I was thinking about Republicans today - and the tea partiers — and I was thinking that they have FREEDOM and GREEDOM mixed up — please speak up if you disagree. I love good infrastructure and the only way we have good infrastructure is with taxation. BRING IT ON.
I totally agree with Betty, and more than that, I have always maintained that I am delighted to pay out most of my earned income in taxes if I have a short list of 10 things guaranteed by the federal government.
Let me state publicly that if the U.S. government in partnership with the states and local municipalities can guarantee the following 10 items, I will gladly pay out 80% of my income in taxes, and I will do so with a smile:
1) Anyone in the United States regardless of status would receive full and free healthcare including unlimited mental health care including drug/alcohol treatment,
2) An extensive mass transit system in every major metropolitan that was quick and affordable including FREE transportation for the homeless and the working poor,
3) Rapid rail lines connected every major metropolitan region of a state AND bullet trains in between major metropolitan areas from state to state connecting the entire nation in a web of super fast/green travel,
4) Free, quality, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education through the PhD level (with every school receiving even a single federal dollar required to enact a decision making structure, including financial decision making, with equal representation from community and school based constituencies: students, instructors, professional staff, union staff, administrators, and representatives from the geographical locale in which the school is located),
5) Federally guaranteed maternity and paternity leave, for each parent or a guardian of the parents choice, with two months fully paid salary with the cost to be split between the federal and state governments with a 1/3 covered by the employer.
6) During recessions or other economic emergencies anyone that loses his or her job would immediately qualify for state funded re-training in a new vocational field OR a new post-secondary degree in a field substantially different than his or her original and/or one full year of unemployment payments for any employee that wishes to remain in his or her field of choice but is let go from a position for anything short of willful malfeasance that would qualify as materially damaging to the organization/company or is punishable as a criminal/civil offense,
7) A minimum livable wage requirement with mandatory cost of living adjustments AND merit pay increases except when a company could prove to a labor relations board comprised ENTIRELY of wage workers and union representatives that it would be an undue burden to the company to increase wages (also, in any year that a company has laid off workers, executives in that company would be banned from any level of bonuses including long term stock options,
8) Any military expenditure would have to be matched dollar for dollar by domestic entitlement, federal grants to nonprofit organizations, block grants to states, aid to local governments, and social safety network spending that directly supported the lives and well being of U.S. residents specifically excluding now and forever abstinence only education programs,
9) Long term low interest or no interest loans for first time working class home buyers REGARDLESS of credit history as long as a steady income stream is proven and has been maintained for at least two years, and
10) A constitutional amendment to ban anyone from public office for all time that voted for, is related to, or ever had a relaxing dinner at home with anyone connected to the Bush family. (I am willing to be flexible on this one).