Dear Fellow Taxpayers,
Barack Obama and John McCain, compared to almost every one of us, are members of the country's elite. The difference is, that Barack Obama knows the reality of the experience of those who live at the opposite end of the spectrum and he is less likely to just forget those people or think that, in a sense, they don't really exist or matter.
Would I like to spend a Saturday evening with either of our commander-in-chief candidates? Not really. Why not? Because I'm not really in their class, and the upper crust make me feel kinda nervous. Well, maybe one evening with Barack and Michelle, just so I could tell my bedside attendants when I get to the nursing home. But I don't think even one with 'McPale' and his running-mate because their humor is a little too crude for me. I used to like that sort of thing more when I was a teenager.
This election is not about electing a black man as president or a first female VP. It's about getting someone who has a group of people around him who are educated enough to be aware of what the problems are, and how to address them in a way that benefits as many people as possible, not just a fortunate few at the top with the expectation that they will allow some crumbs to trickle down to the rest of us. We need an intelligent team who can handle subtleties and complexities as well as the forthright and obvious stuff. McPale's intelligence seems to have shown itself to be superficial and opportunistic, as witness the selection of his running mate. The various people I've seen interviewed around Obama seem very knowledgable and articulate.
My dear fellow taxpayers, we all know how onerous it is to be the main taxpaying base. We all know how much our society has slipped since so many local revenues have been diverted to homeland security, with no apparent results. One might say we have not had any more violent terrorist activities since 9-11. Of course, we didn't have any before 9-11 either, with the exception of the American-created Kansas City bombing and a previous attempt on the World Trade Center, which had long been a political target. So, since the status quo has been steady with just one or two (albeit dramatic) incidents, I don't see that the homeland security funds have yielded any appreciable results. But that's a whole 'nother topic.
The point I want to make is: yes, there are many of us, although not most, who are making an income of over $250,000.00 per year from owning a small business, and don't want to be taxed. But my dear, dear friends and neighbors, just consider: without income to support programs for the less fortunate and to provide public services that extend also to us, we will be living in a miserable world, surrounded by a crumbling infrastructure, masses of poverty-stricken unhappy and even more angry people, slipping standards of safety that affect all of us, and our children and grand-children will be exposed to incurable contagious diseases, pollution will begin to affect their havens such as The Hamptons, and the world will be a much less safe place even for the most privileged among us. Some of you may think this has already happened, but trust me, this is just the beginning. Please don't vote from your pocket-book's perspective. Penny-pinching now will cost you Big Dollars later, and it may already be later than you think.
Just the other day, I was driving around Lake Merritt in Oakland, and was observing ordinary citizens walking around the Lake, or stopping to gaze at the twin fountains that grace each end of this man-made loch, with its ring of beautiful buildings glinting with many colors in the evening sunlight. I couldn't help but think how fortunate we were that our ancestors designed our cities and built them to reflect their high ideals about the people of our land, and to embody their determined intentions regarding the public good. They understood, having fled poverty and prejudice in the old country, the importance of a new society in which the distance between the high and the low was not inapproachable and no class of people are consigned to permanent penury. The opposite were the methods of the Old World, where tax-monies simply went into the pockets of the rich to be dispersed at their whim. No, our New Society was to be a government By the People and For the People, Under God, and our tax dollars meant to be put toward serving the Public Good.
The question for Nov 4th is, which kind of world do you want to live in?