For the last twenty-nine years, we the people have been invaded by a horde of robber barons who have, step-by-step, dismantled the humanitarian safety net that characterized our nation and pushed millions of poor, working, and middle class Americans into a Dickensian serfdom. Crying for help, we had reached out to the seductive beacon of hope offered by a new administration. It was, clearly, a mirage.
I live in California. We’re, um, having a little budget trouble here. Years of under-taxation, championed by Republican corporate fascists, have left us with a severe drought in rainy-day funds. The result—the revolution that Bush and Company wanted to foment in the United States, the complete destruction of the social supports implemented in the New Deal, that was forestalled to some extent by the attempted exile of the Bush cabal, is being played out in the Golden State.
Who would have imagined that the state once renowned for its social democracy, outstanding schools and institutions of higher education, and liberal humanism would become the manipulated beta test for fascist-corporatist inhumanity. Under the stewardship of a narcissistic governor driven by personal and political ambitions, and stonewalled by corrupted Democrats and filibustered by neo-conservative guerilla cells, the state has been effectively maneuvered into legislative gridlock. To impose higher taxes, most critically on the wealthy, that can begin to address the Bush-era budget deficits, a two-thirds majority is needed in the legislature, an almost impossible task. And, there are enough misguided voters who believe right-wing propaganda that they will advocate for losing the benefits (often totaling thousands of dollars) of good schools, low-cost accessible universities, basic healthcare and public health, a safe and healthy environment, sturdy infrastructure, and “back-up services” to help them through illness, injury, disability, job loss, etc,…; instead of paying a few dollars more a year of “their” money.
The recent ballot initiatives were marvels of what we used to call “gobbledygook”. Voters stood back dumbfounded at the “When did you stop beating your wife?” language and syntax that tried to present the continuation of current regressive taxes several years down the road as a solution for today’s crisis. “No more taxes” kept “the base” (A right wing domestic Al Qaeda?) from understanding that their intransigence would lead to the massive morbidity and even mortality of our most unfortunate citizens. Progressives who wanted to vote for increased progressive taxation with especially high taxes on the wealthy and corporations had no such option through these propositions.
What will happen? If the administration that bailed out Wall Street and our banks do not assist, hundreds of thousands of children will be without healthcare, hundreds of thousands of disabled individuals will have no caregivers or assistants, hundreds of thousands of ill individuals will no longer be able to afford medicine that keeps them alive. Republicans have ensured that the most weak and vulnerable of our population will be abandoned to misery, starvation, and death. And if you’re not one of them, don’t sit back and congratulate yourself on your choices, skills, and abilities. One car accident, one fall, one medical diagnosis; and, unless you are very, very rich, your cushion may vanish as quickly as California’s social services.
The theater being played out in Sacramento and Washington is another assault on a populace weary of 8 years of Bush wars. If the cuts become real—then no-tax legislators and voters would be guilty of battery and murder. All the way up to the Governor’s chair. If the dramatic pronouncements are inducements for increased taxation or a Washington bailout without “base” protests, then we Californians are still victims of assault. Federal and State policies that allowed such dismal economic management in a state with one of the highest rates of taxation for the working and middle classes indicate that resources have been stolen by beneficiaries who are enjoying their spoils with the same infuriating immunity as Dick and Donald and their cronies.
And, if millions move, suffer, or die, we will see in California what our ruling elite hope to inspire and complete again someday across the United States. Once again, “As goes California, so goes the nation”.