By Jack E. Lohman
To those who support the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, I just have to ask: How are you liking it so far?
Let's look at what we got in the deal:
· With a massive tax cut in a time of war, Bush converted a $300 billion budget surplus into an overnight $600 billion deficit, and it's been downhill ever since.
· Our nation sits on the brink of a recession -- potentially worse than 1929 -- all thanks to arrogant politicians and a corrupt political system.
· Our national debt -- now $9 trillion and growing -- is owed to the Chinese, Japanese and Arabs. Not to American investors. (It was leveling off under Clinton, then went through the roof under Bush.)
· Billions of US dollars leave our country every day for Asian and Arab nations, all thanks to flawed trade agreements and politicians on the take.
· Payrolls have dropped by 13,000 workers and unemployment has risen to over 5%. Jobs are leaving the US in droves.
· The average credit card holder has $9,000 in debt, yet they still get unsolicited cards in the mail. Not to worry, the US Government has every man, woman and child another $40,000 in debt.
· Gas is at $3 a gallon and growing, and politicians turn a blind eye to the OPEC conspiracy as we now convert our food to energy.
· The Big Three are making more cars in Canada than in Detroit because of that country's health care advantage. Michigan is trashed in the process, 7% unemployment, yet, conservatives remain tickled pink with our "free market."
· Food prices are rising because we are using corn for ethanol, though we should only use the less-safe imported corn for fuel.
· The home mortgage "bait and switch" continues, as the CEO of Countrywide Mortgages -- which lost 25% in stock value -- walks away with a $100 million severance package. The taxpayers will bail out the industry rather than compelling them to reset their rates to the original. It pays to give.
· The war is bad enough, but now we are paying the privatized mercenaries 10 times what we pay our own troops. Private companies can give campaign money and the US Army can't, don'cha know?
· Illegal immigration is out of control, all to satisfy a corporate thirst for low cost labor, and campaign contributions have blocked enforcement against hiring illegal aliens.
· The political paybacks, like the $780 billion taxpayer giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry, was a clear attempt to drown Medicare with excessive expenses. A very clever two-fer.
Are we having fun yet?
If not, add a failed foreign policy, failed energy policy, failed environmental policy, failed health care policy, failed Social Security policy, failed education policy, and even a failed farm policy in spite of the billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies.
No, it’s not all Bush’s fault, but it is the fault of the moneyed political system that began long before his arrival. He just picked it up and ran with it. Like a champ! And he'll benefit personally from his tax breaks when he leaves office.
Why are we doing all this? People are now better off getting paid in Euros rather than dollars, and our dollar is now equal to Canada's -- a first in decades. Are we waiting for it to reach the Peso or for China to completely own our country before we do something?
Our corrupt political system will be the undoing of the United States. And amazingly, we keep re-electing our politicians so they can give us more of the same.
It simply doesn't matter what your issue is, follow the money and you'll find a politician with his hand out and a special interest that is seeking taxpayer funded favors.
We need one major change and the rest of our policies will fall into place. No, not more tax breaks, which seems to be Bush's answer for both up and down economies.
Get political money out of the electoral system and politicians will start voting for their country rather than their pocketbook.
Full public funding of campaigns would cost just $10 per taxpayer per year at the federal level, and it’d save us each $3000 per year in government giveaways.
Only then will we see a sensible health care policy, our budgets balanced, our taxes go down and our economy stabilized.
Are you listening, Democrats?