Can the super committee save the US economy?
One of the biggest jokes in Washington is when it comes time to balance the federal budget. It’s when Democrats, Republicans and Independents all take a seat at the proverbial roundtable in a pre-emptive effort to balance or bring some kind of legitimacy and clarity to America’s great big budget. All of this to prevent the government from shutting down.
They put on a big production staring all the famous political actors, and then go on about the business of deciding which non-defense related discretionary spending programs to freeze or cut. Now, mind you, they’re talking about a paltry 10% of total federal spending budget. In retrospect, it’s a tiny the part of the budget but the GOP seems hell bent on revamping it by excluding programs that benefit the poor and working classes and refusing to raise taxes on anyone to protect Americas wealthiest corporations and people.
A whopping 10% of the budget includes services for the poor, senior citizens, women and children yet the unemployed are being considered to go up on the chopping block. How interesting that a little over a year ago both parties sat their happily disgruntled asses on the floor of Congress and agreed to increase the debt by upwards of 337.5 billion dollars in 2011 by allowing tax cuts to go the wealthiest people in our nation. President Eisenhower taxed the richest Americans at 92% during his entire time in office. Were they simply naive then?
Let me follow that up with some proven, researched, facts and figures before I continue. The wealthiest 400 Americans have more riches than half of all American households combined.
Let me repeat that in layman’s terms. According to a very knowledgeable source, “the top 1% of households also known as (the upper class) own 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) have 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people own a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). Payroll taxes, are mostly paid by those with incomes below $100,000 per year.
I would like to add that the majority of income taxes go to the military (or rather the military industrial complex: owned by the wealthy. Since the rich have more to defend, should they not pay more in “defense spending?” Here’s a concept; taxes should be commensurate with wealth. The more you own the higher a percentage you should pay in taxes. And corporate welfare should be completely eliminated, not reformed.
Recently, there has been massive cause for shock and awe with the blatant attack not only on the middle class, but on societies most vulnerable and lowest class; the poor. This collective attack is no longer a stealth, camouflaged effort like with politics of old but one that is indeed weighing heavily on the minds of most Americans today because politicians have yet again made it seem as if caring for those who cannot care for themselves has somehow led us to the place our economy is currently at. The bottom of the barrel. This attack on the poor has trickled on up and is bound to affect the middle class because so many former middle class Americans now find themselves shopping at places like Walmart, Target, and other major discount retailers. They’re patronizing the local Aldi, Dollar Store, and Food Pantry because they’ve found themselves in a situation they’d never thought they’d be. They’re going without.
They are not without education, but they are without jobs or have seen their income severely reduced. They have lost their homes or they are on the brink, and their personal finances and savings are all but gone, reduced to the most common of denominators due to Wall Street executives purposely taking the American economy on a collision course with history. They, who’ve driven their stake into the American dream and were once considered apart of “the haves” cool clique are fast becoming one with the “have-nots”. Even those with jobs rightly feel the effects, having taken a bite out of politics and coming away with a terribly bitter taste in their mouths.
There was once a time when the attack on the poor was masked with political double talk, dodge ball tactics and screwball antics that made Congress resemble that of a largely divided middle school playground at recess. Gutless attempts at major and minor regulatory changes that often face ridiculously fierce resistance, to debating the importance or lack thereof of things like block grants and welfare reform, as if these terms and programs aren’t solidly in place because they are dire necessities. Specifically, the poor and working poor (working class) have bared the brunt of this nation’s addiction to excess. Wall Street caused a crisis of epic proportions that the middle class is still paying for. Political administrations coupled with careless legislatures and lackluster regulators are at the root of the problem.
When you think of programs like Head Start, Earned Income Credit, school lunch programs, Medicaid, TANF, subsidized housing, WIC, and child care assistance, you don’t think about how pertinent it is for those services to be reduced or terminated because the need has always been great. Even 70% of Tea Party supporters don’t want to see Medicare cuts. You think about the fact that those services are not often readily available to those falling within a certain need based demographic but they are put in place for the sake of importance and justification. These services are in place because of moral responsibility and duty. A need to prevent or curtail poverty, despair, homelessness, lack of access to health care for routine and emergency care and it’s safe to say that reducing aid to the poorest and most vulnerable in society will result in more people living miserable existences, more families going to bed hungry, and a growing lack of quality education because one is not afforded to them, etc.
Cutting spending to services that help the needy does not stimulate job growth or economic growth nor will it reduce the national debt by a long shot.
Final words: This budget crises is a moral issue. Our elected leaders and career politicians have been corrupted by money and greed. Politicians are regularly caught up in a system that rewards baseless contempt for the little guy much in the same way that athletes get caught up in steroid abuse. The mindset is if others are doing it, why shouldn’t I. Our government is riddled with junkies and nothing matters except ensuring a steady supply of the drug, which in this case purely equates to money. People need to understand that the flow of money never stops. One mans gain is another mans loss. When the stock market crashed, people made money and lots of it. When companies fail, if you play your cards right, you could profit hugely on their failure. And corporations are more than happy to be the drug – I mean money dealers. They own and control the cash flow . The only way to free our politicians and ultimately ourselves from the current level of corruption that has plagued every facet of corporate America reaching all the way up to our elected government officials is to take the faceless global players out of the politics game and revert back to governing for the good of the people of the country they purport to serve.
We have become a nation that idolizes wealth and because of that we are losing our connection to community, family and country. If we continue to equate being rich as virtuous and the primary testament to personal success we will continue on a collective decline, with more losers than winners just like the game is currently designed to project.
The super committee was created to reduce the federal deficit to the tune of over 1 trillion dollars but I would not be surprised if it ends up increasing it instead.
To monitor the Super Committee’s progress proceed to their website at http://www.deficitreduction.gov/public/.