Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An embarrassment of riches

Ok, here we go: I'm stepping into the political fray.

Mitt Romney finally released his tax returns. I'm not upset that he made tens of millions of dollars. But I am upset that he thinks that success somehow lightens his civic burden. How is it that anyone can say "Well, since my money came from investments, I'm not paying as much tax as the average person -- in fact, I will share only half the burden of the average citizen."

This needs fixing, and it needs fixing now.

For the record, I don't think that contributions to a church should be tax deductible. This has long been a policy that I believe violates the basic principle of separation of church and state.

It's bad enough to reveal to Americans that the candidates don't pay anything in the way of social security or medicare taxes, the FICA line that isn't in the calculations of anyone's tax rate, but to add to it a deduction for church donations is an embarrassment.

The average voter in the United States is perilously perched on the fault line between the middle class and the lower class, with downward mobility looming large. Infant care costs as much as a mortgage every month, and I wouldn't want to be Mitt or Newt or anyone else talking to single parents on the campaign trail.

Seriously, if Obama doesn't change the conversation to matters such as these, his campaign staff aren't as savvy as I have given them credit. I will be listening tonight, and so will my 11 year old son, who is concerned not only about his college hopes, but his immediate future as well.