Do not covet. Isn’t that one of the Ten Commandments? After watching Ali Velshi on CNN this morning and all day Saturday, it became clear that everyone has their eyes on safety net money and they covet it. They have $ signs in their eyes and have had for some time.
Well my response is, “You cannot have that money, it is already promised! Find another way to finance your budget cuts.”
Mr. Velshi is an economist, I guess, or he specializes in economic commentary, but his solutions will only work if you take humanity out of the equation. He is a numbers man. He says that rich people are paying more and more. Not true. What is true is that a greater percent of what they pay is going to pay for safety net programs which to them means they are supporting us, we are taking a free ride on their coattails, but which to me only says that most Americans are poorer than they were. To the wealthy this means that we, the people, are getting lazy and shiftless, but to me this means that all the money is rising to the top.
Rich folks – stop whining, start hiring and the % of safety net costs paid with your taxes will decrease and shift back in the other direction.
Just because some expert says something on CNN with charts and graphs does not mean it is true or that the data cannot be interpreted in another way. The wealthy need a new perspective. They are not paying for us; they are paying for a civilized, peaceful, orderly society (which is already showing cracks and will totally disintegrate unless we maintain our safety net programs throughout our troubles). You who were the business leaders may not need us anymore because you have taken your business elsewhere, but you need order and you need a healthy and free society and you need it in America because you are America through and through. You could follow Gerard Depardieu’s lead and ask for Russian citizenship, or you could become a Brit, or Canadian, or live in one of the Virgin Islands with the hurricanes, but you will always feel like an exile, even though no one asked you to leave. Stop moaning, stop trying to undo the social safety net, and invest in the things America needs to prosper once again. Our wealthiest Americans are apparently very wealthy and can afford to contribute most to America’s future.
Obama is trying to save the American middle class from those who want to balance the budget by cutting middle class programs. They say that they do this in the name of smaller government, but if we were still needed in their factories I doubt that those who favor small government (the GOP) would be making it such a key issue as they have in recent years. Obama has recommended a program called American Family Economic Protection according to John Avlon writing in The Daily Beast this morning, February 25, 2013. His plan recommends cuts of $110 billion, split between actual spending cuts and new tax revenues. $55 billion in cuts would be split between defense and agriculture and $55 billion would come from revenues gained by implementing the “so-called Buffet rule” which would raise the tax rate to 30% for those with incomes over $1m. Notice Obama’s recommendations do not require any contributions from middle class families by messing with safety net programs. Obama’s plan attempts to avoid “kicking us while we’re down” which the Republicans gleefully recommend.
Perhaps this is now or never time. Obama feels that he must stand firm for tax revenues from tax reforms, which, by the way, Republicans offered up over and over again before the election. Republicans have crossed their loser arms and pursed their loser lips and have said that the door to any new tax revenues is closed, and apparently locked. They are apparently America’s self-appointed doormen, acting like they are protecting us from ourselves, but really acting on behalf of powerful lobby groups and wealthy businessmen.
What the sequester battle comes down to is whether we support Obama to stand firm in his quest for more tax revenues through tax reforms and his unwillingness to raid the social networks in these difficult days; or whether we support those who say that we must make sacrifices and we must back those who have the bucks so that they will generate jobs for us (jobs that pay a living wage we assume)(the GOP in case you didn’t know who I was referring to). I thought we already decided this one. I thought we decided that trickle down sucks; it never trickles all the way down to us and I thought we decided that we would go with the guy who wants to try to grow the economy from the middle out. The Republicans are making us decide issues already decided in 2012 over and over again because they still intend to call the shots and continue their bloodless coup.
Stand firm Obama! Fight, fight fight! Win, win, win.!
This is the view from the cheap seats.