Saturday, June 30, 2012

ObamaCare: "If health care is a fundamental human right why doesn't everyone have to contribute to ensure its funding?"

I was thinking about something recently as I made my way through the very long SCOTUS ruling. Undocumented immigrants as they are referred to in the court's ruling, are not subject to the penalty/tax/shared responsibility payment yet they are entitled to receive health care. Okay, fine, but if we're all entitled to health care then shouldn't we all have a responsibility to contribute to its funding?

It reminds me of other rights that come with responsibilities like:

The right to vote. Our forefathers fought and died so that we could freely elect our representatives. We have a constitutional duty to do it, right? How many times have we heard "if you don't vote, you don't have a right to complain"?

The right to free speech. With free speech comes responsibility. How many times have we been told "You can't yell fire in a crowded movie theatre"? 

I'm just saying that if we are ALL entitled to something then we ALL have a responsibility to contribute to it to see that ALL receive it, no?

Friday, June 29, 2012

ObamaCare: "The Government's backup argument was the Taxing Power of Congress"

According to the opinion of Chief Justice Roberts, the government had two theories supporting the Constitutionality of the individual mandate.  First, it asserted the Commerce Clause. The government argued that it could require individuals to purchase health insurance as their failure to do so would affect interstate commerce and "undercut the Affordable Health Care Act's other reforms."  Second, in case the first argument didn't work, it relied on the Congressional Taxing Powers. The government argued that even if Congress lacks the power to require individuals to purchase health insurance, it does have the power to tax those who do not. "The only effect of the individual mandate is to raise taxes on those who do not do so, and thus the law may be upheld as a tax."

President Obama's spokesperson Jay Carney denies that the mandate is a tax. He says, "It's a penalty, because you have a choice. You don't have a choice to pay your taxes, right?" 

Boston College Professor Brian Galle dispels this in an excellent essay in the Yale Law Journal asking the question, "Is the Individual Responsibility Requirement (IRR) really a tax?" Below in it's entirety is the excerpt of his article. You may refer to the link underlined above to view the original posting and links within it.
"First, let me make clear that the IRR is an exercise of Congress’s power “[t]o lay and collect taxes.” The federal district courts in Virginia and Florida, as well as some commentators, argue that the IRR is not a tax at all, apparently because it is not clearly labeled as a “tax.” Ordinarily, Congress does not have to invoke specifically the source of authority for its enactments. But Randy Barnett and Erik Jensen both argue that courts give special deference to exercises of the taxing power and that the source of this deference is really just a refusal to look behind Congress’s choice of the “tax” label. So, on these accounts, if there is no label, there is no special deference. It takes a particularly obstinate—even hostile—reading of the IRR provision to find that it is not labeled a “tax.” True, the result of a failure to obtain insurance is in some places called a “penalty.” But the letter t is followed by the letters a and x, in that order, forty-five times in the section of the Tax Code setting out the insurance requirement alone. Those who are subject to the requirement to provide insurance for themselves and their dependents are called “taxpayers.” The period for which they are required to carry insurance is called a “taxable year.” The amount payable for those who do not acquire qualifying insurance is in part determined according to a “percentage of . . . the taxpayer’s household income for the taxable year.” “Household income,” in turn, is defined as a slight modification of “adjusted gross income,” which is not defined in the statute, but which cross-references an important component of the federal income tax.
In any event, the claim that only a statute expressly labeled as a “tax” can be justified under the taxing power is false. In fact, since its earliest cases interpreting the taxing power, the Supreme Court has held that it is the effect of a statute as a tax, not its mere label, that controls. For example, confronted with the question of whether a federal requirement to obtain a license to engage in certain “immoral” activities was within Congress’s power, the Court in 1866 easily upheld the statute in question as an exercise of the taxing power. Although the statute made no mention of a “tax,” the Court held that “[t]he granting of a license must be regarded as nothing more than a mere form of imposing a tax.” Later, the Court would explain that the “scope and effect” of a statute determined whether it could be upheld as “within a granted power,” although in that particular case it noted the inquiry was unnecessary because the levy was called a tax on its face.
The Florida district court’s claim to the contrary is based on a logical fallacy. It states correctly that under Supreme Court precedent, if Congress uses the word “tax,” then the enactment is constitutionally a tax. To put that in logical terms, if A (“tax”), then B (tax). But the court then asserts that if Congress does not use the word “tax,” it follows that the enactment is not a tax: in logical terms, if not-A, then not-B. That is a formal logical fallacy, known as denying the antecedent.
The case law also deeply undercuts the suggestion by two courts that Congress’s decision to replace the word “tax” with “penalty” during the drafting of the statute demonstrates Congress’s “intent” to treat the IRR as something other than a tax for constitutional purposes. Since Congress does not have to use magic words to rely on its taxing power, the fact that it chose not to use those words sheds no light on its intent. Suppose, for example, that by default tenants in my state can obtain attorneys’ fees if they prevail in suits against their landlords. I have on my word processor a form lease that also provides for fees in that instance. I delete the fee-shifting clause, then print the lease and sign it. Have I waived my right to sue my landlord? If I know about the default rule, the answer is clearly not; all I have done is saved some printer toner by omitting a redundant clause. And the default rule here, since 1866, is that Congress does not need to use the word “tax” to rely on its constitutional power to tax. We have no reason to believe Congress was unaware of well-settled precedent. All of this presumes, as well, that Congress even has the power to prevent courts from sustaining a statute on some constitutional ground, a difficult proposition some of the district courts have simply assumed to be true with no explanation.
Nor is there any persuasive normative case for conditioning constitutionality on Congress’s definitively labeling an excise as a “tax.” Barnett and Jensen appear to suggest that the tax label will create some additional political constraint, perhaps on the theory that the label will increase the salience of the burden on the public. As I have argued, though, there is no evidence that decreasing the salience of a tax eases its passage. Public choice theory in fact implies the opposite. Few voters oppose obvious taxes because each free rides on the others. When taxes are partly hidden, though, those who are aware both of the tax and others’ ignorance of it increase their opposition because they know they cannot free ride.
Courts have sometimes also used “clear statement rules” of the sort Barnett and Jensen suggest to defend federalism values. The IRR, though, is an example of exactly the kind of legislation that, in a normatively sensible federalist structure, should be within federal authority. The structure of health care produces a race to the bottom that diminishes state autonomy. The fact that some states provide care for the uninsured creates a cross-border moral hazard, allowing neighboring states to offer fewer free services but permitting citizens of the low-service states to cross the border when they fall ill. Offering fewer free services means that paid services are cheaper or taxes are lower. So the pressure on each state is to free ride on the efforts of its neighbors; states that offer better services attract migrants that drive up prices, taxes, or both. As a result, states cannot set the policy that their citizens might prefer. Whether this collective action problem is solved through direct federal legislation, conditional spending, or, as here, conditional taxation, the answer should be the same: federal action enhances state autonomy and so should face few judicial barriers.
In addition to his clear-statement argument, Barnett also appears to argue that the IRR is not a tax because the “mandate cannot have been imposed to raise revenue.” His point seems to be that it is only the penalty for failing to follow the IRR that raises money and so the IRR itself cannot be justified under the taxing power. But the IRR, like any tax on a particular transaction, simply defines the transaction that is subject to taxation. If Barnett’s view were correct, then nearly all of the taxing power cases decided by the Supreme Court have been wrongly decided. When Congress properly imposed a tax on margarine colored to look like butter, the coloring of butter itself brought in no funds for the Treasury. Transferring marijuana to someone who has not obtained a license raises no money for the Treasury, but taxes on such transfers are part of the taxing power.
Finally, two federal district courts have mistakenly concluded that the IRR could be recharacterized as imposing a “penalty” and therefore falls outside of Congress’s power to impose a tax. The courts rely for this proposition on cases interpreting the rights of individuals subject to government punishment. It is true that Congress cannot escape the heightened due process standards to which criminal defendants are entitled, such as protection against double jeopardy, by the expedient of attempting to label a punishment as something else. But that fact does not in any way undermine other clear holdings of the Supreme Court that any tax that raises revenue, no matter how little, is within the grant of authority contained in Article I, Section 8."
Brian Galle, The Taxing Power, the Affordable Care Act, and the Limits of Constitutional Compromise, 120 Yale L.J. Online 407 (2011), http://yalelawjournal.org/2011/4/5/galle.html.

ObamaCare: "Undocumented aliens not subject to the law"

According to the ruling, "The individual mandate requires most Americans to maintain "minimum essential" health insurance coverage. The mandate dos not apply to some individuals such as prisoners and undocumented aliens."

The number of undocumented aliens aka unauthorized immigrants in this country is estimated between seven and eleven million according to different sources such as DHS and the Pew Hispanic Center. Now we can be fairly certain those individuals are not able to purchase health care plans.  What options do they have for health care?

  1. Pay for medical care in cash as they receive it
  2. Receive no health care at all
  3. Go to the emergency room
Given the high cost of just a routine doctor's visit without health insurance, we can pretty much rule out #1 for most. I would say that #2 is an option though an individual with more than just a minor injury/illness will have to seek care eventually or die. That leads us to #3 which would be the likely course of action especially for families with children.  The emergency room is the only viable alternative.

So the question I have is, in regards to the mass numbers of individuals who are here illegally and utilizing the health care system, how does the Affordable Care Act take care of that problem? No matter what that bill does, it does not address that issue.

Whether we like it or not, health care costs money. People have to be paid, equipment has to be purchased, facilities need to be maintained. The only way to do this is with money. Hospitals cannot continue to treat massive numbers for free, eventually it can't sustain itself.

Why is there no provision in this Act requiring individuals who are here illegally to pay into the system?  It's simple....we can't find them, can't trace them, we don't know who they are. The government is shifty, utilizing the IRS as the collecting agency and tying in the identification of one's existing health care plan or payment of the health care tax on the IRS tax forms meaning most people, especially those who file taxes, can't escape it. Yet there is a rather large group of individuals in this country who cannot obtain health care, who utilize the system daily, without the ability to pay and yet this Act, for all its perceived greatness, does nothing to remedy that.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ObamaCare: "When the penalty/tax is cheaper than the insurance premium"

My good friend Sarah made this comment on my Facebook page that is worth repeating here:

"695 per individual/2078 per family - that means that if you cannot find healthcare for $58/mo for an individual and a family plan for $178/mo. you can just pay the tax... No one can find healthcare that cheap. I am self-employed, have NO help from my employer, have NO help from anyone and I pay $350/mo for a family plan ($4200/yr). Hmm, sounds like a plan... I'll cancel my policy and pay the tax. Then, when my health conditions get so bad I need emergency medical care, I can file bankruptcy and you can pay for my $200,000 hospital stay or my $1M cancer... I like this Obama care thing. It's cheaper than what I'm doing now, and hospitals will treat me just as well as you even if I can't pay!!! I'm gonna save oodles!  

Oh, and without health insurance, I can use the ER as my doctor's office. Never mind $30 co-pays, who needs 'em? You and the rest of the taxpayers can foot the bill through your insurance companies for the ER diagnosing my $400 case of strep throat! What do I care if your policy costs you $5 more a month next year? I get the best care in the world for FREE!"

Sarah makes an excellent point. 

Obamacare: "Does Congress have carte blanche on tax and spend?"

Chief Justice John Roberts comments on the SCOTUS ruling:
"In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress's power to tax."

"The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. The federal government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance."
So the question remains...what kind of precedent has this set? Now that Congress can tax Americans for making a choice not to purchase something, what's next?  What other "choices" can we be taxed on?

Also, this is the first time I've ever heard of being taxed for something that does not exist, does not have a value. We pay property taxes on property we own, taxes on goods we receive, taxes on income we receive, but since when are we taxed for things we do not have?

ObamaCare: "What exactly is the Shared Responsibility Payment"?

Still working through the SCOTUS ruling and posting questions/comments as I read through it. Feel free to leave your comments, suggestions or questions here...

The "shared responsibility payment" is essentially what Congress calls the penalty (SCOTUS refers to it very distinctly as a "tax") for not purchasing health insurance. It's 2.5% of household income, no less than $695 but no more than the cost of the premium for 60% of ten major services (hospitalization, prescriptions, etc). Now, say Joe Smith doesn't have employer assisted insurance and doesn't buy a plan of his own but during the course of the year he does NOT utilize any medical services. It's not unheard of, a lot of people do not have the need to see a doctor during the course of a year.

Given this, why should Joe Smith have to pay this "shared responsibility payment"?

Now, if this payment is meant to offset HIS cost of health care, he shouldn't have to pay it.

However, if this payment is really meant to help offset the cost of everyone else's health care, then that's a different story.

The individual who does not purchase the insurance is being penalized for just that--NOT purchasing insurance on him/herself and possibly burdening the rest of us with the cost. That individual is not being penalized for not contributing to pay for someone else's health care.


So... what really is going on here? 

You wanna know how I feel?

This is how I feel about the Supreme Court ruling:


I'm all for health care reform but this ain't it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It seems that President Obama and Senator Obama have slightly differing views on Executive Privilege...

President Obama is asserting executive privilege and refusing to turn over documents relating to the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious.

Meanwhile we'll take a trip down memory lane to 2007 when Larry King interviewed Senator Obama and posed a question about President Bush's administration's decision to assert executive privilege.

Larry King: “Do you favor executive privilege or should Karl Rove and others in that position be forced to testify before the House or Senate?" 

Senator Obama: “Well, you know, I think we’ll — we’ll determine over the next several weeks how this administration responds to the very appropriate call by Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary committee, to have these individuals come in and testify. You know, there’s been a tendency on the part of this administration to — to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there’s something a little shaky that’s taking place. And I think, you know, the administration would be best served by coming clean on this. There doesn’t seem to be any national security issues involved with the U.S. attorney question. There doesn’t seem to be any justification for not offering up some clear, plausible rationale for why these — these U.S. attorneys were targeted when, by all assessments, they were doing an outstanding job. I think the American people deserve to know what was going on there.”


I think this speaks for itself don't you?

Monday, June 18, 2012

The issue of illegal immigration: Doing something is better than doing nothing.

I posted a rant on Facebook recently related to our politicians in Congress not getting off their asses and solving the problem of illegal immigration. The problem I am referring to is what to do with the current illegal immigrants in this country. We've heard both Democrats and Republicans complain about this problem but none of them has come up with any viable solutions. Why? Because most of the solutions are pretty radical and bound to get them kicked out of office. They're afraid to take the risk, afraid to lose their jobs.

The way I see it is we only have two choices: 

1) Round up and deport every illegal alien in this country
2) Grant amnesty to every illegal alien in this country (those without criminal records of course)

I'm not necessarily in favor of either however I am smart enough to know that something needs to be done. Republicans arguing #1 and Democrats arguing #2 isn't getting us anywhere either. Whatever solution we come up with, someone isn't going to be happy and someone in Congress is going to lose their job. What we don't want is what is currently taking place, the President of the United States (any President, not just our current one) attempting to solve the problem via Executive Order. I hate EO's because, even though they are perfectly legal, I've always felt like they usurped Congressional authority and the will of the people an EO in one administration can be nullified with an EO from a future administration.

My proposal isn't popular, it's not ideal, but it's something.  Amnesty for illegal immigrant would require:
  1. Complete paperwork including required fees which are not more excessive than for legal immigrants
  2. Submit to a background check including fingerprints with those prints compared to nationwide police crime databases and INTERPOL
  3. Receive special ID card assigning special "temporary" status while awaiting background check
  4. Complete citizenship classes, English language classes, and undergo routine physical
  5. Issue temporary work permit number (it's the ss card for legal aliens) while in temporary status (waiting for final clearance).
  6. Issue green card once individual successfully completes/clears entire process. 
  7. Individual must apply for naturalization within the allotted period of time or lose status and must return to their country.
  8. Individuals receive permanent social security number upon naturalization.
  9. Individuals who fail background check will be placed in temporary custody awaiting trial for crimes or deported to home countries with permanent ban on any ability to receive legal status in the US. 
  10. Individuals who do not pass routine physical, who have any communicable diseases are placed in quarantine or deported. 
By the way I'm not sure of the steps in the process for legal immigrants when they get the green card and then when they apply for naturalization but I believe the same steps should apply to them so if anything I wrote in this conflicts with that, just take it in stride...I'm not an immigration expert :)
Anyway, mine are just a few ideas. What's the problem with the above? Enforcement. The government of this country would have to hire a whole lot of people to handle this. Okay fine, let's spend the money to do it. Finally, let's just do it. Why? Because there's no way in hell you can do a mass deportation. Besides, a great number of these illegal immigrants perform jobs other people won't do. I have a friend who lives in a small town in horse country. Every day on her way to and from work she passes a group of men in her town who congregate together just sitting there bullshitting and doing nothing. When people stop to offer them work, they turn it down. Meanwhile the Mexican individuals living in that area are offered work and they take it immediately. 

Solving this problem is going to cost us time and money, it's going to piss off a lot of people and cost some politicians their jobs, but at least we'll be doing something. Right now we're paying Congress to do nothing. Which makes more sense to you?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hollywood remakes are ripping off my memories.

Some friends and I were discussing the issue of Hollywood remakes recently and one of them asked me the question "Why are you so opposed to it?" I've only seen a handful of remakes I liked, the rest of them just plain sucked. I was left with the question, "Why?"

A great number of the movies on the remake list have originals to which I have some emotional attachment. For example, True Grit, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Red Dawn, Carrie, My Fair Lady, Pet Sematary, The Birds, A Star is Born, War Games, An American Werewolf in London, The Shining, Angel on my Shoulder, The Amityville Horror, The Warriors, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Scarface are just a few. These films and others have a sentimental value to me.  Most of these films remind me of a part of my youth and watching them brings back fond memories of days gone by. I'd like to hold on to those memories. It almost seems as if watching the remake takes away from the memory. An example of this is True Grit. I heard nothing but rave reviews about it and it is probably a very good film, but the original with John Wayne is very dear to me. My dad loved that movie and he was a lifelong John Wayne fan. We used to watch The Duke's movies together and there were times we could turn down the sound and quote lines verbatim. I know in reality, watching the sequel doesn't take away those fond memories I have with dad, but I can't help but feel that a part of my history, my memories are being ripped off.

One of the movies that comes to mind which I did actually like remade is Titanic.  Titanic was made in 1953, 1958, and 1997. Each movie was based on the same event but what made each film unique was the portrayal of its characters. I can watch all three movies and not be bored even though I know what's going to happen to the ship. I'm more interested in the characters and their stories than I am the sinking ship.In this case, I think it's possible to tell the story from different perspectives and be enjoyable to watch each time. It is especially impactful knowing that this was a real and very tragic event in our history.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Mildred Pierce, starring Joan Crawford and Ann Rutherford. It was remade with Kate Winslet a few years back. I know the remake won all kinds of awards but I refused to watch it. Nothing compares to watching Joan Crawford and Ann Rutherford go toe-to-toe in that film. Every time I watch their scenes I'm still on the edge of my seat yelling "Just slap the ungrateful bitch!" It's just that good. Kate Winslet may have been good but I prefer to remember this film they way it was originally intended, with Joan Crawford, Queen of Hollywood in the lead role. My mother and I used to watch this film together every time it was on and still, to this day, when it comes on, we wind up sending each other a note on Facebook or making a quick phone call to tell one another it's on. You can't top that with a remake, you just can't.

The Amityville Horror and the Omen are two fantastic and suspenseful movies which both bring back amazing memories for me. Their remakes sucked. Some people may have liked them but I thought they were a waste of time and talent. Both of these movies were reminders to me that really cool modern technology doesn't necessarily make a film better. Both of these films were exact duplicates of their originals and the acting was not even in the ballpark with the originals. I'm sorry but Ryan Reynolds scariest most psychotic look can't compare with James Brolin's maniacal George Lutz, no way. Not even in the same competition. And what about Gregory Peck and Lee Remick?  How on earth could we compare Liev Schreiber (and I like him!) and Julia Stiles to them?  Perhaps Hollywood doesn't want us to compare.Maybe they're hoping we don't compare the films. That's easier said than done. You just can't forget something when it's that good.
 
Though this film was not a part of my memorable youth, I'm mentioning it here for a different reason. It's the cult classic titled "Les Diaboliques" by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Vera Clouzot and Simone Signoret. Now, years back I had not seen it prior to watching its remake "Diabolique" with  Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani. For the most part, I thought the latter was a good movie, that was until I saw the original. The original is in French with English subtitles and it's just simply amazing. The way this movie was filmed, in black and white, the cinematography is unrivaled by its remake. The overall feel of the original is dark and dreary, and is perfect. When I finally saw this film, I couldn't believe how far its remake, the one I initially saw, fell short. Because everything in the remake mirrored the original, with the original being far superior, I had to ask myself  why they even remade the movie in the first place. There was absolutely nothing added to the remake that makes it a better quality film.

The burning question many of us have is why? Why remake movies? The first thought that comes to mind for me is that in an age where making movies is so damn expensive,  maybe it's cheaper to take an old script and just reshoot it. However for the remake, sets have to be built, costumes designed, locations found, so is there really any cost-savings? I would imagine there's some savings in not having to come up with a new concept but still there's costs involved in filming. 

So again, we ask, why? One reason might be that remaking older films with newer technology could make them more attractive. The 1950's saw a ton of really bad science fiction and horror films (my mother, being a baby boomer, can attest to this!) and so all you have to do now is remake it with hot actors and really cool technology and it'll be a hit. (By the way, War of the Worlds is a fine example of this though in the end, I didn't care for the remake, even with all its fancy technology).  Another reason might be the possibility of a better remake through better acting, perhaps taking a "B" film with "B" list actors nobody even heard of and turning it into a blockbuster using today's "A" list actors. Yet another reason is money. Hollywood is catering to a younger generation of filmgoers and there are thousands of films that that generation has never seen. It's a virtual bottomless pit of opportunity. Just take an old film, modernize the script, add some popular actors and wallah...instant movie! Apply this to the movie "Les Diaboliques".  What young person is going to sit down and watch an old French film with subtitles? 

The only valid reason I can see to remaking a film is if somehow, remaking it will improve the quality and tell the story in a more creative manner. I can't see remaking a film just because you can, this just serves no purpose. It's not creative to use different actors to tell the same story. Remakes should be better than the original, they should add a different perspective, a new focus, something that makes the story unique and worth telling a second time. So far, we're seeing very little, if any uniqueness, creativity, new focus, and different perspective. So, for the time being I'll be avoiding most remakes especially if they are remakes of films I really enjoy. In a world that is so fast paced, where we are constantly on the go, moving quickly, and not taking enough time to appreciate the important things, I need something  that keeps me grounded and reminds me that there was once a time when I wasn't as old as I am now and things were not always so complicated.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Problem solving requires flexibility unless you work in a bureaucracy!

I had a problem that needed solving today but everywhere I turned I was met with the doors of bureaucracy closing in my face. Therefore, I've made an executive decision which will make my life really simple. I'm going to get myself a Magic 8 Ball and keep it in my office. Every time someone gives me a problem which I am required to solve, I'm going to pick up the ball and give them the answer. This, of course, will be quite in line with how things are run at this institution of higher education--where everything is so damn inflexible. 


There are only TWENTY possible answers one will get:

    ● It is certain
    ● It is decidedly so
    ● Without a doubt
    ● Yes – definitely
    ● You may rely on it
    ● As I see it, yes
    ● Most likely
    ● Outlook good
    ● Yes
    ● Signs point to yes
    ● Reply hazy, try again
    ● Ask again later
    ● Better not tell you now
    ● Cannot predict now
    ● Concentrate and ask again
    ● Don't count on it
    ● My reply is no
    ● My sources say no
    ● Outlook not so good
    ● Very doubtful
 
So...people better hope the answer is in that ball, because if it's not, they're totally screwed!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Beware the American Dream...

As you know President Obama and a number of Democrats want to increase taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 annually and households earning more than $250,000 annually. Politicians refer to these individuals and households "the affluent."

In my latest edition of Tax Watch, a publication put out by the Tax Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, I found some interesting data.  The data is on the  so-called "affluent" people in our society. According to the IRS, which is where the Foundation acquires its numbers, this is the basic profile for households with incomes over $200,000:

  • 83 percent are married-couple families
  • 56 percent are between the ages of 45 and 65
  • 73 percent of these families have two or more earners
  • 78 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher
  • 61 percent have children
  • 91 percent own their own home.
  • They earn 55 percent of all private business income which includes  S corporations, LLC's and sole proprietorships.

As Americans we pride ourselves in the "American Dream" and for generations we have been encouraged to work hard to be successful, productive members of society.  An important part of this is marriage and family, education, home ownership, and stable employment, and not just jobs either, but careers.

As the IRS numbers clearly show, a large percentage of the households earning over $200,000 per year in this country are in fact, representative of the "American Dream". These households are an example of what we encourage Americans to strive towards, right?

So why are they seen as the enemy?   If they are the enemy, then it means the "American Dream" is also the enemy. Think about that.




Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Had a dream the other night that dad died. In the dream it seemed odd considering he's already dead.

I went to the funeral it was at this big church and there were tons of people there, an African American pastor was officiating, not many seats were open. Some of the seats in the place were facing the rear of the church, not the front. (How's a person supposed to view a funeral by facing the back of the church??)

I had to keep moving around to get a good seat. The seats were like movie theatre seats...the seat had to be pushed down to sit on it. Also, the people I worked with were notified of my dad's passing via a small plastic box with raw broccoli spears in it (I kid you not!) which was given to each person. Inside each box was a list of names of the people I worked with who were supposed to be notified.

I swear to you these dreams come to me totally sober. I wonder what my dreams would be like if I actually drank and did drugs? LOL