YES, the “T” in Marie T. Antoinette stands for “Tea,” and NO, we are not a classless society.
“You have a mind set. and nothing will change it.”
“You’re absolutely right!” I didn’t bother to defend myself, and I will not defend myself. I do have a mind set, and it is set against the willful ignorance that is currently rampant in the United States of America where candidates for public office at the state level talk of secession from the union, and the middle class (the backbone of the country) is threatened with extinction by a willful corporate plutocracy that sees it’s future on foreign soil.
First, about this deficit business – fiscal responsibility is no longer a hallmark of the Republican Party. It hasn’t been for at least the past two decades. . In fact, if it weren’t for the Republican Party there would be no deficit. Yes, this Brobdingnagian deficit is bad. The two wars we are fighting on foreign soil (we’re still in Iraq) have contributed over one trillion dollars to our national debt. The Bush tax breaks to the top 2% of our wealthiest citizens have contributed another 5 trillion. Poor government oversight, and judgment, and a willful Laissez-faire attitude on the part of all parties contributed to the Great Recession that actually started in January 2007, not September of 2008. That disaster has contributed trillions more in lost revenue to the national deficit. Additionally, shipping jobs overseas means we have a smaller poorer working middle class buying less and contributing less revenue to our government, which brings me to my second point.
In order to balance a budget, as any mathematician or ordinary middle class citizen knows, you must work with both sides of the equation; REVENUE EQUALS SPENDING. All accountants must use the equal sign LITERALLY when balancing their books (though often it’s fudged in the business world). When Republicans insist on huge tax cuts and more tax cuts - for rich corporations and the uber wealthy, funding national defense at 59% of the budget while demanding draconian spending cuts to social programs or eradication of those (Medicare, Medicaid and social security) - they are not balancing the budget. They are FUDGING it! Not only will such practices destroy the middle class, the working middle class, the working poor, and the just plain poor, but they will also reduce this country to the status of a third world nation! We will be a nation of THE SUPER RICH AND THE SUPER POOR. We need a budget that is FAIR.
Quite frankly, we are not Taxed Enough Already – none of us, the middle class included. We are being taxed less right now than at any time in the last fifty years. The tax burden in the United States is twentieth in the world! I know that most of us in the middle class would be willing to pay more income tax (create revenue/income) in order to keep Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, PBS, the EPA, public education, Planned Parenthood, and other programs that help us (in some cases to stay alive). But most importantly, balancing a budget is a mathematic formula, and no matter what the Taxed Enough Already folks say, in order for the formula to work, both sides of the equation must be EQUAL!
To give credit where credit is due, some wealthy Americans are saying they don’t need the huge past and proposed future tax giveaways. Never the less that is the corporate plutocracy and Republican Party position. As a Twenty-first century Marie Antoinette might say,” That’s okay, Let them drink beer and die.”
That is quite frankly where we are as a nation. We are on the verge of class warfare.
To avoid such a class war, It will be absolutely necessary to balance the budget – and that means USING THE EQUAL SIGN in the equation with all social and economic classes participating.
BUCKET LIST OF REFORM
A friend of mine posted this to facebook, and I think it is worth repeating in as many places as I possibly can because this current entry is just a bare beginning on how to fix the problems we face.
So what would I like to see happen in the real world? For starters: plug tax loopholes that allow offshore tax shelters for wealthy persons and corporations; stop granting tax incentives to corporations that move jobs off-shore; return Federal income tax brackets to their 1980 levels; eliminate the income cap on Social Security taxes; stop worrying about the deficit until economic recovery is much more firm; allow Medicare to bargain for lower drug prices; vigorously investigate, and prosecute if possible, those who knowingly manipulated the housing and derivatives markets; re-institute strong banking regulations, including a complete separation of investment banks from commercial banks; pour as much support as we can muster into creating new jobs, especially in "green" industries; reaffirm the social contract that says we are all in this together; use tax and subsidy policy to reverse the ever-widening income and wealth gap among our populace. And that is just for starters.