30 Apr

When I’m Queen

I don’t know about elsewhere, but on the public radio station I listen to, the President’s address on Saturdays is followed by what the announcer calls “the Opposition response.” This annoys me to no end. Response is for debates and conversations, not addresses. I find this very disrespectful to the position of POTUS. I’d rather hear the “Opposition” give their own address later as a stand alone statement without staging it as a refute.

I am saddened that Obama’s call to stop oil subsidies (you think gas is expensive NOW, it’s subsidies that keeps it so low. Europe pays twice as much than we do and it has forced them to live a lot more sustainably. If the US paid the real cost of oil instead of the cost lowered by subsidies, then solar, wind, and bio would be much more competitive price-wise) was met with pushback that we should be paying less. I believe that, as Thomas Friedman writes in “Hot, Flat & Crowded,” we are driving in a car with poor brakes, in the fog, towards a cliff. The Opposition today seemed to think that we should continue full speed ahead and somehow the cliff either doesn’t exist, or we’ll have time to change our habits as we plummet off the precipice. Yeah, that’s what’s bugging me today.

Had I sat down to write this a few days ago I would have started with my annual contribution check to hubby’s and my IRA accounts. We use our tax refund each year to help with the contributions to either our retirements or our kids’ college funds. We’d write those checks even without the tax refunds, but they do make it easier. What I don’t do is put that refund back into the economy with purchases. So, I wonder, how many people are actually stimulating the economy with their tax savings as the politicians insist is happening? And that top bracket that’s supposed to be using the savings to create jobs — is it really their personal tax savings they would be using? Wouldn’t it be business taxes that define better when jobs could or could not be created? Am I misunderstanding that taxes to businesses and taxes to individuals are different? Do the Bush tax cuts apply to everything equally? Because I’m thinking that yes, it’s unfair to tell the top bracket that they personally are making too much money and should give some back in the form of letting those tax cuts expire for them only. Let my bracket pay too. The Clinton years weren’t so bad. I say let the Bush era cuts expire for everyone — with the exception of the very lowest tax bracket only — because THESE are the people who really could use a little extra cash in pocket.

When I’m queen I’ll let the tax cuts expire for all but the poorest; I’ll cut or at least modify corn, soy, and oil subsidies; I’ll invest in public transportation, wind, solar, and finding a way to use all that fryer oil we create to run the cars we love; I’ll cut military spending, not by asking the military to do more with less, but by rethinking just how and where we want to use the US military (see Weinberger), and by reinstating war bonds or a war tax; I will give women choices; I will recognize civil unions for matters of legality like property, taxes, child custody, and medical decisions, and let marriages be recognized only as spiritual unions governed by individual churches, temples, and other places of worship (so they can define it however their books require); and I’d like to make universal health care a reality, though I don’t really know how to do it (I’m pretty sure vouchers that are not inflation-proof is not the answer, and maybe capping pharmaceutical prices or bulk purchasing power is).

Since I’ll never actually BE queen of the United States, now all I have to do is vote for a politician who’s platform comes close to what I’ve outlined above. Ha. I might as well renounce my citizenship and move to Canada right now.

10 thoughts on “When I’m Queen

  1. It’s amazing to me. I live in Colorado Springs (well work there anyway) and it is mostly a conservative stronghold in Colorado, I however, could be one of your ladies in waiting were you queen. Living here, I didn’t know there were actually others out there who hold such similar views. I lived in Germany for two years and loved the public transportation system in particular. No one is isolated because they can’t afford or don’t want to own a car. If there’s an election for queen anytime in the near future, you’ve got my vote!

  2. Boy does your post ever resonate with me. I am a Canadian and we go to the polls tomorrow. the person I want to be PM will never get there but I have a hard time voting for either of the other two main parties. So I will choose to vote strategically meaning vote so that our current PM does not return to office..he scares the pants offa me. So it’s not all roses here either. However, on the point of gas prices there is an economist I hear on CBC on the way to school who explains things in a way I can understand. I am a high school chem teacher not an economist so I need help with GDP and the DOW JONes etc. he says we should tax the he’ll out of gas then and only then will people use public transit, carpool etc. I think he’s right. My husband And I drive to school together , he’s at a different school, and while it is inconvenient sometimes working around someone else’s schedule, it is far cheaper at the pump. We drive 35min to work and we are the only car we ever see with 2 passengers ,our 3rd occupant retired a year ago. The extra taxes could pay for health care, education, improving public transit etc.
    This same economist also told of a study that if everyone in the country paid 10percent taxes on their earnings , no deductions etc, we would be flush with money and have no national debt. I love this idea but I know the big CEO’s etc would all claim to make only 10,000 a year even though their houses would be part of the salaries, all travel , their cars and the multitude of things which could be covered by their companies wouldn’t show as salary and the poor schmoes like us would dutifully pay our ten percent while the big paycheque people would once again skate. Can you tell we are doing our taxes this weekend.
    Anhui, my chest feels lighter having vented , thanks for such a thought provoking post. Have a great day, Ann

  3. I read this with a little insight into what the top tax bracket feels like. My grandfather was in the top tax bracket in the early 60’s and so hate the fact that the government took so much of his money to share in ways he felt inappropriate that he gave to charities he believed in, and tried desperately to lose money through “bad” investments. He invested in things that he loved and believed in, but he didn’t feel that the new plan by the Government to make sure there were no poor wouldn’t work. He felt that charity would work better. He wrote papers on the cost of what the Government interference in charity would cost. He showed that the the implementation of the welfare state would cost at least 25 percent of every dollar for the poor to go into the implementation of the programs. He also showed that this money would lead to the use of this money as a political football. He was right and the money that he was taxed was pretty much wasted in his view. He gave tens of thousands to church charities that helped the poor in South America. He gave tens of thousands to charities that educated poor children in inner city New Orleans and Dallas. He started businesses that employed others. The class envy thing is really not valid in a lot of cases – there will be selfish people always, but we cannot legislate a giving spirit or proper usage of resources. There are people at all ends of the spectrum that will lie and cheat no matter what we believe to be correct. I have found good and bad in all classes, political parties and religions. We have to stop thinking in concept of one versus the other and look at ideas that work.

  4. Thanks, Kristin, for expressing lots of my beliefs:

    Respect for those who are doing their best in a hard world [POTUS]
    Facing reality, not living an illusion
    Public transit
    Tax breaks for the poorest, not the top dogs
    Basic health care for all

    Hmm, not sure that a monarchy can get us there either. Need LOTS of courageous people.

  5. 1)”Public transit” common.. I’m from Germany. I know what public transportation is. I loved it there. It will NOT work here. What good is it to have fast train system if there is no PT when you get to your town. Germany has trains but ALSO buses, streetcar (tram) system to get you to your final destination.
    2) NOBODY wants to pay more taxes. Including military people. Is it not true that when your husband was in Iraq he did NOT have to pay tax?
    The rich do not want to pay more because, because,
    the old do not want to because, because.
    the poor who do pay taxes do not want either.

    My solution for our broken country is END ALL the wars! I do not see our president doing it how he promised!! It is breaking us financially. All those years/people lives/money wasted and nothing was accomplished.

    ALL that money that we could saved. We would have plenty for health insurance etc.

  6. If not Queen, perhaps Madam President? If Palin can garner support with her wack-a-doo ideas, imagine what you could do! Oh, I forgot, you make sense.;) We pay taxes, every year, and while it is not my favorite activity, it is what it is. Now, we could hire tax lawyers and special accountants that would tell us how to avail ourselves of the loop holes. That seems dishonest to us. However, those in the 1% group that Obama wants to tax more, do exactly that. They are masters at evading higher taxes and aren’t embarrassed to do so. Everyone needs to re-learn the basics of treating each other fairly and honestly. On a lighter note, did you watch the President and press corp dinner yesterday? It is on you tube and some wonderful jabs at Trump by Obama and Seth Meyer. Well worth watching.

  7. I’m so proud to have a daughter running for Queen! But I have a question…
    Why is it noble for a rich person to spend his money earned in the US on the poor in 3rd world countries with corrupt governments, while it is wrong for our “developed” nation to provide health care and transportation for all (paid for with taxes) like other developed nations do?

  8. Kristin, all good questions, with reason and logical conclusions. Maybe a campaign slogan like “Kristin for Queen! Put your heads back on!”

  9. You DID probably vote for someone that wanted all those things. The people that voted did just that.

    The thing is if you are Queen (or King) you’d not get to do it. A Parliament does. If you ran for Prime Minister on that platform, you’d get elected but not be able to do it! Constitutional Monarchies I’m thinking here. And they are politicians who get pressured into compromises. Argh! Unless you are an absolute monarch, and then you are just another dictator and I don’t see you as that! It so rarely goes well. Kristin the dictator might be fun, but oh boy! It ends badly so often.

    HOWEVER, I hope you DO get to be Queen, I’m all for it!!!!!!

    And then you could also ban rude, stupid people to the dungeon where they belong! Guantanamo for them! Off with their heads! (Or to some other country you irrationally didn’t like.) But we’re always all rational, right?!

    Maybe you would could say, If am Queen, I will close the dungeon! No torture! Queens just don’t have to put up with bad behavior, so what to do?! Now I’m stressed out over you ruining your life being Queen. Just when it was going so well!

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