Messed Up and Out of Touch

Okay, so the “messed up” and “out of touch” refer to two different things, but I think they both point to the kind of systemic problems that exist in our political system. In response to a post about the Bush tax cuts an anonymous comment reveals this:

I made about $47,000 and I paid $1700 in taxes so I effectively made $45,300. If I had made $45,000 in your scenario I would have effectively made $47,400. So if I had made $2000 less I would have come out with $2100 more money in my pocket for the year.

I can vouch for the fact that this is true because last tax year I did make $45,000 and I got a huge return (everything I had paid in plus about $2400).

That’s what I call messed up.

Not long after I ran into that post I saw one from Kip Meacham that five days after sending in his perspective as a party delegate on the delegate email list policy of the Utah Republican Party he still has not received so much as an acknowledgment. This just reinforces the image that party leaders don’t feel the need to respond to regular citizens -or even grass-roots party members.

I can’t imagine a more effective way to be viewed as out of touch.

A messed up system is easy to find at many levels of both parties as well as the current party system as a whole. It is also too easy to find counter-intuitive (sometimes even destructive) practices being perpetrated at all levels of our government. The perception that the leaders of our parties and our elected representatives are out of touch with all but the most short-sighted needs of our nation is easy to maintain when everything they do is either because the party said so, or because the latest poll said so. We are almost devoid of principled leadership in the political arena.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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Comments

4 Responses to Messed Up and Out of Touch

  1. Utah’s political structure is like a big business without an internal accounting department and few internal controls. As a result, it should surprise no one that politicians seem to think they can do what they want, and no one will call them on it. They know, that the elephant on their lawn sign and their connections to lobbyists and party insiders will ensure that they can do what they want.

    To say the least, it is a very unhealthy structure.

  2. David says:

    Not only are there few internal controls, but the external auditor that a competitive second party provides is also lacking in this state. (Not to say that the Democratic party is not trying to be competitive, but too many people in the state never consider voting for a democratic candidate.)

  3. lyall says:

    david,

    you make such an important point. why be productive, when it pays to be less productive? So who loses in this scenario? Everyone but the person who has been paid to be unproductive, but even he loses. When we get something for nothing, our personal character is perhaps the biggest loser.

    The flip side is that when we have a tax system that encourages productivity uniformly, we see a rise in productivity and we collect more taxes (thus more money in the public coffers). Everyone wins!

  4. David says:

    Part of my point is that it seems impossible to make a system that is fair to everyone unless it is a very simple – flat or graduated (meaning a progressive tax that is not lumped into brackets).

    Another problem we face is the eternal challenge to put more money into the public coffers. Some want to do it by raising taxes, others argue that it can happen while lowering tax rates. The truth is that we should be trying to reduce to the invasive influence of government by making the government handle less money – not just as a percentage of GDP, but less money in real terms – we need to do more than balance the budget, we need to reduce it.

    (I’ll stop now before this becomes a full-post rant.)

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