Monday, May 4, 2009

Tea-bag Math -OR- I cut it twice and it's still too short.

I haven't taken a Math class in decades, so I might not be up on all of the latest enhancements. Still, I work with numbers and interact with basic math functions on an almost daily basis. I thought I remembered most of the "laws". I thought I had even enjoyed fractions and percentages back when they were the bane of existence for many of my peers.

So last night, when I had occasion to visit with some old friends and acquaintances at a backyard b-b-q, I was a little embarrassed to learn how woeful my learning was. When this particular group gathers, the debates get loud and often obnoxious. Louder and more obnoxious as the day turns to evening and the lubricants take effect. When dusk turns to night, discussions turn in earnest to politics. Arms lengthen, foreheads spread and knuckles begin to brush the ground. Reason departs, to catch the last flight out of town. Common Sense left too.

Being polite I listened attentively to the keynoters as they recited their litanies.
Then I realized I was IN a Faux News vignette where nothing I could say would shake the talking points. It didn't matter that the pundits were named Brad and Willie and Mickey and Mark instead of Sean, BillO, Glenn and Rush. These were absolute facts.

After a particularly damning tirade over the crushing debt of Obama's first 100 days, and the miserable existence that ensures for their grandchildren's grandchildren, they tackled taxes head on. "5% pay 90% of the taxes in Amurica!"

So I uttered, as politely as I could, that if this were true, why would they be so concerned about the debt? The 95% should be capable of covering their 10%. That their being so incensed over the situation must mean that they were in that top 5%.
Well, no... but that's just wrong.
So I took a stick and figured in the dirt. 100-5 = 95.
"yeah, but half of THEM pay no income taxes at all".

Okay. 95 - 47.5 = 47.5.
5% are gonna pick up 90% of the check. Leaving 47.5% to pay off the balance over the life of the loan. I think we can handle that to get universal health care, bridges that don't collapse, mass transportation alternatives, solar, wind and other renewable energy, feed the hungry, house the homeless and take care of our veterans.

I call that a bargain.

"Yeah, but Obama shook hands with Chavez!"

Hey Reason, wait for me...

1 comment:

Larue said...

The Belly Of The Beast, You Were There. *G*

I LOVE them kinds of bbq's, though.

I love a challenge, too . . . . ;-)