You know, for a while there, I actually began to believe that politics was a sport for the rich and famous. I believed that the voices of 'regular folks' were lost in the relentless search for power in Washington, D.C. and that these 'wee small voices' would be drowned out the the power-mad looking to cling to their last vestiges of authority by any means possible.
It is with great relief that I write the following...
I was wrong.
While I am not a supporter of President Obama (you already knew this), I am pleased to report that the 'common man' is alive and well in America. And this man, a meager gentleman farmer from New Jersey, has expressed an interest in supporting the singular candidate who best represents his interests in Washington, D.C.
This candidate for the common man, of COURSE, is President Barack Obama.
In the past I 'mistakenly' believed that most of President Obama's financial re-election support came from the very '1 Percenters' so vilified by his Administration. These would include the: Hollywood elite, Mainstream Media, wealthy economy crashers (George Soros name springs to mind), and Progressive Liberal Democrats (please do NOT call them Socialists) inside (and outside, as many of them have left in advance of the 'Financial Cliff' of January 2013) of the United States.
My faith in 'the system' is restored, the sky is blue-er today than yesterday, and birds sing a bit more brightly as they tweet their beautiful music of freedom across our fruited plains.
Then, of course, I rubbed my eyes and re-read the online article staring up at me from my LCD display last evening...
|"Step into my Tunnel of Love"|
From Boston.com, October 14, 2012: Springsteen and Clinton to Campaign for Obama
NEW YORK — Bruce Springsteen had said he planned to stay out of the 2012 election, but these are worrying times and the race is getting closer. So the Boss will be coming back to rally support for President Obama, his campaign announced Saturday.
Springsteen will join President Clinton at an appearance in Parma, in the swing state of Ohio, on Thursday. An Obama campaign news release said Clinton would ‘‘lay out a clear picture of the economic choice’’ Americans face in this election.
And the Boss? ‘‘His appearance will help with our get-out-the vote effort in these critical swing states, and we are thrilled with his ongoing support,’’ Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager, said.
Gee, how could I have gotten this story so WRONG the first time I read it? What made me think that Bruce Springsteen was a gentleman farmer and all-around 'Average Joe'?
[The monitor wavers as this morning's flashback sequence begins...]
March 12, 2012, HumanEvents.com: Bruce Springsteen: A tax-dodging farmer
Springsteen actively campaigned for Obama in 2008, hosting free concerts that attracted tens of thousands of people in key battleground states. Springsteen’s song, “The Rising,” became a campaign staple for Obama’s speech venues and culminated in him playing for Obama’s Inauguration. And this time around, the White House plans on using the aging rocker’s new politically-motivated track, “We Take Care of Our Own,” to warm up crowds as the re-election bid kicks into high gear.
So does The Boss live by the same prescriptions he and Obama wish to inflict on the rest of America?
Consider the following.
In 2011, perhaps wanting some local free press, Springsteen decided to write a letter to the editor of his town’s newspaper. In response to an article about tax cuts and aid to entitlement programs, the Boss wrote in to praise the piece for being “one of the few that highlights the contradictions between a policy of large tax cuts, on the one hand, and cuts in services to those in the most dire conditions, on the other.”
Furthermore, Springsteen wrote, “your article shows that the cuts are eating away at the lower edges of the middle class, not just those already classified as in poverty, and are likely to continue to get worse over the next few years.” Then, with his well-honed “everyman” touch, he signed the letter along with his oh‑so-common-man-sounding town name, “Colts Neck.”
A year earlier, the Boss echoed similar concerns while emphasizing his support for Obama’s constant nagging to tax the rich.
“The biggest problem we have now is almost 10 percent unemployment, but we also have the disparity of wealth,” Springsteen told London’s Sunday Times. “You can’t have an American civilization with the kind of disparity of wealth we have. It will eat away at the country’s heart and soul and spirit.”
Now, all this would be just fine and dandy. But there’s one small problem with Springsteen’s anti-tax-cut posturing: the man is a first-rate tax evader. [Moos Note: 'avoider' would be a better word - tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is not.]
Bruce Springsteen pays over $138,000 a year in taxes for his three-acre home in Colts Neck, New Jersey. He owns another 200 adjoining acres. But because he has a part-time farmer come and grow a few tomatoes (organic, of course) and has horses, his tax bill on the remaining 200 acres is just $4,639 bucks. Do the math. By being a fake farmer, the working-class zero Springsteen is making a mint by robbing New Jersey of the antipoverty program funds he says they desperately need.
“I think it is unfair to our other property taxpayers that if you are a fake farmer, and that you don’t legitimately farm, that you are getting a property tax break and forcing your neighbor to pick up your tab,” said state senator Jennifer Beck. “That was not the intent of the law. It’s a violation of the public trust.” When Fox 5 New York reporter Barbara Nevins Taylor asked a lawyer for the trust that owns Springsteen’s land to comment on the Boss’s lucrative fake-farming tax breaks, predictably, the lawyer had no comment.
The tax loophole comes from the New Jersey’s Farmland Assessment Act of 1964. Originally the provision was created to help preserve agriculture in New Jersey. To qualify for the tax break, landowners must own at least five acres of land and produce just $500 a year in goods in order to qualify. Anyone who can meet those minimum standards can reduce their farmland tax bills by an astounding 98 percent.
Now, no conservative begrudges anyone—not even a die-hard Obama Zombie like Bruce Springsteen—from lowering their tax burden by taking full advantage of every tax break available to them. That’s legal and fine. But for a guy who makes hundreds of millions pretending to be a guardian of the working class, and who vocally supports Obama’s attempts to tax the rich at higher rates, to then turn around and utilize obscure tax loopholes to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars that would otherwise go to his beloved social programs . . .
Yeah, if 'Farmer' Stringbean wants to diminish the gap between the 'haves' and 'have nots', in America, why not begin with the old adage, 'Charity begins at home'. In this case, specifically, HIS home of 203 acres. Taxed at the 'regular tax rate' (as the main three acres are) his tax bill should be $68,000 per acre times 203 acres = $13,804,000 per year.
$13,666,000 in tax breaks afforded by $500 worth of a tomato crop (and 'Pony Rides')? That's a wicked good return on 'The Boss's' investment. But once again, it's a return reserved only for the 'Wealthiest Americans' (a.k.a.: Friends of the President).
|"Killer Bees" take health care hostage|
Maybe tomorrow we'll discuss 'Bee Farmers for Obama'?
Yeah, that might be a good idea... It's been a while since we've discussed them.
Happy Monday, remember to watch tomorrow night's debate.
Bring your own tomatoes. Bruce's are way too expensive.