We’re getting to be two Americas

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● The owners of Government Motors propose to fine competitor Toyota $16.4 million for allegedly failing to act quickly enough to notify the feds of potential acceleration problems. The government and the United Auto Workers union need to be out of the car manufacturing business. They’re in conflicts of interest.
● Headline: “Americans overtreated?” Of course. When somebody else is paying the bills, as they are with medical care, abuse is inevitable. Unless — as may be the case in the future — services are rationed as demand grows far faster than the supply of nurses and physicians. Georgia is ninth in population and 39th in physician supply, the president and executive director of the Physicians Foundation write in an AJC op-ed. Some 76 percent of primary care physicians responding to a 2008 survey say they were at full capacity or overextended. A 100,000-physician shortage is projected over the next 10 years to 15 years.
● Eureka! A school board learns from past mistakes in this revolving-door business of hiring superintendents. It cost DeKalb taxpayers $410,000 to get rid of former Superintendent Johnny Brown after two years on the job. The current superintendent, Crawford Lewis, has been invited to gas-up elsewhere. Smarter contract sense should keep his pay-out to about $85,000. Note to public hiring authorities: There is no public-body savior, no must-have leader, no can’t-lose flapdoodle expert. Buy integrity and competence at a reasonable salary and leave them be to do their jobs.
● A group identified as “civil rights activists” is alarmed at what an American Civil Liberties Union official calls “an ongoing trend that we are seeing not only in Georgia but throughout the country that funnels children into the school-to-prison pipeline.” That pipeline doesn’t start in the schools. It starts in the never-formed two-parent families. The overwhelmed public schools struggle with the impossible task of salvaging human lives from the broken and missing parts.
● Why, you wonder, do “activists,” such as the Concerned Black Clergy that’s holding press conferences activizing about immigration reform, so consume themselves with issues where they are bit or inconsequential players at the expense of issues in the neighborhood where they could matter — preaching on the importance, for example, of having a married mama and daddy raising children? Speaking “truth to power,” though, is confined to political adversaries, not to cultural trends embraced by those in the neighborhood.
● Most all that the Social Democrats who run Washington do has the effect of devaluing personal responsibility as an essential element in building stronger families and communities. Knowingly buy more house than you can afford? No problem. Government will bail you out and pressure lenders to write down principal. Gamble that you won’t need health insurance? No problem. You can get it when you need it. Save for retirement, nursing home or college? No need. Government will be there.
We’re getting to be two Americas: Those who depend on themselves and their families and those who depend on government. One works to achieve financial security; one votes to achieve the benefits financial security affords. The Tax Policy Center projects that 47 percent of income tax filers this year will pay nothing. As recently as 2007, it was 38 percent. Top 10 percent of earners pay 73 percent of the tax burden. Senior tax policy analyst Curtis Dubay of the Heritage Foundation lays it out: “We have 50 percent of people who are getting something for nothing.”
● See Georgia. It is spectacular this time of year.

139 comments Add your comment

Mid-South Philosopher

April 8th, 2010
8:22 pm

Good evening, Jim (I am writing on Thursday night).

Wonder how one gets to be in that 47% that pays nothing in the way of income tax? My wife has always insisted that I work and that has always led to an annual tax bill.

Wonder how the Social Democrats are going to deal with their freeloader constituency when they enact the coming Value Added Tax? In reality, a “national sales tax”, the VAT is going to hit everyone, unless the Marxists work out a way to excuse their “politburo” members…you know, that traditional tribe that has existed on the dole since time immemorial!

Comrade

April 8th, 2010
9:12 pm

hard to believe “Progressives” will enact a VAT tax when all intelligent people know that sales/consumption taxes are so ‘regressive.’ Thank God for the few percent of people in this country that are so industrious and provide for most of the rest of the country

Robards

April 8th, 2010
9:16 pm

Good evening, Jim. Amazing that a family of four with two kids under the age of 18 pays nothing. It’ll be interesting to see what this country looks like 20 or 30 years down the road. Yep–we can look forward to the VAT next year.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 8th, 2010
9:19 pm

Good evening all. Governments ought not be in the business of impoverishing the citizenry. I would abolish fines. If someone did something wrong, put them in jail. Don’t punish innocent shareholders.

Jim’s health “over-treatment” note – OPM, “other people’s money – is also a significant element in the general growth of government. Those who take the goodies don’t have to pay for them, and so demand more free goods to be paid for by their neighbors. OPM They are mere thieves, using the guns of government to plunder the productive.

The members of the DeKalb school board are spending OPM. They don’t care.

On behalf of white folks everywhere, I wish to apologize for the misplaced priorities of the Concerned Black Clergy.

Social democrats know only OPM.

Averroes

April 8th, 2010
9:28 pm

Last of the dinosaurs, Jim? You, sir, are a clown.

StJ

April 8th, 2010
9:48 pm

Two Americas – the one that believes that islands can, uh, tip over and capsize (and other assorted nonsense), and uh, the rest of us that know better.

Madison

April 8th, 2010
9:51 pm

Averroes, Tis far better to be a clown than a moron. I would guess you are in the “give me” crowd.

Wee Willy

April 8th, 2010
10:08 pm

Jim, I look forward to reading your now occasional editorials and reflect on reason from the only sane voice on the AJC editorial board. I hope that you don’t retire permanently. I quit taking the paper years ago (for good reason) and if you leave, I would have to retire from reading it on-line as well.

Thanks for what you do.

GOP is gone

April 8th, 2010
10:11 pm

Knowingly almost bring down the global economy with your abuse of the financial system? No problem, here’s your billions and wait, just because we like you….here’s your bonus too!

You have no healthcare? Tough, I have mine and you having yours might make me have to wait longer, so screw you.

I would ask those questions Jim.

GOP is gone

April 8th, 2010
10:13 pm

I would also ask how Exxon Mobile paid zero income tax by fancy dancy loop holes Jim

Bill

April 8th, 2010
10:17 pm

Jim, always good to hear your predictions of gloom and doom because of “those people” that do not pay their way. It certainly is great to be able to blame someone else for all our troubles – if only they worked as hard as we do. I certainly wish you had some answers – NOT you only have blame!!

Unlike Wee Willy, I will really be GLAD when you are gone!!

Mit

April 8th, 2010
10:40 pm

Jim, your comment on black clergy and their priorities is a bit “black always = single mom” you think? I do. If I heard it come from your mouth I would be looking for crinches by others who may have heard it too. How exactly does americans being over treated for health concerns mean they are all freeloaders? If they pay for health insurance you think they just stop going to the doctors office? Effects of devaluing personal responsibility and VAT, does this mean you two would legalize recreational drugs for money through VAT and which would increase personal responsibility by letting the person decide? Didn’t think so.

Knowingly buy more house than you can afford? No problem. Government will bail you out and pressure lenders to write down principal. Why you yelling at Bush, I thought he was your boy? He loosened the regulations to make it happen.

Gamble that you won’t need health insurance? No problem. You can get it when you need it. You obviously don’t know how health insurance works. Much like car insurance you can’t buy it after the wreck and expect it to cover it. The only thing is I have had the same car insurance company since 16. I wonder what my premiums would be for keeping the same health insurance for 16 years.

Save for retirement, nursing home or college? No need. Government will be there. Will it? Where is this coming from?

Mit

April 8th, 2010
10:46 pm

ragnar, impoverishing the citizenry is bad? I though that was your base? Abolish fines and just add jail time. Brillant idea there. Then you and Jim can complain about all them freeloaders. Without fines whose paying the jailers, genius?

David

April 8th, 2010
10:53 pm

Republicans used to be fiscal conservatives, but now there are none. Both parties are bought and paid for by banks, insurance companies, as well as oil and coal.

Two Americas? I don’t think so. If you looked at the heat maps of foreclosures, there were just as may in East Cobb, Suwanee, and Alpharetta as in South Dekalb.

When it came to buying more house than they could afford, blame lay across the spectrum of financial class, from the buyer to the real estate agent and of course the mortgage company.

Jim, when your party comes up with actual solutions instead of being the party of NO, I for one will welcome them. We need government representatives and Senators who actually work on behalf of their constituents and when not doing that, leading the way to rebuild our country.

Americans may be divided by ideologies, but most want the same things – a chance to make a better future for their children, their communities, and the country. We need politicians who can lead people back to finding their common ground and end the madness that is driven by media pundits, false grassroots movements, and misinformation.

Kona

April 8th, 2010
11:14 pm

Jim, I agree with Wee Willy. You are the only “ray of sunshine” on the AJC editorial staff. I also cancelled my AJC subscription years ago.

Keep up your level-headed good sense commentary. We need you out here.

Howard

April 8th, 2010
11:28 pm

Jim…Barack Hussein Obama spelled out in his past interviews and his stupid books exactly what he was going to if he got power. But the 50% of the idiots in this chose to ignore him and vote for him because he was an African-American and maybe their guilt could be assauged bt voting for him. Remember Germany did the same thing with Hitler. We’re living in the late 1930s w/ a man in power every bit as dangerous as Hitler or Stalin or anyone. Democrats are right about not labeling terrorists Muslim and such…because they’re not the biggest threat to this country. It’s the Democrats and their puppet leader Obama and his Stalinist regime. Oh, remember what happened in 1941? We’re living in a year similar to 1940…next year look out. Oh, I hope the Democrats are going to enjoy what their man-child does to them when in November they get the worst beating in political history. Then Obama pulls an LBJ and declines to run in 2012 and guess who comes to the rescue? Hillary.
Black leaders dare not tackle problems in the hood like unwed mothers, drugs, dropouts, gangster rap, etc., because they’d have to look in the mirror and accepting responsibility for their failures is not their modus operandi. blaming the whites or others is the way to go to keep the race-baiting business alive and well.
Finally….the great story that is Jason Heyward…Hank Aaron wishes for more Jason Hayward’s…Hank, you might get more of him and more blacks in baseball if more blacks had a mom and dad. A mom and dad that are educated and raise their child to be educated and humble and to work hard.

Robards

April 8th, 2010
11:52 pm

Meant to say that a family of four with a total income of $50,000 pays no taxes.

Ron

April 9th, 2010
12:02 am

In 2008 a Russian think tank published a ‘White Paper’ which predicted the break-up of the United States. The paper based the prediction on the extreme – social, economic, political, and regional diversity of the U.S. Maybe their prediction wasn’t too far fetched.

It is has been this way

April 9th, 2010
6:25 am

It is has been this way for a long time…a few people are starting to see America for what we have become…60% of the U.S. is about people wanting entitlements for nothing…no fear of deep debt…now we are dependent on the Asains to bail us out…this will end soon as interest rates head to Mt. Everest soon…we will default on our debts and it will be over.

BitterEXdemocrackkk

April 9th, 2010
6:30 am

Jim, you are SOooo RIGHT about Government Motors! How do I break my recent attraction to newer GM products? (and I also drive a 2001 GMC now). Their new models are attractive, but
the stench of the government involvement is ‘cost’ prohibitive…Id sooner buy a Toyota now!

barneyb

April 9th, 2010
6:38 am

Spot on, Jim! I am so sick and tired of subsidizing sorryness. In America, anyone can have anything if they just work for it! Too many thugs, punks, scumbags, and sorry excuses for human beings that have their hand in my wallet!

Road Scholar

April 9th, 2010
6:41 am

A larger % not paying any taxes? Man, we REALLY need to get rid of those Bush tax cuts! Do you think that it may be due to low paying jobs, or even the high unemployment? Duh!

stw

April 9th, 2010
6:49 am

The top 1% pay 40% of the freight and 50% pay nothing. What happens when this 1% has nothing left for you to take???

NorthGAgirl

April 9th, 2010
6:51 am

AMEN to everything brother!!!!!

Gina

April 9th, 2010
6:51 am

It is so disheartening to read these blogs where the right wing radio devotees just regurgitate what they heard from Boortz, Hannity or Limbaugh. I work and I pay taxes. I am not a “moocher.” However, let’s look at the numbers. Once you take out the social security, medicare, state taxes and health insurance, how much is that family of 4 left to live on? Don’t forget the sales taxes they pay and, oh, yeah, they are supposed to be saving for their own retirement. Want more people to pay more taxes? Spread the wealth. Yes, I said it. Stop the erosion of the real value of wages for working people. Stop the concentration of wealth in the hands of just 1% of the population. Add some morality back into the mix. Some of you sound like such fools when you call into these radio shows. Don’t you know that when Boortz talks about “producers,” he doesn’t mean us working stiffs? He doesn’t mean YOU. He ridicules people who have jobs like driving a bus. No, his “producers” are the rich, like himself. That 1% wants to keep its money and they are using YOU to do it.

dawg

April 9th, 2010
6:53 am

How about this solution? Voting is proportional to the amount of taxes you pay.

stw

April 9th, 2010
7:01 am

Karl Marx couldn’t have said it better…Stop the concentration of wealth !! Redistribution. Level the playing field..Depend on the gov’t to take care of you from womb to tomb. The founding fathers would not recognize this country now.

TW

April 9th, 2010
7:18 am

Yes, two Americas.

Those who help others, and those who rationalize reasons not to…

The right wing ought try getting laid :)

midtownguy

April 9th, 2010
7:20 am

dawg, I’m willing to go even simpler than that. To vote in the November election, bring proof that you filed an income tax form in April. That would eliminate the non-payers (which would include several Georgia legislators).

HDB

April 9th, 2010
7:27 am

We already ARE two Americas: those who have and want to keep others down…and those who have not and desire to achieve.

Jason T

April 9th, 2010
7:30 am

@Gina

Spread the wealth?!?! What gives you or the Imperial Federal Government, the right to reach in other people’s pockets and “spread the wealth” as you see fit??? To use for your crazy, wacky redistribution schemes? “Add some morality to the mix”???? Do you find it “moral” to confiscate by the power of the Almighty Government??? Keep drinking the class warfare kool-aid, and The Community Organizer will control your whole life. It’s obvious that you want Government to control everyone and everything. I’ll choose Freedon and Liberty.

on0mrbill

April 9th, 2010
7:33 am

When the F*** is grass roots America going to wake up and take this country back?

JD

April 9th, 2010
7:35 am

That must be a mistake about Exxon paying zero taxes. Because we have the highest corporate tax rates in the world, every corporation pays their fair share and somebody else’s as well.

JD

April 9th, 2010
7:36 am

Midtown guy, why don’t we just institute literacy tests and white culture tests? That’s where you’re really going, isn’t it?

JD

April 9th, 2010
7:38 am

on0mrbill, your country isn’t lost; you just can’t see it because of the log in your eye. Remove log. See. It’s that simple.

JD

April 9th, 2010
7:41 am

While we’re at it, we could institute sentencing guidelines of three times the sentence for crack cocaine users versus powder cocaine users…. Oh, wait. Done that already.

Check!

joyce

April 9th, 2010
7:41 am

Hang in there Jim; I’m for you 100%. I’m saddened to see my country go down the tubes. Don’t have any answers, but will keep supporting the ones who can provide them. Our strong family values and work ethics are not confined to one nationality. We just need more of the good folks to pull together.

on0mrbill

April 9th, 2010
7:42 am

JD, I will remove the log when you pull your head out! See. It’s that simple.

Mid-South Philosopher

April 9th, 2010
7:42 am

I have an idea.

Why don’t all us “rich”, old fat men…you know the ones who have worked a regular job or two or three, tried to save a little bit, never had millions but knew what it was to live on a budget, paid our taxes and didn’t enjoy much benefit from the Bush tax cuts because our investments were not all that much…why don’t we just quit! Get a pair of cut-off jeans and a screwy cap turned sideway, stand out in front of Walmart and beg change. If enough of us do it, there will not be enough people to pay for the dole that we provide that 47% that are not paying anything. H*ll, Barry can spread some wealth our way for a change! Hehehehe!

JD

April 9th, 2010
7:44 am

Good one, on0mrbill. Classic, actually. Couldn’t have done better myself.

Jason T

April 9th, 2010
7:54 am

Wooten

Nice to see sanity in the AJC. With Luckovich, Bookman, and little Cindy Tucker, I was thinking the AJC was all comics.

Ohreally...

April 9th, 2010
7:54 am

@Mit – 10:45 pm

“Jim, your comment on black clergy and their priorities is a bit “black always = single mom” you think?…”

When over 70% of the babies born into the black community are born out of wedlock, you ARE getting dangerously close to ‘black always = single mom’. And then you wonder why your schools are falling apart, and why more black men go to prison than go to college. And don’t try to blame it on sentencing guidelines…powder OR crack cocaine…if you don’t sell drugs, you WON’T go to prison for selling drugs.

Quit trying to blame everyone except those actually responsible for the problems in your community.

Real American

April 9th, 2010
7:58 am

America will be fine once these tea party folks finally die out, which looking at the rallies, will be pretty soon.

GBO

April 9th, 2010
8:00 am

there is a tremendous amount of misinformation written here today. Personally I would be in favor of a flat tax for EVERYONE. This whole idea of making exceptions for him or her because (fill in the blank) is crap. I pay for more than my share because I am a single higher wage earner. What is ignored in the shuffle by so many “socially conscious” people is that I busted my bakcside for every penny of that and sacrificed while many were not. I also bought a home with a fixed mortgage that I COULD AFFORD. Personal responsibility…it is a unique concept these days that people should look at.

Jason T

April 9th, 2010
8:00 am

America will be fine once these Libs and Dem folks finally die out, which looking at the polls, will be pretty soon.

Always2America's

April 9th, 2010
8:04 am

FYI… Mr. Wooten, we have always been two America’s.

GBO

April 9th, 2010
8:06 am

Gina and Real American…why don’t you try WORKING for it rather than expecting the governement to take it from those of us who HAVE and GIVING it to those who haven’t. I don’t owe you anything.

GOP is gone

April 9th, 2010
8:10 am

Jim, You rail on irresponsible people and their buying more house than they can afford. Have you looked at the foreclosures listed on FMLS? There are plenty of high end homes in foreclosure along with low income properties. Since the right seems to parrot each other about the poor banks having their collective arms twisted to lend to poor people, how do you explain the high end foreclosures?

I find it more than a coincidence that the recent murder suicide of the prominent GOP congress woman happened on the day of their foreclosure notice. Were they irresponsible too?

T-Steel

April 9th, 2010
8:11 am

The Concerned Black Clergy are just looking for issues to get publicity. As an volunteer in the inner city (yes I am a community organizer), I see everyday the causes and results of destroyed families. And it isn’t pretty. The Concerned Black Clergy do not want to tackle the problem head on so they latch on to other issues. Because to tackle the real problem head on would cause to Concerned Black Clergy to look at themselves as well. And it isn’t pretty.

GBO

April 9th, 2010
8:13 am

High end foreclosures are the same as low end foreclosures…people bought more house than they could afford, mortgaged them to the hilt with variable rate mortgages, and planned on inflation bailing them out.