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We Get the Government we deserve - NO, We DON'T!

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 9/15/09

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I strongly reject the statement that we "get the laws and government we deserve."

This is the same radical-right blame-the-victim mentality that allows people who simply work hard and buy into the American dream to be trampled and then left shaking their heads wondering where they went wrong.

No, there's been a systematic dismantling of civil and social protections, with a concurrent building of corporate welfare (on a scale far, far greater than anything "Cadillac Queens" or any other urban myth ever 'ripped off the taxpayers' over). The stand-on-your-own-feet party has provided in loans or guarantees an amount (some $14 trillion, according to Bloomberg.com) to the financiers even greater then the alarming national debt ($11.8 Trillion), while keeping in place a tax code that lets billionaires like Warren Buffet to pay a lower rate than his secretary (as he himself has admitted, in a rare bit of honesty for a person in his tax bracket). We cap Social Security deductions at $106,000 and then wonder why the fund will go broke in a couple of decades, when what we should be doing is eliminating the cap entirely and then lowering the deduction for EVERYONE - effectively providing a tax break for 97% of American workers, while making the top 3% pay their fair share. We fight the two most expensive wars in American history, by far (and two of the longest - Afghanistan is already longer then our involvement in BOTH World Wars combined), while, for the first time in American history, NOT raising taxes to pay for them. Instead, Bush told us to just "go shopping" after 9/11.

Starting with Ronald Reagan/James Watt, we give away billions in valuable land to the oil companies, who sit on it, drilling nothing, while they collect obscene profits just by virtue of speculators who drive oil prices to $147/barrel, while collecting hundreds of millions themselves.

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We allow, even encourage the most egregious forms of speculation, driving people out of homes they could never have afforded, while calling such securitization, the "Free Market."

Finally, when we're reeling with debt on every level - personal, corporate, and governmental, we're told that Universal Health Care, which is provided not only by every industrialized country in the world, but by such forward-looking countries as Rwanda, is unaffordable!

Then, because we're MAD AS HELL, AND WE'RE JUST NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE, we vote enthusiastically in record numbers for a man who promises change from all this. And, what do we get? We get a one war oh-so-gradually wound down, with uncertain consequences and uncertain goals, while another, potentially much bigger quagmire, is ramped up. We get a bailout of the financial criminal class even greater than his predecessor (that supposedly Free-Market Laissez-Faire President) accomplished. We get healthcare "reform" that imposes a tax on the poor, punishing them for not buying dysfunctional healthcare they couldn't afford in the first place.. We get to look forward to a climate change bill that under the guise of cap and trade is really a way for the financial bubble machine to Trade Capital - to themselves - while actually making the environment worse by eliminating the EPA's power to enforce protection, delaying requirements to build clean power plants until 2020 (10 years!), and set up a complicated, unenforceable system of carbon trades so arcane only the financiers will understand it - though even then, they will manage to produce yet another spectacular boom and bust cycle.

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No, whatever our personal failings, whatever our shortcomings in the race against bankers whose only real talent is to convince other people to give them their money, we don't deserve this. We don't deserve to be raked over the hot and dirty coals while our pockets are emptied, just because we were naive enough to believe in the constitution and the American Dream. We don't deserve to see no inflation-adjusted growth in income in 30 years for the bottom 80% of earners, and an actual decline in the last ten, according to the Census Bureau.

No way.
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http://newthinking.blogspot.com/

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
http://www.americaisnotbroke.net/

Scott is a former President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)
 

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