Wednesday, April 14, 2010

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”-Thomas Jefferson

Still waiting for that one, Tom. But some of "the people" won't pay for libraries or schools.
This time of year, a lot of news stories -- even those from otherwise trustworthy sources -- open with the line "Nobody likes paying taxes..." As if this were a fully verified truth.
It is my patriotic duty to pay taxes. I find those who do not like paying taxes to be lazy derelicts and unpatriotic sociopaths who have no right to use my roads or services or take part in my democracy. Their sophistry about "not agreeing" with how the government spends their money is immoral and illiterate selfishness born of an intractable inability to think of others.
Today, these unfortunate fringe are given far more credence than their weightless palaver deserves, but they fill our teevee screens and radiowaves. They huddle in bunches, denying the most basic tenets of this nation, but since they can see only each other and hear their own words echoing back, they mistake those numbers for "majority," even in the face of crushing defeats at the ballot box -- and the embarrassment of their fellow citizens.
But there are still citizens of this nation who act as true patriots.
Who find them to be nothing but sickening.
from NPR:

Marnie Thompson defies the conventional wisdom that wealthy people don't like taxes.
She's on a public relations and lobbying campaign to see her own taxes go up.
"I'm proud to pay my taxes; it's a hallmark of democracy," says Thompson, the daughter of a wealthy businessman who gave $5 million she would have inherited to found a charity.
"As a wealthy person, I want you to tax me more," she writes to her elected officials.
And, more than likely, she'll get her wish.
Raising Taxes For The Wealthy
The series of tax cuts the Bush administration enacted in 2001 is set to expire at the end of the year. Income taxes for households with incomes over $250,000 (or $200,000 for single people) will go up, although Congress is expected to extend the cuts for those making less.
Dividend taxes, which had been cut to 15 percent, will very likely also increase, although it's not clear whether they will revert to the previous top rate of 39.5 percent. Likewise, estate taxes for the wealthiest Americans are also likely to increase. In addition, taxes to pay for the new health care legislation are likely to add to the tax bill.
If you ask Jeffrey Hollender, who along with Thompson is a member of the Responsible Wealth project, all of those cuts should go away because they primarily benefit the richest, like him.
"I do feel that I should pay more taxes — absolutely," Hollender says. "While I don't like how the government spends the money I give them, I do feel that I pay too little."

Attaboy.
By the way, the "charity" that Marnie founded is The Fund 4 Democratic Communities.

The Fund was founded in 2007 by Marnie Thompson and Ed Whitfield, two longtime community activists in Greensboro, N.C., with a strong belief in the power of ordinary people in neighborhoods, workplaces and other communities to figure out and solve their own problems when given an opportunity to put their heads together and hear the diverse voices of all involved.

After committing decades of her life's work to this belief, Marnie further committed her inheritance to it, establishing this foundation with a bequest from the estate of her father, the late W. Hayden Thompson, who built his wealth through his gas-fired burner business and diverse investments.

The funding began arriving in late 2007, and the balance is to be turned over to the Fund over the next five years. By 2013, our financial assets are expected to total around $5 million. By the standards of conventional philanthropy, that makes us a "small foundation." We're eager to see what this "small" amount of money can do, when it is joined with the power of people working together in democratic communities.

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