October 20, 2011

Facebook quote

I saw this on facebook:

The answer was "Republicans and Tea Party people"

As a tea party person, this worked me up. First, If you think millionaires don’t pay enough taxes, that is fine. Just state that and a civil discussion can be had. Tying that to teacher pay, a completely separate issue, and demonizing Republicans as some type of crazy people who want to take money from poor teachers but allow rich millionaires to keep theirs is at best dishonest.

Second, please define “millionaires”. Do you want to raise taxes on those earning a million or more a year, or those with a net worth of a million or more? There are only about 235,000 households that make a million or more a year. They averaged 24.4% Federal taxes. If you increase that to 27.4% then you raise about 50 billion dollars. Our government spends that much money every 4.8 days. So after you pass this new tax, what is your plan in 5 days when the money runs out?

There are 10.5 million households with a net worth of over a million dollars. Do you want to raise taxes on them? That includes 7.5% of the population. Yes the super-rich, but also business owners, retired people, farmers, all kinds of people, even teachers I bet. These people could be earning very modest incomes, but have a nice home with a decent retirement account or live on a farm or own a business.

Third, I have not heard of a leading Republican candidate that is pushing to cut teacher pay by 20%. I have not spent a lot of time searching so I could be wrong. I know many Republicans and all Tea Party people are pushing for cutting federal spending overall. We currently spend $1,300,000,000,000 more than we take in as revenue each year. This cannot continue, it will stop. From 2008 to 2012, when the rest of the country was experiencing a recession, Department of Education spending grew from 59.2 Billion to 77.4 Billion. That’s a 31% increase! So we could cut spending by 20% and they would still be getting a nice increase from 2008, more than many of us can say.

Finally, as a teacher, it is awfully convenient for you to want someone else’s taxes to go up so you don’t have to feel any of the pain of the recession. Why don’t we tax all rich people to hire back all the chemical engineers that got laid off over the last 3 years? Chemical engineers are very important to our society. I think I should get a 31% increase in pay over the next few years, paid for by a tiny minority of Americans that can’t do anything about it.

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