In the midst of all the partisan politicking that is going on, it is very easy to lose sight of unpleasant truths. We hear Republicans railing about the "tax and spend" policies of the Democrats, while Democrats concentrate on the plight of the common folk of the country who have been bled white by paying for the privilege of bidding adieu to their means of employment.
All the Republican candidates have campaigned on the virtue of literally abolishing all taxes, at least on the wealthy, so they can use all their money to make more money and to become even wealthier. Ron Paul even goes as far as pledging to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, while Mike Huckabee is an advocate for the "flat tax" which will further shift the burden of supporting the government even more onto the poor and middle class. Of course, they all want to eliminate all Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other government charitable institutions, leaving the poor to beg at the doors of churches and panhandle on the streets. Meanwhile, they ignore the enormous national debt that is lurking out there, waiting to bite us hard just when we are trying to restore our democracy.
It is easy for them to ignore the fact that this terrible burden has been foisted on the American public by the fair-haired son-of-a-former-President who now occupies the White House. They would have us forget that it was created by the lust for power and greed of a spoiled man who was willing to break his oath by lying to the American people in order to capture Middle Eastern oil and to make a prominent place in history as the man who accomplished what his daddy felt it unwise to do.
But The People know that bills must be paid. The enormity of the bill that has been incurred by this runaway President is sufficient to boggle the mind of any ordinary wage-earner. If every safety-net supplied currently by the federal government were to be ended tomorrow, it would still take years to bring the national debt to a reasonable level and the budget into balance.
The Democrats timidly offer as a solution the end of the war and the timely death of Bush's tax cuts for the rich while the Republicans jump on the old "tax-and-spend" bandwagon again and put the pedal to the metal, hoping that the poor, ignorant peasants will not realize that they have been taken. Not this time. Thanks to the outsourcing and the off-shoring of Bush's "Free Trade" policies, the peasants are all too well aware of the pressures of indebtedness. Some may have lived beyond their means, thanks to the easy-credit policies of the national money machine and are paying dearly for it. Others, simply trying to provide for the needs of their families, have been fiscally destroyed by job loss or illness.
We do understand and we will do what is necessary and that is where the unfaced truth rears its ugly head. We all know that the bills must be paid! They cannot be paid by a Defense of Marriage Amendment. They cannot be paid by outlawing abortion or reinstating prayer in the public schools. There is only one way to pay ourselves out of the bankruptcy that President Bush has inflicted up on us all, and that is by paying taxes. Not just from the meager wages of the working poor and the working class, but by everybody! At the end of World War II, the good Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower had presided over a tax which reached 95% on America's top earners, but the bills were paid.
And that is what must be done now. Regardless of the party affiliation of the governing bodies, regardless of personal and political ambitions, unless that debt is paid -- and paid in full, our nation is not free. So long as our markers are held by foreign powers who may not like us very much, we are hampered in our decisions regarding the rest of the world. We may worry about the recession that is upon us now but it is nothing to compare with the crash that would occur if a couple of those other nations were to call for payment of their debt.
The next Congress should, early on, assess the amount of money that is needed to make substantial payment on the debt in addition to balancing the current budget, and compute from that the amounts of taxes that must be required. This will greatly displease a good many people, particularly those with great wealth, but it is an unpleasant chore that must be done. We have done it before and we can do it again, without ending any safety nets or further disadvantaging our elderly. All that is required is a President and a Congress with the intestinal fortitude to face it and get it done.
For too long, working Americans have given their money, their security, and the blood of their children to accomplish the ambitions of George Bush and his friends. If we dared to complain, we were charged with lack of patriotism, with being un-American, and it was suggested that we "love it or leave it."
For the whiners who have been too long on the high horse of privilege and are crying crocodile tears about the proposed tax rates and the end of their gravy train, I have only one response, "Shut up and pay your damned taxes or get out of my country!"