Home Economics Politics: Save Yourself First – Part II

Politics: Save Yourself First – Part II


They will always try to get you with words and slogans. Words and slogans are fun but they aren’t facts. The rich are funding much of the media and a whole host of hidden propaganda machines. And they are creating buzz words to influence your thinking.

Two of the key words to watch out for are “freedom” and “choice.” Protect your freedoms, they say. You need to be able to choose, they say. Freedom from what and choose what? We have more freedom here in the United States than the rest of the world combined.

Of course if you are dumb enough to elect someone like Dick Cheney, he may tap your phone and check your personal records without your knowledge. He may have Karl Rove check out every U.S. Attorney appointed to make sure that they will do things like indict innocent men, like Governor Don Seigelman of Alabama, assemble a kangaroo court and throw him into jail, as they did. A sitting governor went to jail and it took two years and a Democratic Congress to get him out and prove his innocence. That happened.

So…freedom…you have all the freedoms you need. As long as you don’t believe everything you see on television and read in some blogs. And you also have choice. You can choose whether to be a humanitarian or a bigot. You can choose to blindly support major corporations and certain power-hungry billionaires. Or you could choose to support the middle class. You can support health care for everyone and or put regulatory restraint on crooked Wall Street financiers. You can choose whether you want to tell others how to live their lives or simply leave them alone and have them do the same for you.

Do you want to choose where your extra money goes? How about this? Your bridges are falling down. Your roads are damaging your car but you can’t prove it because how do you prove that it was a pot hole that caused your car’s undercarriage to break down? Your airport is impossible to get through and the Interstate highways going through your city are clogged with traffic all day long.

Which would you rather have? Would you rather have those things fixed or have a new ballet troupe? Or a new theatre or a new wing on the local library or a new building added to the local historical society? Government is you. If you need more roads, government will create more roads. Don’t say that it doesn’t work efficiently…because you are the government. If it becomes bloated and corrupt it is because you are lazy.

But if—as some billionaires want–the money stays in your hands, will you be able to organize enough people yourself to get the job done? And how do we know that what you want is good for more people than just you?

We need government for some things…roads, airports, schools, armies. Do they need to count the number of turtles on the beach at South Padre Island? Probably not. Do we need to spend $90 million on a jet fighter aircraft that started out at $50 million? Definitely not.

But if you leave the money you need for these things in your hands or in the hands of the very rich man, nothing will get done. Because he doesn’t need government as much as you do. But the difference between the United States of America and all the countries to the south of us on this continent is that we have always asked everyone to participate in funding society.

The Latin American countries were oligarchies. A few very rich people owned the land and dictated government policies. As a result, many of those countries stayed practically in the 18th Century until a few decades ago. And they are catching up with us now. As we practice Neoconservatism, we are regressing. That is because Neoconservatism is about individual ambitions at the sacrifice of the greater good for society.

The same people who are calling for austerity, who are spending millions to hold rallies about “freedom” and “choice” are the same people who want to “choose” where all of their money goes. The Koch family and the Walton family and others want to decide where 90% of their money goes. There is nothing wrong with that except that it does not work. American society allows for the creation of great fortunes, if they are rational.

If we have taxes that contribute to society, then they should be fair. After World War II, society said that it was fair for the very rich to contribute more because so many Americans had sacrificed everything for freedom and now society needed to restore its economic stability.

Over 30 years, we did. Often it is the ballet, rather than schools. Or the symphony instead of homeland security. Nothing wrong with ballet or the symphony or private libraries. But children need safe buses to get to school and buses need safe roads and all the people need homeland security. Like it or not, Big Brother knows best.

Taxes are only an issue because we are in such a dilemma. We have given so many tax breaks to so many people that we are in a big hole. The Neocon governments of 1988-1992, and 2001-2008 spent $10 trillion more than they took in. They cut taxes and increased spending. They cut taxes and started unbelievably expensive wars. They cut taxes and cut government departments, but added even more expensive outside services to do the same things that government had done, only more expensively.

In 2010, the United States has the same revenues per capital that it had in 1950. But now we have added Medicare, Medicaid and the very same enormous military-industrial complex that Eisenhower, a Republican President, warned us against. We have 200 million more people than we had in `1950. And we have 32,000 lobbyists in Washington, D.C. which is about 60 lobbyists for every member of Congress.

You must decide. This so-called Republican Party…is not one that Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt nor Eisenhower would recognize. Ask yourself, does it represent my needs? Do I need another $600 tax break or do I need long-term medical care if I get sick or a small pension when I am old to supplement anything I have of my own?

Do I want to give people like Paris Hilton another $7 million or $8 million dollar tax break on inheritance money that she never earned and will only spend on expensive trash? We’re not talking about all of inheritances going to the state. Inheritance tax turns out to be, on the average, with deductions, about an 18% tax on “found money.”

These are people who won the birth lottery. They get a minimum of several million dollars and at least 70% of everything over than. These are people who won the birth lottery. Here’s a “choice.” Does Paris Hilton need all that money or would 20% of money she never earned be better put to use for public purposes? How many average jobs could we create, aiding small businesses with even $8 million? And how many parts for one of those $90 million dollar fighter planes? Someone has to pay that bill.

Are you rich? If so, you need to decide how patriotic, how community-minded you are, and then decide for whom you will vote. Are you somewhere in the middle class? If you are then you don’t need to think about it. You need to vote with the Democrats, for lower health care, government regulations, and the people to supervise those regulations on people like BP oil and people who sell peanuts tainted with eboli or eggs that caused deaths from salmonella poisoning.

If you are middle class and you want to stay that way or move up the ladder, then you need to vote with Democrats to return jobs to the United States and keep corporations from sending every kind of job overseas. If you have been to China, then you have seen in some areas, row after row of large manufacturing buildings, making there what we used to make here. You see the places where your former job now being done.

You need to vote to make corporations pay a living wage and reduce their CEOs’ pay from 400 times what the average worker makes down to at least a reasonable level of no more than 100 times what the average worker makes. Anyone who makes four or five million dollars a year is motivated. Adding zeros does not make them more efficient.

If you are a middle class worker and have a family, you need a good vacation each year. You need to have a savings account into which you can deposit money for emergencies. You need to have good, affordable health care. You need insurance from a company that is carefully regulated, so that if something happens to you, your insurance company will pay your family the benefits you paid for.

You need a secure feeling about your aging years and about the value of your home not dropping. You need to know that your children will have an opportunity, if they desire, for a college education. You need to know that if they choose otherwise, they will find an occupation that will use their skills, train them and pay them a living wage.

If these are your basic goals…even if you have surpassed them already…then know that these are also the same goals as most of your neighbors. So, if you agree that these are worthwhile goals, then you agree with the basic positions of the Democratic Party, and not the Neoconservative Republican Party.

This is not theory. This is based on what the Bush Administration did to us and what the obstruction of the Republicans continues to do to us. And now, a whole new group of even more radical would-be politicians, like Sarah Palin, with no experience but merely the blessing of the very, very wealthy have taken over the Neoconservative Party.

They rail against a very moderate President…far too moderate for most Democrats…and talk absurdly about some kind of resurgence of Communism or Socialism…totally preposterous…and about “redistribution of wealth.” The Tea Party members say that they want to take back their country? The country hasn’t gone anywhere. Except to war and into huge debt. And that was entirely the Neocons’ fault.

The Neocons and the Tea Party members don’t want to pay taxes. Any taxes on them they consider as “redistribution of wealth.” Of course it is. Only it is far less than those former millionaires and billionaires paid in this country 40 and 50 and 60 years ago.

If the Bush tax cuts of hundreds of thousands of dollars for millionaires may go away, they are giving huge amounts of money to Right Wing groups who blindly run around talking about doing away with all taxes.

Sarah Palin, who, by working for the rich against the middle class has—like so many other hucksters for the rich—Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Beck, or many others—became rich herself in only one year. These are powerful forces. In other words, for every person that you persuade to vote with the Middle Class, they have the funds to create ads to persuade ten people to stupidly vote with the millionaires and billionaires.

In a campaign, the major points will be called other than what they are. They will say the country is bankrupt. They will say “Obama is creating a dictatorship.” They will say that business is bogged down with excess regulation. They will say that Obama wants to create the highest tax rates in our history. They will say that they cannot abide “runaway spending” leading to “bankruptcy.”

These are all lies, diversions. If we raised taxes on multi-millionaires to a level that is even 15% lower than what they paid in 1979, we could pay for everything we are doing now, with no cuts or adjustments whatsoever. We do need to change some things. The Republicans created a deliberately inefficient government and added things like the Prescription Drug Bill. One thing is painfully clear: we need to raise, not cut taxes.

The Bush-Cheney Neocon Party deliberately channeled about $600 billion into the hands of the pharmaceutical industry without making them reduce costs one penny. We need to do something different. We need to make pharmaceutical companies charge U.S. consumers no more than they charge other people around the world. That will reduce pharmaceutical costs by about 30%. This alone could bring Medicare into balance.

So, the key thing is that we must fight to get back to “normal.” When Mitch McConnell says that we cannot raise taxes in a recession, in an emergency…he is either a fool or a liar. We have ALWAYS raised taxes in emergencies. And in WWI and WWII, we raised the highest rates to over 90%. Bush started two wars and cut taxes at the same time. That is why we have huge deficits.

This Fall, we all face a critical situation. If the Republicans return to power, this time they have made it clear that they will bankrupt the government, eliminate social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The legislators who do this….there are only 450 of them…will be taken care of by the huge international corporations, their subsidiaries and the institutions, like the Manhattan Institute, the Hoover Institution, American Enterprise Institute and others. They will survive.

You will not. The Middle Class will not. Unemployment will grow or remain the same. Unions will disappear. More jobs will go overseas. American jobs will pay less and less. If you don’t think that this is the goal of the Republicans, just fix in your minds these two things.

First, the Republicans voted against renewing unemployment for those who have been out of work for two years. And they have repeatedly voted against any kinds of incentives for creating jobs for Americans workers. While still closing plants here and sending jobs to Brazil and China among others.

Second, the Republicans voted against funds to set up monitoring for the many first responders at the World Trade Center on 9/11 who are now suffering certain kinds of respiratory problems as a result of their heroic efforts. If you remember, before the buildings collapsed, most of the downtown area workers had been sent up town as rapidly as possible by the local authorities. But that huge cloud of particle dust that permeated everything was taken full force by the firemen and police and others who were working to get people out.

But the Republicans refuse to support and voted in a bloc against a measure that would set up a fund to pay for health monitoring of these heroic individuals. It was paid for by another bill. That bill would make U.S. corporations registering their headquarters outside the United States to avoid taxes now actually pay some taxes. That would be more than enough to pay for the health monitoring fund.

But the Republicans said no, again. They have no compassion whatsoever even for our greatest heroes. They will fly American flags from their SUV windows but hypocritically they will not lift a real finger to help those who risked their lives for their fellow citizens.

So just imagine what they will do to you.

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