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Macaye Santos: What does override do for private-sector workers

To the editor:

I echo the sentiments of the person who wrote in saying the override of Proposition 2½ in Northampton is no cause for celebration. Not when it could cause many people to sell their homes and move from the area, many people who have lived in the area all of their lives. Not when it could cause more businesses to close and more unemployment.

How can this help our city?

Is the override an effort to educate our children and protect our citizens, or an effort to save jobs and increase wages?

Why should it be any different for teachers, firefighters and police officers than it is for the rest of us out here, who are losing jobs left and right, facing unemployment and other life-changing circumstances due tot he economy?

What is being done for them?

Don’t let the override be the only solution to our city’s financial problems. Let us take this opportunity to look to other solutions.

I applaud the person who spoke up at the override meeting a few weeks ago, who found the courage to say why not let people voluntarily give to the city according to their means and consciences.

That is but one possible solution; surely there are more, if we would all put our heads together and try to find a way.

Macaye Santos

Northampton

Legacy Comments17

Gary, you obviously see yourself as a victim of that vast left-wing socialist liberal conspiracy. But if you're really paying 50% of your earnings in taxes then you're not a victim - you're a chump, because whoever is preparing your tax returns is either incompetent or is robbing you blind. $1000 a week at a 50% rate means your annual gross income is in the neighborhood of $104,000 which puts you in the 28% bracket (the highest bracket for those earning over $400k is 39.6%). If you use an accountant, fire him/her. If you do your own taxes, hire an accountant. The responsibility lies with you, not with the rest of the world.

i see myself as being taken the cleaners by a government that provides very poor services at great expense and is incredibly bloated and does little to fix the problem and is contemptuous of the people who put them in their positions. My 50% tax estimate includes social security taxes which my employer and I pay and which I may never get back and certainly not what I should have gotten back if the money had been invested in a private insurance contract or even in a 30 year govt bond getting 5 percent interest. Are you saying we only pay taxes to the federal govt? Please. I also included every other tax like state income, sales tax, use taxes, personal property taxes, meal taxes, phone taxes, gasoline taxes, car registration, road tolls etc. I think this is fair because either way - its money I must give to the government every time I enter into an economic exchange. And it does add up to what I claim (over 50% which makes me a slave in my book). Actually over my working carreer I've paid over 1 million dollars in taxes. So its a little grating to hear the progressive marxists say we fiscal conservatives are selfish racists (white privilidge is by definition what racism is all about). Calling someone a racist now seems to be the default arguement of the left when their rational arguement doesn't hold water. I don't remember the exact numbers but at least 3,000 people in N'ton voted against the override. So they agree with my position. We think we already pay enough. It would help your side if you stuck to the facts and didn't call people racists or nasty because they disagree with you. I pay a thousand dollars a week to the government in one way or another. I am just a computer programmer if that gives you an idea of my working class - and not a rich person - but thats what I pay. I was born in Nton and grew up in the market st area (the wrong side of the tracks). You all are paying alot more than you think too. (still have not heard back if Pascuali is a government worker and what he thinks his tax rate is - stop drinking that cheap beer there girl - it will rot your brain and liver if it hasn't already!). Knest and Grendal same thing - are you open to sharing your percieved tax rate and if you are working for a government entity and lets be honest?). I think that would give us alot of insight into where you're coming from and why you feel you can pay more. I'm not holding my breath on getting that info.

Not sure why I'm replying to another dispatch from the crazy train, but I'll do it this one last time. I am not a government worker, I've worked in private academic institutions for my whole professional life. Nor am I a "girl," Pascual is a male name. My brain gets foggy sometimes from lack of sleep, but my liver is fantastic. I came from the wrong side of a different set of tracks in a different town. I'm in the 25% federal tax bracket. It think it's worth paying to have functioning roads and what-not. Now, I’ll waste some more of my time by making some final observations: I see that I empowered your nonsensical victim narrative by mentioning race. You're welcome. Now, in fairness to you, I did throw that in without the context in which it came to mind. This was a conversation that I'd had earlier that day about differences between Northampton and Holyoke. Western Mass is pretty racially segregated for a number of historical reasons, and there is a real differences in levels of homeownership in different communities. The fact that there are people in Northampton that are paying rising rates of property tax on properties that are appreciating in value is an outgrowth of the same process that concentrated wealth in the whiter communities--even among the working class. That doesn't mean that people in those communities are racist, but it does mean that the experience of paying more taxes on a fast-appreciating home is tied to economic advantages historically enjoyed by white folks in a segregated region. Like I said, I dropped that fact in without context, and I’m sorry of it hurt you feelings. But I have to give you credit for taking that line places that no ordinary logical mind would take it. It has been a real psychedelic journey with you, Gary, and I am a richer “girl” for it. I get annoyed sometimes at the establishment liberals here (because they are establishment, not because they’re liberal). But thank goodness you came by to remind me about the other ideas that are out there. You’re a real treasure. And, finally, I know many intelligent, fine people who voted against the override. I didn’t try to convince them to do otherwise, even though I disagreed with them. But they are narrow minded in one sense. I imagine that any of those fine, intelligent people who voted against the override would be mortified by the idea that their position is represented in the magnificent narrative of paranoid self pity, this masterpiece of Obama-era vernacular literature.

Sorry, I keep hitting send to soon. What i mean to say is that there are plenty of good folks that had their own sane reasons for voting against the override. But the vast majority of them are to sane to "agree with your position" as it's laid out here.

Brilliant Pasqual, but remember that the only way to end this surrealistic journey through the rabbit hole is to accept the fact that the crazy train must always have the last word.

True enough, Knest. I tingle with anticipation of the Boschean verbal hellscape to follow.

Detroit filed for bankruptcy today. Is our city on a path of insolvency? Meredity Whitney predicts municpal default is the next subprime crisis. So far this year 37 municipalities have filed for bankruptcy. http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/07/18/detroits-bankruptcy-40-of-street-lights-dont-work-66-of-ambulances-out-of-service/

I think if you look a little more carefully, you'll find that it's the places that are unwilling to support their schools, police departments, and other public services that are the most depressed. These are the places most likely to have businesses closing down. Anyone who thinks that teachers and others in the public sector are not facing the loss of their jobs in the current economy has not been getting out much...

Indeed!

I'm with Grendel. I'm someone who's lucky to have 150 bucks in the bank on the day before payday. I spend most of my paycheck on mortgage, condo fees, and other expenditures based on my home. I am still paying off debt from graduate school, though fortunately I have a pretty stable job that I like, with good insurance. How's that budget for you, Beowulf? The override burden is a significant dent in my walking-around money. But the thing is, I am ok to pay it. I feel blessed with the money I do have, and think that it shameful to undermine public education to save money that I would just spend on stuff I don't really need. Seriously, If I wanted to cancel out the extra tax burden, the amount in question adds up to me buying cheaper beer and reheating leftovers a couple of times a week. This whole narrative that this is going to somehow bankrupt people who own 300,000 dollar homes really strians credibility.

Pascual - As I said previously I pay 50% or more of the money I earn through my labors to the government in taxes and fees - I guess that makes me a slave to them. Anyway - I don't spend most of my money on myself like you appear to do with your mortgage and condo fees and on beer. 50% of my expenses are for paying the government tax collector. Can you tell us what you estimate your tax rate is? I'm just curious. Maybe your rate is more than you think. I pay something near $1,000 a WEEK in taxes. Thats why I object to being accused of not paying my fair share. Thats why I get offended by all this talk about just a little more. $1,000 a week for what? I don't drink so I can't save money switching to cheaper beer (I think this says alot about you girl! take a break from that swill and your head might be a little clearer) I would love to take a vacation with that money and go to Poland or some exotic place but can't because I am paying for a municipal employee's pension so they can retire to Florida at 62 with 80% of their former salary. Why should I not be a tad upset about this? But I forgot - according to you I'm a white priveledge racist tea partier who doesn't think he has to pay taxes - so I deserve to be punished by having my hard earned money redistributed by the progressive marxists. I just have to cut back on something - its not a problem. Signed - your not so compliant slave. (PS. don't tell me you're a gov'mnt worker! - no way). To the gazette workers - I see another batch of newspapers is sadly closing. Why - The people are tired of the propoganda you guys endlessly shovel out - nobodies buying it anymore - or your papers. Hopefully the gazette will be on this list soon. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of propagandists (the only good reporters at the gazette are chad cain and cheryl wilson and richie davis is good at the recorder and diane broncaccio too). I trust what these guys write. The paper was alot better when the derose family owned the gazette. Can we bring them back? Maybe someday they'll buy a bankrupt newpapers of new england and turn the gazette around. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/story/2013/07/16/business-sun-media.html

Wait, was that a typo, or did you say you pay a grand a week in taxes? I imagine that leaves you a little scratch for running around. Apparently to hire a tiny little violin player too. And maybe to buy some web space to fill with your own "propaganda" instead crowding public forum by whining about how a general comment about "white entitlement" was an accusation of racism against poor little you? But unless you can use it to buy votes too, I don't see you convincing anyone in any way that actually matters.

I mean, where does someone in the tax bracket you're claiming to be in get off whining about "the rich people in Nton"?

Also, my apologies to Macaye Santos for this nasty dispute being dragged onto your thread. I disagree with you, but don't mean to lump your reasoned argument and my reply to it in with the unpleasantness of my conversations with this "Gary" fella.

This is too funny. Gary, I'm sorry that you pay a thousand dollars a week in taxes so you can't afford a beer. You might want to hire an accountant because you're clearly doing something very wrong managing your very high income.

Could we please stop making mountains out of molehills? Nobody (let alone "many people") is going to close a business or lose their home because of a $30/month override. Which is tax deductible, I might add, unless they have no mortgage and own their house outright, in which case they're sitting on several hundred thousand dollars in equity and have even less cause to be whining about how poor they are.

*You* are living on a different plane of reality. Stop basing your assumptions on your budget - that is not rational OR fair, and shows a complete lack of empathy or compassion. Signed, Beowulf

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