One of the biggest issues facing members of Congress and in the headlines is tax reform.
But from where do the tax dollars come?
Who is paying the biggest slice of the tax pie?
This new study from Pew Research paints a clear picture.
For all the talk about making sure the Middle Class reaps the lion’s share of benefit from reforming the tax code, it is not that sector of American society which pays anywhere the most of the tax burden. In fact, the Middle Class does not even contribute 5% of the haul each April.
Yet when looked at from the perspective of who has the means and stash of disposable cash to shell out in taxes, the Middle Class does come up short. A cut in the rate would be a boon for most in the mid sphere of the US economy.
Some 48% of the money sent to the government comes from individual income tax returns. Compare this to the lament about the corporate rate, reputed to be among the highest in the world, but only results in 9% of total federal revenue.
Do we need tax reform?
Should the Middle Class get priority?
Based off the percentage from corporations flowing to the government coffers, is a tax cut needed? Will the theory of “trickle down economics” produce or prove to be “voodoo economics“?
From the Cornfield, read the full study (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/06/a-closer-look-at-who-does-and-doesnt-pay-u-s-income-tax/).
Then, answer these questions.
The hottest show in the digital air continues to be the Realty TV show – The Prez!
The show received a bump this week (as if it needed one) from retiring Republican Senator Bob Corker.
Corker stated the obvious to The New York Times that President Donald Trump is hamming it up in the White House as if he was a Reality Show TV President!
Remember this from March 20, 2016?
Or this from March 6, 2017?
Then there was this on June 23 of this year:
Compounding it all, the national press corp has yet to learn not to swallow hook, line and sinker.
From the Cornfield, from your surprise about the Prez, perhaps it is a confirmation that now is the time to retire, Senator Corker.
By virtue of having been born on the soil of the United States of American at Welborn Baptist Memorial Hospital in Evansville, Indiana, I can proudly proclaim I am an American.
But – what does it mean beyond being an offspring fortunate enough for my nativity to be in this country?
What distinguishes a person as an American other than the site of birth?
How can we tell who is an American versus who may be, say, a Canadian, who speaks and looks like most Americans?
There is no singular ethnicity to set us apart as American.
There is no particular racial classification, but a hodgepodge of all races and sub-sections.
There is no single country of colonization of this portion of the North American continent.
There is no official language.
There is no particular genetic marker to trace who is and is not an American – such as eye or hair color, skin pigmentation. An American, as the words in a children’s song, may be red and yellow, black or white.
Physical characteristics, speech and dialects, none of the usual suspects define an American.
New Americans come into the world almost every day – and not – by birth.
Americans are not persuaded or aligned with a state religion or practice of faith and spirituality. In fact, one can be an American without any belief system that envisions a power greater than ourselves.
Other than a predominance of democracy and federalism, Americans do not pledge allegiance to a universal ideology or political persuasion. Political leanings are all over the map.
Some Americans amble through life with no basis in the alter-verse of politics or ideology.
From the Cornfield, I can beat my chest and swell with pride by virtue of birth to be an American.
But what other than that marks me as an American?
Some can lay hold to the honor of being an American through the process of naturalization, denouncing any and all allegiance to the country of their birth or country of last residence.
Many of these Americans are more patriotic and willing to lay down their lives for their adopted country than those who are homegrown, to their shame.
The belief in and living up to the radical idea ascribed by the Founding Fathers that an American will defend to the death, pledging honor and fortune to protect and uphold the belief that all humans are endowed by their Creator with “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is what makes me able to crow, “I am American.”
Not – because I was born in the Cornfield.
If you are an American, what makes you – other than birth – an American?
The refrain from the classic song by Argent has added meaning, not just for me, but Americans everywhere today.
For me on a personal levels hearing, Hold your head up,” pushes me to keep up the fight.
For the millions of us Americans, following senseless mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, the words us the strength to not be cowed by a madman.
We will weep.
We will mourn.
We will struggle with survivor’s guilt. We will not quit living.
We will not back down.
We are Americans!
It seemed to be a quiet, sunny day in the dwindling hours of summer. People going about their business. Children rushed off to school. Flights of pleasure, business and fancy were seemingly soaring the skies peacefully.
Tranquility and a sense of safety were shattered in an instant as a commercial jetliner plowed into the World Trade Center (WTC). What first seemed to be nothing more than a tragic accident was quickly revealed to be more diabolic in nature.
The world watched horror-struck as a second jetliner in live airtime was shown deliberately crashing into the second tower of the WTC.
The unthinkable, that which seemed to only be comprehensible in a movie script, lifted from the page of fiction into the horrifying fact of reality. Life changed forever.
I rolled over. Opened my eyes. With blurred vision, I looked at the clock. 10:48 a.m. I sprang out of bed, shaking my head, wondering why I had slept so late.
I grabbed my robe, moving between my loveseats to turn on the television. I made my way back around what I called, my loveseat, to make my morning coffee.
Strangely I heard the voices of Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. In disbelief, disconcerted and shocked, I listened and learned about the attack on America.
Nearly spilling the water, I finished making my coffee. I stumbled back to my loveseat to watch and listen to the unfolding events.
I yelled at the troubled young man sleeping on my other loveseat, “Wake up! We’ve been attacked!“
Frightened, not knowing what to do, how to react, what to say, the young man took off on his bike. Running, trying to find comfort, peace and some sense of what was happening.
I stayed glued to the TV.
Not only had two commercial planes been used as guided missiles exploding into the WTC, but another had been fatally directed at the Pentagon.
But, this was not the end.
The news revealed a fourth jetliner, its objective still unknown, was deflected from further mass destruction by the heroics of passengers. Passengers, who followed the highest law of Love.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (KJV)
The unthinkable had become a deliberate, thought-out scheme of murder, destruction, mayhem, pain and suffering.
What had happened to America’s tranquility and safety?
Gone in moments.
What were and are we to do?
What could and can our leaders do?
What was and is America to do?
Life changed forever.
From the Cornfield, we pause, as we do each year, and remember the lives lost, the heroes, the resolve of a nation to not back down, to rise from the ashes and press on for a better day filled with peace, liberty and justice for all.
We will never forget.
We will never crumble.
We will stand tall.
We will cross any valley, climb any mountain, ford any stream and remain forever that shining city on a hill to which the world looks to find light in the darkness of ignorance, fear, intolerance and injustice.
Not getting enough bang for your hard-earned buck?
Lord knows I am not in the Cornfield! And yet compared to the rest of the nation, the Ohio River Valley states do better. That is all, but liberal Illinois.
Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio have more healthy bangs for bucks.
From the Cornfield, make your dollar go farther – move to a conservative state in the Heartland.
The national press corps, Democratic pundits and Republican Never-Trumpers are making a big deal out of President Donald Trump’s lack of good numbers in the polls.
Why? The President lost the popular vote by around 3,000,000 (three million) votes. Of course poll numbers will have him in hot water.
BUT it is the Electoral College numbers which count.
Most likely poll numbers will never be great for this President.
My advice – ignore the polls and focus on what is or is not accomplished.
That is all that matters.
From the Cornfield, as in all, it is not what is said, but what is done or not done with which to measure success.
Speaking of polls, how long will the Trump Presidency last?
Republicans are learning a lesson, which the Establishment had not anticipated.
The White House may have an occupant who won the Oval Office running on the Republican ticket, but being on the ticket does not make one more than a card-carrying member.
Donald J. Trump is an independent President.
Remember back in July, 2015, two years ago I wrote:
From the Cornfield, as I look through the stalks and the Desert cacti pricking me when I get too close, the Trump Effect on the 2016 presidential race will very likely be a lesson for the GOP of how to lose an election.
For The Donald it is an easy way to throw an election.
Trump, a friend of President Bill and Hillary Clinton, sitting on the front row of Chelsea’s wedding, giving to Hillary’s campaigns, for years backing Democrats, is now crowing about being a Republican.
Looking out across the Desert, it is no mirage. Trump is neither Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or even Independent. Trump is Trump.
What The Donald says, does, how he acts, are all for the benefit of only The Donald – America’s interest takes second place to Donald’s self standing.
Turns out I was right in my assessment.
President Trump is who he has always been: An independent thinker who does what benefits him, not a political party or any set ideology.
What George Wallace could not do, Trump did.
What Ross Perot could not do, Trump did.
As I noted in “An American Revolution“, Trump may have seized power of the Grand Ole Party, but he was not then nor now or ever a Republican.
The sooner the Republican Establishment accepts this fact, the sooner the party can move on and survive.
In name, Republicans won the White House, but in reality, the GOP lost the election to an independent.
Like it or not, support him or not, reality is that Trump mirrors the people who voted for him – he is a free thinker like his voters.
Those voters may not agree with his thoughts, his actions, his words, but they like the fact he says what is on his mind.
These voters like that Trump is Trump and not a cut-out doll.
We are a nation that survived the tumultuous days of the 1960s and the constitutional crisis which erupted during the last days of President Richard Nixon. We will survive this presidency as well.
From the Cornfield, there will be days when we will reel and scream like passengers on the train with Casey Jones. There will be other days we will be sailing smoothly, island hopping in the Caribbean.
Keep the life preservers handy and a stockpile of water, but know this too shall pass.
Give me your thoughts on how long the Trump Presidency will last:
When you are wrong, you are wrong.
Mr. President, you are wrong.
Yes, hate is hate and violence is violence.
No, you cannot equate the hatred of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan with the hate of those on extreme left.
A complete renunciation of these bigots and racists elements who seek to corrupt history and to divide us must be done without any equivalency.
Your failure, Mr. President, to offer condolences and to reach out to the family of the woman, Heather Heyer, who was brutally murdered by a deranged man, advocating the destruction of those not like him, is a monumental fail on your part.
Heather Heyer died a martyr to the cause of freedom on which this nation was built.
Mr. President, you are President of ALL the people, not just your base or those who spew hatred and advocate violence among the races and those of differing religious adherents.
If you expect to be a strong, successful President, it is time, Mr. President to take a look in the mirror.
It is time, Mr. President, to reflect on what it truly means to be an American.
It is time, Mr. President, to rise to the office to which you have been elected. It is time, Mr. President, to offer a sincere apology to the American people for failing to be the man you should be in occupying the Oval Office.
If, Mr. President, your interest is purely self-serving, it is time, Mr. President, to hand the reins to someone else.
From the Cornfield, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong.
There is time to rectify the situation, but that time is running out.
Soon the sands will have run out.