April 16, 2010

Americans and taxes

Love this Teddy Roosevelt rant on the pampered rich person. Via slacktivist and simply too good to pass up:
Too much cannot be said against the men of wealth who sacrifice everything to getting wealth. There is not in the world a more ignoble character than the mere money-getting American, insensible to every duty, regardless of every principle, bent only on amassing a fortune, and putting his fortune only to the basest uses —whether these uses be to speculate in stocks and wreck railroads himself, or to allow his son to lead a life of foolish and expensive idleness and gross debauchery, or to purchase some scoundrel of high social position, foreign or native, for his daughter. Such a man is only the more dangerous if he occasionally does some deed like founding a college or endowing a church, which makes those good people who are also foolish forget his real iniquity. These men are equally careless of the working men, whom they oppress, and of the State, whose existence they imperil. There are not very many of them, but there is a very great number of men who approach more or less closely to the type, and, just in so far as they do so approach, they are curses to the country.
Fred adds his own two bits at the end, and I have to agree with him:
But note that nearly every phrase and sentence stakes out a position squarely opposite to that of the Republican Party of 2010, which has become the flagship of the ignoble, mere money-getting, insensible to duty, regardless of principle, bent-on-fortune, stock-speculating, railroad-wrecking, heir-debauching, iniquitous, careless, oppressive, nation-imperiling curses to the country.
Listening to the Tea Party "anger," I am struck by how many people who claim to be so damn angry about the country today, posit a position of "I got mine, you can fuck off." The American dream is a powerful myth, but of late, it seems to be one with an expiration date. "Sure, we invested in society and in people before, and allowed the creation of the largest middle class in history. We subsidized higher education and home ownership, and invested in infrastructure that spawned billions in private wealth. I benefitted from all of that. But having benefitted from that investment, and having become very comfortable, I will fight tooth and nail any single tax increase (even as middle class (income) taxes continue to be lower than anytime in recent history) and will instead claim that I am over-taxed. I will additionally claim that my taxes are wasted and really mean that those funds are going to unworthy types. Sure, I was helped, but I will not help this generation one bit."


1 comment:

Bob said...

Teddy Roosevelt: Communist.

"I have got mine, now fuck off" pretty much describes those who followed the "greatest generation". I guess the boomers should be considered the worst generation.