Letter to the Editor: 20 Questions (more or less)

Rather than write an opinion piece this time, I thought a nice change would be to pose questions that my CDN friends could put to those who shape their opinions as much as I do.  And so.

Here’s a question for your rich friends: how many of them think it’s okay not to pay taxes even though they make lots of money, but that it’s not okay for the poor, retired, disabled or those in military service to pay no taxes, even if they make very little money?

And for the Republican right:  why does Romney speak of the lower classes who pay no taxes with what the New York Times called “bone-chilling contempt and revolting smugness” when he thinks no one can hear?  And then, with trademark schoolboy earnestness, show just how stupid he thinks we are by refusing to show if he paid taxes while claiming the poor would pay taxes if only they could, when he, Romney, and his rich friends contort themselves energetically not to?

And for your in-your-face, bumper-sticker proud religious friends who boast of being “One Nation, under God”.  Now, which god is that – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Wiccan?  Do they rotate?  Shouldn’t that be notional not denominational?  Better yet, an ethical construct?

And another for right-wing Republicans: what do you make of Nixon passing environmental protections, and of earned income tax credit expansions under Ford and Reagan – did these iconic Republicans have surreptitious bleeding hearts or were they RINOs?   Reagan the RINO?

And for your hypocrite friends: what’s more damaging to health, eating as much as the ads promote and becoming obese; breathing polluted air; gaming mine safety; incompetent doctors, lawyers or bankers immunized by lobbyists; or being LGBT?  Or just being female in a Romney world?  See the money-coming-out-of-ears Bain photo?  Like a Republican House hearing.

And another for right-wingers; does having a mercenary military make being a chickenhawk easier?  So stupid wars won’t be protested by real people.  And does a mercenary military justify inadequate armaments in combat theaters and indifferent care after returning home?

And for my Constitutional scholar friends: how is government regulation of corporations less benign than corporate stacking of the deck using one-sided adhesion contracts and lobbyists that protect incompetence through malpractice caps, mandatory arbitration and prejudicial personal bankruptcy law, like for student loan treatment compared with corporate executive bonuses?

And last, isn’t it stupid to do everything to stymie a President trying to fix an economy broken by greedy creeps, and stupid to claim rape victims can’t get pregnant, and stupid to listen to Donald Trump always or Rick Perry almost always?  And isn’t it stupid to let the middle class and equal opportunity be denigrated by Fox personalities and a talk radio host with little heft other than a breathtakingly impressive body weight?  Mysterious how people who think they’re canny can trust in a drug addict that does news rant HipHop, or in a “news channel” ownership that disdains fact, is converting the Wall Street Journal to tabloid and hacks a murdered girl’s voicemail.

By gosh, I think I like the Socratic method.  Don’t you?

Donald Marro

The Plains, Virginia


  1. Bob Brawley says:

    Thanks Donald for the invite to speak out . I’m down here in Warrenton at the Walmart parking lot killing time . I got to wait for the welfare office to open up on Monday they haven’t sent me my government check . I told the Government I was crazy and wasn’t fit to work . They fell for it . and now I’m on easy street with SSI coming in but gall darn it where is the check they promised me. Do You have any pull ? Tell them Obama people I need my check so I can pay the Faquier government their share so I can vote this year.. We liberials got to stick together otherwise the redacted bankers and big money corporate guys will be trying to ram work obligations our way and anyone with two cents for a brain knows working for a living is not enough for a living wage the people demand there Checks . The government is for the people , the Coirporate big wigs are for the Golden Parachute.

  2. Another View says:

    Mr. MARRO:

    The “rich” already pay the lion’s share of the taxes. The top ten 10% of wage earners pay more than 70% of the income taxes, while earning only 43% of the wages. The bottom 50% pay only 2% of the income taxes, while earning 13% of the wages. And the bottom 50% pay no income taxes at all.

    So . . . you’re a smart guy. Tell everyone just how much should the “rich” pay? What is their “fair share”?

    • All wage earners pay SSI and payroll taxes, even if they don’t earn enough to have to pay federal income tax. They pay sales tax and local property taxes, even if it’s only on the ’86 Toyota with rust that they use to get to the two or three “service sector” jobs they need to stay afloat (Fries with that?). People like Romney increase their obscene wealth through accumulation of what used to be called “unearned income” by the IRS, but is now coyly named “investment income”, and “capital gains” – money they don’t actually go out to work for every day, but which accumulates effortlessly, nevertheless. I think that’s great! In the lottery of life, they’re winners, and God bless, but I’d like them to pay, not a higher rate than me, but the same rate as me. No more than that, and no more buying influence in Congress to create exceptions to the tax code that benefit no-one but the very wealthy, who don’t go out every day to stand at a production line, or ask “Fries with that?”.

      • Another View says:

        You avoided the question. The subject is income taxes. It is a major funding of federal spending; THE major source of revenue. How much–percentage wise–is enough? Surely this is a simple question?

        • Asking “what percentage is enough” is meaningless – the correct percentage is whatever percentage falls out after everyone pays their share equitably, using the same standards across the board. I have occasionally (but rarely) paid taxes on part of my income at the maximum marginal rate of 29%. Romney, in 2010 paid an overall rate on twenty-odd MILLION dollars of about 11%. Does that sound equitable to you? As for indignantly saying that the rich pay the lions’ share of income taxes, they have most of the money, for heavens sake – that’s what “rich” means!

          • Another View says:

            It is not meaningless. The LEFT’S mantra is that the “rich” are not paying their “fair share”, even though the “rich” pay not just the vast majority of taxes, but a larger percentage of taxes than would be justified by their percentage of wages earned.

            If you cannot define how much the “rich’s” “fair share” is, would you please quit crying about it?

          • Another View says:

            Just because someone has money does not entitle the government to confiscate it.

            Mitt Romney paid 2 million dollars in federal income tax in 2010. Did you? Why should he pay so much more than you? Just because he has it?

            This is the problem; a worldview that there are some who shall be taxed in order that others will not, and even more shall receive.

            Return government to its core functions and eliminate the income tax. That will end the discussion.

          • ElinorDashwood says:

            We are in about the 26% tax bracket but Mitt and his ilk are in the 14%. I don’t care if their 14% is double, triple or ten times what my 26% equals in dollars. What makes them ‘entitled’ to keep and live off of 86% of their income when I have to live off of and make do with only 74% of mine?

          • Another View says:

            Because Mitt’s income is investment income. It was taxed twice. First, it was taxed as earned income, probably coming in at the Clinton rate of 39.5 %, and then, after invested, and cashed out as a capital gain, at 15%. Which combined, you will note, is higher than your tax rate.

            There you go.

      • Reality Bites says:

        What would your opinion be of a Fair Tax?


        • Another View says:

          The Fair Tax is an interesting idea, and is a favorite of many thoughtful figures and thinkers. But the conclusion I’ve come to is more radical.

          We need to repeal the 16th Amendment, and not replace it. Let the federal government finance itself the way it did for 124 years, and only spend on things enumerated in the Constitution.

          This will create a lot of howling, as some folks will be unhappy that they have to actually pay for the things they wish to consume, rather than live off of others. But in the long run, it will make for a sounder, more prosperous society.

    • I’m guessing 14.1%.

  3. Reality Bites says:

    The one hallmark of the endless litany of opinions from Mr. Marro is that they are all bitter, sneering, hate-filled screeds. Why is that? Is Mr. Marro’s psyche so dark and miserable that he’s incapable of initiating or participating in a discussion regarding differing viewpoints without being downright nasty?

    I enjoy, and believe we can all learn from, a respectful sharing of diverse views; but Mr. Marro’s consistently vile attacks on those he does not agree with do nothing to advance his cause or beliefs.

  4. Clarke Eagle says:

    Why is this guy so bitter, when a left wing apologist occupies the White House? Letter after letter filled with hate and angst. I would have thought these would be happy times bringing back fond memories of when Carter was in office. What does it take to make you happy? What will your life be like when Obama loses in November?

  5. Sniping and bitter, that is really funny, as the Teabags have done that for the last 4 years?

    At the present time, the GOP is being controlled by Neoconservatives and Ayn Randians. The party could never be more confused. The GOP claims to be anti socialist and deficit aware, but Neoconservatism was founded by a Trotskyite, and believe in the welfare state. The GOP also claim to be Christians, but Ayn Rand was an atheist, and her philosophy is anti Christian, so much it is a watered down version of the Satanic Bible. That is what your party is now, call it what you want.

    I’m waiting to see Romney’s 2007-2009 tax returns, when he almost certainly took advantage of the amnesty program for tax fraud offered by the IRS for the 30,000 wealthy US citizens who had illegally squirreled funds in foreign banks, such as UBS (see Lindorff at Counterpunch). If he was truly above board and had nothing to hide he would release them as have all other politicians for decades.When he lived in MA, he was caught with illegal aliens mowing his lawn. not once, twice……
    So what can you say about a multi millionaire who uses illegals to perform services to save a buck…..
    Greedy, Unaware and Self Absorbed…….
    Not a nice guy…….. And a hypocrite ….

  6. Yet another hate piece from the tolerant left! Guess that “Hope and Change” pill was more bitter than you knew eh? Citing the NYT as anything other than propaganda is akin to calling the WaPo unbiased! All the left is a flutter when Fox calls out anything on the left but will follow lock step when coming from the sources they try so hard to believe in. If you only read a paper because you agree with them – it’s not a source – ask Mr. Goebbels. BBC has more informed news than most American coverage – try them.

    Good Lord (your choice) – get over it. Maybe get a hobby. The ugliness of the left wing isn’t something that should be shared with everyone.

  7. Little Bill says:

    A few years ago a neighbor of mine had a crazy old uncle who they never allowed to handle sharp objects. You know, things like pocket knives, forks, pens & pencils. Looks like he has figured out to work a computer and send editorials via email.

    • Realistic Joe says:

      And I’m sure everyone that knew “the crazy old uncle” realized, that you don’t pay attention to negativity.
      That if you ignored the pessimism and not give in that he would eventually stop.
      Get the hint?

  8. Mittens has tried to show us a real person behind the fake tan, but he failed. He actually showed us a variety of different men with different positions on just about everything. He has earnestly and with the most serious of faces lied to us over and over and over. He is the worst candidate in history and is an embarrassment to the once grand old party. Nothing but Bush III in the White House complete with car elevators, dressage horses and a Cayman Islands ATM in the West Wing. And while we are at it, let’s commit the lives of our young soldiers to the whims of Israeli politicians. He made the mistake of pandering to the extremists on the right, instead of centering himself. Tea Partiers argue the country needs to go back to the founding fathers’ principles. The founding fathers did not envision a Republican congress that filibusters everything and only passes about 30 bills into law (a record low for modern congresses)… Vote the obstructionist party, the party of NO out. They have done nothing but waste more tax dollars than any congress in history, by not doing anything.

    • Another View says:

      The Democrat Senate has done what? Passed a budget? No. Passed any of the legislation passed by the House? No.

      There is obstruction all right. And its name is Harry Reid.

      And when it comes to lying, no one can touch Barack Hussein Obama.

      • No, no, no…. House bills have failed in the Senate because of the repeated use of the threat of filibuster, (without actually having to have one). Senate rules, weirdly enough, allow it. Under threat the rules require a super-majority to override a filibuster, not the simple majority the Dems hold at the moment.

        • Another View says:

          The bills are not being brought to the floor or debated. No debate, no filibuster.

          Harry Reid and the Democrats are the obstructionists. They have repeatedly broken the 1974 Budget Control Act. They have repeatedly refused to put legislation on the calendar. Call the White House and tell them to tell Harry Reid to stop the obstruction.

          It’s not the Republicans, it’s the Democrats.

  9. Donald C. Marro says:

    As Sally Field famously said, you like me, you really like me! How gratifying, particularly to see the ranks have swelled (no pun intended) but that is tempered by the apparent absence of Sarge. Hope you’re OK, top.

    Now to the comments: how about the rich paying more because they make more, instead of paying less because the make more. Sound equitable to those of you wannabes who fight their battles for them?

    The New York Times is easily the best newspaper of record in the world. Do you actually read it or is reading something you do only under severe duress, or when Oprah tells you to. Sorry, was that mean-spirited? And I had hoped to follow the noble example of your rightwing Republican, Fox and prescription-drug addled heroes.

    And there are those who make silly or smartass remarks and get pumped for having thought of something to say. Endless litany of hate-filled screeds! Little Billy’s utterly magnificent putdown – however did you think of those. Gentlemen, you have the vote thanks to those who wished to see democracy enlarged and you have the education you received (such as it is) thanks to much the same influences. You should exercise both as you see fit, but try this on – when it comes to content, you really think you’re ready to leave the comic pages?

    • Another View says:

      You still did not state what constituted the “rich’s” “fair share” of taxes. How much? How much is their “fair share”? Or do you concede that you and your ilk are guilty of empty demagoguery?

  10. Romney has no path to victory. He gave the finger to 47% of America, and told the rest to go to the Emergency Room. He is an arrogant and stupid man. Perhaps someone here should explain to him why airplane windows don’t open, and help him with his fake tan lines next time.

    • Another View says:

      Romney will win the election by a fairly comfortable margin. Look forward to seeing the 47% having to earn a living.

      • av – you do realize you are a part of the 47%?

        • Another View says:

          No. I work for a living. I pay taxes. I accept no government welfare. I pay for my child’s education. I support my family through my own labors. That would make me part of the so-called “rich”.

          • not by mitts standards, dear.
            you’ve asserted in the past that i am not a real american, however, i work for a living. i pay taxes. i have no need for welfare, now. hopefully never. and i have no problem paying my fair share to improve the quality of life for those who are not as fortunate as me. if you honestly believe that only 53% of america works, pays taxes, and lives charitably, then no wonder your so angry and unscrupulous towards your fellow citizens.

          • Another View says:

            50% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes.

            49% of Americans receive a check from the federal government.

            You are darn right I am angry at the takers in society. Very angry. I’m also angry at their enablers.

          • av – look. i pay my federal taxes. then – i receive a refund on my income taxes because i don’t make enough money to justify all that i’ve paid in. you think i’m a taker, fine. you think that half of america are takers. fine. it’s called class warfare av – and i know what side your on.

          • Another View says:

            If you receive a refund because you foolishly overpay your taxes, you are not a taker. You do need, however, to adjust your withholding.

            If you receive a “refund” because of a tax credit, then you are a taker. Those refundable tax credits are welfare.

            It is not class warfare to expect everyone to pay their own way in this world. That is my side.

            It is class warfare to expect others to pay for your way in this world. That is what I oppose.

          • tax credit? you only consider the single mothers and struggling families who receive ‘tax credits” as takers. the people who have nothing to begin with. corporations, er people, who receive tax credits and benefit from ‘loopholes’ and offshore accounts, well they’re not takers at all huh av?

            keep on calling working class people takers. my father has worked his entire life and gave selflessly to his family and to his church. he’s received tax credits for his children and you call him a taker. wonder why so many are turning away from conservatives and their callous approach toward the 47%’s collective labors.

          • Another View says:

            I oppose government subsidies to anyone–individual or business. Neither GE nor your father should receive government subsidies.

          • AV, it’s “47%” not “50%” don’t pay federal income taxes. However, as has been widely proved above and elsewhere (and which you blissfully ignore), there is more to that 47% than Mitt’s inane and dim-witted soundbyte. Wealthy folks, elderly, retirees, and others all fall into that category. Don’t be so shallow and snide.

          • Another View says:

            The bottom 50% of wage earners do not pay federal income taxes. I am correct in that figure. And it is neither “shallow” nor “snide” to point out the truth.

          • Bob Brawley says:

            I’m on a fixed income expecting a 2% cost of living raise in a couple of years . that is 2 to 4% better than when i was employed. Crying over the elderly don’t cut it know more . That’s my 40 percent worth

          • Another View says:

            And you clearly do have a problem trying to improve “the quality of life for those who are not as fortunate as” you. Because you support government coercion. That is not charity.

            Also, our federal welfare system does not improve the quality of anyone’s life, unless they are a part of the ruling class. Government dependency saps pride, independence and self respect from the individual. Government dependency breeds sloth, indifference and ignorance.

            Government dependency is a malignant cancer on society.

          • give me another solution av. we have to work within the system as it stands. i don’t see the hundreds of untaxed religious institutions in this state working together to fulfill the needs of the poor. surely that’s why they are tax exempt, no?
            unless you are the anarchist. and you want to destroy all of the social structures in place and start from scratch, right after the good ol u.s.a gives itself a ‘cleansing’ of the 47%..

          • Another View says:

            Charity, church, family and friends. BUT ONLY AFTER you have failed, despite your best efforts, to support yourself.

            There’s your system. It used to work. It will work again.

          • That’s the way it used to work, beofre FDP came along with the New Deal and LBJ came along with “The New Society” and the “War on Poverty. How are those programs working out BTW? Oh, that’s right, they’re all BROKE.

            Before FDR, family took care of family. Failing that, the church had soup kitchens

      • ElinorDashwood says:

        Really? Let’s see how comfortable a margin Romney has after the debates. I guess as long as no one asks any questions about Mitt Romney’s tax returns or his positions on gay marriage, abortion, foreign policy, wall street reform, health care reform, Afghanistan, the auto bailout, Romney’s plan to cut taxes on the rich and raise taxes on everyone else, Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare and Social Security, the state of the economy President George W. Bush left this country in, which specific tax loopholes Mitt Romney would close, Osama Bin Laden, Bain Capital or how Mitt’s dog Seamus ended up tied to the roof of his car, as long as no one asks Mitt Romney any questions about any of that stuff during his Presidential debates against Barack Obama I think Mitt could totally still have a good shot at only losing this thing by 3-5 points . . .
        The Romney campaign is shaken to say the least, vomiting blood to say the most.

        • Another View says:

          Let’s see; homosexuals, abortions, Bain Capital and Seamus are not federal issues. Neither are they serious.

          It is also not serious to discuss George W. Bush or Mitt Romney’s tax returns.

          But if we are not going to be serious, let us debate Barack Hussein Obama’s Muslim heritage, his fascistic beliefs, his black radical church attendance, his communist and terrorist friends and sympathizers, his lying autobiographies, his birth certificate, and his college transcripts.

          Or we can have a serious debate. By all means let us discuss the record of the last 4 years. Let us discuss high unemployment, exploding debt, Fast and Furious, unconstitutional executive actions and appointments, high taxes, the failing war in Afghanistan, the failure to prosecute Major Hassan, and the burning US embassies in the Middle East. And most definitely let us debate Obamacare. Please, please, please.

          Let us discuss all that and more. I’m confident of the result of such a debate. You should not be so. You should be very, very afraid. Obama is.

  11. Bob Brawley says:

    please don’t make me earn a living. I can’t afford it.

  12. ElinorDashwood says:

    No more thumbs! Thank you CDN!!