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Editor’s note: The following is the first chapter of author’s new book, Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America — and What We Can All Do to Save the Middle Class.
I Am an S.O.B.
Every author, no matter how fair and impartial he might try to be, comes with his own life experiences and point of view. So before we get into the meat of this book, let me give you a little background on me.
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I am the perfect Angry White Male because I was born into the perfect (and classic) white middle-class life. I can’t speak to the black experience, or Hispanic experience, or any other kind of experience. Because I was born white. This book is my story and my experience. It isn’t better or inferior to anyone else’s. But it’s mine.
I am an S.O.B. — son of a butcher. I’m also a G.O.B. — grandson of a butcher. My father and grandfather were special people. They represented the greatness of America, the salt-of-the-earth drive, ambition, morality, patriotism, work ethic, faith in God, and love of family and country.
They both aimed for the American Dream. My grandfather found it. He turned his four-man butcher store into a big success. My father struggled — his two-man butcher store achieved only mediocre success. Yet my dad was happy, loved America, and believed he had achieved his version of the American Dream. Despite never making any serious money, my dad fulfilled the only real dream he had: to be his own boss.
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The important point here is that they both had a shot — and that’s what makes America great. In America, anyone can become an owner — of their own home, business, life. It may not be pretty. It may not be perfect. But it’s yours. Owning a business, even a small one, is a little piece of heaven. And what has made America great for centuries was that through hard work, ambition, tenacity, and personal responsibility, anyone could build what my father and grandfather did. Sorry, Obama, but “we DID build it.”
A small businessman in my father’s and grandfather’s day was no Kennedy or Rockefeller or J.P. Morgan — no mogul, no billionaire. But he or she could move up in class, be their own boss, and stake a claim to a better life and a better future for their kids. My grandparents and parents could pay their bills, buy a new car every four years, go on annual vacations, pay for their children’s college, and live a great middle-class life. You didn’t need to be a millionaire or billionaire to live a great life in the old America.
My grandfather and father both did well, to varying degrees. They both died satisfied. They both believed their kids and grandkids would do better than they did. They knew America was exceptional. They knew firsthand the American Dream was real. They knew firsthand the streets were paved with gold.
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Here’s the crucial question: Why would anyone want to purposely aim to “fundamentally change” that?
Obama admitted publicly that was his goal. And little by little, that life enjoyed by my father and grandfather is gone. Today, owning a small business is a struggle. Paying the bills is a struggle. Paying the legal bills is a struggle. Paying the taxes is a struggle. Paying the landlord is a struggle. Filling out the IRS tax returns is a struggle.
The cost of regulations makes it almost impossible to start a business or keep a business running. Between high income taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, workers’ compensation bills, legal bills, energy bills, skyrocketing health care bills, incorporation fees, minimum wage laws for employees, the threat of lawsuits, IRS audits, government regulations — it never ends, and nowadays it rarely ends well.
Later in this book you’ll hear the statistics about the dramatic decline of small business and the death of business startups (the lifeblood of middle-class job creation). What I’m talking about isn’t an opinion. What’s happening is a fact.
Today, anyone who starts or owns a business is targeted, persecuted, and marked for extinction by both Democrats looking to tax, spend, and redistribute us to death; and Republicans looking to keep us “small” and struggling to give the advantage to their big business donors. We get creamed by both sides and on both ends. The hits just keep on coming!
If anyone would know, it’s me. I am a small businessman. Except for an 18-month period when I was a national television anchorman, I’ve never worked for anyone in my life. I’ve always been a small business owner, independent contractor, and “One-Man Army.”
I’ve never taken a check from the government in my life. I’ve never worked for the government. I’ve never done business with the government. I’ve never had a “safe” weekly paycheck from a big corporation. I’ve never had a pension. No company has paid my health insurance. My income has always been based on performance — i.e., commission. I am the “Last of the Mohicans.” I’m capitalism squared. I’m the American Dream on steroids. I’m Willie Loman (from Death of a Salesman) come to real life and updated for 2016. I don’t depend on anyone but me. I eat what I kill. I’m a real-life Renaissance man. Sadly, there aren’t too many like me left anymore.
But that’s not a mistake or coincidence. It’s a purposeful plan. Small businessmen, performance-based and commission-based salesmen, and independent contractors are being systematically driven to extinction.
While the GOP is no friend of mine and rarely does anything to help me succeed, the Democrats are my sworn enemy. They are out to destroy me. Could it be a coincidence that everything Obama believes in, everything he’s done — every goal, every policy — is aimed directly at me and Americans just like me?
- He’s raised my income taxes.
- He’s raised my payroll taxes.
- He’s raised my Obamacare taxes.
- He’s raised my capital gains taxes.
- He’s dramatically raised taxes on dividends and bank interest.
- He’s limited my tax deductions.
- He’s limited my exemptions.
- He’s phased out my child credits.
- He’s ruined the quality of my health care and dramatically raised my insurance premiums.
- He’s added draconian regulations.
- He’s dramatically raised my legal and accounting bills because of the new complicated taxes and regulations.
- He’s dramatically raised my energy bills with his climate change and green energy obsession. To educate those who are ignorant or delusional, fossil fuels are dirt cheap. “Alternative energy” is sky high. Pretty simple stuff.
- He’s tried to hurt the tax advantages of Subchapter S companies.
- He’s tried to eliminate or drastically restrict the use of independent contractor status (ask Uber).
- He’s made life almost impossible with rampant use of tax liens by the IRS. Once the IRS places a lien on you or your business, your credit is ruined, all funding from lenders dries up, and you are effectively prevented from earning a living.
- He’s hit small business with Obamacare rules, overtime rules, and minimum-wage raises.
- He wants to eliminate the cap on FICA (Social Security taxes). I could not survive that one.
- He wants to eliminate my lifesaving deductions for business expenses, mortgage deduction, and charitable donations. (I could not survive that either.)
- He’s passed laws making it almost impossible to choose to leave America and do business or banking overseas.
- He wants to pass TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would kill middle-class jobs by the millions and place all of us under foreign laws.
- He’s aimed IRS tax audits at small business.
- He’s passed new laws allowing the IRS to seize your passport if you owe $50,000 or more, so you are no longer free to leave the country. How scary is that? Any successful small businessman could easily ring up a $50,000 tax bill after only 60 days of being late for payroll taxes. We’re all in grave danger. Think about this: Without a passport you can no longer take a business trip overseas. So the IRS has taken away your right to earn a living.
- He’s passed laws that make it all but impossible for small business owners to set aside money for retirement. He’s handed over the country to lawyers and class-action lawsuits.
- He’s passed Dodd-Frank regulations that make it almost impossible to raise money anymore for a small business. He’s passed draconian banking laws that make it impossible for small business owners like me to ever qualify for a mortgage on an expensive home. So I can never again qualify to own the very home I live in right now.
- He’s made the Environmental Protection Agency king and tyrant ruler of America, imposing draconian regulations and fines on small businesses, farmers, ranchers, landowners, and anyone with a puddle on their property.
- Of course, this same out-of-control EPA has put coal out of business — and with it, hundreds of thousands of high-paying middle-class jobs.
- He even tried to badly hurt businesses by attempting to ban us from using criminal background checks on potential employees. Can you imagine flying blind when you interview murderers, rapists, and financial scammers for a job? Then if you hire them to interact with your customers and something goes wrong, you get sued. That should be good for your business!
- And get this one: Obama tried to impose 442 different taxes that were never passed by the Republican Congress, or all of us would already be out of business.
What a list.
What a madman. How much worse could it get if we had a pure communist tyrant out of the old Soviet Union in charge? It’s like a personal attack directed straight at my life by the Obama administration. And there’s a new attack every day. Literally.
Is anything I do not under attack? There is no point even trying to debate: Obama, Hillary, Bernie, and their socialist cabal clearly want to wipe small business owners, landowners, property owners, farmers, ranchers, any and all salesmen, and independent contractors off the face of the earth.
And all of those groups just happen to include about 28 million Americans just like me — predominantly white, small business owners or independent contractors.
CNBC estimates this group is 85 percent white. Most of us vote Republican and are supportive of conservative policies, candidates, and causes. Most of us are homeowners. Most of us are high-income earners. Most of us are churchgoers. Most of us are married with children. Every bill, policy, and tax I listed above is aimed to cripple us.
So this is clearly no coincidence. It’s crystal clear. Our way of life is under attack. Obama and his socialist cabal hate us for our work ethic, success, and ownership. They want to take it all away, punish us, and redistribute our income and assets. They want us to live in misery. They want us to be serfs: dependent on only big government and big business for our survival. They want us poor, broke, helpless, and hopeless — with nowhere else to turn. So they need to slowly bankrupt us and dry up our money.
That is the life Obama, Hillary, Bernie, and their socialist cabal are trying to kill in the name of guilt, equality, fairness, social justice, and, of course, revenge and reparations.
But, again, let me stress that the GOP establishment is not much better. They fight for their biggest donors only. The rest of us don’t matter because we have no lobbyists, or D.C. law firms, or million-dollar checks for the politicians.
The middle class made America great, not the other way around. It wasn’t the rich elites, academics, politicians, or bureaucrats. Small business was (and still is) the economic engine of the greatest economy in world history. Capitalism, social mobility, and the economic and individual freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have lifted more people out of poverty than all other political systems in world history combined. They are the very foundation of the American Dream. The middle class is quite simply the class that produces almost everything.
Today, the middle class is being targeted, persecuted, and systematically wiped out. I, and millions of others like me, are angry about it. Hence the title of this book, Angry White Male.
This group isn’t the super wealthy “1 percent.” But they are the “top 10 percent,” who pay over 70 percent of the taxes in America.
And they are the “top 20 percent,” who pay 92.9 percent of the taxes.
And they certainly are the “top 40 percent,” who pay 106 percent of the taxes. Yes, the correct figure is 106 percent.
Like I said, we pay just about everything (and then some).
The middle class and small business owners built America with our blood, sweat, and tears. Our ambition, sacrifice, and courage to risk our own money in pursuit of the American Dream provides virtually all the trillions of dollars in taxes. Without us, the taxes we pay, and the jobs we create, there is no government. We pay for the government agencies, programs, and bureaucrats. We pay for the public works projects, highways, schools, hospitals, and airports. We pay for the welfare state.
Yes, Mr. Obama, we did build it.
Big-government politicians like Obama should be praising and celebrating us, not denigrating us. Politicians and government bureaucrats survive and prosper because of us, not the other way around.
My vision as a conservative and capitalist has always been to provide opportunity and lift everyone up regardless of race, sex, or social status. My vision of equality is everyone doing well, independent of government. The leftist’s vision of equality is to make everyone equally miserable, poor, hopeless, helpless, and dependent on government. By destroying the middle class, power and control is centralized in the hands of the elite, privileged, political class and the super wealthy who fund them.
By the way, this is how most societies have functioned throughout history. Think about the dark days of kings, aristocracy, and serfs. Think Downton Abbey. Think Braveheart.
What’s standing in the way of an elitist, aristocratic, serf society is an independent middle class that doesn’t need or want government’s help. For the progressive elites, that’s a big problem. The middle class gets in the way of big government’s control. That’s why liberals believe the middle class must be eliminated and along with it the capitalist economy that fosters independence, rewards ambition and personal responsibility, and provides upward mobility to achieve the American Dream.
So you see, it isn’t about black or white. It’s about a leftist vision of tearing people down, instead of lifting them up. Never forget: The tools being used are social justice, guilt, revenge, reparations, and redistribution … versus empowerment and personal responsibility. And, of course, an open border that allows in millions of foreigners who have no understanding of, or love for, capitalism or economic freedom. They’re interested only in survival. And they demand high taxes on the middle class to pay for their survival.
America itself is central to this plan. America is the beacon, the shining light on the hill. America is the proof for millions of “serfs” trapped under the rule of tyrants the world over that freedom exists, that the individual can triumph. America gives hope to the masses that one day they can be free, happy, and wealthy.
Therefore, in the eyes of these leftist tyrants, the ideals of America must be stamped out. Ironically, guilty white liberals chose a black American to do the dirty deed. They were smart. They knew that because of guilt and a fear of being called “racist,” white America would allow Obama to do things no white liberal could ever get away with. It’s truly ironic that the man whose slogan was “HOPE” is well on his way to snuffing out the very last hope for mankind.
What has been done to the predominantly white middle class in the past eight years is unimaginable and mind-numbing. You need to face the truth before you can act on it. Taking action is the only way to reverse fear and desperation. Complaining doesn’t help. Only taking action will set you free.
That action starts with putting a plan in place to protect yourself and save our nation. The great news is this book will present that plan and provide you with options.
I hope you’re now starting to understand why I believe we have every right to be Angry White Males. Our livelihoods are being taken away. Our freedom and future as productive members of society hang in the balance.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.