Monday, September 24, 2012

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her Happy Meals

I remember seeing my first McDonald’s restaurant sometime in 1960
or perhaps it was in ’61; and I think it was in Sioux City, Iowa. It was pretty
amazing and I was not unimpressed with the hamburger and fries. It
was nothing nearly as good as what my old man served back in his
luncheonette in Chester, NJ, but it was a great gimmick and the prices
were cheap.

She’s incredible, this Congresswoman from Minnesota, and just when you think she can’t out-do herself she does!
by Charlie Leck

Listening to Michele Bachmann talk politics is like listening to my wife’s mule talk space science! No, that’s wrong! The mule actually is quite literate and amazingly intelligent.

Listening to Representative Bachmann talk about American History is like listening to a drunk trying to cough up a handful of popcorn kernels he’s choked on! Really! They both actually make about the same degree of sense.

Congresswoman Bachman got into the 47 percent discussion in the last couple of days. Geez, you would think she’d have a staff that would have the sense to advise her occasionally to keep quiet. I don’t want to ridicule her! Why can’t she just keep quiet?

Everyone is America should have to pay something, Ms. Bachmann told the video camera – even if it’s only the price of two Happy Meals – about ten dollars.

Democracy isn’t free, she told the camera, and everyone should have to pay something! Everyone benefits from this great country.

“Everyone can afford to pay, at least, that!” She meant at least the cost of two Happy Meals!

I just read the following in a fortune cookie: “Kindness is the ability to love someone more than they really deserve!”

I’m trying to be kind here. Congresswoman Bachmann is trying hard. She’s working at it. I mean she doesn’t say this stupid stuff to be funny. Lots of people say she really knows better. Actually, to be fair and kind, I don’t think she does, but she’s trying

Somehow, on the day God was passing out brains, Ms. Bachmann skipped the assembly so she could go over to McDonald’s for a Happy Meal. So, we ought to be kind to her and more patient with the really silly nonsense she is constantly spewing. She really does think everyone can afford to pay federal income taxes.

She does! Even with the cost of gasoline and food these days! Even though they also have to pay community taxes, county taxes, sales taxes and state taxes.

I don’t think Ms. Bachmann understands there is some really harsh poverty in America. No, no, don’t laugh at her. Be kind! I don’t think she really understands. Ms. Bachmann is so enchanted with the mega-millionaires in the nation that she’s become starry-eyed and can’t see what would seem so obvious.

Ms. Bachman thinks that even people with no income should pay “income” taxes – even if it’s only the price of two Happy Meals! Perhaps she didn’t mean it. Is it possible she’s sharpening a bit for an appearance on Jon Stewart’s show?

So, a retired couple, trying to buy food and pay for the energy costs in their home and properly clothe themselves on their Social Security checks (which is their previously earned money and which they must declare on income tax returns), should have to pay at least some amount of “income” tax.

Congresswoman Bachmann doesn't realize that Mitt said the 47 percent are made up of three types of people and, in confusion, she lumps them together. I’m sorry Ms. Bachmann! Maybe someone could explain this to you.

The 47 percent, Mitt Romney said, are the folks who are going to vote for President Obama anyway! Right? Now, Ms. Bachmann, those numbers would include me – and my wife. We are, indeed, going to vote for President Obama. We are not poor and we do pay at least the cost of two Happy Meals in income taxes. Now, madam, Mitt said there are 47 percent of Americans who do get some sort of government benefit. Yup, I’m in that group also. I do get a monthly Social Security check and I do have to pay taxes on that income (even though it is money I made and paid into this federal savings plan). And finally, the last group Romney lumped into that 47 percent are people who don’t pay federal income taxes. Well, unfortunately or fortunately, I’m not in that group.

Yet, it seems statistically true that 47 percent of Americans on a given year don’t pay federal income tax. Wow! Ms. Bachmann, all of those, in that group, are not poor people and are not always people who will vote for President Obama. There are quite a few wealthy people who’ve managed to avoid paying income taxes in one way or another through the mega-loop-holes provided by our income tax system. Or, they might be business people who actually lost money in a given year and aren’t required to pay taxes. Some others of them are very poor people who can’t afford to pay anything – not even the cost of two Happy Meals – even if you refuse to believe that. And then there are lots of people in between those two sorts who, though they don’t qualify to pay income taxes to the federal government, do pay lots of taxes of other sorts – property tax, sales tax, school bond taxes, community taxes, county taxes and state taxes. I pay all of those taxes listed here in addition to my federal income taxes, Congresswoman. I’m still going to vote for President Obama.

I don’t mind paying those taxes and I’d even be willing to pay a bit more if it would take the pressure off people who cannot afford to be paying all those taxes mentioned above. Go down to the capitol city of your own state sometime, Congresswoman, and visit one of the homeless shelters – like the Union Gospel Mission – and see how many people need to come to them to be fed and sheltered because they can’t afford even a single Happy Meal and because MacDonald’s doesn’t have any place where they can legally sleep. And that isn’t the only charity serving the homeless in our area either, Congresswoman. There are a number of other organizations doing the work also – like Sharing and Caring Hands, Minneapolis Homeless Shelter, Simpson Housing Services, Catholic Charities and St. Anne’s Place. Most of the people that these shelters serve can NOT even afford to pay the government the cost of one Happy Meal.

You must really know that, Congresswoman Bachman. You must! If you don’t, I want to introduce you some time to Mary Jo Copeland, the founder and director of Sharing and Caring Hands, and she can explain it to you. She’ll also explain to you that these are not pikers, Congresswoman, but they are people in distress and in need of our compassion and assistance.

Congresswoman, when government loses its compassion all hope will also be lost. Part of government’s role in this world is to even the playing field so that all people get a fair shot at a good life – with justice and freedom for all.

I know these are difficult concepts to understand, Ms. Bachmann; but give it a try! Please!

And, while you’re at it, Congresswoman, read these comments that Bill Clinton made on a couple of Sunday TV shows and it might be a little easier for you to understand the facts of life.

“First, they do pay taxes — they pay Social Security taxes, they pay Medicare taxes, they pay state and local taxes,” he said. “Second, they are out of the income tax pool for two reasons: one is the economic crash, which lowered a lot of peoples’ incomes.… Now the second reason is interesting, it’s a bipartisan reason in the past: it’s because of the combined impacts of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.”

 It's complicated, I know, but most people get it. I'd be happy to buy you a Happy Meal sometime and explain it to you.

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1 comment:

  1. that was good stuff, this the new, kinder, gentler charly? or are you on libriam?...anyway, good stuff...