Faxed to Indiana Congressional Delegation, Pelosi, Reid, and the White House, on New Year’s Day, 2013.
I am at this point sick and disgusted with the empty Kabuki theater of “negotiations” by Senate, House, and the President.
A bad deal is worse than no deal at all. The last minute proposals do not include enough revenue to attack the deficit and debt. And they only postpone for a couple of months having to actually deal with the debt ceiling and other pressing issues. What angers me the most is the hypocrisy of the GOP, which for decades has claimed the Democrats knew nothing but “tax and spend”. Well, any sane economist will tell you that is a more viable model than the GOP’s, which is very simple: “DON’T TAX, BUT SPEND LIKE A DRUNKEN SAILOR ANYWAY”.
Precisely HALF and more of the current debt is due to three factors: The Bush era tax cuts for the super wealthy; waging two wars for a decade while keeping them off the books and pretending they were not costing anything; and spending necessitated by the economic downturn of 2008, which was triggered by the criminal activities of the housing, mortgage, and banking industries, crimes for which they were not held accountable, instead, they were bailed out by the American taxpayer!
Image credit: ThinkProgress.com Some Inconvenient Truths About the National Debt
I would also like to point out the blindingly obvious fact that it is NOT necessary to do away with all debt. A manageable level of debt is part of a normal business process. When was the last time you saw a business operate without debt? Yes, that’s right, almost NEVER. The problem is too much debt. And you know how you reduce debt? Revenue.
The solution to all our problems is crystal clear to only the most insular, blind, or bought and paid for member of Congress.
Return taxes to the levels of Clinton era. At least.
Raise taxes on capital gains to 20% or higher. They should be raised to 25%.
Levy a tax on every single trade that is exercised in the stock market, both to raise revenue, and slow down the automated trading that has turned the stock market into a slot machine for the big companies with high speed trading programs.
Initiate a program of public works to repair the crumbling 2.5 TRILLION DOLLARS in crumbling infrastructure in America: roads, bridges, water supply systems, and airports.
All commerce depends on and uses this infrastructure. Guess what, every time a truck delivers goods to your business, that truck used roads built by the government. Some might call that Socialism. I call it Good Government and good use of my taxes.
The massive hiring required to accomplish this will infuse life into the economy, and jump start a recovery. Critics say FDR’s recovery was failing, and saved only by WWII. But let me ask you one simple question: how was that war handled other than by implementing in America what was in effect the greatest stimulus of the economy by government in history? Nothing more, and nothing less. Suddenly finding the funds to fund that war openly and above board was a stimulus package, no more, no less. Economically, it was a massive stimulus. And you know what? Congress and FDR did it on the table, not by stealing funds from the Social Security Trust Fund, which is what Bush and Congress did for the Bush and Cheney wars.
The belief that austerity measures will stop the current recession, which really is as bad as the great depression, has been shown again and again to be the absolute wrong strategy, in fact 180 degrees opposite from what should be done. Recently I have with great pleasure watched how Iceland is recovering from its economic collapse, not by insane austerity measures, but by throwing the bankers and politicians who created it in jail. Which is where most of corporate American leadership belongs right now.
Government is not the problem. Big government is not the problem. BAD government is the problem. Good government is an absolute requirement for the success of a nation and its people.
What we have now is the result of decades of GOP attempts to throttle and kill government, aided by complicit Democrats, that has resulted in the greatest income inequality, the longest extended recession, the fastest rise in poverty and hunger rates, and one of the longest periods of extended unemployment in the nations history. At the same time, the corporate oligarchy and the 1% has embedded their talons in the control of this nation to the extent that we are on the verge of no longer being a nation operating under the rule of law under a Constitution, but a nation ruled by the whim of the rich and powerful individual and corporation. In essence, we are verging on falling back into the monarchical feudalism that the whole American Revolution was fought to put an end to in this nation. We are becoming a nation of wage serfs with no ability to insure a decent middle class life, and no assurance of a safety net in our age, just so the 1% can own not just 45% of the nations wealth, as they do now, but ALL of it.
Is it any wonder that the most recent polls shows only 18% approve of Congress? At this point, if the apparent proposed compromise bill passes, President Obama should just veto.
Let the next Congress, which will have fewer insane Tea Party members in it, start over and try to actually pass meaningful legislation that will fix our problems, not just kick the can down the road for more Kabuki Theater in two months.