Keep The Estate Tax!

PrizeHere’s Sunday’s “Pat Political Point” on the importance of keeping the Estate Tax. It aired on WSGW’s First Day show.

Pat Political Point “Keep Estate Tax!” From the 3/29/15 edition of WSGW’s “First Day.”


Well, you didn’t expect all of those big money donors from the 2014 campaign were just supporting certain candidates for their health, did you?

The 99-year-old U.S. estate tax would disappear under a bill approved Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee.The legislation, backed on a 22-10 party-line vote, would benefit about 5,500 families who pay the tax each year plus thousands of others who organize their finances to avoid the 40 percent tax on estates upon death. It would deprive the U.S. government of $269 billion in revenue over a decade.

The Senate passed a full repeal of the estate tax as part of its budget blueprint, which passed last night.

Despite numerous reforms to the estate tax, Republicans keep going and going until it virtually vanishes. As John Cassidy points-out in The New Yorker:

Since George W. Bush entered office, in 2001, the estate tax has already been reformed several times, and it now applies only to inheritances valued at more than $5.4 million. According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, in 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, about 0.2 per cent of estates—that’s two in a thousand, or fewer than four thousand estates in total—owed the estate tax.

In fact, the House Ways and Means Committee’s repeal of the tax does not include a way to replace the money that would be lost.

Thank you very little.

President Obama has proposed something different. He wants to tax the first $19 million inherited. On the flip side, the House committee’s version would only impose a tax after the first $20 million.

I can hear some of you already arguing, “But Pat, why should people who worked hard to become rich be punished with a tax when they die?”

Easy. Millionaire heirs should understand the value of work, and by taxing their inheritance, they will have to still earn a living instead of relying on the hard-earned cash their parents and grandparents earned.

I’ve read many Tea Party politicians from across the country advocate for drastic cuts in safety net spending in the name of teaching poor Americans the true value of work. Even though wages have remained stagnant for decades, jobs have been outsourced overseas for much cheaper labor, and millions settling for lower paying jobs, these politicians still think you’re not grasping this whole work ethic thing to their satisfaction.

I mean, it’s so awesome whenever these politicians (bankrolled by high-money benefactors) have the nerve to lecture us on the value of hard work. I love hearing people who take two week recesses here, and two week recesses there, and attend the best restaurants to hear from their benefactors constituents.

Yet conservatives fail to see the irony in how much they will fight to ensure rich kids never learn the value of hard work. They will do whatever it takes to help rich parents pass down their inheritance tax-free to their kids. For some reason, I guess rich kids learn the Puritan Work Ethic by rolling around in their inherited bags of cash, and realizing they never have to work again

That’s called making money the old-fashioned way: Being born into it.

The top 1% has enjoyed the Obama years immensely, making loads of cash. For some reason, though, that money hasn’t trickled-down to the rest of American, which I guess means supply side economics is kind of a farce, right?

Since the rich have benefited through Obama’s so-called socialistic society, perhaps it’s time we return to a time when we had steeper estate taxes. Just think how the kids of the 1% could feel proud by doing their patriotic duty and help pay for our crumbling infrastructure. That would actually be a touch of socialism.

And I’m sure after it’s all said and done, they won’t be slumming it at some fast food joint. Instead of three yachts, they may have to settle on two.

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Hannity’s War On Spring Break (or Freedom To Have Fun)

Hannity Spring BreakThe purpose of Sean Hannity’s War On Spring Break baffles me because his shaming of kids having fun sounds sort of…Nanny State-ish…does it not?

Now, I could be cynical and say that Hannity really doesn’t care what happens during Spring Break, but it does give his show a chance to act outraged while simultaneously showing constant images of bikini-clad college coeds. But remember, we’re outraged!

Here’s one of Hannity’s tweets on his Spring Break coverage:

To which I responded:

And here’s another response to another one of Hannity’s tweets on the subject:

I then received a predictable response proclaiming that today’s kids are behaving far worse than recent generations: 

These blanket admonitions are the type of comments that truly rile me up!

I despise the, “In my day, life was totally awesome, and filled with nothing but candy canes and unicorns” statements. How soon people forget.

As you can see for yourself, I take Mr. Harader to task for such a ridiculous comment. How can someone say kids are acting more irresponsible today than ever before? Seriously, the Rolling 20’s didn’t put shockwaves into the social norms America, and the rest of the civilized world? Are we going to say the 1960’s were exactly like The Donna Reed Show? Can someone argue with a straight face the 70’s were docile and tame? If so, then what were all of those Cheech & Chong movies trying to convey? How to drive safe when your car is filled with smoke? While Nancy Reagan told Americans to just say no in the 80’s, many were saying yes to all kinds of debauchery and songs by Men Without Hats! And, though I’m nostalgic about my 90’s, trust me, just watch the videos from Woodstock ’99, and tell me if things are worse today than they were then.

College students acting crazy for a week in their lives isn’t new, and it’s never going away. If they’re old enough to fight wars, then they earned the right to have fun.

And this is coming from a person who never attended a Spring Break party! No, I’m not bitter at all!

If there’s something that 20 year olds are going to tune-out, believe me, it’s going to be older and out-of-touch cable personalities begrudging them their American right to party.

That’s not to say there aren’t idiots in the crowd who will do some downright stupid things. Of course, there will always be those people. Just look at Donald Trump.

The libertarian streak in me says, however, that you’ve got to let adults be adults.

George Harrison once said something to the effect that through experience we gain knowledge. Those experiences come in all kinds of different forms in different stages of life. Sometimes, letting your guard down for a week is just one of those experiences Americans should cherish.

I knew plenty of college students who simply went home during their Spring Breaks. I knew some who did alternate spring break activities, like building or repairing homes, for example.

The point is we all have the right to make a choice. That’s what being an American is all about, right?

Shaming girls for being drunk while wearing bikinis, while showing said girls on a non-stop video loop, is sad and hypocritical for Hannity and his anti-Spring Breakers. Think about it: What would Hannity do without Spring Break? He’s making money by exploiting his fellow Americans for having fun, which is the real outrage.

Besides, judging from statistics, Southern conservatives probably aren’t all that mad since they’re most likely to order subscriptions for Playboy and other publications of the kind.

For the articles, of course.

Here’s a clip from Hannity’s “expose” I just had to share. The male panelist believes that we should tell girls they’re weak. That’s wise. Then, after a little arguing, the entire panel agrees that Spring Break should be “shut down.”

Why in the world would they want to hurt Spring Break towns and cities’ ability to conduct commerce? We’re talking big money, here, and anti-Spring Break advocates want to interfere with the free market!

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Wednesday Indie Music Day–Speedy Ortiz


Like this week’s Monday Music Minute, the Indie Music Day pick is also a day late. Illness, work, and daily life are all to blame! There’s not enough time in the day, I tell ya!

On last week’s First Day, I played Speedy Ortiz for the very first time. I’ve always been intrigued by this Massachusetts band’s sound, and I just had to air a portion of “Raising the Skate” from their sophomore album, Foil Deer. There’s something of a 90’s sound to this song, which explains why it hit a chord with me maybe.

Just remember, Sadie Dupuis is not bossy, she’s the boss!

To learn more visit their website, Facebook, and Sadie’s twitter page, if you wish.


Monday Music Minute (Belated)–Jay Webber


Caught a bit of a bug over the past weekend, so I’m a day late posting the Monday Music Minute.

This week’s song comes courtesy of my First Day show cohort, Michael Percha. On the show last Sunday, Michael highlighted a song from Michigan native/singer-songwriter, Jay Webber. Click the link below to hear Michael’s intro for Jay’s lovely song from Innocent Child called, “Little Town.” It’s a nice folky/jazzy tune, and I thank Michael for sharing it with us and the rest of the WSGW audience!

To hear more of Jay’s stuff, please visit his website, Facebook page, and don’t forget to check-out iTunes to hear Jay perform a variety songs live, including “Little Town.”

Monday Music Minute with Michael Percha–“Little Town” by Jay Webber.

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Rock On Friday–Nu Shooz


Yes, I liked a lot of 80’s pop, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

I did admit to the First Day audience last Sunday on how I so loved “I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz when I was a kid 1986, and continue to love it to this very day.

Perhaps it’s nostalgia. Perhaps it’s Valerie Day’s voice. Perhaps it’s her husband’s 70’s R&B style rhythm guitar work. Perhaps it’s just a song that lyrically and musically reached me. There’s sometimes no explanation as to why certain songs reach us.

Here they are performing “I Can’t Wait” on Solid Gold. The video quality isn’t the best, but you get to see Nu Shooz on the stage some 30 years ago! Gotta love 80’s fashion.

Here’s something cool. I found this video of Valerie and John Smith performing “I Can’t Wait” in 2013. It sounds like the crowd is into it, and why wouldn’t they be?!?!

It Rocks!

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Stephen A. Smith–Stick To Sports


You can hear today’s “Pat Political Point” from WSGW’s First Day in which I took ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith to task for failing to understand basic American history. The transcript is below the fold.

Pat Political Point from the 3/22/15 edition of WSGW’s “First Day.” Response To Stephen A. Smith


ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith knows how to make news, I’ll give him that.

In an effort to show he’s his own man and doesn’t follow the heard, Smith made some remarks at some symposium recently, in which he berates African Americans for voting heavily Democratic for the past five decades.

According to Smith, there’s a solution:

“What I dream is that for one election, just one, every black person in America vote Republican,”

As you can hear below, Smith gives a shoddy history lesson as to why blacks flocked to the Democratic Party after the Civil Rights legislation was signed into law in 1964:

From what I’ve read, Barry Goldwater is going against Lyndon B. Johnson. He’s your Republican candidate; he is completely against the civil rights movement. Lyndon B. Johnson was in favor of it — civil rights legislation. What happens is, he wins office, Barry Goldwater loses office, but there was a Senate, a Republican Senate, that pushed the votes to the president’s desk. It was the Democrats who were against civil rights legislation — the southern Dixiecrats. So because President Lyndon B. Johnson was a Democrat, black America assumed the Democrats were for it.

Ummmm….YES!!! That’s exactly why black America became solid Democratic Party voters, Stephen! Not only did LBJ sign the bill into law, but voters also remembered who pushed the legislation in the first place: JFK!

Let’s face it, Johnson used the ghost of John F. Kennedy to push the Civil Rights Act into law. Kennedy became the symbol of the bill, which thereby forever connected the Democratic Party to the bill itself!

Stephen A. Smith is also incorrect when he says the Senate was in Republican hands. Not true. Now, he’s not completely wrong in saying Southern Dixiecrats fought the bill. They most definitely did.

However, as Dave Weigel astutely points-out, opposition to the Civil Rights Bill depended more on geography rather than on party:

But the Democratic Party of 1964 was still the party of the South. As Harry Enten helpfully demonstrated, in 2013, the division on the Civil Rights Act wasn’t between the parties. It was between Southerners and Northerners. All but one Democrat from a northern state—West Virginia Robert Byrd, who served until his death in 2010—voted for the act. All but one Southern Democrat voted against it. Every single Southern Republican opposed the act; 27 of 32 northern Republicans voted for it.

And Weigel notes that with the Democratic Party landslide of ’64 (again, thanks to the Ghost of JFK), many Democrats defeated northern Republicans:

The Democratic landslide of 1964 wiped out some of the northern Republicans, replacing them with Democrats who voted for the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Only two Republicans voted against that bill—a better ratio than the Civil Rights Act had brought about. One of them was South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who’d left the Democratic Party for the GOP in September 1964, partly out of protest over—yes—the Civil Rights Act.

See, the Dixiecrats left the Democrats and flocked to the GOP, and so did their voters. That’s why the South has been difficult for Democrats since 1964.

Even LBJ predicted the hardship Democrats would face for the next 50 years after he signed the bill into law. Why? Because Democrats would forever be linked to the Civil Rights Act!!!

While I don’t necessarily disagree that groups should be monolithic in their voting behaviors, the history kind of explains why blacks tend not to favor the GOP.

It’s a history that Stephen A. Smith apparently doesn’t understand exists.

That wasn’t the point, I guess. The point was for Smith to go viral with his statements, and to have people like me debate his points.

In that area, Huzzah, Mr. Smith!

Listen to Smith’s comments below:

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