Monday, August 22, 2011

Poor Joe 6-Pack

Joe 6-pack used to work for the steel mills in Pittsburgh, until those jobs went away. Then he moved his family to Detroit to build cars, until those jobs also went away. So he packed up the family and moved to Wisconsin to get a state government job as a sanitation worker. And all his life he had always voted Republican - as did his daddy and his grandpa. After he was married, Joe 6-pack had convinced his wife to vote Republican too. And then the same for his three kids when they were old enough to vote.

One morning, just before going to work, he was having his morning cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. And according to one New York Times article, it said that if you owned stocks, “dividends are doing extremely well." And those investors only pay 15% in taxes; much less than Joe 6-pack ever paid. Just owning stock doesn't make one a "job creator". Hedge fund managers and stock brokers get paid huge fees just for buying and selling stocks, whether for gains or for losses. Long-term capital gains are only taxed at 15%, while many capital losses can be written off.

How does average Joe 6-pack benefit from this if he doesn't own stock? He doesn't. What spare money he has goes into the gas tank of his old car. And those hedge fund managers aren't paying into the Medicare and Social Security fund either; that evil fund that the wealthy don't want to pay into. How does average Joe 6-pack benefit from paying a higher tax rate than the wealthy do? He doesn't. It seemed as though he'd been working harder every year, literally busting his back, but his wages only went up 1% while everything else was going up 5%.

"Hey! Joe 6-pack! What's left of your paycheck after you pay your taxes?"

His money usually went right back into the economy, paying the banker's mortgage, making the car payment, and paying the ever rising electric bills. A rich man will only buy so many mansions, yachts, and private jets before he just sits on his cash. Maybe they'll buy gold or treasury bonds. A corporate treasury that doesn't pay taxes or hires people doesn't help Joe 6-pack at all. He'll just have his government services reduced, standing in longer lines; or he'll have his Social Security benefits threatened by a lack of tax revenues going into the U.S. Treasury. Rich people don't NEED this, they can live in luxury just on the interest alone that they earn in their foreign banks accounts.

But that does NOTHING for Joe 6-pack. But yet Joe 6-pack always voted for these very people who tax him more than millionaires. Why was this? Because the millionaires have people to convince Joe 6-pack that the Republicans are going to eliminate "wasteful" government spending. Poor Joe heard them say that on Fox News, so it must be true. Poor Joe 6-pack had thought they meant the $700 toilet seats for NASA and "bridges to nowhere"; or even those 5-star offices that congressmen have...not his healthcare and retirement fund!

The Republicans smiled, and sounded so smart and sincere. Poor stupid Joe 6-pack, voting for Republicans because they all seemed so to be such "All-American" good people - - - apple pie and patriotic. After all, they supported our troops! They believed in the Pledge of Allegiance and stood by the American flag too! Those liberals only wanted to give hand-outs to lazy people!

Poor Joe 6-pack, for believing that what's good for the Republicans and big business was also good for him too (trickle down economics - ha-ha!!!) I felt so sorry for Joe 6-pack because he meant well. It wasn't HIS fault that the Republicans had tricked him. They have been using scare tactics and political trickery for decades, and they've became every good at getting people to vote against their own best interests.

Ronald Reagan seemed like such a nice man. And the Republicans even promised to stop crime too!

All his life Joe 6-pack worked very hard, he was honest, and he stayed out of jail. He even served in the military for a few years. He did all the right things, got married, raised a family and paid his bills on time. He thought the Republicans were just like him, and that if any of the GOP leaders had ever met him, they would strongly approve of him and his support. Poor dumb Joe 6-pack didn't realize they would only laugh in his face; and that as they sat around the country club in their expensive suits they mocked people just like him - behind their backs - all the time.

Poor dumb Joe 6-pack, who worked a blue-collar job all his life. Hating the welfare people for being lazy, and all those illegal Mexican immigrants, taking all those jobs that good Americans wanted to do. Poor dumb stupid Joe 6-pack, who always thought he was just a regular all-America patriotic guy. He didn't know he was just another dumb smuck that the Republicans and bankers and corporations used. He would be so ashamed to know that they despised him for being so stupid, for just being another ignorant "sheeple" among the masses.

He always thought his congressman was too busy looking out for him, rather than returning any of his phone calls or letters he wrote. Poor Joe 6-pack didn't realize that they just laughed at his stupidity. I really pity Joe 6-pack, the guy that busted his ass all his life trying to do well for himself and his family. If prices went up, it was because of those damn Democrats, or the illegals, or the blacks, or those damn a-rabs! Poor, poor Joe 6-pack. All his life he was played for a sap, like a hamster spinning his little wheel in a cage for the big corporations.

And Joe 6-pack always tried to buy "Made in USA', not knowing that all the parts were actually manufactured in China or elsewhere. Big dumb and fat Joe 6-pack, who went to church every other Sunday, trying to be a good Christian, believing that the Republicans represented good all-American values and saintly Christendom.

Poor Joe. Poor, poor dumb Joe. He knew deep down in his heart it wasn't his fault that his past jobs went to the damn commies. And if McCain had been elected, he might not have ever been laid off. He might not have been out of work for the last 3 years. And who knows, he might have even lived long enough to collect his very first Social Security check, which would have been just three days after he had had his massive heart attack, brought on by stress...and because of all those damn bums on food stamps!

That poor Joe 6-pack, until the very day he died, he lived as a poor pathetic and proud old man, he never knew. Poor Joe 6-pack went to his grave, never knowing all these things. Maybe it's better this way, that he could have died in peace, thinking he did right and was a good Christian American...loyal to God and country...a respected family man who always did the right thing and voted for Republicans.

A few months later after he died, Joe 6-pack's wife lost the family home to foreclosure, a wonderful house that he and his loving wife had shared together for the last 15 years. The home that he had lovingly maintained for his dear wife. Joe 6-pack had spent most of his life's savings while unemployed, paying the bills and for he and his wife's medical bills. The Social Security death benefits weren't enough for Mrs. Joe 6-pack to live on; their children inherited nothing for their father's life-time of hard work. Thank the good Lord that Joe 6-pack wasn't around to see that, or he might have died from shame.

Rest in peace Joe 6-pack. Millions of other dumb smucks are right behind you. They too left their cheap trinkets behind to loved ones in their pathetic last wills and testaments. Poor stupid Joe, I'll be right there behind you too. We all will be. The best part is yet to come. Because where we'll all end up, there won't be any rich and greedy CEOs there to rip us off anymore. But don't you worry Joe. You've left a loving and faithful wife behind, and three grown children to carry on the family tradition in Wisconsin. They'll all continue to vote for Republicans until they too can be buried in their cheap Sunday clothes, just like you Joe 6-pack. Rest in peace you poor bastard, rest in peace poor Joe.

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