I'm not an Obama supporter. Neither am I a supporter of the current crop of GOP candidates running for president. I think they're all assholes, if truth be told. I'm just a middle-class guy trying to support a family of four on my community college teaching salary (and having trouble paying my current property tax bill which I'll end up paying with my income tax refund. Sigh).
So after Obama's State of the Union address, the Republicans immediately came out with the predictable cries of "Class Warfare" because he had the temerity to suggest that tax rates should be a bit higher for people who earn more in one day than the yearly median household income in the United States.
Am I exaggerating? Not at all. The Romney's earned 21.7 million in 2010 (source), mostly from capital gains and dividends. That's an average income of ($21,700,000/365) = $59,452 per DAY. The real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445 per year, $10,000 less than the Romney's earn in one day, according to the Census Bureau (source). The Census Bureau also reports that the nation's official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, and the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010 (things have gotten worse, not better, for many Americans).
So people who earn all that dough must pay a lot in taxes, right? Don't be ridiculous! Romney's 2010 effective tax rate was 13.9%. Guess what? If you're an average working stiff making more than $8,375 (single) or $16,750 (jointly filing with spouse), then your tax rate is 15% or more (source). Yes, yes, there are lots of complications (because we have a tax code that reads like it was written by monkeys), but the bottom line is that when billionaires like Warren Buffet are embarassed about how little wealthy people pay in taxes (source), something's fucking wrong.
So, the way I see it, wealthy people have pulled out their gilded dicks and have been pissing on the heads of poor and working class people in this country for quite some time now. When the poor and working class look up and say "Hey asshole, stop pissing on me!", the rich accuse us of fomenting class warfare. I guess it's only class warfare when we fight back.
Back to science-related posts tomorrow...