Polite words cannot express the sheer disgust I feel towards Congress at the moment over the latest manufactured, self-inflicted crisis, the sequester.
It epitomizes the deceitful and hypocritical and dysfunctional representation we have in Congress, especially in the Republican Party.
John Boehner and the GOP are totally responsible for this mess. They came up with this plan, because they as a party refuse to acknowledge the simple fact that their root ideology is bankrupt and has been proven historically wrong. Their pathetic lying word juggling the past two weeks trying to blame this mess on Obama has cemented their place in history as the most bald face, lying, scheming hypocrites ever to serve in elected national office. They and their party are a laughing stock.
You cannot cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations to the lowest levels in their history and sustain government and services. And you cannot continue to pretend that government is evil. Good government is absolutely necessary, to regulate commerce, and to protect citizens from the crimes of the corporate vultures that have brought this nation to its knees economically with the collapse of 2008, that was a direct result of deregulation and their criminal activity.
Big government is not the problem. BAD government is the problem. And the GOP have forever defined what bad government is.
The answer to this problem is blindingly simply. Congress must do two things this week.
First, simply cancel the sequester. It is completely within their power. All they have to do is introduce a bill and vote on it. The whole process could be completed in both houses in about an hour.
Then they have to face the reality, and that is simple: you cannot balance the budget or reduce the national debt by cuts alone. It is time to restore revenue collection to rational levels, and it is time to end the corporate welfare charade that is subsidizing massively profitable businesses like big oil and General Electric to the point that do not pay ANY taxes, much less the supposed corporate rate that is on the books.
Letting these cuts go into effect is going to have a dramatic negative effect immediately, one that will drag down an economy that is still struggling to recover from a recession that was really almost as bad as the Great Depression.
These cuts will mean layoffs of air controllers, social security workers, teachers and workers caring for our children. They will hurt the men and women serving in our armed forces. They will shut down the National Weather Service. Many of the cuts are targeted at the most vulnerable in our society. Note that I am in favor of cuts in the military establishment, for that is the most bloated and wasteful spending burden on this country, having grown like a cancer since 9/11, and there are literally billions that could be saved by ending the waste in military contracts, which has become another form of corporate welfare.
Most of all, I am totally opposed to this so-called Grand Bargain, where there are cuts in Social Security and Medicare and other services to Americans. Those two, in particular, are not welfare programs, and it disgusts me to be told I am a welfare queen for wanting back the money that I paid in to those two savings programs since the 1960’s, my entire adult working life, over fifty years of continuous employment. That is not welfare money. That is my retirement savings. And it is not the cause of our economic problems in any event. It is just the target of those who do not believe in government, and want to drown it in the bathtub and destroy it.
Quoting from the National Academy of Social Insurance study, it is clear that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with me.
Large majorities of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, agree on ways to strengthen Social Security — without cutting benefits. Fully 74% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats agree that “it is critical to preserve Social Security even if it means increasing Social Security taxes paid by working Americans.”
When asked the same question about increasing Social Security taxes for better-off Americans, 71% of Republicans and 97% of Democrats agree. Social Security taxes are paid by workers and their employers on earnings up to a cap ($113,700 in 2013). About 5% of workers earn more than the cap.
Just remove the caps on taxation of earnings for both Social Security and Medicare. Those two problems are solved in ten years. End of discussion.
There is one thing members of Congress need to be certain of, especially the GOP. They are the only ones buying their bullshit lies anymore. They created this mess because they are the ones unwilling to negotiate and find a means to solve this nation’s economic problems.
Most important, they are the ones unable to admit that their ideology is a sham, and that cutting taxes will not produce jobs, it will not produce a strong middle class, it will not restore American manufacturing. It has, in fact, almost destroyed the American Middle Class, and reduced this nation to a shadow of its former self. We are not Number 1. We lag so far behind the developed western democracies in all measures, personal wealth, health care, anything you can name, that it is truly tragic.
Meanwhile, these same elected representatives have allowed a massive transfer of wealth to the 1% over the past three decades, and to the corporate oligarchy, to the point that 1% of the people of this nation now own 45% of all wealth. But that is not enough. They want it all. And Congress is intent on facilitating that final transfer, leaving the 99% as wage slaves, with no insurance, no support in their old age, and no health care.
Cancel the sequester. And get to work on a mix of cuts and taxes to produce revenue, and set this nation back on track. And if you cut Social Security and Medicare, then be assured, I and millions of other voters will be seeing you at the ballot box during the next election. And it will not be to cast a vote for you.