Remember the Fallen - December 7, 1941
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Family of Six-Year-Old Cancer Patient Loses Coverage, Now Faces Soaring Premiums
A stark and searing reminder that Healthcare.gov's ongoing struggles and security vulnerabilities are only a small component of Obamacare's comprehensive failure. After the website's myriad technical difficulties are at long last sorted out, mass cancellations, rising premiums and doc shock will remain as the devastating residual legacy of President Obama's top legislative "accomplishment." Every one of those consequences represents a broken White House promise. Meet young Ellie Porter and her family, who've experienced the new law's affects firsthand. Heartbreaking:
"Having a child diagnosed with cancer is an unimaginable ordeal for any family, and adding any challenges on top of it can seem overwhelming. Paul and Jami Porter of Kaysville learned last week their insurance plan was terminated under the Affordable Care Act, more than 3 1/2 months into their daughter's fight with undifferentiated sarcoma began. Six-year-old Ellie Porter, who has had one kidney removed, just wrapped up her radiation treatments and is expected to be done with chemotherapy around the first of the year. "You're getting used to what's going on; and then all of a sudden having something like this thrown in is definitely challenging and frustrating at the same time," Paul Porter said. He and his wife are now in the middle of shopping for a new plan that complies with the Affordable Care Act. He said the old plan didn't meet some of the requirements, according to a letter from the insurer. The options the family is weighing have premiums that are more than double the premiums under their previous plan, Paul Porter said. Additionally, the Porters said they had limited time to sign up for a new plan and didn't have all the information they felt they needed to make an informed decision. Like many others across the nation, they were also struggling to simply enroll through the federal website, healthcare.gov."
Ellie isn't an "anecdote." She's a little girl who's very sick:
"This poor family hit the Obamacare trifecta: (1) They've been dropped off of their existing insurance plan -- which they were counting on to help pay for their cancer-stricken daughter's treatments -- because Beltway Democrats decreed that their coverage was "substandard." (2) Their efforts to obtain new coverage in time for 2014 were hampered terribly by Obamacare's broken website. (3) Their options for new coverage entail premiums twice as high as what they were previously paying.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Friday, December 06, 2013
Tennessee Babe NOT Convicted BUT Sentenced for Rape - Update
Hannah Steiner was sentenced this morning to two years of judicial diversion - or probation.This case is confusing. Steiner pleaded no contest to the rape charges and was sentenced to no jail…BUT…she wasn't convicted. How does that work?
Steiner's sentence is not considered a conviction of statutory rape and she is not required to be on the sex offender registry.
Steiner, 18, of Jackson, entered a plea in October of no contest to two counts of statutory rape in connection with her having sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy, according to Jackson police.
Tennessee Babe Accused of Rape
[Previous 3/1/13 post]
(Jackson, Tennessee) An 18-year-old local woman, Hannah Steiner, has been accused of raping a 13-year-old boy.
Steiner faces charges of rape and statutory rape.
According to investigators, the incident happened Sunday, February 24 at Skyline Church of Christ.Steiner was booked and released on $5,000 bond.
Police said their investigation indicated that on Sunday, around 9:55 a.m., Steiner and the boy were in a room at the church and the two engaged in inappropriate touching. The boy reported to police that he tried to stop, but Steiner forced him to have sex.
Tennessee Woman Gets Prison for Child Rape
(Cookeville, Tennessee) A local woman, Tonya Michelle Phy, has pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery resulting from unlawful sexual contact with a 12-year-old boy between February and July of 2012.
As a result, Judge Leon Burns Jr. sentenced Phy to 10 years in prison.
“After much discussion with the victim and his parents, they were very happy with this resolution,” Deputy District Attorney Tony Craighead said. “They felt this was an appropriate sentence considering all the facts. They did not want their child to have to endure the trauma of a jury trial.”Phy will be classified as a lifetime sexual offender upon release from prison.
The case involved the unlawful sexual contact between Phy, who was a family friend acting as a babysiter for the child, and a 12-year-old boy during a period of time between February and July of 2012.
The case came to the attention of the authorities in July of 2012 when teachers at Avery Trace noticed suspicious behavior between the boy and Phy.
NY Teacher Accused of Rape
(Westchester County, New York) A 34-year-old teacher at the Leake & Watts residential facility in Yonkers, Meaghan White, has been accused of raping a 16-year-old boy in a county park.
White was arrested on counts of third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act, both felonies.
She is accused of having intercourse and oral sex with the teen in her car at Wilson’s Woods Park in Mount Vernon between Nov. 10 and Dec. 4, according to police.White was booked into custody, details are unavailable.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Arizona Woman Accused of Murder
(Bullhead City, Arizona) A 35-year-old woman, Nora Yesenia Sandoval, was arrested at the Mexico-U.S. border as she entered the United States. Sandoval faces sentencing for a drug conviction and prosecution for the murder of 36-year-old Raymond Sanchez.
A warrant charging Sandoval with murder in the killing of 36-year-old Raymond Sanchez was issued in September.Details on booking are unavailable.
Sanchez had been stabbed more than 80 times and his body was dumped after being wrapped in plastic shower curtains.
Florida Mom Accused of Child Neglect
(Escambia County, Florida) A 29-year-old local mom, Shana Christina Beck, was arrested after RC Lipscomb Elementary School employees found cocaine in her daughter’s backpack.
Beck faces a charge of felony child neglect.
The principal of the school, Susan Sanders, told deputies as school was letting out a teacher told her one of her students had a small bag of white powder in her backpack.Beck was booked and released on $2,500 bond.
The teacher said the student was crying when she showed her the baggie. The young girl told authorities Beck and a friend were in their car the night before when they dropped the bag of drugs and began frantically searching for it. The student said the baggie must have fallen into her open backpack.
Deputies say the white powder found inside field tested positive for cocaine.
John Stossel gives below his idea of how to channel charitable giving. My rule is to give only to the end user, not to any middleman organization. My biggest gifts are to people I know -- JR
'Tis the season for giving. But when you give, do you know your money will help someone?
Social workers say, "Don't give to beggars." Those who do give are "enablers," helping alcoholics and drug users to continue bad habits. It's better to give to charities that help the "homeless." I put "homeless" in quotes because my TV producers have quietly followed a dozen of the more convincing beggars after "work," and all had homes.
Once, I put on a fake beard and begged for an hour. At the rate money was coming in, I would have made ninety bucks in an eight-hour day -- $23,000 per year, tax-free! I see why people panhandle.
Their success, however, means that people who give them money, no matter how good their intentions, are not engaging in real charity. Giving may make you feel better, but it doesn't make the world a better place.
So where should we give? Charity-rating services try to separate good charities from scams, but they get conned, too. The definition of "charitable work" is rarely clear. How should the board of a nonprofit's first-class hotel expenses during a trip to Africa be classified?
That's why I give to charities I can watch. I donate to The Doe Fund, a nonprofit helping to rehabilitate ex-convicts. I saw their "Men in Blue" working near my apartment -- cheerfully and energetically. I thought, "Whoever's rehabbing these guys is doing something right!" So I give money to them -- and to a couple other groups I can see.
Finally, I give more to charity because I'm not much of an entrepreneur. I don't have business-building skills. But for those who do, here's a novel idea: Don't give to charity.
Years ago, Ted Turner was praised for donating a billion dollars to the United Nations. He said he wanted to "guilt" other billionaires into giving more and told me Warren Buffet was "cheap" for giving too little.
At first, the idea makes sense. Billionaires have more than they need; merely chasing more profit seems selfish.
But giving it a second thought, I found a fallacy in Turner's argument. The U.N. is a wasteful bureaucracy, leading me to assume it squandered Turner's gift. Buffet, meanwhile, continued to direct his investors' money to growing companies. Based on Buffet's stock-picking success, his investments were probably a more productive use of capital than Turner's. Money went to people making better products, inventing better things, creating more jobs and so on. Maybe Buffet's stock picks are now funding the next Bill Gates.
Today, the real Gates spends his time giving money away. He's unusually conscientious about it. He experiments, funding what works and dropping what doesn't. His charity work saves lives. Good for him. But Gates was also unusually skilled at bringing people better software. Had he continued doing that at Microsoft, I bet the company would have been even more productive. And Gates would have done more for the world.
I tried that thought experiment on Turner, who, in turn, unclipped his microphone and walked off the set.
OK, so people who give away a billion dollars don't want to hear skepticism about their gift. But there's little doubt capitalism helps people more. Even rock star Bono from U2 has come to understand that. He used to call for more government spending on foreign aid. Now he says: "Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce, entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty."
Bingo. If Bono gets it, Turner should, too.
I applaud those who give to charity, but let's not forget that it's capitalists (honest ones, not those who feed off government) who do the most for the poor. They do more good for the world than politicians -- and more even than do-gooders working for charities.
Radioactive Material Heist in Mexico - Update
(Hueypoxtla, Mexico) The stolen truck containing cobalt-60 has been found.
The radioactive material was said to be still with the vehicle but its container had been opened – presumably by the thieves – and removed from the truck.It appears the thieves didn't have a clue about what they were stealing.
“This means that the person or persons who removed it now must be feeling the symptoms of acute radiation (poisoning),” said Mardonio Jimenez, a physicist with the nuclear safety commission.
The thieves have already died or are “at the point of dying because it was a very high intensity,” he added, although since the truck was found abandoned in a rural area some 30 or 40 kilometers (19 to 25 miles) from where it was stolen authorities have said there is no danger to the general public.
Radioactive Material Heist in Mexico
[Previous 12/4/13 post]
A truck carrying "extremely dangerous" radioactive material has been stolen in Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.Let's hope the truck and its cargo are recovered soon.
The vehicle was transporting the radioactive isotope cobalt-60 from a hospital where it was being used for radiotherapy, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
Experts said that if the material gets into the wrong hands it could be turned into a "dirty bomb" and potentially spread cancer-causing radiation across a wide area.
"At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded," the IAEA said in a statement. "However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged."
The vehicle carrying the cobalt-60 was a 2.5-ton Volkswagen truck with an integrated crane, Mexico's National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards (CNSNS) said. The truck was stolen on Monday at a gas station in Tepojaco, near Mexico City.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Virginia Woman Guilty of Sex with 5 Boys - Update
(Virginia Beach, Virginia) Crystal McBride has pleaded guilty to two counts of carnal knowledge of a minor and four counts of custodial indecent liberties resulting from sexual contact with five teen boys.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 19, 2014.
Virginia Woman Accused of Sex Assault of 4 Boys
[Previous 6/29/13 post]
(Virginia Beach, Virginia) A 37-year-old local woman, Crystal Lee McBride, has been accused of sexual assault of four boys. Her boyfriend, James Edward Owens, Jr., 39, reportedly has some involvement with the alleged offenses.
McBride faces counts of custodial indecent liberties, counts of carnal knowledge and counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Owens is only charged with contributing to the delinquency.
McBride was arrested on June 22, the same day a mother contacted the VBPD Special Victims Unit and said her under-age son had been sexually abused by McBride, who they knew, while he was in her care May 24.Both McBride and Owens were booked and released on bond.
McBride was released on bond and then arrested again, along with Owens, on June 26 after the report had been further investigated and another incident on June 7 had come to light.
During the investigation, detectives learned of three other juvenile male victims who were abused. The abuse of all four victims happened during the two separate occasions -- May 24 and June 7 -- at McBride's residence.
Florida Woman Arrested for Sex with Boy
(Hialeah, Florida) A 24-year-old local woman, Caridad Munoz, has been arrested and charged with having sex with a 15-year-old boy.
Munoz faces counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The victim told police on Nov. 25 just before 2 a.m., Munoz entered his locked bedroom uninvited and “enticed him to have sexual intercourse with her,” according to a police report. She also performed oral sex on the boy.Details on booking are unavailable.
The victim told police “since he was a virgin, he felt intimidated by the defendant,’’ the report said.
Munoz smoked marijuana and offered it to the boy, who said he refused. She also asked the boy if he knew where to purchase “Mollies, marijuana or cocaine.”
White House Tells Obamacare Subscribers to Make Sure They're Really Enrolled
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the White House is "very mindful of making sure that consumers who want coverage starting in January are able to get it." But there's no guarantee.
In fact, Carney said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is "reaching out directly to consumers" who have chosen a health insurance plan, reminding them to pay their first premium -- and asking them to make sure they are really covered:
"So there's a joint effort to reach out to those who have enrolled to make sure that every step is being -- that they know they need to take all the necessary steps to ensure that that coverage kicks in," Carney said on Monday.
The problem involves the transmittal of information from the faulty healthcare.gov website to the actual insurers.
According to Carney, "CMS is having daily conversations with issuers to get feedback from them." He said the administration has made "a number of significant fixes to the so-called 834 forms," which send a subscriber's information to the policy issuers. "We expect the info now sent to insurers to be vastly improved. But we're going to continue to work with issuers to make sure that whatever remaining problems exist are addressed and fixed."
Asked if he can assure people who sign up if they will "definitely" have coverage beginning on Jan. 1, Carney responded, "Well, I think what I would say is that CMS is reaching out to those who have enrolled to make sure that they know the steps that they need to take to ensure that coverage kicks in, that if a consumer enrolls in a plan by December 23rd and makes their first payment by the date set by their insurers, they are covered beginning January 1st. And if consumers are not sure if they are enrolled, they should call our customer call center or the insurer of their choice so that they can be sure they're covered by January 1st.
"So we're making -- this is a high priority, making sure that those who are enrolled are aware of the steps that they need to take, including that they need to pay their premiums on time for coverage. We're working with insurers to make sure that those who are enrolled know this information, and we're reaching out -- we're telling consumers that if they're not sure if they're enrolled, they should call the call center or their insurer directly." ....
"Can you imagine? You think you've signed up. You go to get coverage because you need health care. You go there and you find out that, in fact, you haven't been signed up. That is a huge issue because what does someone do at that point? How do they work their way through the bureaucracy to actually verify they've been signed up? I see this as much of an issue as the access issue on the health care (website). The fact that that has not been fixed is a huge problem."
See also: Obama Admin Admits 126,000 Obamacare Enrollments Might Not Be Real
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
Michigan Woman, 37, and Girl, 9
(Jackson, Michigan) Former president of the Parent Teacher Organization, mother-of-four Jill Miller, 37, has pleaded guilty to taking sexual photographs and video of a 9-year-old girl and sending them to a man she met on the Internet.
Miller will be sentenced for second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a "child sexually abusive material" offense and communicating with another on the internet to commit a crime.
County Sheriff's Detective Timothy Schlundt said the video was found on Miller's phone, according to a Michigan Department of Human Services petition seeking to terminate Miller's parental rights to her four children.Sentencing is scheduled for January 8, 2014.
Miller, who has since lost her parental rights, admitted to touching the girl while the child was clothed. She said she did so "all over" the girl's body and videotaped herself, according to the court document.
This happened once "several months ago," states the petition, filed in June.
Miller was arrested June 10 after county sheriff's detectives, acting on a request from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, went to her home.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Topless Feminist Mob Attacks
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Extremely disturbing video footage from Argentina shows a mob of feminists at a recent protest attacking and sexually molesting a group of Rosary-praying Catholic men who were peacefully protecting the cathedral in the city of San Juan from threats of vandalism.
The women, many of them topless, spray-painted the men’s crotches and faces and swastikas on their chests and foreheads, using markers to paint their faces with Hitler-like moustaches. They also performed obscene sexual acts in front of them and pushed their breasts onto their faces, all the while shouting “get your rosaries out of our ovaries.” (Note: Some of the most graphic content has been removed from the video. Uncensored footage is available here. Viewer discretion strongly advised.)
According to InfoCatolica, some of the women chanted a song, with the lyrics: “To the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, who wants to get between our sheets, we say that we want to be whores, travesties and lesbians. Legal abortion in every hospital.”Police said they couldn't intervene "because they are women."
During the attack some men were visibly weeping. None of them retaliated against the abuses heaped on them.
Shark Fatality in Hawaii
A kayak fisherman was killed by a shark while fishing off Hawaii — marking the 13th attack in the state since the beginning of the year, officials said.RIP
Patrick Briney, 57, was dangling his foot off the side of his kayak while out with a friend between southern Maui and Molokini, a small island popular for diving and snorkeling — when the shark suddenly chomped his leg Monday.
His pal paddled toward him and tied a tourniquet on Briney’s leg before he flagged down a nearby charter boat, which took them to the shore, authorities said.
Emergency workers at the beach rushed the bleeding Briney to a hospital, but the Stevenson, Wash., man could not be saved.
Wisconsin Educator Accused of Sex with Male Student
(Appleton, Wisconsin) A 44-year-old teacher's aide formerly at Appleton West High School, Laura Bates, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 17-year-old male student.
Bates faces four counts of sex assault of a student by school staff.
According to court documents the victim was a student with a special ed classification in a class where Bates worked as a paraprofessional.The alleged crimes reportedly occurred on school property.
Bates has been charged with four counts of sex assault of a student by school staff. Each count carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a 10 thousand dollar fine.
The charges were filed Tuesday but Bates was arrested at the school on Monday and booked into the Calumet County Jail where she remains.
Maryland Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse of Boy, 15
(Rockville, Maryland) A 25-year-old teacher formerly at the Frost School, Yee Tak Sharon Kui, has been accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old autistic boy. Frost School serves children with emotional and behavioral disabilities.
Reportedly, Kui sexually abused the boy in his home while his parents were away.
Cops learned the woman fled the country after they obtained an arrest warrant for the Rockville woman — who was charged with several crimes including sex abuse of a minor and sexual solicitation of a minor.An arrest warrant has been issued.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security believe she fled to Hong Kong to avoid prosecution, cops said.
Monday, December 02, 2013
Alabama Teacher Gets No Jail for Sex with Student - Update
A former Spain Park High School teacher was sentenced to probation this morning after pleading guilty to having sex with a student under the age of 19.Millard was also ordered to register as a sex offender.
Stephanie Suggs Millard, 34, of north Shelby County, was sentenced by Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves to 10 years in prison. But the judge suspended the sentence and placed her on probation for five years.
The sentence was the result of a best interest plea agreement Millard entered with the Shelby County District Attorneys Office.
Under the plea deal, Millard will be under the supervision of a state probation officer.
Alabama Teacher Accused of Sex with Male Student
[Previous 12/28/12 post]
(Hoover, Alabama) A 33-year-old teacher formerly at Spain Park High School, Stephanie Suggs Millard, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 17-year-old male student.
Millard faces two counts of felony sex with a student under the age of 19. According to Hoover police spokesman Capt. Jim Coker,
[T]he police department's Family Services Division launched an investigation into Millard after they recently received information about her conduct while she was a teacher at the school.Millard was booked into custody with bond set at $30,000.
Investigators learned that Millard engaged in sex with a 17-year-old male student. The student has since graduated, and is attending college.
Swiss Bank Secrecy Ends
The tax service in France has seen a flood of requests to regularize funds hidden abroad, a minister said Monday, as Switzerland pledges to end its vaunted banking secrecy under international pressure.[…]No more hiding money in Switzerland, friends.
Switzerland has agreed to an international convention against tax fraud and signed an agreement with the United States on the automatic reporting of bank account information, which is expected to become the standard model to discourage tax fraud.
Humans Evolved from Chimpanzees and Pigs
A new theory of evolution claims that humans only came into being after a pig mated with a chimpanzee.Higher education, eh?
The eye-catching claim has been made by the University of Georgia's Eugene McCarthy.
The geneticist claims that humans share characteristics with chimps and pigs, according to a thesis he posted on Macroevolution.net. Although humans have long be linked to chimpanzees, this is not the case with pigs.
But McCarthy claims traits such as hairless skin, large eyelashes, protruding noses are things we share in common with pigs.
Australian pride is restored. This is no small accomplishment, considering the depths to which we sank in 2009, when then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd offered this wince-making speech to that year’s United Nations climate conference in Denmark:
“Before I left Australia, I was presented with a book of handwritten letters from a group of six-year-olds. One of the letters is from Gracie. Gracie is six. ‘Hi,’ she wrote. ‘My name is Gracie. How old are you?’ Gracie continues, ‘I am writing to you because I want you all to be strong in Copenhagen. Please listen to us as it is our future.’ I fear that at this conference, we are on the verge of letting little Gracie down.”
We were a different country back then, outsourcing economic policy to babies and actually admitting it to the world. Happily, things have changed. For this year’s UN climatefest in Warsaw, Poland, Tony Abbott’s government didn’t even bother to send the environment minister, much less the Prime Minister and his pre-teen fan mail.
Instead we sent some delegates who quite properly treated the whole exercise as a lark, much to the consternation of Gaia’s little Gracies. “They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation,” fumed Ria Voorhaar, a spokeswoman for the Climate Action Network. “That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in.”
Back in 2009, Rudd negotiated pointlessly for 40 hours, grabbing just one hour of sleep. This year’s Australian delegates don’t go for that sort of nonsense. “They made an intervention that late-night negotiations were bad for health and should be stopped,” complained Voorhaar.
And the meetings were indeed halted, with many blaming the snack-chomping Aussies and their t-shirts. “Their behaviour caused over 130 developing nations to abandon discussions on the controversial issue of climate compensation at 4am,” seethed Sophie Yeo of the activist group Responding to Climate Change. “It is one thing to be tired in a negotiation meeting, another to turn up in pyjamas,” huffed EU negotiator Paul Watkinson on Twitter. “Respect matters.”
With all due respect, the EU and the UN can shove it.
The Australians’ fine performance in Warsaw recalls the great Ipswich Meat Battle, when Queensland abattoir workers set a new global standard for environmental negotiations. One April morning in 2006, the workers arrived at their abattoir to find animal activists had chained themselves to the facility’s killing area.
Rather than give up and go home, however, the industrious workers advanced on the chained idiots. As the ABC reported: “The 12 protesters got a fright when meatworkers took matters into their own hands and used angle grinders to cut the chains off the activists so they could get back to work.”
Police are usually called to deal with protesters. In this case, the protesters actually called police. “The workers, they were standing around cheering and whooping and yelling and making lewd comments,” protester Angie Stephenson wailed. “We had to call the police and tell them to get out here straight away.”
“We begged for the police,” confirmed another protester, Patty Mark, who said that the abattoir owner joined about 40 of his workers in removing the stupid activists.
“They were yelling and screaming, and he got the angle grinder himself and started to cut right near where we were chained,” pity Patty pleaded.
“It was terrifying. We didn’t have protection on our eyes. The sparks were flying.”
If ever we send any further delegations to UN climate talks, these boys should lead the way. “Like, this guy was basically coming at us with an angle grinder, so there were people shaking, there were people in tears,” said protester Noah Hannibal. “And he was just saying, you know, ‘I’m enjoying this.’ “
That’s the spirit. The UN better get used to it.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Execution by Pig
Elements of a mob war:
A screeching mafia kingpin was eaten alive by pigs in a sickening settling of gangland accounts, Italian police have revealed.Reportedly, Raccosta screamed and begged for his life.
Francesco Raccosta vanished in March 2012, but his horrific fate only came to light after an underworld insider spilled the beans. Raccosta’s grisly end was part of a six-decade-long gang war and retaliation for the execution of rival mobster Domenico Bonarrigo.
Boris Johnson encounters Leftist hate
Boris is the Conservative Mayor of London, known for his outspokenness
Last week I pointed out that the rich paid a much greater share of income tax than they used to.
When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, they faced a top marginal tax rate of 98 per cent, and the top 1 per cent of earners contributed 11 per cent of the government’s total revenues from income tax.
Today, when taxes have been cut substantially, the top 1 per cent contributes almost 30 per cent of income tax; and, indeed, the top 0.1 per cent — just 29,000 people — contribute fully 14 per cent of all taxation.
That is an awful lot of schools and roads and hospitals being paid for by the super-rich. So why, I asked innocently, are they so despicable in the eyes of decent British people?
Surely they should be hailed like the Stakhanovites of Stalin’s Russia who half-killed themselves, in the name of the people, by mining record tonnages of coal?
I proposed that we should fete very rich taxpayers and decorate them and inaugurate a new class of tax hero, with automatic knighthoods for the top 10 per cent.
Hardly ever have I produced so frenzied and hate-filled a response.
People aren’t remotely interested in how much tax these characters pay. That does nothing to palliate their primary offence, which is to be so stonkingly rich.
After five years of recession, people rightly or wrongly care about inequality and pay disparity.
It seems to me, therefore that though it would be wrong to persecute the rich, and madness to try and stifle wealth creation, and futile to try to stamp out inequality, we should only tolerate this wealth gap on two conditions: one, that we help those who genuinely cannot compete; and, two, that we provide opportunity for those who can.