(1000+ posts) Mon Jul-04-11 03:01 PM
Original message I just met America's Biggest Hypocrite
It turns out my apartment is at the end of the route for the 4th of July Parade. I didn't go because I have to work tonight and needed my beauty sleep.
The local teabagger group was breaking down their float right in front of my place, so I decided to have a little bit of fun with them.
Let me describe the float: Ground Force Manufacturing is a company based in this county. They convert Caterpillar equipment into other things. The float in question was an elevated platform truck. I found out from the teabagger who accosted me later that the machine costs $1 million.
For entertainment, I opened a new document in InDesign, typed "RAISE TAXES NOW!" on it, centered the text, made the letters real big, printed it out, went downstairs and held it up so they could see it. They weren't happy.
One of the teabaggers came over and told me the problem with America was taxes are way too high. "Did you know the top 1 percent pays 85 percent of all income tax?" (I let her know that the president of Viacom made $85 million last year, and he could afford to pay some taxes.) She also told me, "I bet you're in favor of raising taxes so long as your own taxes don't go up," to which I told her I wouldn't mind if my taxes go up, because it's the best way to support the troops. Oh, and there was the "Did you know GE paid no taxes?" line, to which I informed her of two things: most of the reason they don't pay taxes is their outrageous R&D costs, which are deductible (she didn't know General Electric does research!), and GE hasn't paid taxes since Nixon was in office so it's real nice of you conservatives to finally notice. (She also told me she wasn't a Republican--I told her half this state's population isn't affiliated with either party so that's not saying much.) "There have been times when taxes were lower. When Reagan was in office they were 28 percent!" (To which I naturally informed her the top tax rate for the 20 years after World War II was 90 percent, and America was never more prosperous. The subject got changed.)
Then she told me if you raise business taxes at all (remember, the 28 percent was PERSONAL income taxes) small business will have to lay off workers. "So we need to cut business taxes right now. My husband and I own a small business and we'd have to lay off half our workforce if taxes were raised even a little bit."
It turns out the small business they own was the company that made the machine their float was built out of.
"We have ten of those machines either finished or in production right now. All of them were made for a customer."
Always having been fascinated with large industrial equipment, I was curious, so I asked...
'What do you do with these? It seems like it's just a different kind of personnel lift.'
"It is. They're used for repairing bridges. This one will lift 20 tons, so you can lift both personnel and materials."
'Who buys something like this?'
"State highway departments, mostly."
'Which means tax dollars pay for these.'
She became visibly uncomfortable. "Yes. Tax dollars pay for these."
'How much of your equipment is bought by government agencies?'
"Right now, probably about half. When the economy is strong and private companies are buying equipment, it's about a quarter."
'So...your company would fold if taxes went up even a little, but you could survive losing half your business to government spending cuts?'
Let's just say I didn't get invited to next week's Second Amendment Supporters Democrat Bash.