Everyone is fighting about our national deficit and what we need to do about it. The Republicans and Tea Heads want to cut all spending AND cut taxes, both on individuals and corporations. They also want a cut on capital gains taxes, which currently stand at 15%. That number is less than what the average middle class citizen pays on their income. Does that seem fair? Yet the rich say they need to lower the Capital gains tax because it spurs investments in the stock market. I may be wrong, but the market seems to be doing quite well without any help from our government.
The Democrats, who I must say have been abysmal failures since taking over from Bush in 2008, want to raise taxes on the rich, but the Republicans and Tea Heads won’t even discuss such an option. Where they expect to get new revenue from remains a problem they don’t care about. The Bush administration was the first in history to lower taxes during a time of war. Under Ike the top-tier tax was 91%. He realized we needed to pay for World War II and Korea. When Reagan took office the top-tier tax rate was 70%. He quickly lowered it to 39%, resulting in a spike in the poverty rate. His Supply Side economics proved to be a failure, which was shown in the October collapse of our economy in 1987. Remember Milken, Boesky and Junk bonds. Bush I lost the election to Clinton because of two things; “Read my lips, No new taxes,” and “It’s the economy stupid.”
No matter what you think of Clinton personally, the economy hummed while he was in office, and he raised taxes to do it, so it does work. The national growth rate was in double digits all eight years he was in office. And he left a balanced budget, something Reagan only dreamed about.
Enter Bush II, son of Bush I. Immediately he lowered taxes, it was the very first thing he did. He touted the “Trickle-Down Theory” which mirrored Reagan’s Supply Side, or Voodoo, economics. Then he started two wars, both unfunded. The money for the wars wasn’t even listed in the national budget, but no one cared. We were too gung-ho to fight the terrorists and Saddam Hussein. And how did that work out?
During the time Bush was in office, corporations were busy fleecing the public with the governments blessing. Remember Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth, Adelphia, Tyco and the rest of the sleaze bags. Throw in all the companies that were outsourcing jobs to India, Pakistan, China and the Philippines, amongst others, and a very toxic brew was created that brought this country to its knees. So Bush and Paulson and Reid and Pelosi created TARP, the troubled assets relief program, and bailed out the Banks and Wall Street because they were “too big to fail.” Now, maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t that a form of socialism? Wasn’t TARP just a fancy name for an entitlement program for the rich? Where is my bailout?
Finally, in 2008, the people tired of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Paulson and their warped priorities. They elected Obama, who promised change. But Obama has changed not one thing. We are still in Afghanistan and Iraq (and we are never leaving Iraq, as we built ourselves bases we are going to keep, in case we need to re-enter the Middle East.) We’re still in Gitmo, Military Tribunals are being used instead of criminal court to jail the cowards who attacked us; and they are not soldiers, but common ordinary criminals. The poor have gotten poorer, the middle class has continued to shrink, and the divide has become even worse between liberals and conservatives.
Obama has done nothing for our failing economy. Call AT&T for help like I’ve had to do and you will be talking to someone in Pakistan. AT&T realized that they can make more money if they send a twenty-dollar an hour job overseas and pay someone over there six dollars for the same job, though you will not get the same service. I find it difficult to converse with people who struggle with English as a second language. And the big financial institutions are no better. Try talking to someone about your credit card, and you will see what I mean.
It wasn’t mortgages that plunged this country into a depression, and don’t fool yourself, this is a depression. It was businesses ridding themselves of what they viewed as extraneous costs, otherwise known as the American worker, all while granting upper management huge increases in compensation, their new word for income.
Yeah, I know, a poor person never hired anyone for a job, but neither have the rich. The Bush tax cuts will have been in place for twelve years by 2012, and I think that is sufficient time to decide whether they worked or not. Why should the poor, who did nothing to bring on this depression, be the ones forced to suffer because of it. Why should we be forced to wait until we are sixty-seven to take advantage of Social Security or Medicare when we’ve been paying into them for years. Why should the poor be cold this winter because the can’t afford oil, which will be over $4.00 a gallon. Why should they go hungry. We are supposed to be a christian country, or so I’ve been told. How can we treat each other so callously? Or is religion just a facade?
Policy in this country has been dictated by the rich for years. Ike warned us about the Military-Industrial complex, and the old guy was right. The rich run this country, this government, and our Supreme Court, so stop the infighting, Republicans and Democrats both. It’s not about liberal and conservative, it’s about rich and poor. It is that simple.
My solution is this; tax the highest tier at 50% of income. If they choose to re-invest in America, then we give them tax breaks and subsidies. This will spur job growth. As it stands now, the wealthy have no reason to invest in development, or the economy. They like things as they are. Life is good for them, why change things? And raise the capital gains tax to 25%. Why should the rich pay less in taxes than the upper middle class? They claim they need incentive to play the market, because it’s so volatile. But I figure if another crisis arises they can just get another program like TARP to save their rich behinds.
Also, cut all subsidies. The decisions on who gets subsidies are rather arbitrary and unfair. Big Oil gets subsidies, ranchers in Montana get subsidies, farmers in the south get subsidies, and these are the ultimate in entitlement programs. Cut them all.
Stop foreign aid to countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and everyone else. Unless it is humanitarian aid, or disaster help, cut them all.
Cut the Pentagons budget. Pay our soldiers, and help them when they get home, but stop all weapon system programs. We have more nuclear weapons than we can ever use, more nuclear subs and aircraft carriers, more weapons of mass destruction than all our so-called enemies. We spend more on defense than the next seventeen nations combined. Can’t we put that money to better use?
But none of this will ever get done. Corporations will not give up their subsidies, as we saw when Obama threatened to take away Big Oils $4 billion. The War Hawks will not abide a cut in the Pentagon’s budget, because they will view it as a sign of weakness to our enemies. And our government will not raise taxes on those with real money because, well, they are the very people who run our government.
No, the debt ceiling will be raised, as it has been in the past – I think it was raised 19 time during the Bush years, to the tune of $4 trillion – but nothing else will get done. You see, an election year is coming up, and the politicians don’t want to lose their lucrative jobs, with all their perks. So it will be business as usual, and all you folks on the left and right howling at each other are wasting your breath, and simply prolonging the inevitable. Save your energy for the storm ahead, because things will get worse before they get better, if they get better at all.
Other than that, as the Reverend Breeze of The Church of the Divine Intervention would say from his sanctuary in Belize, have a nice day.