If I got all the zeros right and did my long division correctly, receiving $5 million a year would be $96,153 a week.

If I got all the zeros right and did my long division correctly, receiving $5 million a year would be $96,153 a week.

Somehow I can visualize it better that way. $1 million would be one fifth of that, or only $19,230 a week. (The average American earns $32,140 a YEAR.)

Senator McCaskill of Missouri said the Democrats were unable to get the Republicans to agree to not give a tax break to even people this rich (the Dems kept raising the bar trying to get an agreement).

The thing is, the money doesn’t come out of thin air. To extend these tax cuts to the top 2 percent of Americans means we will have raise the deficit another $700 billion.

I’ve been watching how Republicans and Tea Party people answer this question: “If you want to cut the deficit, how can you support tax breaks to the wealthy?” (It’s not as if they will go hungry like the unemployed if we don’t give them a new tax break.)

They don’t answer the question.

Instead they talk the party line about this being the wrong time to raise taxes.

First of all, no-one is raising taxes, it would have been allowing tax cuts to expire on people rich enough to afford it.

Secondly, I don’t believe Tea Partyers care about the deficit enough to really do anything about it. It will be difficult for anyone to really do anything about it.

Anyway, it’s a done deal that the tax cuts are now extended to all income brackets.

Let’s hope the economy improves and that the tax cut will help.

A lot of rich people want to pay more taxes.

I hear celebrities say so, and I saw a show with Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates talking about it.

They are urging all billionaires to give away more millions to charity.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, has responded and is giving 100 million to New Jersey schools for the next 5 years. I keep thinking in percentages. If Joe who earns $500 a month gives $50 to charity that is 10%.

Forbes says Zuckerberg earned $4 billion this year. You do the math, my brain is getting tired, but I don’t think $100 million is proportionately as much as the $50 Joe gave. Anyway, I applaud all the billionaires who are responding to the call.

Ted Turner (who gave away millions to the U.N.) says the reason most billionaires don’t give is fear. They hold on tightly to all that money because they are afraid they might lose it.

He and Warren both agreed it isn’t good to give all your money to your descendants — it makes them too lazy to find their own dream. The Gates charities are supporting health issues overseas and education in this country. We are all interconnected — Africa, us, the rich, the poor. Someday everyone will understand that to help the poorest is to help us all.

I think Jesus said something like that.

Well, ‘tis the season to give, so I’ll keep putting a little money in the Salvation Army bucket when I come out of Dillons. Merry Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Diwali or whatever else to everyone, and a prosperous New Year!