Not too long ago at a poker night excuse to drink beer I was stuck in argument with an economist friend of mine about the U.S. tax system. At the time I knew a young man, just a year out of high school, who, upon graduation landed a job in a local factory making shoe boxes. It was the first year he had to pay federal taxes and Uncle Sam was expecting 17% of his income (it already took a big piece bi-weekly, but wanted more to make up the difference). My friend the economist thought that 17% actually might not be enough and suggested that maybe this young dude shouldn’t complain so much.
I was nonplussed. All I could blurt out was something like “That’s a lot of rent money to extort for another aircraft carrier!” I would hope that my friend got my meaning, but I believe it was lost to him. I don’t think he knew offhand the actual percentage of U.S. budget getting doled out to the military (few facts are surmised these days without iPhone back-up), but I’m sure he knew from private living and teaching experience that it comprised an eye-popping chunk of the treasury’s mother-load, and then some.
Worse, he probably went home and thought dualistically about my politics, as many often do—that I must side with evil if not the good. The “either/or’es” —you’re either with us or against us. The people who despise the out group and distrust those within. A very lonely club devised long, long ago by the first man to ever use the goodness of another for personal gain.
What I meant to say on poker night was that I would expect to pay 95% of my salary if I believed a government was using this money to help care for my family and yours.
All caps following, and I seldom use all caps:
IT DOES NOT.
The players think they got us by the sneaks. That in order to be good children we must pay our federal tax or else face the consequences. And the super majority of us will pay, no doubt about it. It’s scary not to. Good Americans, like good Germans before them, do not like to break the law. The players assure us it ain’t all that bad—each person is well represented by an incorruptible congressperson overseeing an arbitrary block of 600,000+ people, or, as in the case of one of my senators from New York, a massive baying herd of over eight million people.
I think you can tell where this is going.
Because we have no say in the money and how we are “protected” by decision-makers in Congress, then I declare that institution unlawful and illegitimate.
So, I believe we have an out-of-control state run mafia that does not show the slightest indication that any day now it will turn itself in. What to do…
I do not advocate insurrection—even while Congress legislates to kill off Americans. I do not think enough of us are angry like people of the past who were starving and therefore prone to anger. How many of us have a smart phone contract? Raise your hands.
See? We’re not truly angry resistors. Neither to Trump mafia nor Obama mafia. Actually in the great line of time, the super-majority of us are just ineffectual political wussies. It would be okay if some of us weren’t going out and copying our negligently homocidal legislators with horrific crimes to humanity. That’s what happens with disenfranchisement. The desperate with nothing to loose start hammering away at those whom they think win all the time. Even folks like you and me, working check to check, yet still attempting a check to power, even in the most limited ways.
Both Democrats and Republicans are ignoring a single-payer system—they take our tax money and provide insurance companies with sick, paying, animals. Both are guilty of watching our families get sick and die with our own money. The game being played now is refereed by Big Insurance and Big Pharmaceutical (“Big” is their word, not mine. I believe there are no tinier humanoids in the land).
I can explain this painting and therefore exonerate myself from the partaking of any violent radical acts in the future. I have my alibi, and owe much of its construction to the first career I could obtain while coming of age in crazy county, U.S.A. Whenever I’m given a bloated piece of anger meat, I let it rest for a few days. Then I marinate it in acidic thought and reflection, turn the burner up high, and sear in all thoughts worth keeping. I never take anger out of the kitchen and yet I rarely dine alone (Thank you wife and Internet). Onto channeling my next career as painter, which hard copies an illustration of a bloated Kentucky senator making decisions with the money I put aside for upcoming life and death. I don’t like his ideas. So I paint a dynamite auger into his neurocranium.
Works for me!
I can do this because I’m an artist and not a killer. I wish no final future for this man different from one of my very own mother. A peaceful, non-painful demise. I’ve smeared the end of the dynamite auger with an instant-acting opiate releasing ten times the strength of the most non-lethal morphine injection.
Again, artistic license. What else can a poor boy do?