Taxes, death, and bad karma

President* Trump,

Paying taxes has always been fraught given how much of our national budget goes to support the military, the pittance that goes to support the real, practical needs of our people and our planet, and the paltry share that’s provided by corporations and wealthy people. Most years I’m able to focus on the more prosocial aspects of the budget to make it feel mostly ok with doing my share tax-wise. Now, however, it’s a whole new ballgame with you at the helm and although it was Laura who pushed the button to finalize our taxes yesterday, I felt ill when she did so.

At this point the tab for your damn golfing is the least of our troubles, but for some reason I felt compelled to see what those numbers look like. I found a 2019 estimate from the Golfer’s News Team that pegged it at about $600,000 per round of golf (https://thegolfnewsnet.com/golfnewsnetteam/2019/11/30/how-much-donald-trump-golf-rounds-cost-taxpayers-107139/). That would sure buy a lot of PPE or a lot of covid-19 test kits or a lot of school supplies (and so on, forever), especially if all the trips were added together (as of 2/14/20 the HP estimated that your golf excursions cost US taxpayers 133.8 million dollars). I know, you haven’t been golfing because of covid-19, but your expensive-to-us golf habit is emblematic of your willingness to fritter away taxpayer dollars.

Well, shit – I just saw that you did get in 4 hours of golf over the weekend (your defensive Tweet was pretty pathetic, btw) for your 276th visit to one of your golf resorts since swearing your oath of office, or whatever it is you really did that day. Damn.

The bottom line here is that I don’t want to support you in any way whatsoever. We should not have to pay you or your administration to kill us while you get some golfing in.

As of this morning the covid-19 death tally is at 137,803 and the case numbers are just below 3.5 million (Worldometer). Additionally, there’s no evidence that your administration has done anything at all to curb other causes of preventable death so in all likelihood, you’ll go down in history as second (hopefully) only to Woodrow Wilson, who was president during the 1918 flu pandemic, in the number of American deaths during peacetime. I hope those GOP people who declined to vote to remove you from office aren’t sleeping at all well these days.

I also hope that a whole bunch of other people aren’t sleeping well these days to include all the GOP operatives (and any Democrats who pulled back and didn’t hold them to account or who engaged in shady or self-serving shit themselves) who set in motion the conditions to allow someone like you to be POTUS. They need to feel some pain right now because they’ve done us all a tremendous disservice. If there’s such a thing as karma, they aren’t going to be making it back into human form for eons.

And here we are. Hmm. Where are we? It’s hard to say but maybe, hopefully, we’re at an inflection point where enough white people are waking up to what’s been going on all along and there’s the will to fix the systemic racism (and sexism) that have propped up this shitty economy for centuries. Maybe. We’ll see.

I know I’ve said this before, but as things get increasingly dire on the covid front and as attention and energy starts to flag in the push for ending systemic racism (and the collective national conversation on sexism seems like it’s barely a whisper now), if this isn’t bad enough to make us pull our heads out, then we probably deserve whatever we end up getting.

May we be safe from manipulative operators and our own selfish indifference.
May we be willing to face what needs to be faced.
May we build a new system that centers everyone’s well-being.
May we accept that unbridled capitalism is not sustainable.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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