Friday, August 22, 2008

I Have A House, One

I have a house. I like my house, it is a pretty nice place to live and nicely appointed, with finishes most people don't have. It has features that belong in pretty upscale houses, but there is something other than wealth that has to do with that. I am a construction contractor. I bought a small and quite run down and somewhat damaged 1870s Victorian. Not the big painted lady Victorian, this was the 'double-wide' of the era and built with standards that would be laughed at today. It is a nice house because I put virtually the entire loan into materials and labored like a dog on it - for free. It did cost me my weekends and all my evenings, into early morning hours and a personal construction work week of over 100 hours for months while living in the mess and with an outhouse for a bathroom. Astonishingly, my wife stayed married to me.

I know how many houses I have - one - and I also know what the monthly payment is and the tax bill and when all of these are due. With all the advantages of running a business I do not manage the Oregon median income in a good year (this isn't one). I don't complain about my income, I chose this line of work for other reasons than getting rich. I don't complain that other people make quite a bit more than I do with less exertion and risk. I do complain when someone insists that the wealthy need help staying wealthy and that they do not take the largest benefit out of the system. I not only complain, I scoff when such an argument is made by someone pretending to understand average Americans who isn't sure how many houses he owns - or his wife owns - or their company owns in their interest. Now I do admit I begin to get somewhat angry about such things when the ignorant party has made an issue about the opponent's celebrity or 'elitism.'

I do not deny a person empathy or understanding on the basis of wealth. I do deny them such on the basis of their policies and statements. Franklin Roosevelt was a child of wealth and a wealthy man who demonstrated in word and deed his concern for ordinary Americans. John and Robert Kennedy were wealthy and beloved by ordinary Americans. There are examples galore of wealthy individuals who gave concrete demonstrations of their understanding of the lives of plain citizens. John McCain just doesn't happen to be one.

Let's start at the beginning, George II's tax breaks for the wealthy, McCain wants to make them permanent - on the basis that they'll trickle down; which has not happened once in history. If wealth trickled down the era of the Robber Barons would be called something else. According to John the oil companies need tax breaks and additional incentives. According to McCainomics the American economy is fundamentally sound...we're debt ridden, our military is broken, everyone under the top half of the economic scale is watching their real income slide, the blue collar has been losing ground throughout BushCo, the divergence in wealth distribution is at historical highs, and banks are imploding. On the latter we already have a concrete demonstration of McCain's concern, it was for Chuck Keating not his depositors. Phil Gramm is still McCain's economic advisor, yes "whiners" Gramm, the architect of the Enron loophole and banking loopholes - including lobbying for USB, a foreign bank (in trouble - bank). If you are not wealthy, these people have nothing to say to you or are willing to do for you.

John McCain is a lying hypocritical bastard, POW and all. If you take his "honesty and maverickness" of today as a measure of his behavior in Hanoi you'd have to have doubts about its narrative of today. No, that isn't some partisan BS. Check his ads and statements against the facts and you'll find them wanting in truthfulness - either that is something new or he has always been a liar and manipulator of reality. I was not in Hanoi or Vietnam, but I sure know plenty who were that are entirely unimpressed with McCain's reliance on POW as CiC credentials. I get pretty pissed off with liars, I don't mean a misstatement, I mean lies. McMaverick only exists as a campaign mantra and media invention, there is nothing there at all, look at the record over the last 6 years.

John McCain can have all the respect he earns from me, but he'll have to earn it on something other than the ability to get shot down and play it to the media. Today he's earned my regard as an unprincipled prick...


KISS said...

You're right about McCain all all points.
I would like to know why Oregon Dimmos are afraid to have corporations pay taxes? Over the years i have watched a close to 50/50 taxation to the now dwindled to 80/20 with corporations paying the 20...if we are so lucky.
Is Obama better than McCain? Not by much for a two-party system.

jsg said...

POW! Right in the kisser.

Sorry. Nicely stated, as usual.

His attempts to make wealth about some sort of spiritual capital have left me wanting to scream and laugh at the same time. Granted, I agree that some billionaires are unhappy. I learned money isn't everything by hanging out with some very rich, really screwed up and incredibly miserable people.

But when a wealthy cat tries to garner sympathy for the guys who never have to worry about getting health care, paying the bills, keeping his job or eating in the middle of a not-supposed-to-call-it-a-depression you know that cat is going to Screw You Over and not pay for the cab afterwards.

Chuck Butcher said...

KISS, go to Obama's site and look at his tax proposals - there is a real difference.

Is Obama left enough for me to be real happy? Of course not, but that's a given since he won the Primary.