• Sharebar

Spoiler Alert: This is why the GOP got spanked in the 2012 elections, and why they will likely be spanked again in 2014.

Over the weekend Grover Norquist came out of the woodwork waving his little tax pledge around, trying to keep the Republicans following his marching orders.

Reading this article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend made so clear to me what the GOP's real problem is: they are completely out of touch with the real world. This is the root cause of the party's image issues with Hispanics, Asians, women- basically everybody who isn't a white male.

From Americans for Tax Reform's website:

We believe in a system in which taxes are simpler, flatter, more visible, and lower than they are today. The government's power to control one's life derives from its power to tax. We believe that power should be minimized.

Fact: we the people, via our elected leaders, have chosen to have a government that is more involved than not in our daily lives. In exchange for that, we have to pay for it. For a long time we haven't been paying what we should for it. So we have two options:

  1. Hack and slash our way to a balanced budget.
  2. Raise taxes for everybody.

Continuing to borrow more money is not a long term solution. Ask Greece and Co. how that's working out for them.

I'm all for individual liberty, etc., but I'm also a realist. I honestly don't have a problem with my taxes going up if it means that long term the country is more stable and I can get more benefits that would normally cost more if the government didn't provide them.

God forbid we do things like the Germans do.

I do however have a problem with the concept of a tax increase being essentially a blank check for yet more reckless spending. I understand that's what Grover is trying to fight, but he's completely missing the other part of the equation: issuing debt. As long as the ability to borrow money is essentially unlimited, his little pledge has no meaning.

Ultimately though it's not about taxes, it's not about abortion, it's not about starting wars. Fewer people are relating to the GOP because they have fewer things to relate to. The party isn't changing with the times, they don't just get it. That's why people like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are still running around.

Of course it would be great if nobody paid any taxes, but still collected all the government benefits. Unfortunately that's not the framework in which we are operating. It's about willingness to compromise, and all options need to be on the table. Grover can take his little tax pledge and shove it, because there's real work to be done.

We have to consider all the options in our daily lives. I think it's fair that we hold our leaders to the same standard.

1

The WSO Advantage - Land Your Dream Job

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation. Learn More.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from Finance Pros

Land More Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your Mentor

Realistic Mock Interviews. Learn More.

Comments (24)

  • Hank Rearden's Boss's picture

    I, too, adhere to the "Grover Norquist is a Turd Burglar" theory. I also throw support to the "Grover Norquist Has Stupid Glasses and Likely Sports a Chode" platform. However, I do take significant issue with one point you make in this patriotic rant:

    "I honestly don't have a problem with my taxes going up if it means that long term the country is more stable and I can get more benefits that would normally cost more if the government didn't provide them."

    Would you be implying that the government provides societal benefits more efficiently than the private sector does? I can certainly understand the potential merits of tax hikes; however, I also accept the fact that the government likely will not be able to use the additional dollars quite as effectively as smaller organizations. C'est la vie, right?

    "Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter."

  • Stringer Bell's picture

    This--I can't say is very well founded. Sure I've read some papers on arguing that a higher income tax on people who pay the taxes (let's not kid ourselves) would reap the benefits of all this trickle down government economics. First off, whether that's true or not, I think Barry doesn't give a shit this go around and is going to follow through on his initial intent to enact some sort of wealth redistribution directly or indirectly. I just can't get on board with this band-wagon pareto improvement that everyone feels entitled to. It is seriously fucking demoralizing, given how hard I have to work to have 39% of my monthly salary go to feeding so much stupid bullshit that the government deems is appropriate use of "their revenue", gtfo. The Georgetown Law bitch, perfect example. Birth control doesn't move the needle fiscally one bit, even if you shelled out for a lifetime supply of o-rings and plan-b for low 5 slut out there for the next 100 years, wouldn't even be noticeable fraction on what we spend in one year on free healthcare for illegal immigrants. But for some reason, it's her god given right to be subsidized for that, and that took precedent over some serious fucking problems this country has.

    The GOP may be dated and out of touch, but guess what? The new gen y-ers and their creative douche bag culture that voted Obama back in, in my humble opinion, are the truly detached from the harsh realities of what could be in store for America if we head the Greece route. My generation (gen y-ers), from my perspective, are likely the most sheltered and spoiled generation of human's that's ever walked this earth. If you're to believe popular culture, we're all in pursuit of self worth and significance but want to be spared any hardship to get there. Everything has to be displayed by a latest generation apple product, 4-5 5-7 day long vacations a year, pictures of gourmet dinners on instagram all set to the tune of some bull-shit indie band that they heard on Spotify yesterday. Everything's instant gratification, low drag and low accountability. This doesn't seem to bother anyone of us because, none of use have jobs; and if we do it's likely in low impact roles at company as so we won't fuck anything up or be late all the time OR it's doing something creative (which we really seem to have too many people working on) where personal interpretation set's the standard for your occupation. give.me.a.fucking.break.
    What's the most alarming, is none of us give two, flying fucks - much less a sense of respect - for our elders and what they worked for to provide slush ball lifestyle we suck off of today. Kids in my generation view anything that our parents / grandparents stood-for or valued as archaic, dated and homophobic/racist/bigoted/sexist/proved wrong by some stupid research paper put out by Swedish university.

    My grandpa, when he got back from getting his ass blown off in the Philippines in WWII and watching some of the worst horrors man can behold for almost 3 years, he still couldn't afford college with GI bill with my grandmother pregnant. So you know what he did? Nope, didn't tweet about how shitty it was with hashtags over lever up 20x to nothing for communications / journalism degree. He went to every auto shop in town to see if someone would hire him as an apprentice. After going to like 15 places, one agreed to give him a job for no pay for the first 6 months until he proved himself. He'd work from 5:30 AM till they closed 6 days a week, and after work would go pick pecans off the dirt in the pecan orchards that got passed over by the daily scrub to feed my grandma and his kids. I wouldn't want to have to go through that, like fucking ever, I like disposable income and sleeping in till 3:00 PM on Saturdays. But what's sad, is the ethic and grit my grandpa had (and I don't think he was uncommon then) is fucking gone, extinct from my generation. There was some serious fucking shit that had to be endured in the first half of the 20th century by average Americans; and I'm pretty sure if we're ever faced with similar woes, we might fucked.

    Rant, over.

  • WayToWealth's picture

    olafenizer:

    Of course it would be great if nobody paid any taxes, but still collected all the government benefits. Unfortunately that's not the framework in which we are operating. It's about willingness to compromise, and all options need to be on the table. Grover can take his little tax pledge and shove it, because there's real work to be done.

    That pretty much sums up the arguments from both sides. GOP says less taxes and less benefits; Dems say more taxes to open up more of the mentioned "government benefits." Those are pretty fundamental differences that distinguish the parties.

    That said, it is the job of the GOP to win voter support NOT by giving in and supporting large government, but by selling voters the importance of free market and individualism. I strongly agree that they need to do a better job selling this to middle-class families and minority populations.

  • SirTradesaLot's picture

    ^^Don't idolize all previous generations. The Baby Boomers are a HUGE part of the fiscal problems we have now. You don't know entitled until you talk about extending the SS age by a year or two or even enacting lower cost of living adjustments to the 55+ crowd. We all will be paying for their drunken spending for many years to come. Let's not pretend these are new problems. People born before 1930 are different, but there are less and less of them around now.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • lasampdoria's picture

    Why would anyone not making under 200K a year ever support the GOP? Their policies do not add value to the average American's standard of living.

    Even more disturbing, why would anyone making under 40K support said party? Seems like a WACC>ROC situation where no matter what happens, you're destroying value.

    I am not a liberal left-wing ultra my any stretch (Libertarian) but come on. Is being rational not a part of the standard American's thought process? Do they even have said process?

    The only way we will get out this mess, is by compromising. And Democrat/GOP negotiations seem like an M&A guy trying to negotiate with a 2 year old. It's hard to get anything done when all the kid does is sit around crying and throwing his own shit at people.

    "Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

  • In reply to lasampdoria
    BTbanker's picture

    lasampdoria:
    Why would anyone not making under 200K a year ever support the GOP?

    Going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you just worded that wrong.
  • txjustin's picture

    Said government benefits are a major part of the problem. I have a mom and dad, don't need the .gov to take care of me.

  • In reply to BTbanker
    lasampdoria's picture

    BTbanker:
    lasampdoria:
    Why would anyone not making under 200K a year ever support the GOP?

    Going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you just worded that wrong.

    Haha yeah BTbanker. My bad

    "Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

  • In reply to Stringer Bell
    Going Concern's picture

    Stringer Bell:

    My grandpa, when he got back from getting his ass blown off in the Philippines in WWII and watching some of the worst horrors man can behold for almost 3 years, he still couldn't afford college with GI bill with my grandmother pregnant. So you know what he did? Nope, didn't tweet about how shitty it was with hashtags over lever up 20x to nothing for communications / journalism degree. He went to every auto shop in town to see if someone would hire him as an apprentice. After going to like 15 places, one agreed to give him a job for no pay for the first 6 months until he proved himself. He'd work from 5:30 AM till they closed 6 days a week, and after work would go pick pecans off the dirt in the pecan orchards that got passed over by the daily scrub to feed my grandma and his kids. I wouldn't want to have to go through that, like fucking ever, I like disposable income and sleeping in till 3:00 PM on Saturdays. But what's sad, is the ethic and grit my grandpa had (and I don't think he was uncommon then) is fucking gone, extinct from my generation. There was some serious fucking shit that had to be endured in the first half of the 20th century by average Americans; and I'm pretty sure if we're ever faced with similar woes, we might fucked.

    Thanks for the rant. Very refreshing. I especially enjoyed how you implied that all those gritty grandpa bros engaged in all that masochism by choice. As if those very same bros wouldn't be spewing hashtags and instagrams all over the place if they were brought up in today's world. How kind of you to arbitrarily place the inhabitants of a random time period on a pedestal. People are adaptable. People take advantage of their current situation as much as possible to maximize comfort, while simultaneously doing what is necessary to survive. That's as true today as any day in the history of mankind. Human nature doesn't change. Nothing new. Your eloquent description more reflects their time period and circumstances, not necessarily their personal character specifically. Just to be crystal clear.

    "He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."

    "Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent."

  • CalTex Analyst's picture

    The reason people who make less than 200K a year should support the GOP/Libertarian parties is this amazing little thing called the American Dream.

    The American Dream is that each one of us has the right to get out there, work our asses off and ultimately either succeed or fail based on a mixture of our own natural competence, work ethic and hopefully a little timing/luck.

    The other part of that dream that nobody talks about is that you will ultimately have to live with the results of your efforts. You may fail, and in that case, it's time to grab your bootstraps and pull yourself up. Eat some humble pie, take whatever menial job you can find to get by and figure out how you can improve so that you don't fail next time. It isn't time to tweet that life is unfair and that the rich guy down the street doesn't deserve it. It sure as hell isn't time to cry to the government that life is hard and you want a handout (read: welfare).

    On the other hand, if you succeed, you are entitled to this thing called the "fruits of your labors". Congratulations- whether it was dumb luck or an extraordinary mixture of intelligence and hard work (most likely a mixture of all of the above), you succeeded and you are entitled to enjoy your wealth. Go buy your yacht and party with supermodels or start a non-profit and find a way to mitigate the pain of those people who truly are suffering and have no way out. If you're truly a BSD, go out and do it again. Create an empire and a legacy. Hopefully you aren't a miserly bastard who hoards it all, but if you are, then so be it.

    When my forefathers got off the boat at Ellis Island, they weren't coming in demanding free healthcare, retirement benefits, welfare, educational subsidies or any other handout you can think of. They came in with a hunger to go out and work their asses off to provide for their families. This attitude created the most prosperous and innovative country in the history of mankind.

    I personally think this "Great Experiment" is over because we have a substantial portion of our population who subscribe to the idea that they would rather have the security that comes with government control than the opportunity that comes with freedom. Our government is a republic, and as such, it's policies have gradually shifted to reflect the views of the this segment of the population. These policies are stifling innovation and further creating a risk averse population that prefers a 9-5 over getting out and possibly creating something great.

    In conclusion, the reason no one making less than 200k a year will vote GOP/Libertarian is that Americans no longer believe in the American Dream. I just hope that those Americans voting Democrat understand that their vote may help them monetarily in the short term, but in the long term (or medium/ short-medium term for the doomsdayers) their policies will collapse the system that our forefathers fought so hard to create.

    That's all for tonight. Here's to the hardliners who refuse to compromise on the American Dream.

    "Utter commitment to the task at hand."

  • In reply to CalTex Analyst
    andres17's picture

    CalTex Analyst:
    The reason people who make less than 200K a year should support the GOP/Libertarian parties is this amazing little thing called the American Dream.

    The American Dream is that each one of us has the right to get out there, work our asses off and ultimately either succeed or fail based on a mixture of our own natural competence, work ethic and hopefully a little timing/luck.

    The other part of that dream that nobody talks about is that you will ultimately have to live with the results of your efforts. You may fail, and in that case, it's time to grab your bootstraps and pull yourself up. Eat some humble pie, take whatever menial job you can find to get by and figure out how you can improve so that you don't fail next time. It isn't time to tweet that life is unfair and that the rich guy down the street doesn't deserve it. It sure as hell isn't time to cry to the government that life is hard and you want a handout (read: welfare).

    On the other hand, if you succeed, you are entitled to this thing called the "fruits of your labors". Congratulations- whether it was dumb luck or an extraordinary mixture of intelligence and hard work (most likely a mixture of all of the above), you succeeded and you are entitled to enjoy your wealth. Go buy your yacht and party with supermodels or start a non-profit and find a way to mitigate the pain of those people who truly are suffering and have no way out. If you're truly a BSD, go out and do it again. Create an empire and a legacy. Hopefully you aren't a miserly bastard who hoards it all, but if you are, then so be it.

    When my forefathers got off the boat at Ellis Island, they weren't coming in demanding free healthcare, retirement benefits, welfare, educational subsidies or any other handout you can think of. They came in with a hunger to go out and work their asses off to provide for their families. This attitude created the most prosperous and innovative country in the history of mankind.

    I personally think this "Great Experiment" is over because we have a substantial portion of our population who subscribe to the idea that they would rather have the security that comes with government control than the opportunity that comes with freedom. Our government is a republic, and as such, it's policies have gradually shifted to reflect the views of the this segment of the population. These policies are stifling innovation and further creating a risk averse population that prefers a 9-5 over getting out and possibly creating something great.

    In conclusion, the reason no one making less than 200k a year will vote GOP/Libertarian is that Americans no longer believe in the American Dream. I just hope that those Americans voting Democrat understand that their vote may help them monetarily in the short term, but in the long term (or medium/ short-medium term for the doomsdayers) their policies will collapse the system that our forefathers fought so hard to create.

    That's all for tonight. Here's to the hardliners who refuse to compromise on the American Dream.

    What a bunch of bullshit. You make it sound as half the population of the US wants to work and achieve the "American Dream" and the other half are just moochers. Nothing can't be farther from the truth. I believe the problem is rooted in the big income disparity that exists in this country. Compare the US with the other developed countries, and the US has a super big income disparity. A lot of US employees just earn the minimum by law. That's the reason they don't pay FEDERAL taxes. If they did, they would not be able to FEED themselves. I find it funny whenever I see the TV show Undercover Boss, and the boss is impressed with this worker that has been with the company for 5 years, earning the minimum wage. And at the end, the boss gives them a raise. Where was that raise in all the previous years. I understand that different roles have different pay. But each and every year, CEO's incomes grow at 30% while most of us get 2%, and some years even 0%.

    I have a Masters in Engineering, work in a F500 company, and whenever I see my CEO getting a 30% compensation increase, and me getting a 2.5% and a pat in the back, I get really pissed. There's no way I would ever get a 30% salary increase. The most you get is 8% when you get a promotion. The CEO of my company makes 350 times what I make. Is he really worth that much? Does he add that much value to the company? How do you measure that? In my company, the product is designed by engineers. We make the products, we make the innovations. And I can talk for most of my peers when I say we don't feel appreciated financially speaking. Now, if this is an issue with a person of my education, imagine how much worse it is with lower level employees. And make no mistake, a society needs lower level employees. If all of us where engineers, doctors, lawyers and bankers, who the heck would pick the damn tomatoes?

    People like you are just blind to what is happening. The middle class is contracting, while the upper class is getting richer every day. They are increasing their salaries while leaving everybody else behind. That's why we have and need a progressive tax system. The right thing to do would be for companies to compensate their employees more fairly. CEO's pay package need to come down, average worker pay needs to go up. But we know that won't happen. So the government has to do the job. Tax the rich, and use that money to give aid to all the people that are just barely making enough money to survive. The "American Dream" is a thing of the past. Back in the 1950's, average Americans could find a good paying job, mostly in manufacturing, that allowed them a nice life. Nowadays, the only jobs for average Americans is flipping burgers or working at Walmart. Manufacturing jobs are being sent to China and other cheap labor countries. The trend going forward is for more hardship for peoples with no college education. And those with a college education, also more hardship since our salaries are competing and losing the battle to inflation. So unless I join the executive club, which not everyone can, I probably would be going down a ladder.

  • In reply to Going Concern
    Stringer Bell's picture

    Going Concern:
    Stringer Bell:

    My grandpa, when he got back from getting his ass blown off in the Philippines in WWII and watching some of the worst horrors man can behold for almost 3 years, he still couldn't afford college with GI bill with my grandmother pregnant. So you know what he did? Nope, didn't tweet about how shitty it was with hashtags over lever up 20x to nothing for communications / journalism degree. He went to every auto shop in town to see if someone would hire him as an apprentice. After going to like 15 places, one agreed to give him a job for no pay for the first 6 months until he proved himself. He'd work from 5:30 AM till they closed 6 days a week, and after work would go pick pecans off the dirt in the pecan orchards that got passed over by the daily scrub to feed my grandma and his kids. I wouldn't want to have to go through that, like fucking ever, I like disposable income and sleeping in till 3:00 PM on Saturdays. But what's sad, is the ethic and grit my grandpa had (and I don't think he was uncommon then) is fucking gone, extinct from my generation. There was some serious fucking shit that had to be endured in the first half of the 20th century by average Americans; and I'm pretty sure if we're ever faced with similar woes, we might fucked.

    Thanks for the rant. Very refreshing. I especially enjoyed how you implied that all those gritty grandpa bros engaged in all that masochism by choice. As if those very same bros wouldn't be spewing hashtags and instagrams all over the place if they were brought up in today's world. How kind of you to arbitrarily place the inhabitants of a random time period on a pedestal. People are adaptable. People take advantage of their current situation as much as possible to maximize comfort, while simultaneously doing what is necessary to survive. That's as true today as any day in the history of mankind. Human nature doesn't change. Nothing new. Your eloquent description more reflects their time period and circumstances, not necessarily their personal character specifically. Just to be crystal clear.

    I suppose. Environment does mold character (or lack there-of). I think that was exactly my point. Shit's not the same and I feel that post the election this is a different America; shit, it probably has been for a while. It's kind of hard to articulate - the feeling I lost for America - but I guess a good analogy would be: you know sometimes when you're a little bit drunk (or a lot) and the Team America theme ("America, Fuck Yeah") comes on, and of course you start singing it cause you're drunk and it's funny and everyone likes that movie but as an educated and traveled young adult you know it's parody on right-wing American jingoism and don't take it seriously due to the absurd / incentive lyrics; but for me, I could give to fucks if people think I'm messed up for this, but kinda deep down in my heart, sang that song with goddamn conviction.

    I mean c'mon America (was) the best fucking country this miserable little planet has ever had the privilege to host. It's a place that I thought was fucking awesome because American's are fucking champs, because any douche bag from any shit hole on the planet can come here to legitimately seek a better way of life as a rational and free agent under the parameters of laws that aren't handed down from a Sheik who thinks women should hop in a fire upon the death of their husbands because that society values them pari parsu to stray dogs, because that same douche bag will also be free from some dickhead and his tribesmen hacking up him and his family to death just because it was an off year that a bunch moss grew on your side of the river or some fucked up shit, because we have a military that will protect his skinny ass that is unparalleled across recorded history in ethos and might (for now anyway), because at one point if that same skinny douche bag had balls, brains and heart to accomplish what truly wanted this was the place for him / her to do so, because our founding fathers architected the most outstanding and meaningful revolution to ever be put forth by human thought on top of stringing up the most powerful empire in the world at the time and playing them like a banjo with a bunch of shovels and random garden tools, because the right to own a firearm (according to our Bill of Rights, for now anyway) is placed second only in priority to being able to say whatever the fuck we want, because we've had incredible hero's, too numerous to even try to mention, who believed so passionately about all those things too that without hesitation, a silly religious state enforced dogma, fear of bringing dishonor to your family for a thousand years or even simply the enticement of earthly reward sacrificed their life and limb because they loved the shit out of America; certainly shouldn't be discounted because they didn't have a fucking iPad a time, give me a break you fucking prick.

    Sure, my sentiment is likely foolish and cheesy to the point of onsetting nausea to someone like you. I recognize how I felt for this country is unsubstantiated by high level psycho-analysis and lacks your Ayn Rand bleak objectivism, but no worries y'all defeated us right-wing / non-conforming lunatics pretty soundly and opted for a guy that loves America so much that he all ways follows through on having Will Farrell, that ginger terrorist fucker from Homeland and his other Hollywood asshole cronies over to the White House (which is typically reserved as a great honor for Americans) but definitely not on the promise he made the SEALs who waxed Bin Laden (of course which he had no problem riding that shit all the way to four more years) to do the same. That guy doesn't give a shit about America, I don't need to dissect his every movement to see that. It's the millenials country now. Have fun with your free birth control, debt going to 100% of GDP, dwindling world influence whatever other PC bullshit you want to enforce in some fascist manner.

    Oh last thing, my grandpa would've eaten cake bowl full of tetanus laced glass shards before he'd express any-type of emotion with a fucking hashtag, FYI.

    Out

  • Ovechkin08's picture

    I have to hand it to the left wing parties in the West, they have found a way to make every socioeconomic group dependent on state support. They bail out wealthy too big to fail bankers, prop up house builders, bail out employees of car companies, use tax money to hand out student loans to middle class kids and promise never ending health benefits for the elderly. How can any fiscally conservative party ever compete with that?

    As for the GOP, as someone who hates corporate welfare, crony capitalism and perpetual wars against Eurasia, Eastasia and Oceania I was delighted to see Mitt fall flat on his face. I hope the GOP wakes up and becomes a fiscally conservative party (it hasn't been in a long time) and drops the socially conservative nonsense.

  • In reply to Stringer Bell
    Going Concern's picture

    Stringer Bell:
    [...] Sure, my sentiment is likely foolish and cheesy to the point of onsetting nausea to someone like you. [...]

    Seems like you're enamored with hardship for its own sake. And using it to construct an ideal which you use to paint a certain retelling of people and history, and then assign that ideal to an arbitrary group of politicians, when almost all politicians are a bunch of slimy bros trying to maintain power by appealing to various constituencies. Nostalgia is denial, denial of the present. And all events are composed of multi-faceted players; people are part reason, part emotion, and chock full of personal biases and conflicting self interests. Their actions vary depending on which time period you dump them in, but most of the underlying motivations stay the same. Also, how about the hardship of living through 9/11? Of living through the worst economic decline since the 1930s? Cut the millenials some slack, bro.

    Stringer Bell:
    Oh last thing, my grandpa would've eaten cake bowl full of tetanus laced glass shards before he'd express any-type of emotion with a fucking hashtag, FYI.

    #glassisdelicious

    "He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."

    "Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent."

  • In reply to Hank Rearden's Boss
    olafenizer's picture

    Hank Rearden's Boss:
    I, too, adhere to the "Grover Norquist is a Turd Burglar" theory. I also throw support to the "Grover Norquist Has Stupid Glasses and Likely Sports a Chode" platform. However, I do take significant issue with one point you make in this patriotic rant:

    "I honestly don't have a problem with my taxes going up if it means that long term the country is more stable and I can get more benefits that would normally cost more if the government didn't provide them."

    Would you be implying that the government provides societal benefits more efficiently than the private sector does? I can certainly understand the potential merits of tax hikes; however, I also accept the fact that the government likely will not be able to use the additional dollars quite as effectively as smaller organizations. C'est la vie, right?

    I think in some areas the government can do it better and more efficiently than the private sector, thus the government should provide those services instead of leaving it to the private sector. These are the areas in which I believe the government should be involved in.

  • In reply to andres17
    CalTex Analyst's picture

    andres17:
    CalTex Analyst:

    When my forefathers got off the boat at Ellis Island, they weren't coming in demanding free healthcare, retirement benefits, welfare, educational subsidies or any other handout you can think of. They came in with a hunger to go out and work their asses off to provide for their families. This attitude created the most prosperous and innovative country in the history of mankind.

    I personally think this "Great Experiment" is over because we have a substantial portion of our population who subscribe to the idea that they would rather have the security that comes with government control than the opportunity that comes with freedom. Our government is a republic, and as such, it's policies have gradually shifted to reflect the views of the this segment of the population. These policies are stifling innovation and further creating a risk averse population that prefers a 9-5 over getting out and possibly creating something great.

    I have a Masters in Engineering, work in a F500 company, and whenever I see my CEO getting a 30% compensation increase, and me getting a 2.5% and a pat in the back, I get really pissed. There's no way I would ever get a 30% salary increase. The most you get is 8% when you get a promotion. The CEO of my company makes 350 times what I make. Is he really worth that much? Does he add that much value to the company? How do you measure that? In my company, the product is designed by engineers. We make the products, we make the innovations. And I can talk for most of my peers when I say we don't feel appreciated financially speaking. Now, if this is an issue with a person of my education, imagine how much worse it is with lower level employees. And make no mistake, a society needs lower level employees. If all of us where engineers, doctors, lawyers and bankers, who the heck would pick the damn tomatoes?

    This is exactly the point of view that is slowly rotting America from the inside out.

    Let me get this straight. You worked hard, got an education and successfully got an upper middle class job in engineering at a F500 company. You have a higher quality of life than 99.999% of the humans who have ever walked this earth due to the man who presumably risked everything to start the company you now collect a paycheck from. What in the world are you complaining about? Do you honestly feel entitled to more than that?

    Correct me if I'm wrong. You took no risk either by investing your own capital or sweat equity into a venture that may fall apart despite your best intentions/effort. You took the safe route. Engineers have a relatively low earnings ceiling if they don't start their own company. You made a decision to pursue this career. I'm sorry you and your colleagues "don't feel appreciated". Get your head out of the clouds and realize that you current financial situation is a product of your decisions.

    How much value do you add to your current company? If you honestly believe you deserve more compensation, switch firms or start your own business where your value-add can be measured more accurately by the market. I think you'll find that despite your education, many people/companies would rather utilize the services of an IIT grad who doesn't complain about "not feeling appreciated". That's globalization and it is the reality we live in.

    Do I think CEOs are oftentimes overpaid? Absolutely. The government redistributing that minuscule wealth won't do anything to help the the income inequality you are talking about.

    The larger problem is that Americans refuse to do what is necessary to increase their productivity. Communications and Women's Studies degrees are worthless. A high school diploma or GED is worthless. If you can't cut it as a doctor, lawyer, banker, consultant or engineer, you have two options to make a decent living. You can put your own ass on the line and start a company, or you can take a job where you get your hands dirty. There are plenty of unfilled jobs out there for people who are willing to get a vocational education and work hard.

    Hell, you can come down to South Texas in the oil patch right now with a GED and a clean drug test and start making six figures if you're willing to deal with the heat, keep your mouth shut and work hard. What it comes down to is that a certain proportion of America would rather sit in the air-conditioning, collect minimum wage and complain about how evil the "1%" are. That's pathetic.

    The world is changing and we have to change with it. Adapt or become obsolete.

    "Utter commitment to the task at hand."

  • In reply to Stringer Bell
    rogersterling59's picture

    Stringer Bell:
    This--I can't say is very well founded. Sure I've read some papers on arguing that a higher income tax on people who pay the taxes (let's not kid ourselves) would reap the benefits of all this trickle down government economics. First off, whether that's true or not, I think Barry doesn't give a shit this go around and is going to follow through on his initial intent to enact some sort of wealth redistribution directly or indirectly. I just can't get on board with this band-wagon pareto improvement that everyone feels entitled to. It is seriously fucking demoralizing, given how hard I have to work to have 39% of my monthly salary go to feeding so much stupid bullshit that the government deems is appropriate use of "their revenue", gtfo. The Georgetown Law bitch, perfect example. Birth control doesn't move the needle fiscally one bit, even if you shelled out for a lifetime supply of o-rings and plan-b for low 5 slut out there for the next 100 years, wouldn't even be noticeable fraction on what we spend in one year on free healthcare for illegal immigrants. But for some reason, it's her god given right to be subsidized for that, and that took precedent over some serious fucking problems this country has.

    The GOP may be dated and out of touch, but guess what? The new gen y-ers and their creative douche bag culture that voted Obama back in, in my humble opinion, are the truly detached from the harsh realities of what could be in store for America if we head the Greece route. My generation (gen y-ers), from my perspective, are likely the most sheltered and spoiled generation of human's that's ever walked this earth. If you're to believe popular culture, we're all in pursuit of self worth and significance but want to be spared any hardship to get there. Everything has to be displayed by a latest generation apple product, 4-5 5-7 day long vacations a year, pictures of gourmet dinners on instagram all set to the tune of some bull-shit indie band that they heard on Spotify yesterday. Everything's instant gratification, low drag and low accountability. This doesn't seem to bother anyone of us because, none of use have jobs; and if we do it's likely in low impact roles at company as so we won't fuck anything up or be late all the time OR it's doing something creative (which we really seem to have too many people working on) where personal interpretation set's the standard for your occupation. give.me.a.fucking.break.
    What's the most alarming, is none of us give two, flying fucks - much less a sense of respect - for our elders and what they worked for to provide slush ball lifestyle we suck off of today. Kids in my generation view anything that our parents / grandparents stood-for or valued as archaic, dated and homophobic/racist/bigoted/sexist/proved wrong by some stupid research paper put out by Swedish university.

    This. The country is truly going down the shitter. I have no problem with the government (and my tax dollars) going to help people who work hard and still need a little support, but this is just getting fucking ridiculous...
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-27/americas-...
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-27/when-work...

    I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  • In reply to olafenizer
    Hank Rearden's Boss's picture

    olafenizer:
    Hank Rearden's Boss:
    I, too, adhere to the "Grover Norquist is a Turd Burglar" theory. I also throw support to the "Grover Norquist Has Stupid Glasses and Likely Sports a Chode" platform. However, I do take significant issue with one point you make in this patriotic rant:

    "I honestly don't have a problem with my taxes going up if it means that long term the country is more stable and I can get more benefits that would normally cost more if the government didn't provide them."

    Would you be implying that the government provides societal benefits more efficiently than the private sector does? I can certainly understand the potential merits of tax hikes; however, I also accept the fact that the government likely will not be able to use the additional dollars quite as effectively as smaller organizations. C'est la vie, right?

    I think in some areas the government can do it better and more efficiently than the private sector, thus the government should provide those services instead of leaving it to the private sector. These are the areas in which I believe the government should be involved in.

    Certainly understood. Could you provide a few specific examples, though? In all honesty, after doing some consulting for Federal clients I am strongly biased against the notion of government doing anything efficiently. So admittedly, there may be a few things I'm not seeing due to a tainted lens.

    "Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter."

  • In reply to Hank Rearden's Boss
    duffmt6's picture

    Hank Rearden's Boss:
    olafenizer:
    Hank Rearden's Boss:
    I, too, adhere to the "Grover Norquist is a Turd Burglar" theory. I also throw support to the "Grover Norquist Has Stupid Glasses and Likely Sports a Chode" platform. However, I do take significant issue with one point you make in this patriotic rant:

    "I honestly don't have a problem with my taxes going up if it means that long term the country is more stable and I can get more benefits that would normally cost more if the government didn't provide them."

    Would you be implying that the government provides societal benefits more efficiently than the private sector does? I can certainly understand the potential merits of tax hikes; however, I also accept the fact that the government likely will not be able to use the additional dollars quite as effectively as smaller organizations. C'est la vie, right?

    I think in some areas the government can do it better and more efficiently than the private sector, thus the government should provide those services instead of leaving it to the private sector. These are the areas in which I believe the government should be involved in.

    Certainly understood. Could you provide a few specific examples, though? In all honesty, after doing some consulting for Federal clients I am strongly biased against the notion of government doing anything efficiently. So admittedly, there may be a few things I'm not seeing due to a tainted lens.

    Low cost health insurance
    Large scale infrastructure
    Aerospace & Defense
    Large scale R&D
    Public safety

    "For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

  • In reply to CalTex Analyst
    andres17's picture

    To unlock this content for free, please login / register below.

    Connecting helps us build a vibrant community. We'll never share your info without your permission. Sign up with email or if you are already a member, login here Bonus: Also get 6 free financial modeling lessons for free ($200+ value) when you register!
  • In reply to duffmt6
    Hank Rearden's Boss's picture

    "Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter."