Right now, as we speak, attack bombers of the Syrian air force are massacring civilians all over Syria. Just over the hill, on the other side of the Golan Heights, is a powerful and sophisticated air force that could blow the Syrian air force out of the air in hours - the IAF, the Israel Air Force. One can imagine that in return for a guarantee of a peace treaty and normalization of relations, that Israel would be glad to help the FSA, the Free Syrian Army, unseat Assad.
The fact that no such thing has happened nor will happen, in and of itself shows who the Free Syrian Army are and what they are fighting for. The fact that the regime they are fighting is despicable does not make them the good guys by any stretch of the imagination.
Most of what we have read about the FSA is that they are fighting the Assad regime for two reasons - that it is secular and that it is run by Alawite Shi'ites, not Sunnis. Neither reason has anything to do with the freedom and democracy they tell Western media they are fighting for.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Daniel Shays - leader of Shays' Rebellion 1787
Proposition 30 and Proposition 38 both raise the rates of the California State Income Tax to cover the current state budget shortfalls. Please stay with me during the numbers to see what they mean politically.
Here is the Prop 30 income tax increase table from page 13 of the Official Voter Guide -
Joint filers Additional Prop 30 tax
$0 - $500,000 0%
$500,000 - $600,000 1%
$600,000 - $1,000,00 2%
over $1,000,000 3%
This is clearly a soak-the-rich plan. The rich pay 1% or 2%. The filthy rich pay 3%. Nobody else pays.
Here is the Prop 38 income tax increase table from page 59 of the Official Voter Guide - -
Joint filers Additional Prop 38 tax Difference from Prop 30$0 - $14,600 0% same
$14,600 - $34,600 0.4% pay more
$34,600 - $54,700 0.7% California median $53,367
$54,700 - $76,000 1.1% pay more
$76,000 - $96,000 1.4% pay more
$96,000 - $200,000 1.6% pay more
$200,000 - $500,000 1.8% pay more
$500,000 - $1,000,000 1.9% pay more
$1,000,000 - $2,000,000 2.0% pay less
$2,000,000 - $5,000,000 2.1% pay less
over $5,000,000 2.2% pay less
This is what class warfare looks like - columns of figures.
But the numbers come out to this - under Proposition 38 everyone pays more up to incomes of $1,000,000. Incomes above $1,000,000 pay less. Proposition 30 will tax the rich and only the rich. Proposition 38 will tax people with household incomes of $14,700 more in order to tax households with incomes over $1,000,000 less.
The only way that such a regressive tax could even be considered would be if those who wrote it were reasonably sure that you would not find your way through the tables of numbers.
If both 30 and 38 pass the one with the greater number of 'yes' votes becomes law. So it is important not only to vote 'yes' on 30 but also to vote 'no' on 38.
What is especially interesting about this divide is that it shows how the rich and powerful define themselves. One would have thought that an income of $500,000 to $1,000,000 would qualify. It doesn't.
The authors of Proposition 38 wrote it in favor of those with incomes of a million and more and adversely to everyone with less. To them, those with incomes of half a million are the working poor.