Posted by: bj | November 7, 2011

“Occupy” Marching Away From American Dream

In Response to Marin I J Opinion Dated November 4, 2011

Marin Voice: ‘Occupy’ Marching Away from American Dream

By Bob Johnson

Guest op-ed column

Posted: 11/13/2011 05:36:00 AM PST

IN RESPONSE to the Nov. 4 Marin Voice column, “Occupy is for the American Dream,” please learn the facts.

Author Burkhard Braun  writes: “We pay lower taxes, averaging 27 percent, than any other
developed nation.

Fact: Eleven major European countries have tax rates ranging from 60 percent to 80 percent. This includes a tax on income and sales. According to IRS figures, the bottom 47 percent of
wage-earners pay zero taxes and the top 1 percent of income earners pay 38 percent of the total taxes.

He writes: “Lack of government regulation led banks to engage in fraudulent lending.

Fact: Government regulation caused the current economic crisis. The meltdown began in 1976 when President Jimmy Carter created the Community Reinvestment Act, which was designed to encourage homeownership for minorities. This program greatly expanded by President Bill Clinton, Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd, who pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy from banks, all the sub-prime mortgages they could find and forced the banks to make sub-prime loans to marginal borrowers so they could become homeowners and to curry political favor. The just-signed, Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, (price-fixing regulations) will cost Bank of America $2 billion a year — one reason why it tried to charge $5 per month for debit cards).

President George Bush tried to stop all this in 2002, but was stopped by a Democratic Congress.

Mr. Braun says,
“Free markets, left to their own devices have extremely seriousdefects.”

Fact: Free markets which embrace capitalistic ideals create the greatest prosperity for the most individuals. Show me a country that follows progressive socialism, Marxism and you will see a country where the majority of the population is mired in tyranny and economic misery.

 “The original stimulus worked well “… we need more,” Mr. Braun writes.

Fact: Obama and Congress spent a trillion dollars on the stimulus; and borrowed and spent over $4 trillion more in 2.5 years and the unemployment rate went from 7.6 percent to 9.5 percent to 9 percent. Real job creation comes from the private sector, not government employment.   Private jobs will not be created until the Obama health care act is killed; the “redistribution of wealth” and “kill the rich” mentality is redirected to create, not destroy prosperity and wealth. When the
future becomes predictable (taxes and the elimination of “Obamacare”),  businesses will expand and dramatic job and economic growth will occur.

Mr. Braun states,  “The federal government is not broke. It prints money, has infinite fiscal capacity, has never repaid its debt, and will never need to.”

Fact: Obviously, Mr. Braun missed his economics, history and current events class. Look at what’s happening in Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. As the supply of money (printed) increases, its value decreases.  That’s called inflation.  The “Occupy” movement, by its own definition, stands for elimination of capitalism. You need to thank God that there are still more “makers”and “taxpayers” who work for a living than “takers” and non-taxpayers who vote for a living.

If the “takers” ever outnumber the “makers,” the “occupiers” will have killed the golden goose and the sole source of their financial survival and prosperity.

Bob Johnson of Mill Valley heads a real estate investment company in San Francisco.


On November 19, the Marin IJ Editorial Column contained the following 2 Letters to the Editor,  on the above Letter to the Editor:

Marin Readers’ Forum for Nov. 19

From Marin Independent Journal readers

Posted: 11/19/2011 05:49:00 AM PST

‘Occupy’ protests

Government is to blame

Compliments to Bob Johnson for his very educational Marin Voice column on Nov. 11.

Bob is so right that it was government regulations and government takeover that started and continues the meltdown in housing and banking.

We taxpayers are the owners of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae because they are government- sponsored enterprises.

In September of 2008 the U.S. Treasury Department took over conservator ship of the mismanaged mess at Freddie and Fannie that bought sub-prime mortgages.

It cost the taxpayers a bailout of $190 billion and there is an estimated need for another $50 billion.

Recently, the overseer of Freddie and Fannie, Edward Di Marco, went to Congress, asking for another $6 billion plus $12.9 million for bonus payments for executives. He reasoned that the $12.9 billion was needed to help keep qualified executives.

Qualified at what?

Alice Vipiana, San Rafael


Ink for conservatives

The Nov. 13 Marin Voice column by Bob Johnson, in response to a supporter of the “Occupy” movement, was one of the best articles ever allowed to be printed in this paper.

I was surprised the editors permitted it in the IJ. It is definitely the conservative view of the economy and does contradict the many questionable “facts” spewed by the “Occupiers.”

I do support everything Mr. Johnson said in his article, not because I am a conservative but it is good because it is factual.

There is a vast number of conservative people in America that are being ignored politically especially in Marin and the Bay Area. We get no ink, but the Occupiers get plenty.

Thanks, Mr. Johnson and I hesitate but to also say thanks, IJ for finally printing an opposing view.

Robert A. Casper Sr., San Rafael


  1. I finally got in! Great article, Bob!

  2. I finally got in! Great article, Bob.

  3. Of the top 20 countries in the world, ranked by GDP, only 5 have a lower % of income (taxes) to GDP (US income as % of GDP is 26.9%). These countries are China, India, Mexico, Indonesia and Singapore. (Source = Heritage Foundation & Wall Street Journal)

    Currently, as I understand, we are paying tax rates approximately 20% lower than we’ve historically paid. This metric, assuming it is correct, suggests that we are trending down, not up, in the amount of taxes that we pay.

    What makes you think that we are heading in a progressive socialist direction?? Should we be moving even further in the direction of developing countries like China, India, Mexico & Indonesia???

    I don’t get the logic here…


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