The rich get richer
Oh, man, are we getting ripped off, although it probably won’t affect us because we’re gonna die before it happens, but our kids could get raked because of how people who make more money than you or I are getting away with monetary murder vis a vis the Social Security tax.
Dig: This year, the “cap” on Social Security, i.e., the top amount of money earned that can be taxed to support the Social Security trust fund, will increase to $132,900. Well, whoopee, Jack. You know what that means? It means that anyone who earns more than that will only pay Social Security tax up to that.
So if you, you lucky dog, earn $1 million, you will not pay any Social Security tax on the remaining $867,100. Yikes, that’s a lot of money the government is leaving in the pockets of people who aren’t me. Or you.
With the Social Security tax at 6.2%, it means that Johnny the Millionaire doesn’t have to fork over $53,760.20 to help keep Social Security solvent.
Why not, you ask. Damned if I know. I guess rich people have really good lobbyists to hustle for them. You know who hustles for the middle class? Our representatives in Congress.
Through laughing now? Yeah, me, too.
But there’s no point in crying.
Think about that, though. If everyone who makes more than $132,900 had to pay that 6.2% tax on the excess, how much money would we raise to do really stupid things like improve schools, fix roads and bridges or, really dumb, provide everyone with health care?
Here’s the way of the world, U.S. style, as explained by President William Henry Harrison in a speech on Oct. 1, 1840. “I believe and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.”
But how smart was he? History lesson:
He had the shortest presidency on record because he came to Washington after his election and took the oath of office on a cold and wet day in March of 1841. Wikipedia says it took him two hours to read the speech — edited for length by Daniel Webster — and naturally he got sick and died in April of 1841. It’s a much longer story which you should read as a reminder to get your kids vaccinated.
Probably wouldn’t have helped WHH back then, but it could save some lives today and wasn’t that a neat segue?
* The Weather Channel, which I check on my Kindle every day, says there will be no sun between now and May 18, so here’s my plan to survive:
When I get to Hampshire Hills in the morning, it’s still dark and the lights are on in the parking lot so I’ve decided to give each of the lights a “Sunlight” name and pretend that each is the sun. I haven’t named them all yet but the one nearest to where I park is:
That’s for “Sunlight” by, duh, Jesse Colin Young and the Youngbloods.
Oh, and, yes, the one nearest the front walk is:
That’s for Nina Simone’s version of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.”
Wait, I’ve got another:
It’s for “Never on Sunday,” the great Melina Mercouri’s film.
Whatta you got?
* Here’s a quote from the old TV show “Boston Legal”:
“There are no facts anymore, just good and bad fiction.” William Shatner as Denny Crane.
Wow, he was anticipating Sarah Sanders, eh?
* I try to be always friendly and polite, probably to make up for the times in my life when I was unfriendly and a total jerk, so when I pass people walking toward me I have a tendency to say “Good morning,” or “Hi,” or something like that.
But when they’re wearing pluggy things in their ears and carrying some sort of device that attaches to the pluggy things, I wonder why I bother. Maybe I should just nod and wave.
And I always say “Pardon me” or “Excuse me” when I walk in front of someone or feel as if I’ve cut them off, perhaps in the supermarket, but often they don’t acknowledge that just as sometimes the unpluggy people don’t acknowledge my “Good morning.”
In both cases, I acknowledge it for them, usually loud enough for them to hear so to underscore their level of impoliteness, to wit:
ME: Good morning.
NITWIT: (Says nothing.)
ME (loudly): And good morning to me, too, thank you so much.
With the pluggy people — they’d probably prefer that I say “plugged in” people so as to give them so sort of stature, but why should I? And what stature? — I still answer for them under the theory that there’s a brain in there somewhere and perhaps it will store my response and check it out later and say to the pluggy person:
BRAIN: This is your brain. Someone responded for you to something someone said. Press 1 to listen to the response. Press 2 to get an unplugged life. Press 3 to turn me off permanently.
* Here’s something good: A high school in Houston, Texas, home of large hats, has instituted a dress code for parents, and it’s about time. Here is this from CNN:
Parents “cannot enter school grounds while wearing pajamas or revealing clothing …” nor can they wear “leggings, sagging pants, low-rider shorts, short dresses and low-cut tops.”
Please, sir, may I have some more rules like this, say in New Hampshire? God, some people go out in public dressed as if they forgot the sleepover was cancelled about 35 years ago.
Oh, almost forgot: At this Houston school, “women can’t wear a satin cap, hair curlers, shower cap or bonnet on their heads.”
Well, golly gosh, Davey Crockett, who’da thunk?
Imagine if your Mom drove you to school and she was wearing pajamas and a shower cap over her hair curlers. You’d want to be dropped off somewhere away from your Houston high school. Perhaps Dallas.
* Did you see the one about the shoplifter in Fresno, Calif., who tried to steal a chain saw by shoving it down his pants? Yes, caught on security camera.
Better yet: He got away.
I’m going to leave the jokes to you.
* I know you know about the Norwegian fishermen who found a beluga whale wearing a harness complete with mounts for a camera and how marine experts are saying the whale was trained by the Russian military as a spy whale.
Are we certain this isn’t just another excuse to slaughter whales? OK, let’s assume it’s on the level and the Russians really are doing this.
1. Is this the only whale spying for the Commies? (They really are still Commies even though Putin’s a Fascist and, really, they never were actual Communists because can you think of a Soviet/Russian leader who adhered to “from each according to his means to each according to his needs?” I can’t, either. But suppose there are hundreds of spy whales out there? That leads us to …
2. How do we combat this? Please. The U.S. must enlist great white sharks by dropping waterproof recruiting posters into shark-infested waters — starting with the waters off Cape Cod.
UNCLE DON WANTS YOU! Calling all true American sharks to rush to the aid of their country by joining The Shark Patrol. Must be willing to bite whales. A bonus of a ton of chum to the first `100 great whites to sign up. No hammer heads wanted; we already have Mitch McConnell.
* I haven’t figured out what the movie should be but it probably doesn’t matter, I just want to see Sally Hawkins and Betty White on the screen together. Remember “Boston Legal?” Betty White was fantastic. And “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” really took off when she joined the cast.
* And here’s a quote for you to ponder religiously:
“Any religious leader who has more than two suits is a hustler as long as there is someone in the world with no suit at all.” Lenny Bruce (aka Leonard Alfred Schneider).