Democratic Underground

How Many More Tax Cuts Will Corporations and Rich People Get Before I Go Under?

October 21, 2004
By The Average Guy Bush Cares Nothing About

I'm going down. And, barring a miracle, I can't do anything about it.

The feeling is almost overwhelming at times. It's disheartening. I'm quite sure I'm not the only person feeling this pain (and I'm sure many others are feeling more pain than me) but, my God - when's it going to stop?

My pain was goosed again by a recent article on the front page of the New York Times website. It was a story about how almost $500 million in tax breaks are going to go to General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman over the next 10 years. These are two companies making literally billions of dollars a year providing the Bush Administration equipment for it's never-ending wars in the form of ships and submarines for the Navy.

But they need tax cuts. Just ask them.

Just last week, I read how several big-name corporations such as AOL-Time Warner, Wachovia Securities and others got so many tax breaks that they didn't pay a single dime in taxes last year. Wachovia, in fact, despite almost $4 billion in profits, got a $150 million.

And, of course, Republicans rammed another tax cut for the wealthy, the fourth since Bush took office, through Congress last week. People making over $1 million per year will get back a beefy $78,000 on average per year.

Meanwhile, I'm going under. Fast.

What the hell happened? How is it that the care and feeding of corporations and the wealthy became more important than the welfare of people like me in 2004 America?

This shouldn't be happening. I'm the walking, talking epitome of the "average American." Late 30's, married, and a homeowner. I live in central Kentucky. A dollar goes a lot further here than in other places in the country. My wife and I make about 80 grand between us. We should be fairly comfy.

So - how has it happened that I'm constantly one missed paycheck away from disaster? How is it that I feel like whining about my lot in life on a daily basis?

To be fair, some of it is my own doing. Bad decisions, crummy jobs in the past, and youthful indiscretions. You know - things average people do.

However - I may have dug my own grave, but I never expected the government of my country to throw the dirt on it.

My wife, an aspiring actress, and I moved to New York City early in our marriage. New York is massively expensive, and for three years, our good credit ratings and credit cards were our only refuge at times as we pursued her dream.

Sadly, we are paying for that unfulfilled dream now. Like so many others, we are drowning in credit card debt. And we will continue to do so, since, despite never missing payments and always paying more than the minimums, the credit card companies continue to raise our rates. Minimum payments barely cover the monthly fees.

Well, I guess they have to pay for those eight-figure CEO salaries somehow. Those millions in tax breaks the likes of CitiBank and Bank Of America receive year after year can only go so far, after all.

Money worries contributed to a heart attack I suffered last year. I have recovered nicely, but the co-pays on the medication I have to take (and will likely have to take for the remainder of my life) costs upwards of $200 per month. And that's about $30 more than I had to pay just three months ago.

The vicious cycle continues. Gas for my car will cost me $3,000 dollars or more this year. It was $1,800 last year. My car insurance premiums went up 25% last year, despite the fact that I've had a perfect driving record since I was a teenager. Oh, and just got a bill for my property tax on my house - $1,700. It was $1,200 last year.

Can I recover? Can I pay for all of this?

According to Bush, he's doing everything he can to help. Yep - that $600 my wife and I got from the first Bush tax cut a couple of years ago really came in handy - it helped pay for the $1,100 we owed the following year when we filed our income taxes.

But - hey. I shouldn't complain. Halliburton and Bill Gates are needy. They must be - they get more tax relief in an hour from my government than I will get in my lifetime.

Uh-huh. They need the relief. Much more than I do.


Wonder what the weather is like in Toronto.

 Print this article (printer-friendly version)
Tell a friend about this article  Tell a friend about this article
 Jump to Editorials and Other Articles forum