2017-12-06 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

In case you didn’t know, Ellen Degeneres, talk show host, made 77 million last year. Steve Harvey, game show host, made 42 million. Dr. Phil made 79 million. Simon Cowell, reality show host made 43 million. Judge Judy cashed in with 47 million. An average Wall Street hedge fund manager made 2.5 million, some making 10 million. The CEO of AT&T took in 23 million. Rex Tillerson, current Secretary of State and former CEO of Exxon, raked in a living wage of 25 million last year before he became a government employee. And the Commissioner of the NFL scraped by on 34 million, despite NFL TV ratings and game attendance being down.

Now here are a few salaries of people like you and me. Teachers earn, on average, 38 thousand to 67 thousand, depending on experience and degrees they may have. Registered nurses average salary is 71 thousand. An average policeman makes 61 thousand, average firefighters get by on 47 thousand. The average pastor makes 76 thousand. A General Practitioner (MD) makes an average of 189 thousand. A physical therapist’s annual salary is 81 thousand. A drug counselor averages 43 thousand. Sanitation workers average 34 thousand. A cancer researcher averages 49 thousand. Loggers make around 35 thousand annually. And finally, factory workers make about 34 thousand each year.

These second paragraph worker’s salaries vary widely depending on what area of the country they live in, but regardless of any factors, these everyday folks will never make what those in paragraph one make. But what seems out of balance is that we REALLY NEED every worker mentioned in paragraph two. My life or yours won’t change an iota if all those mentioned in paragraph one, the “elite”, were rocketed to Mars. Eliminate paragraph two’s workers and we’re in for bad times. Our pay priorities are a_ _ backwards it seems.

So, now our politicians have decided that the “elite” among us need huge tax breaks. And, they say that the paragraph two workers, the necessary workers, just need to be patient, and this huge tax cut for the unnecessary “elite” will “trickle down” to us regular necessary folks. For our patience, the pennies will fall like rain into our empty pockets, they say. I say bull____! Let’s try some trickle up for a change. Give us the huge tax break, the increased salaries, and more affordable benefits.

Unemployment is at an eight year low, corporations are flush with cash, the stock market is bursting at the seams, housing starts are at a ten year high, and the “elite” need a tax break? Give me a break.

The Wall Street Journal recently sponsored an economic conference of CEOs from across the U.S. The conference moderator asked the CEOs present (about 125) if they planned to raise employee’s salaries and reinvest their giant tax savings in their corporations. A pitiful five hands went up. You can Google the video.

Well, where will the corporate tax saving go? I wonder. I’d say those CEOs will be having their trousers altered. They and their shareholders will need much deeper pockets.

Your pockets? They’ll be fine just like they are. Packed full too,…….of pennies.

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