A letter to theWall Street Journal
by a Newport Beach real estate executive who believes it would be unfair if the Bush tax cuts were not extended for those who make over $250,000-a-year certainly set off McSweeney's writerEdward Murray
"The Poor Top 2 Percent" on the Huffington Post is Murray's long, scatching response to the Journal letter.
Before getting to the meat of the matter, Murray nobly explains, "rather than call out the name of the person who wrote this letter to the WSJ, I will respect this concerned citizen's privacy by referring to him as Vangogo the Peapod."
The letter is then excerpted:
My family isn't wealthy. I have no funded retirement plan save Social Security, if it is there when I need it. I have no guarantee of permanent health care. I am paying off school loans for our three children.
Yet those of us who make $250,000 or more are vilified and held accountable for solving our government's penchant for spending more than it takes in so that politicians can buy votes. We already pay more in taxes than 98% of the population, particularly the nearly 50% of eligible voters who pay no federal income tax. The president wants us to pay more, and he frames it in a way that casts us as not yet carrying our fair share of the burden.
"Your story, Vangogo the Peapod, is identical to that of millions of Americans all across the country," Murray writes. "Except for the part about making $250K a year."
With virtual tongue firmly planted in cyber cheek, Murray then agrees it is "unfortunate" VtheP made so much money, but the writer cannot understand why the wealthy exec has no retirement funds other than Social Security.
"I'm sorry for being so candid, Vangogo the Peapod, but what the hell have you been doing with your money as a Newport Beach real estate exec?! If you're informed enough to know your tax rate, no one is going to buy that you don't know how to open up an IRA. Or at least get a lemonade stand going, for the love of God."
Murray goes on to tee off on VtheP lamenting he: has no guarantee of permanent health care (Response: "I wish someone would step forward and promote some sort of single-payer universal health care policy."); and that he has to pay off school loans for three children ("Well, lucky for you, you've been enjoying 9 years of free money! With the Bush tax cuts, you had an extra 4.6% of your income! Since 2001, that's at least $100,000 for the education of your offspring! Now, I know that $100,000 hardly makes a dent in the overall expenses, right? It's just a drop in the bucket, right?! Oh, but wait... that's the exact amount of money you're complaining about not having if your tax cut doesn't get extended.")
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The writer goes on and on and on laying it on poor rich sap VtheP, responding to the whine, "The president wants us to pay more, and he frames it in a way that casts us as not yet carrying our fair share of the burden" with "Can somebody get this guy a tissue? And a spine?"
"Marcopolo the Ramrod's letter is easily an open insult to the 70% of Americans who make less than $25K/year," Murray concludes, "but beyond that, it beautifully exposes an appalling obliviousness to the state of our country by certain advantaged members of society, as well as an absolute disregard for those who do not share their tax bracket. Such a buffoonish unmasking of this blatant contempt is probably considered social treason even to others who are in favor of extending the tax cuts.
"Gorgonzola the Flashmob, you might want to keep the talking that happens inside your head quiet until November when it's time to vote. Just make sure you're able to scrape together enough coins from the change jar to get to the polls; a gallon of gasoline can be as high as .0012% of your yearly income."