The latest buzzword being bandied about by the multitude of socialists/progressives/Democrats running for President is ‘paycheck to paycheck.’ According to them, it’s a pathetic way to live.

What planet do you rarified souls come from?!

The vast majority of people who aren’t on the dole have always lived ‘paycheck to paycheck’ for Pete’s sake. Most of us don’t have inherited or lotto wealth which allows us to skip the whole tawdry process of earning filthy lucre.

Whether we work in traditional, ‘new collar’ or gig-economy jobs, most of us are glad when payday rolls around so we can fund our lifestyles for another month. We get to pay our mortgage after we pay our public employees, shell out for the indigent and fund our FICA.

Nobody begrudges using tax dollars to help the truly disabled or destitute who, through no fault of their own, CAN’T help themselves. Many of us resent mightily supporting those who WON’T help themselves. But their stipend comes out of our paycheck whether we like it or not.

Paycheck to paycheck isn’t a lowlife way to live, it’s how most of us live our lives. Yes, we try to stretch our paychecks to allow us to put away a little to help with our kids’ education and to fund a retirement nest-egg. Sometimes this works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but decent people just keep plugging away at it.

It’s when we buy houses or cars we can’t afford (regardless of what our friendly loan officer says) or ‘splurge’ on designer handbags and tech gadgets on a regular basis that we get into trouble. Then you’re living on credit, not on your paycheck, and sliding down a slippery slope.

Democratic contender Andrew Yang would like to cushion your fall from that slope by adding to the taxpayer’s burden with more programs like his Universal Basic Income paid for by …wait for it … The Rest of Us! Now Bernie Sanders says billionaires should no longer exist. Those are the people paying the bulk of taxes that currently support our massive government and it’s programs. If Jeff Bezos had to pay $9B a year in taxes, where will be his incentive to keep writing all those paychecks that finance more of the taxes? So Bernie is proposing lopping off the heads of those already paying for the existing aid programs by capping what they can earn. Tell me again, guys: Where is the money for UBI, free healthcare for all, free college and all of the other ‘frees’ coming from?

Paychecks equal taxes. Taxes equal government programs. Too many government programs (ultimately) equal no private sector paychecks. The Socialist plan’s outcome: no paychecks = no taxes = no programs = no nothin’.

If you think it’s tough right now to stretch your paycheck like wire over a gatepost, just wait until our socialist benefactors quadruple our tax load. You can brace your boot on that post and pull like the devil and the old paycheck ain’t gonna stretch that far.

Leslie Baker is a native Arizonian who retired from the construction and real estate industries. She volunteered for over 20 years with various Hospice organizations. She and her husband,

Phillip Mojica, live in Linden.

(12) comments

johndoe

Agreed! [thumbup] That's the problem with the left, they promise all this stuff and claim it will be "Free" completely forgetting that someone is going to pay for it. Millennials don't care, they hear "FREE" and act like the world owes it to them. I for one think the tax system is backwards. I have family that will get thousands on their tax "refund" that is above and beyond what they actually paid in just because they have several kids. Yet people like me who have no kids (thus no additional burden on the system) have to pay extra to cover their "Refund"? It should be the opposite, Those without children costing the public more should be rewarded.


ronzim

Let's just set aside for the moment this author's economic illiteracy, manifested in her misuse and misunderstanding of the word "Socialism". First, then, her interpretation of the term "paycheck to paycheck" implies that those who make that critique are unaware of the fact that it is the economic status of tens of millions of Americans when, in fact, that is the very point they are making. It is broadly known that the term means living without anything remotely approaching economic security, even though we have the largest economy in the world and, on the basis of per capita income, are the 16th richest nation. Even so, we have nearly 43 million poor and 100 million more living on the cusp of poverty, nearly one in five children are in poverty and another two-in-five are in privation; 85 million either have no health care insurance at all or are underinsured. Moreover, 42 million Americans live in a state of food insecurity, 13 million of whom are children. All of this because of the egregious and dangerous inequalities in income and wealth now prevailing and growing.







She cynically exclaims " Nobody begrudges using tax dollars to help the truly disabled or destitute who, through no fault of their own, CAN’T help themselves. Many of us resent mightily supporting those who WON’T help themselves. But their stipend comes out of our paycheck whether we like it or not." This is nothing more than a perpetual right-wing talking point which has at its center the none-too-thinly-veiled falsehood that there is some large number of public benefit recipients who are shirkers, all evidence to the contrary. Note also the use of the qualifier "truly" which is left to her own definition. Her inference is not supported by any data and constitutes nothing but the conflation of a handful of cases to the general population.







I agree with her comments concerning debt and have posted similar thoughts below. We now have over $27 trillions in private debt in America which is a very dangerous 150%GDP and rising. That said, she is wrong to dismiss, out-of-hand, any proposals which seek to mitigate the income crisis now plaguing Americans for decades, and growing worse by the day. The workforce participation rate is in perpetual decline while technology continues to eat away at the number of jobs on offer. Moreover, American productivity is also chronically ailing with the result that purported gains in growth are little more than debt-driven froth. If we fail to restructure our economy to meet the realities of this century, America will become even more of a third-rate country than it now is.







She also demonstrates a breathtaking degree of willful ignorance with "Bernie Sanders says billionaires should no longer exist. Those are the people paying the bulk of taxes that currently support our massive government and it’s[sic] programs." Wrong again: While the top one percent pay an average federal rate of 27.1%, the top 0.001% pay an average rate of just 23.93%. This trend has largely been consistent over the last 10 years of IRS data. Moreover, many billion-dollar corporations pay nothing at all. The issue is not how much money the super-wealthy pay in taxes, nor the percent of federal revenues they comprise. This issue is in the effective rate they pay. I agree that there should be no more billionaires. I also remind the author that the highest two decades of growth and prosperity in America occurred when our federal income tax rates were at the highest ever.





ronzim

No, johndoe, no one from the left is promising anyone anything for free. Tuition-free public school education, for example, is a long-standing tradition and should be expanded to college. After all, the imperative for tuition-free public school education arose from the necessity imposed by technological innovation and the educational demands thus imposed in order to be competitive, both on the individual and the national level. And it worked. The rate of return on education is about nine percent in the U.S. It is the smart investment. Health care expenditures also have positive returns: " We(NCBI) calculated that each additional dollar spent on overall health-care services produced health gains valued at Dollars 1.55 to Dollars 1.94 under our base case assumptions. CONCLUSION: The value of improved health in the US population in 2000 compared with 1980 significantly outweighs the additional health-care expenditures in 2000 compared with 1980." After all, a healthy workforce is a productive workforce.



I agree, however, that the income tax system should be restructured to discourage having children. The largest tax break should go to those who have no biological children, with special incentives for those who undertake long-term, reversible surgical sterilization. Poor children will be helped by such programs as CHIPS, SNAP, TANF and other safety net provisions. The income tax system must not reward irresponsible reproduction. We are barely in October and already we have added over 62 million new mouths to feed and there is no more room at the table.


ArizAl

I have personally seen dozens of times where people who are on a government safety net program pay gas taxes, taxes on clothes, saundries, medical equipt., utilities,property, vehicle registration and tags, That's on top of the state and federal income taxes they paid before they were laid off, fired, or became sick and disabled or their employer closed up shop. So for right wing republicans to always critisize the less fortunate american families,I hope they should be smart enough to realize that even people on government help, pay some kind of taxes which are to the benefit of all citizens including members of the right wing republican party.


ArizAl

What!!! No pros and cons on the issue are allowed to post. I wonder what good it was to pay $62.00 for a year's subscription? An informed public is the guardian of our democracy, it is therefore essential that information/knowledge be disseminated not by just one person in a newspaper but through the opinions of the members of the public, be it through "letters to the editor" or "posts," be it a pro or con on any given issue. Having said that, I wonder why my posts of five days ago were not put up.


Marc-V-Ridenour

That’s always the proposal, right? Jack up taxes. What about minimum-wage earners? They can’t afford to pay more taxes. That’s what’s happening in this country. The “progressive liberal” Democrats who rule California and other states have about bankrupted those states. Pretty soon California will be occupied by the politicians, the Hollywood elites, their serfs, and the homeless welfare recipients. And then it will be: “Will the last person to leave California please turn out the lights?” Raise taxes. That’s always the answer, isn’t it? How can we generate more income? THAT is what we need to focus on. Keeping the Navajo Generating Station, Cholla Power Plant and Kayenta Mine online are what we need to focus on, if we can convert the Navajo Generating Station and the Cholla Power Plant to burn biomass (i.e. pine/juniper tree slash and harvested whole trees) will keep them going as well as greatly reduce the dangers of wildfires.



[beam]


ronzim

'Forbes' reports that "If it were a country, California’s $2.9 trillion economy would be the fifth biggest in the world, ranked between Germany and the United Kingdom. The state represents 14% of the U.S. economy. Home prices in the state have doubled from the lows of 2011 and finally surpassed their pre-recession highs in 2017. California’s outlook is bright with economic and job growth both expected to be strong over the next five years. Another plus is the $110 billion in venture capital money invested in California companies over the past three years, an amount which is more than five times the total of any other state." Wrong again Marc.


ArizAl

Excellent Ron[thumbup], What Marc is doing is repeating republican baseless, non factual talking points about California. One has to wonder why Marc doesn't point out that in Michigan, elected officials were replaces with corporate executives by republicans or that in the state of Kansas republicans cut taxes so much, that state revenues for schools, public services, infrastructure repairs,etc. were drastically depleted, putting the state in a downward spiral.


ronzim

[thumbup]Right you are Al. The Trump supporters, herein, relentlessly post false information as fact and invariably expound personal opinions as though they were facts, as well. Here is an expansion of my interim response, above, after some research.



Parsley & Popper(Vanderbilt and Santa Clara universities) found in their study of the economics of the red and blue states that their economic trajectories are so far apart that they may as well be two distinct countries within the United States. First, blue states have enjoyed higher economic growth rates on average than red states since the Great Recession. Since the mid-2000s, the business cycle of blue states has increasingly diverged from that of their red counterparts. The average disparity in GDP growth between red states and blue states has hovered around 3.5% since the recession ended. For comparison, a previous study of 20 developed nations found an average GDP convergence among them of only 1.75%.



The American Human Development Index (AHDI) allows for a state-by-state assessment of critical factors like income, education, and health. The average AHDI for the red Trump states is much lower than the average AHDI for blue states. In fact, by way of international comparisons, the blue states won by Hillary Clinton have a human development index similar to the Netherlands, while the red states have an AHDI that resembles Russia’s. Moreover, blue states contribute more tax revenue to federal coffers than they receive in return. So in aggregate, the federal government transfers wealth from the blue states to the red states.



In total, the blue states have a GDP of twice the red states. The average GDP per person for a blue state is $55,194 and the average GDP per person for a red state is $48,725. This also makes it clear how ridiculous the Republican's contention that Republicans are generally "makers" and Democrats are generally "takers" is. Many of the most liberal cities and states have the highest GDP's per capita. For example, in one mayoral election in San Francisco (2011), the two Republican candidates combined received 0.5% of the vote, and San Francisco has one of the highest GDP's per capita of any city.



Using the 2016 election to classify states as red or blue, of the ten neediest states, eight are red. Of the ten least needy states, all ten are blue. If we use the Republicans' erroneous definition of Socialism, then all but four of the red states would have to be classified as Socialist states because of their top-heavy receipt of federal assistance. In terms of world influence and soft power, 'Quora', points out that the blue states dominate the reds.



In terms of education, the top five states are all blue. The red states have educational qualities equivalent to the nations shown: Georgia= Libya, Alabama= Guatemala, Mississippi= Swaziland, Louisiana= Kenya, Michigan= Thailand, Ohio= Dominica, Indiana= Sri Lanka, Kentucky= Honduras, Oklahoma= Syria, West Virginia= Tanzania, Arkansas= Angola, Tennessee= Guyana. Health care quality has similar results: Red States dominate the bottom quartile with 11 out of the 12 states.



Of the red states, only Texas has a significant GDP. Red states produce large amounts of food but are being ravaged by Trump's trade war. They also produce much of the carbon fuels which are wrecking the our only habitat.





TN4994

California has the highest state debt in excess of $152.80 billion.



And it's debt per capita ranks 3rd in the nation, behind Washington DC and Hawaii.


ronzim

TN: True; however public debt is always measured as a percentage of GDP. California's state debt is 4.95%GDp, ranking 16th in the country and below the average of all states.


ArizAl

Another good measurement of public debt is how much of it went to provide services for the benefit of the citizenry as a whole and how much was diverted away to the 1% weathy and to already profitable corporations. The U.S. Constitution empowers congress and states to spread the wealth, the question is and always has been...to who and how much.


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