|They Got It.
||[Oct. 3rd, 2011|04:41 am]
Growing up near Gulick Street in Kalihi my neighbors and I knew one fact of life. They got it. We didn't know exactly what "It" was, but we knew it could be measured in dollars. We could see it in the fancy cars, the huge homes in Nu'uanu, Portlock, Hawaii Kai, Lanikai and Waialae-Kahala. We never saw them except to serve them. They didn't work a shift in the pineapple canneries. They did however have names like Dole, Castle, Duke, Kaiser and Dillingham. Their children went to Punahou and they belonged to the Pacific Club or the Waialae Country Club. We in our little corner of Kalihi knew only that they had "It" and after they'd got it and ascended to their lofty status they'd pulled up the ladder and left us below. They would tell us that we had to share, to be fair, to pull together, work hard, sacrifice. All the while, we never saw them share, what they had wasn't fair, and about the only time they pulled together was to protect their own. Those of us who got out of housekeeping at one of their mansions, or some luxury hotel, and who avoided becoming cogs in an ever expanding state government, learned one thing. If we wanted anything we would have to step up and tear it out hard and fast shouldering others from what there was.|
Fast forward about forty years. I hear Barack Obama a Punahou graduate, exhorting people to "pull together" to share and be fair. to sacrifice and to work hard. I hear Warren Buffett exhorting people who've worked hard and who have learned to tear out their piece of the "American Dream" to pay more taxes and to pay their "fair share". I hear Michael Moore exhorting the same, and Susan Sarnadon. These sound like the plantation owners and the rich folk who got "It" of yesterday and my answer is much the same as it was then. Go directly to He11, do not pass GO and do not take another cent from me!
I worked hard for what little I have. That Capital Gains exemption that helps you tremendously, it also helps me preserve my little 'nest egg' of already taxed and hard earned wages that I've invested in the event of my retirement. Wall Street is no one's friend, but it gives me the ability to invest my hard earned money into businesses that will attempt to make a profit. When if comes to health care, my government took away my cradle to grave benefits that were exactly what Congress got and replaced it with a managed care system called TriCare that most doctors in the outside world are reluctant to take. When my firet wife had cancer we mortgaged the house and I sold over 600 rifles and handguns to help pay for her care. Things I'd scrimped and saved for, invested and should have profited from to pay for what was needed. I wiped out two retirement accounts that should have offered comfort in our dotage when my second wife was diagnosed with cancer. That's what you do when bad things happen. You don't sit and wait for the government to give these to you. You do what you have to do.
In Hawaii, I paid nearly 40 cents of every dollar I earned, in my case sometimes with flesh and blood, in taxes. I paid slightly less in California. Back then, I thought of it as the "rent" on my places of residence. Here in Texas, I pay only what the Federal government takes from me.
So Mr. Buffett, Mr. Moore, Ms. Sarandon and others like Ron Howard. If you believe that you are not paying your fair share. If you're embarrassed that your secretary pays more in taxes than you do. You are perfectly free to pay however much you care to pay. If you think you need to sacrifice for the good of all, or that life is unfair to others. Well, you can give it all or any portion to others. It's a free country. But, don't tell me how I have to give up my hard earned and risked capital to people who haven't lifted a finger to help themselves or to those unwilling to deal with the fact that life isn't fair, life isn't easy, and no one guaranteed one darned thing, not even that you'll be buried. The future is what you make of it and it's a highly competitive world out there and no one gets a break or a pass. No, I do not want to "spread my wealth around" to whomever you please. If I do, it will be my choice on my terms Just exactly like you have the freedom to do.