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Mitt Romney’s statement about the “47%” has gotten Americans debating  “fairness.” Many families are struggling to pay the rent or mortgage, and many are unable to send their kids to college or save for retirement.  When they read about how income has soared for the top 1% and stayed flat or dropped for them, they wonder who decides fairness.

Until recently, if anyone voiced concerns about fairness, they were accused of  “class envy.” Then Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world, made his now-famous statement about how he got the tax breaks, and it was not fair to his secretary. And when Buffet was challenged to prove she paid twice the tax rate he did, Buffet released his 2010 tax returns and proved the unfairness.

Buffet turned the conversation to exactly the one we need to have in this country – what’s fair.  He told ABC News, “If this is a war, my side has the nuclear bomb... We have K Street. … We have Wall Street. Debbie doesn’t have anybody. I want a government that is responsive to the people who got the short straw in life."

Wealth creation is good. People want to be able to take care of their children. It’s a lot better to live in a nice house or apartment in a safe neighborhood than in a run down neighborhood.  It’s a lot nicer when a community has the money it needs to offer quality services to its citizens. There are more civic organizations and opportunities for economic success in a community that is not poor.

The issue is not wealth creation.  It is not class envy either.  It is about fairness, about people and corporations paying their fair share.

Americans realize that the very wealthy and corporations have been very effective at lobbying, and that tax codes favor the rich.  Oklahoma Senator Coburn, a very conservative Republican, has written a report called “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous” to show how unfair it is.

People are unhappy enough when they find out they pay a higher percentage of their income than Warren Buffet. They are even unhappier when they find out that, according to CNN Money, two-thirds of US corporations paid zero income taxes.

They are upset that Mitt Romney paid 13.7% and 14% on the only two years of income taxes that he would show.

But then Romney said that 47% of people think they are victims, "entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

That was just too over the top.  Apparently, Mitt Romney and Frank Guinta, who refused to refute it, think that the government is not being fair... to the well off!

Some Republican leaders, to their credit, disavowed those remarks.  But Congressman Guinta stood by Romney and called the comments just “a distraction.”

Frank Guinta has stood up for fairness for oil companies also.  In Conway, when somebody said it wasn’t fair that oil companies get subsidies, Frank Guinta said if we take that away, to be fair, we have to give oil companies rent-free leases. Congressman Guinta's exact words were, "… the simple point on that issue is if you’re going to get rid of that tax benefit to those 5 companies, let’s also eliminate the lease payments and make it fair…"  (at 9:13: How is taking away taxpayer subsidies from oil companies so unfair that Americans need to give them free leases to take our oil on our public lands? And why does he now deny that there are subsidies to oil companies, after admitting it in Conway?  I guess he now worries that the rest of us don't find that very fair.

I think this story is emblematic of the selfish thinking of the right wing today.  It used to be “I got mine and will hide it so you have to pay your fair share and mine.” Now it is “I’ve got mine and want yours too.”

This election is about fairness for “the rest of us.” It’s about refusing to allow the right-wing in Washington and Concord to dismantle programs that we all paid into and earned – Medicare and Social Security.

Is it fair to hire lobbyists to write tax code for politicians to insert into bills to benefit the richest, so they can deduct yachts and horses?

Is it fair for those who claim tax deductions for everything to then turn around and insult the 47% who are really struggling?

It’s not fair, but we can make it fair.

Originally posted to CarolSheaPorter on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Take New Hampshire Forward!.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good Luck in Your Congressional Race (11+ / 0-)

    You deserve to return to the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Link to Carol's website.  She is the Democratic candidate for New Hampshire's 1st District.

  •  Great Diary. (4+ / 0-)

    See you in DC next year. Here's hoping NH Democratsmake a comeback in November.

    A society is judged by how well it cares for those in the dawn of life, the children. By how well it cares for those in the twilight of life, the elderly. And, by how well it cares for those on the edge of life; the poor, the sick, and the disabled.

    by BobBlueMass on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 10:29:09 AM PDT

  •  It is morally repugant that some think they have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a right to more of the earths resources then most of the rest of us. It is indecent that some pile up more then they or thier descendents could ever use while looking on in absolute boredom at the misery of those they robbed while those same people are footing the bills, doing the hard labor and fighting the wars that make them richer.  

    The top 1% treat every other life on earth as food just like a vampire. This is all of our planet and our countries resources belong to us. People are not stupid they are just vulnerable to well financed lies and a whole network that specializes in lies and distortions.

    We cannot trust the republicans at all any more... the bottom has fallen out of thier morality and patriotism yielding to political and financial gain for the few.

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 10:30:46 AM PDT

  •  Well, to make it fair, some people are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    going to have to get angry and tell the greedy that "enough is enough."

    But, there's a reason the extracters are incensed that they have to pay for the natural resources and clean up after themselves. Until the advent of universal suffrage and universal access to public information, the people's representatives traditionally doled out our natural resources to their supporters and friends.  Those were the "spoils" of political conflict. They came in the form of "rights"

    water rights
    logging rights
    grazing rights
    hunting rights
    mining rights
    drilling rights
    fishing rights
    docking rights
    Not to mention lots of free land.  Indeed, what the free market actually entailed was getting free stuff from the government and taking it to market for a profit. Recycling, restoration, renewal and repair are entirely too much work. Getting government out of business means "let us go back to extracting, like we used to do and, if we run out, let us go overseas and claim what we need."

    It's probably just a coincidence, but universal suffrage arrived just about the same time as fiat currency -- i.e. the dollar stripped of its strings to gold. This set off the specter of making all the money we need to mediate whatever we need to do and that specter put in motion efforts to artificially restrict how much money is in the stream and, even more importantly, who gets to use it for what purpose. Fortunately, the guys on Capitol Hill, whose electoral success had been intimately connected to doling out goodies discovered a shared interest with keeping the access to money to a minimum. Certainly, the beneficiaries of universal suffrage could not be permitted to have large amounts of money, so systems had to be put in place to restrict their access.
    It was a multifaceted program.  Family farmers, for example, were granted access to credit so they could invest in modern farm equipment which then produced more grain than anyone needed, causing prices to fall and the farms to go bankrupt. So, the farmland was then available, not for free as it used to be, but for next to nothing to be acquired by industrial agriculturalists whose access to credit from their banker friends was virtually unlimited. So, money turned out to be a convenient veil behind which the traditional leveraging of real assets could be managed with almost no notice. Of course, the displaced farmers noticed, but withing a couple of decades they died off, if not sooner of a broken heart, and their children were encouraged to seek greener pastures in factories until, in the eighties and nineties, those were shut down.
    Why?  Because middlemen had become ascendant and middlemen thrive on keeping things moving around and the farther things have to move (over land, sea and through the air), the more profit the middlemen and their financial engineers make for doing nothing but talking a good game.
    It probably would have worked out OK, if the middlemen hadn't got greedy and targeted ever more assets for conversion into cassh, which they then systematically siphoned out of the real economy. The transfer of monetary wealth to the 1% was not a happenstance. When profits and increases are calculated in percentages, it happens automatically, especially when restrictions are placed on the wrong end. If you have talkers getting raises of 20% year after year and makers getting none, then the makers are going to end up poor.  If you're going to get everyone hooked on money, then you've got to make sure everyone's got enough.
    And that, by the way, is what the Congress is supposed to do. It's supposed to manage the currency, along with our other natural resources, to provide for the general welfare. Handing the money over to the banks and then borrowing it back at a premium is not good management. The federal government has a monopoly on producing dollars.  If there are not enough to transact necessary exchange and trade, then the Congress has messed up.  Which, of course, is why the popular appreciation of Congress stands at 11%.

    Money is to value as writing is to thought. Preventing people from getting access to money is like teaching people how to read and then burning all the books. Money is a figment of the imagination, but, like the written word, it can take on material form and does because it makes it easier to handle and visualize. The problem with materials of any kind is that they can be stolen, accumulated, hidden away in order to deprive others of their use. That's what has happened to much of our money. And that's what is unfair. It is, after all, our money, printed by our government and supported by the good faith of the American people. Why should Wall Street be allowed to sequester it?

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 10:46:55 AM PDT

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