ANOTHER 1% VOICE
Carl Granados writes:
It would be a nice idea for the 1% to write about themselves for your blog like the one you had yesterday.
With that intent I am sending you mine.
I am one of the fortunate 1%. I am a Cuban immigrant that came with my parents in 1960. My father was in the top 1% in Cuba but lost it there due to Castro. He came here, started from scratch and once again made it to the 1%. In the 60's, when my father first got here, he did not complain about how high the tax rates were nor did he use it as an excuse not to work or become wealthy. He was happy as hell to have the opportunity just to be all that he could be.
Like the Donald Trump's of the world, I too went to work for my father in the family development business. Unlike most of the 1%, I don't pretend that I got all that I did because of my genius or because God likes me better than someone else. The truth is that most in the 1% are there because they were born to the right family, married to the right person, had the right friends, and/or had lots of luck with health, genes, and being at the right place at the right time.
I remember before Saint Reagan when one breadwinner brought home what it takes two for today. I remember when people used to work 40 hours, got two weeks paid vacation the first year working, when interest rates on credit cards were legally only a few points above prime, when we had Savings and Loan Banks, and when CEOs got fired when they did a crummy job. The policies that made this the norm FOX News calls Socialism.
There was a time when I was a proud Republican because they believed government played a valuable role in maintaining and supporting capitalism. Many such as Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. (before they ran for President) believed in a woman's right to choose keeping government out of a woman's personal choices. I remember when Republican stood for fiscal responsibility not just tax cuts they used to bribe voters while paying for it with greater debt.
I initially was a Republican for the same reason many Cubans were... because we blamed President Kennedy for the Bay of Pigs. It's odd how one event can cloud a people's mind for so long. I also believed in principles like taking government off people's back, fiscal responsibility, strong defense, and making our country the most progressive on the planet.
I was and still am a libertarian on social issues which Republican rhetoric claims to support. We need to understand that if we want to enforce the religious morality of certain faiths (majority or not) it curbs our freedoms, it replaces justice with a double standard, and keeps us from finding the best solutions for problems if they conflict with what we want to hear. Of course, as with most things GOP, what they claim and what they do are opposites. With leaders like Jesse Helms and Strom Thurman (and everyone in the GOP primaries this season) it wasn't too long before I woke up.
Today the modern Republican Party is a religion that survives on faith because its core tenets have been proven false over and over. Cutting taxes too much, especially for the rich, gets you votes but leads to more debt as Reagan and two Bushes have proven. Keeping choice from a woman or keeping gays from marrying makes government ON our backs not the opposite. One of its core principles seems to be ending abortion in any form while also ignoring those that are born without care, food, or love -- and that makes no sense. Too much deregulation leads to loan shark rates on our credit cards, banks that need to be bailed out, and a Wall Street with CEOs that get paid like kings even when running a company into the ground. Finally it is true that the top one percent are job creators but mainly for people in third world countries and illegals taking care of their kids or cleaning house.
Like anyone I hate paying taxes because I believe we do waste a lot of our tax money and stupid wars and to much military. Yes there are plenty of places to save though we may disagree where. I do know we need to invest more in education and make it cheaper if we are to compete in the world. I do know health care has to be affordable and accessible to all if we want a country that cares for its own. I do believe we have to concern ourselves with maintaining a livable planet instead of hoping it doesn't go to crap before we pass on. Finally I believe if we go to war we have to pay for it not hope the good fairy will do it.
I love America. I believe in investing in its people. I believe government plays a part that keeps Capitalism working. I do believe government can do something better and honestly than private business (could make a big list but would make this email too long). I believe everyone should compete equally, instead of limiting it to the ones that can afford the schools, medical bills, and technology, because it makes us stronger and healthier. I believe in taking care of the old who have helped make our country what it is. I also believe in paying our bills and not pushing it on to our kids. This means our taxes should cover our spending which should be simple math but Republicans most have failed that class in elementary school.
I love this country because I care about everyone in it not just the lucky 1% like me.