LET THEM EAT CAKE

As the French Revolution approached, it is claimed Marie Antoinette was told the people had no bread. Her purported response: Let them eat cake!

Historians claim Marie Antoinette never uttered the words. First, because they were recorded when she was nine years old. Second, she was too nice to have spoken thusly.

An observation. Bread was cheap to make. Cake, not. The cake referred to in the statement was actually brioche. A luxury cake full of milk and eggs. Expensive.

Tomorrow Trump’s proposed budget will be made public. A lot of cuts affecting the poor and middle classes. One item food stamps.

Food stamps feed 42 million people. Trump wants to cut food stamps by 25 percent over 10 years. $193 billion. The cut by a man who obviously eats the best and richest of foods. His body size speaks for itself. A man who luxuriates at Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower. A president who causes protection costs to skyrocket because his family and he live in three different locations.

Trump’s life style suggests…..Let them eat bread!

Trump forgets his obligation to take care of all the people. I make this statement based on  the further fact that his proposed budget contains big tax breaks for the rich.

The message seems to be…..Screw the people!

Turtle nesting time! All along the Keys. In Key West, Higgs and Smathers Beaches.

This week’s Keynoter has an excellent article on the nesting subject.

Each of 100 to 200 female loggerhead turtles will lay 100 to 120 golf ball sized eggs in the sand. Incubation is two months. Followed by the journey back to the ocean by the baby turtles.

I live and learn. Turtle sex is determined by sand temperature. Hotter sand yields females. Cooler, males.

Another interesting tidbit. There are not many nests laid on Key West beaches. Smathers for example had only 7 nests in 2015. Last year things improved. Ten.

Our friend William Hackley sounds cruel this morning. He was walking along Simonton Road near the beach and came upon a turtle nest. He took 110 turtle eggs. Broke more than a dozen in the process. Food for Hackley and his family.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I saw Forever Plaid saturday night at the Waterfront. The show thrilled me. Songs from my past. Tunes I danced and courted to. One of them, Love Is a Many Splendored Thing.

Last night on Turner Classics, the movie was shown. William Holden and Jennifer Jones. Touched my heart. Saw the movie for the first time in 1955 at the now gone Olympic Theater in Utica with my fiance. The movie had emotional parts. Our hand holding got tighter at those times.

Nothing is forever. Live long enough and you realize it. Gone are major companies such as Eastern Airlines and Montgomery Ward. More businesses have failed in recent times.

Yesterday, one of America’s most beloved closed its doors. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. My father took me. I took my children. My children took their children.

Enjoy your day!

 

19 comments on “LET THEM EAT CAKE

  1. Welfare reform, well, its about time. If one is the slightest bit observant the fraud is seen to be rampant. I doubt there are many that complain about needed welfare. But when the system is openly abused as much as it is, its about time someone decided to try and fix it.

  2. Patrick….”But when the system is openly abused as much as it is, its about time someone decided to try and fix it”

    Like Trump and Co. taking the hose to Dodd-Frank? I guess abuse is just fine when it “feeds” the upper class in America.
    As is often the case in America, the fix is in for those who abuse it the most and deserve it the least.

  3. ‘Those that deserve it the least’, yep. I see those with the designer jeans, 2 or 3 cell phones, Escalade, etc. And, 2 or 3 EBT cards being used to buy booze, cigs, pop, chips, real healthy stuff for the kids. They’re even sold for cash, $.50 on the dollar. They take the kids to the barber and get the zig-zags and numbers cut in their hair [ I’ve watched both parents bring all 4 kids at a time. Both parents because both are too lazy to work] for $25-30 each. And we pay the bill.
    If you think abuse is OK, I’ll just shake my head and back away slowly.

    Anyone that thinks Trump is cutting the budgets has been watching the wrong news channels. The cuts are to the rate of the recent increases over the decade. The projected increase in Medicaid alone is still after the Trump budget an increase of 3 trillion over 10 years and thats with a cut of about 800 billion. Remember that obama tripled Medicare budget during his tenure.

    And don’t forget that the top 10% still pay 70-80% of all taxes and almost half of the rest pay no tax. Trumps tax cuts aren’t enough to suit me. He wants the corps and the wealthy to pay their fair share and change the tax regs to get that. I’m giving him the chance. If I don’t what he does, next election I’ll vote for someone else.

    His reduction in EPA regs is also not going to effect our water or air quality either.

    • So we are clear, a whole lot of recipients of assistance are NOT getting zig zags and such.

      Here are some stats from the US Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, CATO Institute.

      Total number of Americans receiving welfare government assistance 67,891,000

      Percent of the US population on welfare programs 21.2 %

      Total Federal government spending on welfare programs annually (not including food stamps or unemployment) $158,200,000,000

      Percent of welfare recipients who are white / caucasian 16.8 % 11,405,000
      Percent of welfare recipients who are black 39.6 % 26,884,000
      Percent of welfare recipients who are Hispanic 21.2 % 14,392,000
      Percent of welfare recipients who are Asian or Pacific Islander 18 % 12,220,000
      Percent of welfare recipients who are Other / Mixed 4.4 % 2,987,000

      Regarding federal income tax, there are conflicting reports to who pays what. Without giving weight to one study over another it is apparent there is substantial payment in Federal taxes by those of means. That said, in no way should that give them or financial institutions the green light to abuse by lack of legislation. Trump wants the Corps and wealthy to pay their fair share? How by lowering their tax rates to that of the middle class? It will create a shortfall for sure and clearly favors the wealthy. The Tax Policy Center has estimated the top 1% of households would see a 14% increase in after-tax income, while low and middle-class Americans would see gains of just 1.2% to 1.8%. That of course doesn’t take into account the pain felt by the lower brackets when his plan fails.

      I too would like to pay less tax, a lot less, who wouldn’t. Yet there is something reasonable in a system where the higher earners pay more. At the end of the day they have more than enough left over to live a good life. I prefer to have better use of my dollars paid but that is a pipe dream. I can at best hope for efficiency in the the various divisions it feeds.

      I knew after I posted it that the word “deserve” wasn’t precise enough, it was intended to define “need”. That said the wealthy and institutions at the top need very little but continue to gorge themselves at every opportunity, they never have enough. Often this is on the backs of tens of millions of others that will pay the freight for the “legal abuse” the law allows them. Any President who opposes regulation in an industry that has a long history of raping america is not serving this nation. Trump is that man in my opinion. Such regulation is sensible and warranted.

      Of course abuse is something that should be eradicated wherever it is found. Yet there is no balance in this administration, it favors the wealthy and makes villains of the poor. The evidence, it gives to the rich and takes from the poor. Sadly, the middle class jumped on that political train, in time they will learn a hard lesson once again. There are so many who struggle with multiple jobs, just to meet the basics of life. There are many who have hit a bump in the road and need assistance to get past that. This government does very little to increase the dividends payed in the form of taxes. Education assistance and trade training programs are pathetic or non existent, assistance for working families weak too. If you want more revenue you have to get more into the higher income brackets, yet there is resistance to a reasonable minimum wage. We can debate to the benefit or harm in that too I suppose, but this is certain, it is likely that government assistance will be greater if wages are not raised. Resistance to raising the wage is also a benefit afforded corporations.

      Question

      Why doesn’t the Federal Government expect employment after a reasonable assistance period, therefore capping such assistance.

      Answer

      Well there was an effort. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) Introduced in the House as H.R. 3734 by John Kasich (R-OH) on June 27, 1996, Signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 22, 1996
      This was a good start under the Clinton Administration, as was the National Healthcare Initiative.

      Question

      Why isn’t there a Federal WPA program to give decent paying jobs in return for labor on federal funded projects, such as infrastructure?

      Answer

      I have no idea, I still scratch my head over this one.

      Question

      Why isn’t there greater assistance for higher education or trade school programs. It makes sense to provide a skills set that leads to higher earnings.

      Answer

      We are so far behind the curve of many other developed nations and yet we continue on the path to failure. Even at the HS level, trade programs and non college initiative is greatly diminished from decades ago.

      Many of our politicians want to talk trash because it gets votes and worse…. the angry vote, Finding a real solution is a whole lot harder (and politically riskier) than the blame game.

      • Regarding the WPA, it kept many from starvation during the depression years. It would work today, the net hourly rate would be less than the market value for such labor. On the job training and better use of assistance dollars while building for America, that would be a win.

        • Nope. They have been tried since the depression. If you had been around you’d know those programs didn’t work. Also our educational system is in the toilet today. Most kids don’t know how to work, some laws are against kids being able to work even if they wanted to, and many don’t want to work. This is the age of entitlement. I had to tell a young high school grad yesterday how much change to give me because she was using an old type cash register. Our trade schools are nothing more today than baby sitters, I spent a couple years after retirement teaching at one. Years ago they had some kids that wanted to learn a trade, not now. Hourly wages, people should be paid what they are worth, thats it. The demand for a minimum wage of $15/hr was outrageous. The opportunity for an education/skill is there, all one needs to do is take advantage of it. Who do I blame for these poor conditions, liberals of course.

          • I am not aware of anything like the WPA after the depression, perhaps you can direct me to some article. I disagree on your take of young people, most I have met are smart and hungry to succeed. I know many that work and attend full time education programs. The age of entitlement? I say this is the age of enlightenment. That is when the GOP isn’t fighting it tooth and nail. The millennials will take the reins, and they will do well I am certain.
            Getting old isn’t the worst aspect of life, forgetting what it is to be young and full of fire is. I vehemently disagree with those that put down youth in general terms. I’m sure you can remember your younger days, the smart ones, the slow ones, the lazy ones, those slow to bloom. Nothing really changes that much but perspective. Regarding wages, you must be a strong supporter of HB-1 visa programs, bringing in better talent for less than going rate. That is capitalism so Kudos to you.

      • The higher earners do pay more you thieving communist cunt. Who the fuck are you to say that what they would have left is enough? Go suck a dick shitbag.

        • Read it again, maybe your eyes are failing in your old age. Perhaps your heart is next. “it is apparent there is substantial payment in Federal taxes by those of means” As for the rest of your vile pathetic comment, I will consider the source. I’ve seen your occasional off the wall postings to KWL, it speaks volumes to the barn-stall where you were raised. You see any low life can spew vileness, it won’t make you a man or better than any other. Try upping your meds.

  4. Louis, food stamps or also called EBT card stinks. welfare people legit and otherwise abuse it terribly. junk food purchases mostly. i have see it in practice. i dislike my tax paid money going for that abuse. get rid of it, President Trump.

  5. A social safety net is a necessary component of a civilized society. I agree with Patrick it has been abused and there is fraud. But, if Patrick wishes to be honest he knows that corporations and the wealthy have abused the system through use of their money and power (buying spineless politicians) and fraud as well in their “white shirt” corner suites rather than down on the corner in the ‘hood.

    All of them are thieves and it is only the honest people like the dumb middle class taxpayer that suffers. If you are a pretty average US taxpayer who pays a lot of tax for your hard work and paycheck you had better do the math on what Trump is proposing. I am going to be paying more DAM taxes under so-called Republican Trump than Obama. GO FIGURE!

    That just does not sit well with me when the rich can literally SIT on their collective BUTTS and draw passive income to be taxed 15% LOWER than income I have top bust ass to earn. If we were really all honest and fair than everyone, the Trust fund babies as well should pay the same damn tax rate on ALL income from anywhere. Talk about WELFARE!

    • Leonardo,

      The fair taxation of unearned income. A great topic to debate.

      A silver spoon adult in fact will have dividends taxed at a very favorable rate if they are qualified dividends, as most are. Non-qualified will not receive a favorable consideration. As you obviously know qualified dividends are taxed at the long term capital gain rate of 15 percent.
      But what about the average Joe, drawing dividends for retirement income. A brokerage account funded with after tax dollars after working all those years saving taxed at earned income rates? Is there a fair way to separate the two scenarios?

      The taxing of Social Security is another good topic to debate, I’ll save that for later.

      • Indeed. Taxation is the Republication’s Achilles heel as they are totally disingenuous about who is really going to pay taxes and get a haircut (read you and me if you work) and who gets welfare, read trust fund babies and multi-millionaire corporate CEOs, just like Trump. Wonder why that is?

        Not that Democrats would save anyone nay tax money either. But at least they admit they are taxing everyone for their social schemes whereas the Republicans lie about it.

  6. These debates aren’t worth the effort.

    I agree that there are some great youngsters today and hopefully they will continue to good productive lives. They are our future and they certainly have their work cut out from them. But, I also see a lot of the opposite. The divide seems to me like it is greater today than when I was their age.

    It was called workfare and I/we were involved in it. It sounded like a good idea, train and pay workers. Had to work 1/2 day, 3 days a week. 1 person out of 20-30 we had was any good and went on to work for us full time. The others were useless and even refused to do any work. They still got their welfare payments though. So we just stopped being babysitters. Ours wasn’t the only business to have this problem. Same happened in our local trade school. Very few kids were interested, mostly the kids were babysat.

    As far as corporations, they just have to abide by the tax laws. The laws were corrupted by our politicians and lawyers. Large corps hire a lot of people. There is fraud in the system, but, it appears to me that this admin is the one that is trying to stop the fraud if the dems would like it.

    Not sure I can be honest ! Hmm, OK. I sure as hell don’t lie.

    This is it.

    • “There is fraud in the system, but, it appears to me that this admin is the one that is trying to stop the fraud if the dems would like it.”

      Seriously Patrick? How can that statement above be true when Trump places Goldman-Sachs in the Treasury, wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank law, end net neutrality and might as well also ditch the fiduciary rule?

      Explain to me how any of those ideas help the little man? They certainly help sows more fraud and corporate abuse but that is to be expected as Trump is a corporate insider.

      The ways things are heading now I expect another BP Gulf level disaster and a 2008 Great Recession 2 under Trump.

    • Partrick – I don’t think you are a very good judge of who you think you are. In fact, in so many things you sir continuously show particularly BAD judgement. Your comments about not lying are the perfect example of that!

    • I’ve done some research on the workfare program, which did not exist in my industry to my knowledge. The issues you raised with workfare, I can not dispute, that is your first hand experience. I think the WPA was a better program which served the taxpayer and nation instead of the Corporations. In effect, Companies received free labor for the training they provided. I consider that problematic at best. It doesn’t matter I suppose, since workfare failed. The WPA was a success for the period it was needed. It is plausible the unemployed were more willing at that period to engage in hard labor and the same were working for the basics, like food and shelter. Still, with the current push to rebuild infrastructure I think a go at the WPA would be worthwhile. What is there to lose, you are paying out anyway. Regarding the current administration, nonsense, the swamp is getting deeper by the minute. It is just being directed topside instead.

      That is it.

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