Friday, July 8, 2011

Virgin Galactic: Space Flight for the Poor Rich People

It was just reported on Fox News that 800,000 people are now on a waiting list to take a 3.5 hour sub-orbital* space flight provided by Virgin Galactic at a cost of $200,000 per person with a $20,000 deposit - for a total of $160 billion in gross potential revenues for Virgin.

* Sub-orbital, as in 10 miles into the atmosphere - not even halfway into the stratosphere. Its planned trajectory will overlap the Earth’s atmosphere at 70,000 feet.

I'm not sure how many of these uber-rich adventurers are Americans, but it does seem that the wealthiest among us have not suffered at all during the Great Recession and have not had to make any sacrifices at all while the peons have been struggling just to survive. 

Meanwhile unemployment has gone up, and the "officially reported rate" is again at 9.2% (16% if you include the "under-employed", those forced to live on part-time low-paying jobs). Yet Republicans, instead of raising taxes on those who can afford these fantasy space flights, would rather cut programs like food stamps and Medicaid for people who were forced out of work since 2008...those who lost their homes and life's savings, and are now "the new poor" and have to rely on these programs for their very survival.

The Republicans have already extended corporate welfare for the oil companies that have been making record profits over these last few years, but the GOP and Tea Party also don't want to end tax breaks for corporate jets, claiming that the lost revenues only account for such small percentage of the overall deficit. 

A billion here, a billion there. It's so little , why bother counting it? And why deny oil companies a few lousy billon dollars in subsidies, it's not worth the time and paperwork.

Taxes on the wealthiest people are near an all-time low while our national debt is at an all-time high, but the Republicans REFUSE to roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest millionaires and billionaires to that of the Clinton era. 

Better yet, or to ask that the tax rates be what they were in the 1950's when America once HAD a middle-class and mom stayed home to raise kids while dad paid the mortgage and car payment. The wealthy can hire an army of nannies to care for their rich spoiled brats (who will receive multi-million-dollar inheritances and not pay taxes on that because the Republicans believe that money must stay within a certain segment of society).

And the Republicans claim that higher taxes stagnate job growth, even though the rich and big corporations have had the Bush cuts since 2001 when millions of people began losing their jobs. Net jobs grew under Clinton with the higher taxes rates while net jobs were lost and escalated under Bush and his tax cuts.

The rich and big corporations have hoarded their profits from tax breaks and now have $2 trillion on "the sidelines" and in off-shore bank accounts, but nobody is hiring. So much for Senator John Boehner's theory on "job creators". He earns $225,000 a year + bribes from oil and tobacco companies. He could care less if I had a job or if I lived or died.

The wealthy corporations have been paying sub-standard wages and lousy pension and healthcare benefits for decades to non-union workers, paying ever less corporate and personal income taxes themselves. And now that millions of American workers have been squeezed out of the labor force, these same wealthy corporate CEOs, Fox News celebrities, bankers, hedge fund managers, and Republican congress-people want to give MORE tax breaks to themselves while starving the very people they laid off during the Great Recession with reduced food stamps and health care.

And they are going after Social Security and Medicare too, because after you've busted your ass off for them all your life making THEM rich, they don't want you to have a minimum retirement wage or any healthcare when you're too old and sick to work for them any more.

The rich and their Republican servants would rather see the stars from 70,000 feet in a glorified gravity-defying sub-space ride in a airplane, rather than have you eat and have the comfort of living with heat in the winter and being able to see a doctor when you're in severe pain. "There's always the emergency room!" they'll tell you. That's who the Republicans represent. Those poor rich people who have extra money for frivolous space flights but cry like spoiled brats and claim they're broke if you tax their private jets.

I'll bet those rich people, before going to sleep every night, also cry rivers of tears for starving poor children too......yeah, right!

1 comment:

  1. I just heard former GOP leader Michael Steele say on MSNBC that 51% of Americans do NOT pay any federal income taxes, and that 1% of the wealthiest paid 38% of all taxes.

    How can that be? I've been unemployed for 3 years and earned only $9,000 last year from unemployment benefits and I owed taxes! Does that mean that half of America in worse shape than me?