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What the hell is going on in America? A Rant.

Although I’m an American, and although I actually pay taxes in the United States, I’ve tried to avoid immersing myself too far into the details of the current debacle in the United States.

Honestly, I’ve been focusing a lot of my non-work brain time on other issues so my exposure to the problem has been limited to the New York Times, The Economist, and whatever tweets come my way—so my picture may not be that complete.

Although, that said, I have been, occasionally, forced to think about it because at work I am one of two Americans in the building and the go-to-guy for a number of people when they have questions about the United States. Last week a couple of people asked me what was going on.

As far as I can tell a bunch of crazy people got elected to the US House of Representatives – people who have a very simple view of the world: (1) debt bad, (2) taxes bad, (3) government bad, (4) insurance bad, (5) black man cannot be president, and (6) we don’t need any education ‘cause we know everything already.

At least that’s how I view the Tea Party—maybe I’m over simplifying it a bit.

Now the notion that anybody, or any company, in the United States pays too much of their income in taxes is a joke – except for the poor. In comparison to the US, taxes in Germany ought to be oppressive because they are quite high, yet the German economy is flying high, so the notion that taxes in the United States are preventing the “job creators” (e.g. rich) from creating jobs is pure bullshit.

The other thing that fascinates me is how short people’s memories are: the fact is that Barack Obama inherited a terrible economy from the worst president ever: George W. Bush. The fact is that George W. Bush is responsible for taking a surplus and turning it into a deficit. The fact is that the Republican Party is the party that fucked the United States and that it is the Democrats who have been burdened with some how trying to fix the economy, pay off the debt, and bring some measure of decency back to the United States – and in order to do the last thing, for now, the debt must continue to rise.

Debt is not, inherently, bad. It makes sense in many situations to take on debt if it helps you, and for a country trying to recover from George W. Bush, more debt is necessary.

So is, by the way, increasing taxes, especially taxes on the rich.

The thing is, the rich can afford to pay taxes, they can afford to help the United States reduce its debt, and they ought to be proud to write their check and mail it off to the United States Treasury.

It’s not a burden, it’s a point of pride, and it is the price of admission for being a citizen (or resident) of the United States.

I’m proud of the fact that I pay taxes to the United States.

I’m equally proud of the fact that I pay taxes to Germany.

Anybody who bitches about paying taxes needs to move somewhere where they don’t have to pay taxes and where there’s a government to match.

I hear Somalia’s pretty nice this year.

8 comments to What the hell is going on in America? A Rant.

  • I couldn’t have said it better myself, Adam. Great rant!

  • What’s going on – A Republican party that always votes lock-step, taking a “my way or the highway” attitude, refusing to compromise (or when they “compromise” it’s more like blackmail), and a Democratic party that is usually negotiating in good faith, putting their sacred cows on the line without requiring the Republicans to do the same.

    Run-on sentence, but it gets the point across.

    The Democrats also have a huge problem of not returning this favor when there is a Republican president.

    This all makes me want to move to a country where you have a population that votes, but doesn’t give their politicians a contract like we do in the USA.

  • MT

    We’ll see what happens when the Bush Tax Cuts get ready to expire. Will the Dems block a Republican effort to extend them? There was a really interesting piece about that very issue — that the Dems could very well allow taxes to increase without lifting a finger — in the Washington Post. (I’m just too lazy to go looking for it).

    Personally, I think we need to revamp the tax code, again. There are way too many loopholes.

    Oh, and you gotta’ love the Tea Party folks who think they don’t get any benefits from the government. How many of them actually write off the interest on their home mortgage? That’s a government program, douchebags. Or the ones who draw Social Security — also a government program. ARGH!

  • When was the last time a far-right nationalist organisation with too many angry supporters who were eager to resort to violence bullied their way into power at a time of economic hardship by demanding everybody compromise with them, and getting those compromises from middle of the road weaklings who never stood their ground?

    Just asking.

  • koko

    You can’t oversimplify the tea party. They are overly simple to begin with. You know…with their “more war!” and “less socialism!” attitudes.

  • Christina – Thanks!

    Cynical Queer – I hope the Democrats get a spine and I hope they turn out next year and vote.

    MT – I hope the Democrats get a spine and don’t extend the tax cuts. However I have my doubts.

    The Honourable Husband – Uh….

    koko – *sigh*

  • Ted

    The Democrats would not have extended the tax cuts last time except the Teapublicans black mailed them. They said if Obama didn’t extend the tax break they would not extend unemployment benefits.
    Great blog by the way, I’m late getting around to reading them so forgive me for this late reply.
    I find it ironic that the Teapublicans refused to allow the rich to pay more taxes then the rich lost millions in the stock market because of their stubborness.

  • Wayne

    Adam,
    You have captured my thoughts about this situation EXACTLY. The recent debacle over the debt limit and especially the republicans / Tea party members holding the United States economy to ransom is just further proof of how out of touch they are. Anybody that thinks that the United States is too big or powerful to fail simply fails to understand history.

    As a naturalized United States citizen, coming from the United Kingdom, it saddens me immensely to see the direction these right-wing radicals are taking the country.

    Wake up people, the best way to show how you love your county is step forward and pay your share….. and vote every opportunity that you get.

    Also, fellow Americans, we don’t have the best medical care in the world if an increasing number of people can’t #^@*@ afford to go to the doctor…..

    OK, rant over….