Of Tax Cuts And Those $10 Million Bat Mitzvahs
As many of you know, I am passionately political but I try hard to keep most of it out of these blogs. But once in a while my discipline crumbles in the face of something powerful I read. Today I picked up the Business section of the New York Times and read the title of Ben Stein's article: "Of Tax Cuts and Those $10M Bat Mitzvahs." I crumbled.
Here is a quote:
Is this what America is all about? We're in a war and we cut taxes to stimulate the economy - and it probably did - and we are having million-dollar parties at home while our soliders are paid starvation wages to offer up their lives in Iraq? We're in a war and the government cannot afford to pay for adequate training (and here I add 'and medical care') for our soliders but the society at home is routinely having million-dollar weddings and bar mitzvahs?
Can anyone say, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"?
We are creating a debt that is about $3 trillion greater than it was when Bill Clinton left office, and one sequel is $10 million birthday parties? Is this what supply-side is all about? To obligate future generations so our generation can have $10 million parties for teenagers?
As I write this, playing on TV in the background is some financial show. They are asking a question, "If you want to be in the top 1% of net worth households, what do you need your net worth to be? My financially savvy husband is responding, "One million dollars." The answer is six million. No, a million is what it used to be before we changed the rules for the rich to make them even richer. We promised that all that extra tax cut money would be re-invested. Do multi-million shindigs count as reinvestment?
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people making money. I love the fact that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are insanely wealthy because they use their money for philanthropic purposes. They don't need to advertise their wealth by holding parties that require spending obscene amounts of money.
I just put a new quote on my email from the favorite person I like to quote on my emails, Marian Wright Edelman. Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time. And, for sure, this quote from Ms. Edelman is even more appropriate for this subject - Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night.
Don't let America burn as we all get addled by the inane gossip of the day. Frankly I am sure that we could make the stories of our troops dying in the streets of Iraq and the families they have left behind just as riveting as Anna Nicole Smith, drug addict, sad F-grade celebrity. Let's get our priorites straght. I am going to focus on this one, another quote from Ms. Edelman: We are willing to spend the least amount of money to keep a kid at home, more to put him in a foster home and the most to institutionalize him.
The Sacramento Executive