Who Am I?

Weekend Update 09-22-2012

Posted: September 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 09-22-2012

Deification (theosis) is also self-emptying (kenosis) for there is no other kind of life revealed to us in Christ. The fullness of life in Christ is found in His emptiness. Fr. Stephen again. Also be sure to read his post, Hiding and the Hidden God.

The secret video of remarks by Romney at a fundraiser didn’t really reveal anything new to anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention. The grotesque meme that half our country consists of grifters and deadbeats has been circulating on the right for quite some time now. But perhaps having it exposed in such a public manner will finally begin to purify the putrid mess. This is the true face of the modern GOP. And the meme if completely wrong, of course. Yes, at this particular moment in time, about half our country does not pay any federal income tax. I’ve discussed this particular bit of lying with statistics in the past, but Mark Thoma does an excellent job of stepping through all the facts, not just a select few. Those not paying income tax right now are overwhelmingly students and the elderly. And those are groups who either will pay federal income tax in the future or who have paid them over the course of their lives. Most of the rest of the current bump is a direct result of the Great Recession itself. When you’re out of a job or have dropped into the bottom quintile by taking a job with much lower pay, you don’t tend to pay income tax. Moreover, federal income tax is just one tax out of many and is designed to be the least regressive. Federal payroll taxes are paid by everyone with wage income. State and local taxes and fees are paid by everyone. And consumption taxes like sales, gasoline, and excise taxes tend to be a much larger share of the tax burden on the poor. I will also point out that since our country now has the least class mobility of any industrialized nation, if you’re born poor, the odds are you will remain poor your entire life. As a friend of mine pointed out at work, we actually have a model of “supply-side economics” taken to its logical extreme. It was called feudalism. Krugman has a few words as well.

An excerpt from Romney’s speech receiving less attention than others — his 95% comment. The article explores just how extraordinarily out of touch Ann and Mitt Romney are from the reality of living in this country. They actually seem to believe their own delusional statements. As a teen parent in one of the poorest counties in our country, and with parents who, at least at that time, didn’t have much either, I certainly relied on the fragments of our porous safety net to keep from plunging even lower than we did. (And we’re talking not always having electricity or running water or enough food version of near bottom. Fortunately, at the worst, we did always have family who had homes, so actual homelessness was never an imminent danger.) I got lucky. Simple as that. Sure, I’ve worked hard. And I’m pretty intelligent. But mostly? Pure luck. I live in a country that is overall wealthy (though the gap has grown substantially since those days). I’m a white male from a family that is highly educated, even if they haven’t always had money. And all of that matters. And then at a number of key points in my life, I was simply in the right place at the right time and got a chance to show what I could do. Mitt succeeded on his own? If he had been born into a barely literate, dirt poor family in the Ozarks that would be a believable story. As it is? Not so much. But apparently he and his wife believe it.

An excellent article exploring the question of whether or not Romney can get a majority.

Of course the three-tier health care LaVonne Neff proposes would work. So would many others. And all better than what we do now.

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