hundred engineers at GM. I can only think of one or two that had any common sense. They had so much common sense that they left GM. I believe that when kids go to college and they are given placement tests, those who score low in common sense are put in Engineering School. Those who score low in imagination are put into accounting. Those who score low in ethical behavior are, of course, put into business and politics.
If you live or work in the United States, or any country, you have an obligation to that country to pay taxes. There are services provided and those services have to be paid for. Currently it is legal for corporations to avoid paying many taxes. Why did Congress write Tax Laws like the current ones? The answer is that many of the tax laws were written by the lobbyists for these corporations. Congress has shirked its duties to their constituents in favor of big business. What can the lobbyists do that we can’t? Give our representatives a lot of money.
It costs millions to run for office. In one term you can’t really recoup the money spent, so you keep running and gaining prestige and influence. By the time politicians retire or are beaten they have enough influence to become a lobbyists themselves. Plus they still have a pension that is better than 95% of ours. How much is enough?
Remember the good old days of the 1950’s? Milwaukee had a championship team in the Braves. Vince Lombardi came to Green Bay. “Leave it to Beaver” and “Ozzie and Harriet” were on TV. Of course we did have Joe McCarthy and Ed Gein. Funny they were both from Wisconsin. On the whole it was a golden time; students were well taught, teachers were respected, and we paid a pretty good income tax. Greed being a normal vice, the rich started to chip away at their tax liabilities. A big chunk of tax money went to education, so they started attacking the teachers as lazy and shiftless and our schools as nothing more than detention centers. Society bought into it so much that our schools are now underfunded and under attack.
My last opinions for this article are. Stop standardized testing. Stop putting sports over the arts. Reduce Business courses and put humanities back. We should also teach our kids how to cook, and how to use a checkbook. We should teach our kids to live a well-rounded life, not a fiscally successful one. That will come if they want it enough to marry well.
Wait a minute! I’m not done ranting yet. Let’s get back to taxes. There are more of poor folk than the rich kind. We also outnumber corporations. Why do we let them off from paying taxes? It is said that we shouldn’t tax the job creators-as if it is an act of unselfish generosity of corporations. Bull! The only reason a job is created is that the employer expects to make money off of that employee. If they don’t, you will be let go.
Do you remember your High School Algebra? Do you recall a+b=c? Let us assume c is the taxes the government needs, in this example $1,000.00. For simplicity’s sake we’ll say a stands for individuals and b stands for corporations. Five hundred dollars are paid by each, 500+500=1,000. Now let us assume that corporations get laws favorable to them, and there share drops down to $100.00, so our new equation is a+100=1000. A then has to pay $900 to make up the difference. That is how corporations’ shirking of their tax responsibility affects us.
It is argued that the government does not need a thousand dollars. Then where do you cut? The biggest debate is over social programs against military and security programs. Anybody who has read my previous articles knows where I stand. I don’t think Food Stamps and PBS should be sacrificed for a bloated Military and a detestable Homeland Security. A Homeland Security has nothing better to do than record all of our phone messages and e-mails. A Homeland Security that strip searches some passengers before they can board a plane. A Homeland Security that used fear to get created and uses fear to remain a drain on our resources.
One more rant and then I’ll quit. Recently Tea Party groups were upset that their organizations’ requests for tax exemption were delayed because they were conservative groups. It is my understanding that what made them a charitable group was that if they were successful, society would be better off. They offered no food kitchens, no medical clinics, just a better society, for whom? In my opinion groups like these, on either side of the political spectrum should not receive Tax Exemption. They should have to pay more; they should have to pay a Nuisance Tax.
That is enough ranting and raving for this issue. I haven’t even touched on our illegitimate Governor and Legislature. Hopefully I offended enough of you, and someone rebuts me. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org