By David Glenn Cox
I want to try and clear up a misunderstanding. Some how people have got it into their heads that Republicans don’t like high taxes. As a boy I grew up in a community with only eight registered Democrats in the precinct. My parents and my best friends’ parents made up four of them. Highest property taxes in the South Chicago suburbs. Famously high taxes, but their taxes worked better than nine-foot wall with barbed wire and machine gun nests. Community fathers took that money and poured it into the school system. Nine-foot wall, check. Good schools, check. Enclave created check.
While living in Ohio, I was employed in former professional men’s room attendant, Gym Jordan’s congressional district. The locals called it the bubble. Many an income was lacking the zeros to live in this zip code. High property taxes and good schools too. One guy was building a 20,000 square foot house with an art gallery and a display room with turntables for his exotic automobile collection. Can you imagine that? A guy with that kind of money wanting to live in northern Ohio when he has the money to escape? But the problem with being this poor for this long. Is I can’t even dream of what I would do with that kind of stupid income. He would send his man down in the ice and snow and rock salt in the Ferrari to pick up a bale of pine straw. I don’t think the Italians have a word for rock salt. I’m pretty sure they don’t have a word for rustproofing.
But high taxes are useful, high taxes are our friend. Anyway, it wasn’t one of those million-dollar super car Ferraris. Just your run of the mill 200K, two-year-old plain Jane Ferrari. He had purchased a sculpture for the yard while in Germany. And paid for five guys for six months to bring it from the Fatherland and reassemble it on his lawn. Now, multiply that wealth times a congressional district and you can see how Gym Jordan got elected and continues to get reelected. “Now Gym, I got a real big check here for you, but it comes with one stipulation. Don’t you change a fucking thing! Do you hear me boy? Any time you begin to feel antsy like you want to do something you just come back, and I’ll give you another check.” At the far end of town is the annex. A section of town annexed into the bubble and inhabited almost entirely by African Americans, better known as Racial Diversity Heights or the Football team farm.
Too poor to understand wealth, it isn’t how high the taxes. It’s who is going to pay them. The Biden team supports raising taxes on wealth with enhanced enforcement to pay for the infrastructure program. Republicans propose raising the gasoline tax. Do you know what raising the gas tax will cost a man using a Ferrari as a work truck? Do you know what raising income taxes on a man using a Ferrari as a work truck might cost? He might be forced to buy the cheaper sculpture from Hong Kong with four guys or turn off the turn tables to save electricity. An enclave of wealth with their own gerrymandered congressional district.
The rationalization of greed. It’s not that I’m against giving you a banana in principle. But if I do, you might ask for another and then another and after all, they are all my bananas. It’s all how you look at it, I guess. California governor Gavin Newsome will use the state surplus and Covid emergency funds to pay the back rent for thousands of its citizens. If I were a Republican Landlord in California right now, I’d nominate this guy for sainthood. Tens of thousands of dollars saved in legal fees and litigation. And I get a paid in Full! “Those god damn Democrats and their big spending government programs! Big government always getting in the way of the natural business cycle. But I suppose just this once, we can tolerate it.”
I cannot imagine the stress and anxiety of owing 20 or 30K in back rent with a family staring at me. I can’t imagine the relief of having that burden lifted. (Jesus saves your soul, big government just saved your ass.) All slates wiped clean. A workforce ready to start again. How many families were saved rather than destroyed by economic calamity? (When money flies out the window loves walks out the door.) How many won’t end up of in divorce court and visiting the kids on the weekend?
If you don’t know what wealth is, how can you tax it? I had a customer who rented a house in Pensacola on the beach for three months. The rent was $3,000 a month, thirty years ago. My customer didn’t spend the whole summer in Pensacola. He commuted back and forth to Montgomery in a helicopter he bought. I know it sounds extravagant, but he swore he got such a good deal on it that he couldn’t pass it up. One of his neighbors was rich, with a weekly take home pay of $53,000 per week, thirty years ago. A $5,000 dollar pair of Bruno Mali shoes or a Gucci handbag start to sound like a real bargain. “Let’s fly Boston for clam chowder!” No, we did that last week.
“Hey, it says here, they are taking people to see the Titanic and it’s only $50,000 per person.” No, I’m saving my money for astronaut school. That’s only twenty-five million, unless the Democrats raise our taxes again! The only question which bothers me is…how do they sleep at night? How do you use a Ferrari as a work truck and bitch about your taxes? Living like kings and Earls in fine palaces with yachts and helicopters. Bitching about having to pay for the privilege of living as the 1% of the 1% most pampered sub-humans in the history of life on planet Earth.
Living in a bubble in the merry old land of wealth. I actually had a guy say this to me one Friday afternoon, after a long week. “I need an alternator as fast as you can get me one, my sailboat is broken down in the Bahamas!” Guess who paid list price? He didn’t care and I laughed all the way home. For him money was meaningless numbers on a page. Two or five hundred dollars to air freight an alternator to the Bahamas wasn’t even lunch money. I’ll make a charitable donation, (I’m a nice man! A good guy!) or maybe start a foundation and wash my hands clean and practice social (miles) distancing. Because if I give you a banana, you might want another one.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed.” – Gandhi
Please Like and Share, or I’ll get the Republicans to pass laws saying that you have too.