Do you like working extra hard with little pay, to pay for someone who refuses to work at all? Money. Money is needed to do almost anything desired in this world, without it, you are literally poor. When asked what matters most in this election to Leola Roundtree, my grandmother, she replied that keeping our hard earned money instead of having it basically stolen was her main concern.
My grandmother is a shorter, older woman. She has colored red hair, that’s permed almost like a helmet around her head (a hair style from way back when no doubt.) She wears eye shadow the color of the prettiest green trees to make her hazel eyes pop out. She reminds me of the classic sweet old lady in the best of movies. She enjoys baking and creating extravagant feasts. She was a single working class mother of 2 daughters. Grandma was in the middle of baking a German-chocolate cake when I went to visit her. The smell and sugary chocolate batter melted my taste buds when it entered my nostrils. She instructed me not to mind her as she was preparing her cake batter. “Go ahead and start askin’ me what you need to Kaylee,” eager to get this interview started. I couldn’t help but notice her hair pulled up in rollers to keep her perm intact; with a pink plaid scarf pulled around her head tied into a perfect bow at the top of her for head. I sat at the kitchen table with my notes. When asked what mattered most to her in this election, grandma sternly said, “Working class and middle class rights to keep their hard earned money.” She continued “I always watch CNN, KSAT, and Good Morning America and I have to agree with them when they stress that we all are barely making it and fortune 500 companies like Walmart and Apple, not only are exempt from paying taxes, but get billions in tax credits at the end of each year. The talk about RAISING taxes for mid-class, and giving the rich a tax break really blows my skirt up. The middle class could possibly be exterminated, and that worries me because middle class is what my family and friends fall into.” Grandma worries that the rich look down on the not so rich as creatures and not human beings just like them. It’s about helping the people when they are down, not kicking them while their down.
I wanted to know exactly why the issue of who pays what taxes matters most to her. She answered me with uneasy eyes that she is struggling just to live off her retirement and social security. She doesn’t want to see working/middle class having to pay more for taxes when the rich get huge tax breaks. She feels that the rich need to start caring about humanity as whole and stop being selfish. Mean while they are getting fat in their luxurious homes while others are starving to death and having to bury their children because they cannot afford to keep food on the table. She is worried that if taxes for middle class are raised, and then lowered for the one percent, middle class will be destroyed. If the middle class is destroyed, not only a major part of what keeps this country running will be extinct, but people will turn to crime just to keep their children fed, and clothes on their back. She enjoys being able to live life without armed guards outside her home to protect her and her family.” She predicts people will get desperate, and it won’t just be other families and homes that die out, but her family is at much at stake as any other family safe inside their loving home. Will middle class continue to have the opportunity to keep those extra dollars to help them grow stronger? Will people turn to terrible crime if not? Will the one percent even care about production and growth of the economy if top rate and corporate taxes are cut, allowing them to continue stacking money on top of the stacks they already have that is basically just sitting in the bank? I asked if she truthfully believed in the middle class getting stronger; she was already nodding her head before I finished. She said, “It won’t happen overnight but I believe in time, things could really get turned around.” Grandma continued on voicing her opinion on other worries of birth control being taken away, and what would happen if women were no longer allowed to have abortions, even when impregnated from rape.
Grandma went on to tell me her ideas of what should be done. She explained to me that she doesn’t mind paying taxes to be able to drive on nice roads, or have the money go to our troops and their families. If she were in control she made it very clear that the money given to these women having babies with no job would no longer be given for free to buy designer purses and clothes. She believes that if they cannot find a job, then they must work for the government in some way to earn our tax dollars. They could pick up trash, volunteer in a homeless shelter, do bookkeeping for some government affiliation; something to earn the money that our government is forking out to them. She would keep tax rates raised for upper class to give the lower classes time to catch up. She stated that this could really help the economy and prevent people from losing their homes, cars, small businesses, etc.
My Grandmother is not the only person who has these concerns of what will happen to not only the middle class, but also the carelessness of humanity. According to Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/24/even-mitt-romney-admits-hell-need-to-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/) Mitt Romney has admitted that his tax plan means a tax increase on people he defines as middle income and a tax cut on people he defines as high income.“You’ve heard Romney say this — or some variant of it –dozens of times before. What’s changed since then is that Romney has admitted that his tax cuts, if they’re not going to add to the deficit, will have to increase taxes on people he defines as middle income and cut them on people he defines as high income. The study Romney is promoting — the one he says is the study you should be looking at — actually shows even under the most favorable assumptions possible, he’s going to have to raise taxes on the people he defines as the middle class. In saying that that study is credible, he has admitted he can’t make his tax promises add up. And yet he constantly, repeatedly says the opposite. Romney has clearly calculated that there aren’t many people who read these analyses. If he just keeps saying his tax plan can cut taxes on the rich while cutting taxes on the middle class while not cutting taxes on the rich while not costing a dime, eventually, his version of this will come to be seen as the truth. And perhaps he’s right. But the numbers show what they show.” Also by Ezra Klein, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/24/even-mitt-romney-admits-hell-need-to-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/
I gave my grandma a huge hug and kiss at the end of our visit. She was not only pleased to have spent time together, but honored that I wanted to interview her of all people. She was not hesitant to give me any input at all, and she was happy to provide more information than needed to help me understand this election a little more. I loved her spirit, and admired her concern and compassion for what is to come. We will find in time what lies ahead for working and middle class, and the one percent after November’s election!