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Broken Unions, Broken Nation, and the Lie that Keeps us Broke

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This isn't about taxes. It's not about spending. It's about what we want as a society.

Our choice is this. Find the money or lose our civilization. If we want safety, hire cops; if we want education, hire teachers; if we want roads, pay construction workers; if we want clean air, food, drugs and water, pay inspectors. If we want chaos, don't.

When you don't have enough cops and teachers and libraries and garbage collectors and maintenance workers where you live, you live in a dirty, dangerous, uneducated, crumbling place. And, selfish as they are, I don't think even the superrich want that.

So, how do we fix it? I'm not an expert in fiscal policy, but I know what we're doing now--or more to the point, not doing--isn't working. But I have a suggestion.

Find the money. See where the heaving oceans of untaxed wealth are hiding in plain sight, drowning everyone in their excess, demanding more and more and more--and tax them.

But I'm not here to debate the fine points of tax policy. I'm here to speak truth to power.

This is my warning to the powerful. You are starving our society to death. You've put a tourniquet around our civic neck and squeezed the life out of our revenue stream. If you keep it up, everything we cherish, everything we count on as Americans will die.

Call it restructuring, call it tax reform, call it budget normalization, call it whatever the hell you want, I don't care. But find the money.

Because if we don't: count on it. The next scapegoat is you.

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)

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  We've worked hard to build a society that ... by Allan Goldstein on Monday, Mar 7, 2011 at 8:45:55 AM
This is what their propaganda is always aimed at--... by Jill Herendeen on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 at 1:43:10 PM
I constantly hear critics on the right saying we s... by JGStakeholder on Monday, Mar 7, 2011 at 11:46:39 AM
Before all of "civilization" goes down the tube, A... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Mar 7, 2011 at 11:52:59 AM
You make your points with brilliant lucidity! And... by Allan Goldstein on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 at 5:46:30 AM
The rules are screwed up, but the game is not fixe... by Steve Consilvio on Monday, Mar 7, 2011 at 12:00:11 PM
The rich have literally spent billions buying gove... by liberalsrock on Monday, Mar 7, 2011 at 1:05:19 PM
It's called "legal plunder."Even back in the 1850s... by Edward Ulysses Cate on Monday, Mar 7, 2011 at 1:36:37 PM
I agree, that is one way of looking at it, Steve. ... by Allan Goldstein on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 at 5:43:05 AM
The intervention in the game is to help someone, b... by Steve Consilvio on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 at 12:29:00 PM
They just need to give back some money to keep eve... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 at 11:05:29 PM
Not fixed?? It was fixed long before any of us wer... by Ian MacLeod on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 at 9:28:04 AM
My eyes are open. It is yours that are closed. It ... by Steve Consilvio on Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011 at 5:58:24 AM
What is not in the awareness of the typical strugg... by Siegfried Othmer on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 at 12:19:09 AM
There is a glaring problem over HOW and WHERE mone... by Elizabeth Woodworth on Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011 at 8:48:19 PM
and...well, do you tax the money made from illeg... by sherry clark on Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011 at 7:57:57 AM
We cannot depend on the wealthiest few to all of a... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011 at 12:57:49 PM