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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/23/17

Time for a Christmas Pilgrimage

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Broken Christmas Hopes
Broken Christmas Hopes
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Scrooge is still alive and apparently hiding in Washington DC. I also think that, perhaps, the old Grinch is afoot again with his heart three sizes too small and shrinking.

The Grinch is busy stealing the gifts of democracy from under the tree, leaving us impoverished and voiceless, like taking Tiny Tim's crutch away. They are busy cutting social services for the citizens in need, planning to wall usunder the guise of walling others out, selling off our parks and national assets.

Many of the gifts are only apparent gifts since they contain strings that will slowly snatch them back over time. The new tax law will provide lower taxes in the short run, but at a great expense. As social services continue to be cut, the ordinary citizen is left more and more vulnerable to any misfortune of life or change in policy made for the benefit of the economic elite.

While taxes may be temporarily lower for the ordinary American but permanently lower for the wealthy and for corporations, the rich will be able to pass on their largess to their heirs to continue to consolidate and grow the gap between the haves and the have-nots. And the taxes themselves will no longer go for anything that helps the ordinary citizens, but instead to provide profits streams for the financial institutions, the corporations and the wealthy as public functions and assets continue to be privatized and out of any control by the public. The results will be that those on top, after having their taxes lowered once again, will be mightily reimbursed with their slices of tax revenues.

By lowering taxes for those with all the wealth, we are, in effect, draining the tax reservoir that the rest of society depends on to stay healthy and functioning. The result is that the society is left with a drought and then to fight amongst themselves for what still exists in the reservoir.

Just a note: In the 1950s when democracy was much healthier and there was some equitable balance in the economic distribution of wealth within the nation, the upper bracket of taxes was over 90% and our society was prosperous and healthy . That rate is now about a third of what it was then and the society and its infrastructure is left in a shambles, not to mention that the gap of income inequality is almost obscene.

All of the gifts under the tree are for the friends of the neoliberal economic elite and the rest of us will get coal, or apparent gifts which will be quickly broken over the next few years. Even the minimal increase in the base rate for Social Security had to be offset by an enormous increase in the Medicare deduction by over 25%, just to be sure that it zeroed out any real increase. You may pay less tax next year but your health care costs will skyrocket and there will be less relief from any problems you might encounter; the safety nets will be gone. Meanwhile you will be paying for wars, an enlarged military and an increased security state to keep an eye on you.

Meanwhile those on top will be immune, being too big to take to court and too big to fail or, certainly, to jail.

We are intimately headed for a Scroogey reality where the official responses to human problems will be, "Are there no prisons, no workhouses", making it clear who the winners are and how they will deal with the rest of us "losers".

This is not the Christmas narrative we want for this nation, nor do we want it to extend throughout the year, nor do we want it imposed on the rest of the world through military or economic domination.

Lets bring the real spirit of Christmas back, making a Christmas pilgrimage; by walking away from this perverse and broken system and walking back into our democratic heritage.

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I have a deep belief in participatory democracy, the value of ordinary people and finding a path to a sustainable future. I also understand the immediacy or the need for significant action to save democracy and our sustainable future on this (more...)

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