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If there is one attack from the right that perfectly embodies their smarmy piggishness, it's that Obama is "punishing success." As Romney put it:

The great majority of small businesses pay taxes at the individual rate so as he raises these taxes “on the wealthy” he is raising taxes on small business. That kills jobs.

If your priority in this country is to punish success vote for President Obama; if your priority is to create more success and more jobs vote for me.

First is the suggestion that taxes are a punishment. You might as well say that any other kind of investment is a "punishment" -- that putting away for your kids' college is a punishment, that saving for your retirement is a punishment, or that purchasing a more energy efficient heating system for your home is a punishment. (Actually, first is the fact that Romney's assertion is false. The tax increase will not affect small business owners.)

But what really gets me about this statement is how Romney defines "success." It's all about how much money you make. The more money you make, the more "successful" you are. That may be Romney's America, but it's not mine.

Let's start rewarding other kinds of success. The elementary school teacher who worked overtime to teach that learning disabled child to read. Let's reward that success. The fireman who forfeited years of his life inhaling smoke and toxic fumes to save lives in his community. Let's reward that success. The direct care worker who dramatically improved the end-of-life care for that elderly woman. Let's reward that success. The college student who sold everything he owns to get through his final semester. Let's reward that success. The single mother who raised her children to be productive members of society, despite the crime and poverty surrounding her. Let's reward that success.

Or should we only reward the success of buying a business, running up its debt, cashing it out for countless millions, and then dumping it to the curb? Is that the only success worth rewarding?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brae70, Tonedevil


    Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

    by Zackpunk on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 09:16:05 AM PDT

  •  i am inferring that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle
    Let's start rewarding other kinds of success. The elementary school teacher who worked overtime to teach that learning disabled child to read. Let's reward that success. The fireman who forfeited years of his life inhaling smoke and toxic fumes to save lives in his community. Let's reward that success.
    when you talk about rewarding these successes, that you mean by paying them more. So you seem to agree with Romeny in spite of saying this...
    The more money you make, the more "successful" you are. That may be Romney's America, but it's not mine.
  •  Zack - how would you "reward" (0+ / 0-)

    The teacher, fireman, the home care worker, the college student, or the mother?

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 09:28:43 AM PDT

    •  By giving them stability in life (0+ / 0-)


      Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

      by Zackpunk on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 09:35:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that translates to what? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, misslegalbeagle

        Job security? Better pay?  Better non-cash payments like retirement, vacation, sick leave?  Better equipment? Dust collecting plaques to hang on the wall? Award certificates to frame? Ribbons?

        All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon for steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

        by Noddy on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 09:55:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Zack - Noddy asked better than I could (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noddy

        Back to the body of your diary paying taxes isn't the same as saving for college, or retirement, or a new heating system. All those are done voluntarily, and as it relates to the first two you can access the savings should you need them. Taxes are paid under penalty of criminal prosecution, and while they aren't a "punishment", you can't compare them to voluntary actions.

        There is no doubt that the expiration of Bush tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 would impact thousands small business owners who operate as LLCs or Subchapter S corporations. The data suggests the percentage of small business owners impacted is small. When you state that it would impact no small business owners, that's just not the case, and is an overstatement.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 10:14:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Voluntary? (0+ / 0-)

          Yeah, I guess you could choose not to save for your kids' education.

          The economy doesn't give a shit what is "voluntary" and mandated. It doesn't know the difference. And so much of our economic activity is governed by forces beyond our control anyway. Taxes are absolutely an investment in our society -- a necessary one that benefits all.

          Most of these "small businesses" operating as LLC's are just individuals making a lot of money who are incorporated for tax and liability reasons. They thrived under these tax rates under Clinton.


          Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

          by Zackpunk on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 10:34:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ummmm - I beg to differ (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            I have an LLC.  There's no way anyone can claim we're making a lot of money, although we did incorporate for liability reasons, and to be able to be taken seriously as a business concern.  

            I know of several dozen other LLCs that were incorporated to protect small businesses that consist of artists, performers, and educators who don't make very much money but do what they do for the love of the work. They will never make a lot of money, and won't get much,if anything, in the way of tax breaks, but they'll have liability protection and they'll be taken as serious business concerns. And maybe, they'll make enough to live off of.

            Of course, most of the people I know work the fair circuits, craft fairs, art fairs, science fairs, historical re-enactment fairs.  Almost all of them have chosen to be LLC mostly for the liability reasons. Liability insurance is so much cheaper when you are incorporated.

            I wouldn't exactly say all those LLCs are thriving, but they are getting along.

            All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon for steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

            by Noddy on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 12:52:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wouldn't you know it? (0+ / 0-)

              I have an LLC too.

              I wasn't saying all LLC's are doing fabulously well, I'm just saying that a lot of people who are doing fabulously well also happen to have LLC's. Just because you have an LLC, that doesn't mean you're a "small business owner," exactly.


              Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

              by Zackpunk on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:53:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I understand what you're trying (0+ / 0-)

    to say.

    You never took us away from the Republican concept of "taxes are punishment".  If you'd premised that "taxes are an investment" then your examples of saving for college, saving for retirement, buying energy-efficient heating systems would have aligned with your topic, going from individual investments and correlating them to societal investments in teachers, firefighters, and caseworkers.

    The only way to reward government employees is to raise taxes - and to re-message taxes as investments.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon for steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 01:20:57 PM PDT

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